Light Reading
Between 4G, 5G, Sprint Spark, and Verizon's new XLTE campaign, consumers will likely never understand what LTE really is, but does that matter?

More 4G Muddling: Verizon Brands AWS XLTE

Sarah Reedy
5/19/2014
50%
50%

Calling non-LTE networks 4G used to be marketers' biggest blunder, but now, new flavors of 4G are emerging to mystify and confuse consumers.

First came Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s Spark network, and now Verizon Wireless 's XLTE, the moniker it will use to brand the Advanced Wireless Service spectrum it is deploying across the US. Verizon says this is a "consumer-friendly way of describing the added capacity that is being delivered to Verizon Wireless customers by activating our 4G LTE service on our AWS spectrum."

Verizon wants its customers to know that its AWS is a big deal for its network; not just your run-of-the-mill 4G. That's all well and good, but I worry it's just muddying the waters yet again. All consumers care about is the fact that the network works as advertised; not what brand of LTE it is. Considering that "XLTE" is only available in half of its LTE markets, I wonder if it will further confuse its customers that don’t have access to it or phones that support it... or if they'll even notice. (See Verizon Leads With Double-Wide 4G.)

Interestingly, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is taking a somewhat different approach by trying to educate its customers on the things it is doing to improve its network, actually mentioning the phrase "small cells" in its commercials. (See AT&T Talks Small Cells, DAS in New Ads.)

I'm not really sure which approach is the better strategy, but the 4G LTE brand twisting is enough to make you dizzy. It will only get worse with 5G too. Check out Verizon's new commercial as part of its XLTE campaign, and let us know your thoughts on how to market mobile in the comments section below. (See Ready or Not, Here Comes 5G and EE Makes the Case for 5G .)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(17)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/31/2014 | 4:33:23 AM
At times operators dont want customers to understand
When there will be early 5G: trials, partial adoptions, partial migrations; there will be a marketing mess. At times operators dont want customers to understand what they are choosing, buying, using and paying for.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 1:34:58 PM
Re: Marketing
@Sarah, sorry - was not clear from several messages ago.  I was referring to the customer - if they don't understand the new devices, services, etc., they will turn off and quit listening to marketing or other messages.

 
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/20/2014 | 1:30:32 PM
Verizon VoLTE
Looks like Verizon is the one that will have advanced features at launch on VoLTE, even though AT&T beat it to the touch. The carrier tells GigaOm it will include video calling and HD voice at its TBD launch this year: http://gigaom.com/2014/05/20/verizons-voice-over-lte-service-will-include-facetime-like-video-calling-at-launch/
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/20/2014 | 1:15:50 PM
Re: Marketing
Turn what off? The network? Don't think that's possible!
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 1:15:00 PM
Re: Marketing
@Sarah, that's what I am thinking.  But people will turn off if it doesn't become familiar and easy to understand.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/20/2014 | 10:43:07 AM
Re: Marketing
haha I like it! If Verizon is double wide, then Sprint is a "triple threat"?
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/20/2014 | 10:42:20 AM
Re: Marketing
You do have to have specific handsets to take advantage of the AWS spectrum. I wonder if they are hoping to upgrade customers on their devices by making them think this latest and greatest is necessary. Much more explanation is needed, but hopefully that happens in stores.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 10:15:39 AM
Re: Heavy Duty?
Verizon is trying to do that in the areas where their networks were destroyed by Sandy, but sadly no unlimited plans.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 10:13:34 AM
Re: Marketing
That's been trademarked by a new MVNO targeting trailer parks :)
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 9:57:54 AM
Re: Heavy Duty?
I see that Tacoma, WA has just been added to their markets.

They are just south of me here in Kent, so maybe I'll get in their coverage area!  

Althought I'm already reading about issues like throttling after 5Gig of downloads (that's two and a half netflix movies!), and they shut off the data channel if a phone call comes in!

Sprint's Spark LTE network disables data when handling calls
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Light Reedy
Wireless operators are jumping on the mobile music bandwagon, a move that sounds good for many reasons.
The worlds of tennis, fashion and wearables collide as Ralph Lauren and OMsignal turn a polo into a sensor to track your every movement.
The fine print on Sprint's new $60 plan suggests it can prioritize other plans' traffic first – a letdown, and maybe even a net neutrality violation.
Verizon is reportedly working with an industry consortium to launch its own app store, but past efforts suggest it's not a smart move for the operator.
Join us Thursday at 12:00 p.m. EST for a live chat with Heavy Reading's Roz Roseboro about how NFV is changing data center requirements and operations.
Flash Poll
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Hot Topics
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
Verizon Launches QR Code Security Solution
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2014
Fiber Revival at Deutsche Telekom
Iain Morris, 8/25/2014
M2M's In Fashion: Wearables Play the US Open
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed