Dear Verizon: I Found Two Maps That You Forgot To Mention

Perhaps you’ve seen the Verizon ads spoofing Apple’s iPhone commercials with the tagline “there’s a map for that.” Or maybe you’ve read one of the million posts that started the night they debuted. Using that tagline, while showing coverage maps for Verizon and AT&T, Verizon could kill two birds with one stone: attack AT&T while digging at the iPhone.

It’s not a bad tack when you consider the iPhone is gaining ground at a phenomenal rate, even in the face of Verizon’s many 2-for-1 Blackberry giveaways. Frankly, they needed an ad not just against AT&T, but the iPhone as well.

Still, it won’t work no matter how many pundits applaud the ads. You see, there are two maps Verizon doesn’t bother to mention.

Map #1: AT&T iPhone WiFi Hotspots

Above is the map of available AT&T WiFi hotspots. These provide free WiFi access to iPhone users, the device even logs you in automatically when you’re in range.

This is a great smartphone advantage from AT&T because:

  • WiFi is a lot faster than a 3G network.
  • WiFi uses much less power than 3G, extending your battery life.
  • Your plan’s 3G “data clock” is not running, you’re on free time.
  • You can use VOIP apps to make calls that avoid using your calling minutes.

Available at airports, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and many other places, I make use of AT&T wireless with my iPhone every single day. It’s a huge value-add to AT&T’s smartphone equation.

Good luck finding Verizon WiFi hotspots for your smartphone. if the phone’s on WiFi it’s not on their network, and they don’t want it off their network. Watch VCAST videos, buy (cheesy) ringtones, buy (crappy) apps, etc. from their network. Heck, it’s hard enough even getting a phone from Verizon that has WiFi; they’d rather you not use it even in your home.

Map #2: Verizon iPhone Coverage Area

Above is the map showing Verizon’s coverage area for the iPhone.

No wonder Verizon wants you to select a network first, then a phone. After reviewing the wannabe and knock-off smartphones they offer, most people would choose an iPhone, which Verizon can’t provide. So instead Verizon says “Just believe our network ads and go with us, then select one of our inferior devices, never leave our network, and let us nickel-and-dime you with charges.”

Compare devices, people. It matters. If you fall for Verizon’s line, then later realize you want out, too bad; there isn’t an app for that.

Posted via email from The Small Wave.

TAB – Smartphones and Wi-Fi: Why This Should No Longer Be Optional

I was surprised when I first learned that the Blackberry Storm would not have Wi-Fi. This was especially surprising to me since the other recent new Blackbery, the Bold, does have Wi-Fi. 

It seems more and more of the upper-tier smartphones include this feature, and it got me wondering if it should be a feature a potential user should insist on. For me it definitely is.

Keep in mind that if you think Wi-Fi as just a high-speed data pipe, then I believe you’re underrating what Wi-Fi can do for your device. Here is why I’d insist on Wi-Fi in what, let’s face it, are hand-held computers that happen to make phone calls.

Read the rest of this article on theAppleBlog >>

Free Card-Carrying ATT WiFi at Starbucks: Works For Me.

Today AT&T officially rolled out part of their free WiFi strategy in partnership with Starbucks.

If you have a Starbucks card registered, you can use it to get an AT&T WiFi login and password good for two free hours of WiFi every day. The catch? You must use the card at least once each month, and AT&T sends you four promotional emails a year.

In my opinion that’s a fairly minimal catch. After all, if you didn’t hit Starbucks at least once a month you probably wouldn’t have a card in the first place. And given the amount of “promotional” (*cough* SPAM *cough*) email one receives, four more in a year is trivial. In exchange for that, two hours of free WiFi a day — available at over 7,000 hot spots — is a great deal to me. I didn’t hesitate to sign up.

In my case I had already registered my card (so it always stay “charged” and I get free drip refills). Getting free WiFi is just one more advantage to registering.

I signed up for my WiFi account today and tested it out with the iPhone. It worked great.

I think this is a smart move on both AT&T’s and Starbucks’ parts. However, there are reports of heavy use bogging down the authentication servers. While I didn’t see that today, if true, AT&T/Starbucks better get it addressed soon if they don’t want a revolution on their hands.

Meanwhile, if you’re too cool, hip, and trendy to set foot in a Starbucks, or are a coffee snob, or just don’t want to admit liking the place, worry not. Talk is that AT&T will make a similar deal for all their smartphone data plan users. So get an iPhone (or one of those other, lesser smartphones) and just sit outside a Starbucks to tap their signal. Whatever works for you.