& cplSiteName &

AT&T Talks Small Cells, DAS in New Ads

Sarah Thomas
3/17/2014
50%
50%

Rather than attack its competitors, stretch the meaning of 4G, or rely on a table full of adorably precocious little kids, AT&T is trying a new approach to marketing and actually explaining what it is doing to improve its network.

Sure, the new AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) commercials aren't exactly a technical lesson in network dynamics -- the engineer asks about "nine-beam, multi-beam antenna systems," whatever those are -- but they do delve into specifics like small cells and distributed antenna systems (DAS) in a way we haven't really seen on TV before.

Check out two of the new spots, which debuted on Sunday evening.

Part of the reason AT&T is revamping its ad campaigns could be the threat of litigation from T-Mobile US Inc. , which is taking on Verizon Wireless for its map commercials depicting its inferior magenta map. Or AT&T could just be sick of T-Mobile CEO John Legere making fun of the kids from its "It's not complicated" campaign. (See T-Mobile Repurposes 2G to Get an LTE Edge.)

But Chad Harris, AT&T's executive director of marketing, tells Ad Age it's really because its customers have shown they care to know why the network does or does not work. They are interested in hearing more about AT&T's heterogeneous network strategy, even if they don't ask about it by name.

And AT&T has a story to tell here. As part of Project Velocity IP (VIP), the carrier will deploy more than 10,000 more macro sites, 40,000 small cells, and 1,000 DAS across the country by the end of 2015. It's had a hard time shaking its reputation for poor network quality, back from the original iPhone days, so it's talking up what it's doing to bolster network capacity and reliability to assure its customers that those days are long gone. (See AT&T's Donovan: Perception Still 'Lags' on Network Quality and AT&T Puts Up $14B to Boost Broadband.)

It'll be interesting to see and hear the market reaction to these ads. All the wireless operators have been guilty of misusing and muddling the term 4G to the point that it has lost its meaning with consumers. Now that their networks are increasingly comparable, the operators have to differentiate their marketing in other ways. Attacking one another is one way, but actually explaining what they are doing to be the best is another. We'll see which one wins out. (See 4G: Just a Marketing Term?)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(26)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2014 | 12:39:25 PM
Re: technically speaking...
Which speaks to the fact that as networks become more comparable, operators have to find new ways to differentiate -- in their ads and in their offers.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/18/2014 | 6:40:37 PM
Re: technically speaking...
Well, I already have AT&T for my iPad data plan. Verizon for my iPhone. 

I had AT&T on my iPhone previously and switched to Verizon when I kept hearing how much better Verizon is. Honestly, I don't see much difference. 

 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/18/2014 | 10:17:03 AM
Re: technically speaking...
A whole different debate entirely!
gk998
50%
50%
gk998,
User Rank: Lightning
3/18/2014 | 10:15:19 AM
Re: technically speaking...
Oh the Ericsson DAS / 'remote radio head'...  Not quite the same thing as a 'Small Cell' ;-)
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/18/2014 | 10:03:58 AM
Re: technically speaking...
haha, Excellent call out! I was thinking that AT&T is working with Ericsson, so the new small cells it'd be deploying in enterprise locations would be of the much sexier Radio Dot variety:

gk998
100%
0%
gk998,
User Rank: Lightning
3/18/2014 | 9:53:11 AM
Re: technically speaking...
"If you want to get technical, that's not what a small cell looks like"

Really? kinda looks like one to me...

 

http://resources.alcatel-lucent.com/?cid=155781

 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/17/2014 | 6:18:51 PM
Re: technically speaking...
haha, wow, Mitch, I think you had just the reaction to this commercial that AT&T was hoping for! Are you switching your wireless service to it now?
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/17/2014 | 6:02:21 PM
Re: technically speaking...
SarahReedy - "It's next set of ads are going to be focused on fixing the perception of engineers as nerds with bad pick up lines in our society."

Bad pickup line? It seemed to be working for him!

Although his partner seemed to be the one doing the picking up. Literally. 
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/17/2014 | 6:01:08 PM
Re: technically speaking...
Carol Wilson - "Wow, our California geek is a hopeless romantic - who knew?"

Certainly not my wife. 

<signed> Mitch "Valentine's Day -- I've Heard of It" Wagner
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/17/2014 | 5:05:55 PM
Re: technically speaking...
Yeahhh, I don't disagree. It's pretty cheesy. The intent is good on the educational aspect, but they end up drawing on stereotypes -- even the stoner guy at the concert. 
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Nicole Engelbert, the director of research and analsis for Ovum, will be joining Women in Comms on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 11:00 a.m. EST to talk all things women in tech.
Consulting firm will build 'inclusion councils' with white men in the mix instead of employee resource groups for women and minorities alone.
How many more women have to come forward and public apologies issued before we can just agree that now is the time to stop being creepy and start being decent human beings?
Over-the-top content company cuts its famous 120-slide deck down to 10 pages to communicate its values and culture to those both inside and outside of its business.
The ride-hailing company said it has let 20 employees go over an investigation into sexual harassment claims and is still investigating almost 100 others.
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Huawei Videos
The Power of Next-Gen Unified Communications

8|23|17   |   04:46   |   (0) comments


How Huawei's unified communications and videoconferencing platforms are saving time and money and improving customer experience for users in Italy.
LRTV Documentaries
Phone Review: Moto Z2 Play

8|22|17   |   1:54   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Mobile Editor Dan Jones reviews the Moto Z2 Play, which he calls 'a nice modern Android phone with good battery life and one of the nicest cameras' he's seen. The Moto Z2 Play is a Gigabit LTE-ready phone, but we were not able to test speeds that fast in the US.
LRTV Documentaries
Three Gets Smart(y), BT Invokes Twitter – The Recap

8|21|17   |     |   (0) comments


From Telecoms.com, a recap of the week's telecoms talking points. It's been a week of gimmicks as Three tests out a pay-as-you-go sub-brand called Smarty; Comcast
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
AT&T Spreads Fiber & G.fast Wings
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 8/22/2017
Why AT&T May Dump Home Security Biz
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/21/2017
Verizon & Friends Bust Through Gigabit LTE in the Lab
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/21/2017
Disney, iflix Team Up to Take Down Netflix
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 8/22/2017
WiCipedia: Dolly Babes, Manifesto Backlash & 'Brotastic' Failures
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/18/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
Talk About a Custom-Made Workstation! Click Here
Proper ergonomics indeed.
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.