Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Verizon has a Brand Promise Problem

Verizon arguably has a problem: its positioning in the mobile market as the carrier with the best network is challenged by T-Mobile US, though on several dimensions Verizon still has a small lead.

One example: The two service providers were tied for first place in OpenSignal 4G and overall speed metrics.

To be sure, Verizon maintains a slim lead. OpenSignal testers were able to find a Verizon LTE signal 88.2 percent of the time, but T-Mobile US 4G availability was less than two percentage points below Verizon's, OpenSignal says.

In fact, says OpenSignal, “either Verizon or T-Mobile won or shared every single national award in our report.”

The LTE speed race between T-Mobile and Verizon has long been a close one, but in our last U.S. report T-Mobile US  held the edge, OpenSignal says. “That narrow lead, however, disappeared in our latest round of testings.”

“We measured average LTE download speed on T-Mobile at 16.7 Mbps and on Verizon at 16.9 Mbps, results close enough to produce a statistical tie,” said OpenSignal.

The point is that such rankings pose a key marketing problem for Verizon. It always has claimed to have the best network. Arguably, it still does, but by such a slim margin that the difference is negligible. So if Verizon does not have a demonstrably-better network, what is the point of paying a “quality premium” for buying Verizon?

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