No, Verizon doesn't have the 'most powerful' 5G network in America

No, Verizon doesn't have the 'most powerful' 5G network in America
Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have been engaged in a fierce and occasionally ugly battle for US wireless industry supremacy for many years now, often resorting to childish insults (cough, John Legere, cough) and misleading ads to "prove" their superiority over the competition.

While the latter tactic is pretty much as old as time, it feels as though the organization in charge of regulating and policing this aspect is taking its mission more seriously than ever lately. Of course, that might simply be a result of a growing number of recent complaints from the three aforementioned carriers against one another.

AT&T, for instance, was recommended to stop using the scandalously deceptive 5G Evolution marketing label for its LTE Advanced network a few months ago in a case brought up by T-Mobile. Magenta, in turn, saw some of its most bombastic 5G-related advertising claims challenged by Verizon in a matter still pending T-Mo's appeal as of last week, while Big Red just lost its own appeal against a verdict issued back in May following a complaint filed by none other than AT&T.

A powerful 5G and the most powerful 5G experience are not the same thing


Although Verizon has been pretty careful all in all to not oversell its inherently flawed 5G Ultra Wideband network since this became a reality roughly 18 months ago, AT&T found one dubious claim in two TV commercials that the National Advertising Division (NAD) labeled as unsubstantiated

Unsurprisingly, the nation's largest wireless service provider elevated the matter to the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), which predictably enough largely agreed with the NAD's argument that Verizon has no way to prove it currently operates or will at any point operate the "most powerful" 5G network in the US.


As such, while the NARB can't force Big Red to do anything, its recommendation calls for the removal of the claim that "Verizon is building the most powerful 5G experience for America" from a pair of sports-themed commercials, which the carrier fully plans to comply with.

The industry-leading cellular company was able to find a small win in the NARB's decision, as the challenged claim can be replaced with the slightly weaker "Verizon is building a powerful 5G experience for America" slogan. Even though the definition of a "powerful" network as opposed to a fast or widespread cellular signal remains unclear, there's no question that Verizon is in the process of deploying something great. We simply can't know if this will be the greatest service of its kind... yet.

Will T-Mobile qualify for "the most powerful" label down the line?

That, our friends, is the million, nay, billion, or perhaps even trillion-dollar question only time will be able to answer. What's crystal clear at the moment is that Verizon's virtually nonexistent 5G signal can deliver much higher speeds than the competition.

When it comes to theoretical coverage and actual availability, however, T-Mobile has a massive lead over both Verizon and AT&T, not to mention plenty of room for further expansion and important speed upgrades.

 

Magenta's three-layer 5G cake could eventually strike the perfect balance between speed and availability, at which point it's going to be pretty easy to objectively proclaim the nation's greatest, and yes, perhaps even the most powerful wireless network.

Of course, Verizon shouldn't be ruled out of contention yet, working hard to catch up to the combined T-Mobile/Sprint juggernaut by preparing its very own belated "nationwide" 5G rollout, as well as a standalone core launch and key mid-band spectrum acquisitions potentially allowing it to serve a full "layer cake" too.

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