T-Mobile lashes out against Verizon's 5G rollout

The "verHIDEzon" ad campaign launched Wednesday with billboards, a Twitter account and a website.

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
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T-Mobile Verizon 5G ad campaign

T-Mobile has taken issue with Verizon's approach to 5G.


T-Mobile is focusing its energy on tearing down Verizon's 5G rollout, with the "un-carrier" launching an ad campaign against its rival on Wednesday. T-Mobile posted billboards across the US, including in New York's Times Square, and also set up a Twitter handle full of memes and quizzes criticizing Verizon's 5G pricing and lack of coverage maps. It also launched a full website, showing "what Verizon marketing really should look like," according to John Legere, T-Mobile CEO.

The verHIDEzon Twitter account was initially set up on Sept. 14, with T-Mobile saving the big reveal of who was behind it for Wednesday.

"Something had to be done. @Verizon's been talking a big game about 5G, charging more for it and not even giving customers a map to find it," Legere tweeted Wednesday.

Legere also published a blog post Wednesday asking Verizon to "stop hiding."

"They're launching 5G in a few limited outdoor areas of a few cities -- and parts of some football stadiums -- and charging their customers more for that limited 5G ($480 more per year for a family of four)!" Legere wrote. "To top it all off, they're refusing to show customers exactly where their 5G is!"

By comparison, T-Mobile says it won't charge more for 5G and has published precise coverage maps

T-Mobile Verizon 5G ad

A verHIDEzon billboard in Times Square.


T-Mobile's 5G network has so far launched in parts of New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Cleveland and Atlanta. Verizon in August announced the expansion of its 5G network to Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, DC, in addition to already being live in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Providence. Verizon has also set 5G live in 13 NFL stadiums across the nation.

Verizon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The ad campaign follows T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray last month tweeting his doubt about Verizon's 5G network expansion plans and asking to see a coverage map.

5G, also already launched in some parts of the US by Sprint and AT&T, is being tapped by smartphones to provide faster speeds and more capacity.

The campaign continued throughout the week, with the verHIDEzon account even likening Verizon's lack of 5G maps to the storming of Area 51 on Friday.

"What's next?" the account tweeted. "Storming verHIDEzon HQ and demanding 5G maps?"

Originally published Sept. 18. 
Update, Sept. 20, 3:30 p.m.: Adds update on verHIDEzon tweets.

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