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
After years of sitting on the sidelines, Microsoft has pledged to support WebRTC -- formerly thought of as a Skype competitor -- in Internet Explorer.
Despite the launch of its new Passport smartphone, BlackBerry needs to embrace a future that's in M2M, messaging and enterprise services.
Vodafone's Dr. Alan Law talks to Light Reading about virtualization, backhaul, SON and more after being appointed chairman of the Small Cell Forum.
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.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed