T-Mobile came under fire last week from telecoms watchdog the National Advertising Division (NAD) for claiming it had the country’s fastest LTE network. T-Mobile had made the assertion in its advertising campaigns based on data from crowd-sourced network statistics groups Ookla and OpenSignal, which verified T-Mobile’s position at the top.
However, Verizon cried foul, reasoning that the time from which the data had been sampled had unfairly put the results in T-Mobile’s favor. These samples reportedly arrived from the month following Verizon’s introduction of its Unlimited Data plan, and Verizon suggested that its users would have been less familiar with the data throttling which is placed on those who exceed the fair use restrictions of such plans. Therefore, this may have resulted in more throttled users on Verizon’s network conducting speed tests than throttled users on T-Mobile’s network during that period.
This notion was upheld, and NAD recommended that T-Mobile cease using such advertising messages — something which T-Mobile initially agreed to. Now, it has changed its mind.
“NAD ruled that the one month of crowdsourced data we submitted (when Verizon launched their unlimited plan) could not be used,” wrote T-Mobile in a statement (via Fortune). “NAD previously recognized third-party crowd-sourced data as a way to look at network performance, so we looked at the latest results, and verified what we already knew! T-Mobile is still the fastest LTE network and we’ll continue to let consumers know that!”
You can understand why T-Mobile doesn’t want to give up on this message without a fight, especially as the company made a significant play for LTE infrastructure earlier this year — its biggest-ever investment. T-Mobile secured around 45 percent of the lucrative 600 MHz spectrum in an $8 billion deal, however, T-Mobile is still estimated to have around half of the number of subscribers that AT&T and Verizon do, the current front-runners in the US telecoms market. Establishing itself as the fastest wireless network could be key to T-Mobile growing its subscriber base going forward.