AT&T U-verse and Verizon Fios are the next generation of television, telecommunications, and high-speed internet providers. They use very similar technology to provide customers with a feature rich multimedia TV, telephone, and internet experience. They are very similar, but AT&T and Verizon are using different business tactics and technology to woo customers from cable and satellite providers.
Verizon has decided to deploy fiber optic connections directly to subscriber homes. This is called fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP). Deploying FTTP connectivity for residential customers is very expensive, and laying fiber from Verizon’s existing equipment to the individual residences is very time consuming. Since Verizon is not making use of the existing copper wiring between their field equipment and the residence, they will lose a lot of time laying fiber connections, and it will take an extremely long time for a widespread roll-out of Fios.
AT&T has decided to make use of their existing fiber optic infrastructure and the existing copper wiring between their field equipment and the residence, which is known as fiber-to-the-node (FTTN). This results in a much quicker deployment time, much lower cost for consumers, and much lower initial out-of-pocket costs from AT&T’s coffers. AT&T also has the option of switching from FTTN to FTTP once the overall need for additional bandwidth rises, and AT&T can reinvest funds from existing customers to use for future upgrades.
Verizon is one of the most expensive communications providers in the United States. They stake their reputation on reliability, expansive networks, and a wide variety of services. They turn most of the cost of upgrades, expansion, and maintenance over to the consumer. Since Verizon has built their brand around these concepts, they also spend a lot of time and energy on deploying the newest technologies when they are ready for consumer usage. This is what drove them to offer residential FTTP connections before any other national carrier. You should not expect them to engage in active price competition with the local cable and satellite companies, but they may attempt to do so with AT&T since U-Verse is based on similar technology.
AT&T is more sensitive to existing market trends for pricing in the cellular, television, high-speed internet, and telephony markets, and they tend to stay in the middle of the road. They have also been known to provide relatively generous discounts to subscribers that use more than one of their services. Since AT&T’s U-Verse can also take advantage of AT&T’s cellular phone technology, expect additional incentives for existing AT&T cellular subscribers. AT&T is also taking advantage of existing infrastructure, so they can reduce the cost to the customer in the short term, and use their subscriber base to their advantage when it is time to upgrade to a pure fiber network.
For more details on plan prices and packages for AT&T, check U-verse pricing details.
For bundle and promotional signup deals on Verizon’s fiber service, check Fios pricing details.
Deploying FTTP connections is time consuming and expensive, so expect slow but steady growth for Verizon’s Fios services. AT&T is gaining subscribers at a very high rate, because they are able to expand their coverage quicker. In the next two years expect a lot of markets that were previously monopolized or dominated by Comcast, Cox, or Time Warner to see both Verizon and AT&T enter the market. This will completely change the face of television, high-speed internet, and telephone pricing.
Customer Service Experience
AT&T UVerse and Verizon’s Fios were ranked at the top of the list for Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates in 2008. The existing providers in many markets became complacent because there was little or no competition until U-Verse or Fios was introduced. Expect all of the providers to raise their customer service standards very quickly to stay viable in a market with increased competition.