T-Mobile kicks off another anti-Verizon 5G campaign

T-Mobile is asking why its rival carrier only has 5G available in a limited number of areas.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read

T-Mobile's new anti-Verizon 5G ad campaign has launched.


T-Mobile is again focusing its marketing energy on verbally tearing down Verizon's 5G network. In an advertising campaign launched Wednesday, T-Mobile is calling its rival carrier "Verwhyzon" and asking why Verizon's 5G is only available in limited areas.

"In the 5G era, they're losing their network crown," T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a blog post. "They've painted themselves into a technology corner with a 5G strategy focused on millimeter wave. They bet on the wrong horse, and now they're trying to advertise their way out of it."

5G, launched in some parts of the US by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, is being tapped by smartphones to provide faster speeds and more capacity. Verizon is using millimeter-wave spectrum for its rollout, which is limited to traveling short distances and being blocked by solid obstacles like buildings and trees, while T-Mobile leans on low-band spectrum which means better range but slower speeds.

"WHY limit 5G to outdoors? WHY limit Disney+ to 1 yr? WHY limit 55+ plans to Florida?" T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted Wednesday.

T-Mobile, which finally got the all-clear to merge with Sprint earlier this month, also set up a new Twitter handle for the parody Verwhyzon brand.

Verizon said Ray "spends a lot of time and energy focused on Verizon's network."

"Perhaps he should pay better attention to his own 5G network. It can't even match the performance of our 4G LTE network," Kevin King, Verizon director of communications, said in an emailed statement.

T-Mobile last year similarly launched an ad campaign ripping into Verizon's lack of transparency over where its 5G networks were live, which T-Mobile now calls "a truly accurate portrayal of Verizon's 5G marketing." T-Mobile called its previously VerHideZon campaign successful, crediting it with Verizon finally publishing 5G availability maps in November.

Verizon's 5G network is live in 34 cities across the nation, with Little Rock, Arkansas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Cincinnati the latest to get the new service. 

T-Mobile's service is live in almost every state. Its $26.5 billion merger with Sprint will also see the addition of the latter's midband 5G network, which is live in parts of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Houston, Kansas City, Missouri, Phoenix and Washington D.C.

Originally published Feb. 26, 1:24 p.m. PT.
Update, 2:25 p.m.: Adds comment from Verizon.

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