We recently reported on the cell carrier television advertising spend for October 2016 showing that Verizon Wireless were at the head of the league table. It's easy to understand why Verizon Wireless were spending the most in advertising: firstly, they are America's largest wireless carrier and have the deepest pockets to afford expensive television advertising. Secondly, Verizon Wireless has a pair of new devices in the shape of the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, and and they are not afraid to tell the country about it. And third, Verizon is feeling the pressure: in the last quarterly update, subscriber numbers fell and the businesses' competitors have been piling on the advertising pressure.
Sprint, now America's fourth largest cellular network after being overtaken by T-Mobile US last year, has maintained this advertising assault onto Verizon. The company has previewed their new advertising campaign on their website and they are showing how Verizon Wireless' executives are "stressin" about why customers are switching to Sprint. The three reasons are that Sprint are offering 50% off the price of most Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile US standard plans (there are a number of caveats to this offer). Second, Sprint's Unlimited Freedom offers unlimited airtime, text messages and data for only $60 a month where Verizon doesn't even offer an unlimited plan. The third reason picks a hole into Verizon's network quality argument, explaining that in 2016 all carriers perform well and according to industry tests, Sprint's network reliability is within 1% of Verizon.
Interestingly enough, one of these messages as reaches the consumer is "don't let a 1% difference in network reliability cost you twice as much." Sprint's network investment plan has been criticized within the industry for, essentially, not being expensive enough as the carrier has pursued a different network upgrade and densification plan as compared with the other national carriers. This is in part because Sprint has access to considerable spectrum at the 2.5GHz frequency, which although can allow a higher data transfer speed, is less able to penetrate into buildings or travel a long distance. Because of this, the traditional method of establishing a network of larger cell sites would be ineffective and Sprint has instead taken to using smaller cell sites in order to extend its network this way. So far, this approach appears to be working. And Sprint's morale is also said to be good. Roger Sole, Sprint's chief marketing officer, explained: "Sprint employees and executives feel very positive about the momentum at our company, the new pricing offers for customers and our network improvements." You can watch the new commercials below.