I have been a Verizon loyalist for about 4 years. Though I detest my bill, I feel like the risk of dropped calls is greater than the reward of saving money every month. I have always appreciated Verizon’s coverage map. As a marketing tool, it works on me! Do you know why some carriers are able to offer better coverage than others?
The U.S. government controls the wireless spectrum which can be purchased at auctions by mobile carriers. For instance, there will be an auction of spectrum in 2016 of the 600MHZ band. This could potentially be a game changer for the underdogs in the mobile industry (Reed, 2015). The FCC controls radio frequency allocation so that enough is reserved for government use (space research and operations, maritime mobile communication, etc. (Anthony, 2013). The amount and quality of radio spectrum can make or break your business if you are a mobile carrier.
I wish I could say I understand exactly how the auction works, but it seems that if a wireless network does not have a quality purchase of frequency from the government auction, then it impacts its ability to effectively deliver cell phone coverage to its customers and limits growth potential. For instance, in the 2008 auction, AT&T and Verizon both “got access to chunks of the 700MHZ band” and called the licenses it acquired in the auction “beach front property” (Whitman, 2011). I would submit this as a point of difference between Verizon and AT&T and other smaller networks like T-Mobile. And any wise marketer would create their campaign around this valuable POD as Verizon has done.
Anthony, S. (2013, January 23). The wireless spectrum crunch, illustrated. Retrieved from http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/146585-a-closer-look-at-the-wireless-spectrum-crunch
Reed, B. (2015, April 16). T-Mobile’s incredible recent success comes with one major asterisk. Retrieved from http://bgr.com/2015/04/16/t-mobile-vs-verizon-vs-att-customers/
United States Frequency Allocations. (2011, August). The National Telecommunications and Information Administration. [Online image]. Retrieved from http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/spectrum_wall_chart_aug2011.pdf
Whitman, R. (2011, November 28). How the wireless spectrum crunch is squeezing carriers and hurting consumers. Retrieved from http://www.extremetech.com/computing/106745-how-the-wireless-spectrum-crunch-is-squeezing-carriers-and-hurting-consumers