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Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint fight over data speeds at Super Bowl 50

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint fight over data speeds at Super Bowl 50


Does anyone at the game even care?

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

We haven't really heard about major connectivity problems for any carrier at Super Bowl 50 tonight. Ahead of the Broncos / Panthers game, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint each undertook serious preparations to make sure fans would be able to use their phones reliably and with fast data speeds. It seems like those efforts paid off! But that's not stopping Verizon and T-Mobile from waging a needless battle over which network is delivering faster speeds inside the stadium. T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Verizon executives have been trading tweets and speed test comparisons all night, with each claiming victory for their respective company.

As you might guess, in Verizon's tests, Verizon's network wins. And when T-Mobile is running things, the Uncarrier comes out on top. Who's right? It's impossible to tell unless these two meet up in the middle of the field. As a matter of fact, Verizon has actually laid out that challenge.

Let it always be remembered that during Super Bowl 50, we officially reached "say it to my face, bro!" in the US mobile industry. But it doesn't really matter. Nearly all of the speeds shown in these tests are more than adequate for anything consumers would be doing with their smartphones at the Super Bowl. Posting photos to Facebook / Instagram? Check. Broadcasting with Periscope or using Snapchat? No problem.

Levi's Stadium has been billed as the most tech-advanced venue that's ever hosted the Super Bowl, so it's only natural for these companies to try and come out looking like the best. It's not just limited to the stadium, though. T-Mobile ran a Super Bowl commercial featuring Steve Harvey meant to brush off Verizon's claims of a superior LTE network. It's a funny spot and a little more lighthearted than the constant flow of trash talk that travels between these two.

And yes, AT&T and Sprint are also getting involved. Meanwhile, the fans who paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a Super Bowl ticket care about only one thing: that their phones are working — period. To save and share memories. All four of these companies deserve kudos for pulling that off, but the constant bickering between them puts a damper on their shared achievement.