& 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
Join WiC and Flex's Caroline Dowling for a live radio show on Tuesday at 12PM ET on how technology is powering the fourth revolution and to what effect in the future.
New companies with a focus on video graphics, smart grid predictive analytics and a quadcopter camera make up WiC's finalists for Female-Led Startup to Watch.
This week in our WiC roundup: Cell C's CEO under fire for radio show comments; Clinton plays the woman card; Intel discusses diversity backlash; and more.
WiC is proud to have Cisco, Hitachi Consulting, Infinera, Netcracker, Redknee, NetNumber and Open Networking Foundation joining our cause.
This week in our WiC roundup: a father-daughter war of words; a new face for the $20; a look at venture capital firms; and more.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    Demand Surges for On-Demand Ads

    5|5|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ed Knudson, VP, Product and Strategy at Canoe Ventures, discusses the rising appeal of VoD ads and the challenges on inserting ads dynamically in live TV programming.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Exclusive: Video Interview With Sckipio CEO David Baum

    5|5|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At his headquarters in Tel Aviv, G.fast visionary David Baum, CEO of Sckipio, provided an exclusive interview to Light Reading and showed how innovations in rate and reach, vector densities, fast reconnecting times and SFP-based residential gateways are expanding the potential of G.fast.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Atrinet's NetACE – Migration to NFV & SDN With NetOps-Driven LSO

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Atrinet's headquarters, Ray Le Maistre sits down with Roy Silon to get an in-depth look into the company's focus and the secret recipe for their success.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Amsterdam ArenA, Powered by Huawei

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei's ICT solutions power the state-of-the-art Amsterdam ArenA, turning it into a smart stadium.
    LRTV Interviews
    Testing When There's No 'There' There

    5|4|16   |     |   (1) comment


    The benefits of SDN/NFV are well known, but the transition comes with some challenges, prominent among them is: how do you test a network that has been abstracted and has the potential to be endlessly reconfigurable? Light Reading was at NFV World Congress in Santa Clara, Calif., where we bumped into Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds, a Swedish ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (1) comment


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    Amazon & Other 'Big 4' Cloud Providers Crushing Competitors
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/29/2016
    Rovi Reels in TiVo for $1.1B
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/29/2016
    Showdown at the OpenStack Corral
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 5/3/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.