On a video that T-Mobile recently posted on Twitter, John Legere, the outspoken chief executive officer of the wireless carrier, took digs at two of the biggest players in the wireless industry, Verizon Wireless and AT&T. According to Legere, Verizon and AT&T deliver Netflix video content at 360p, while T-Mobile does the same at 480p. Not surprisingly, Verizon Wireless and AT&T have spoken out about the issue, and both have flatly denied that they offer lower resolution Netflix video content compared to T-Mobile’s.
T-Mobile has taken a lot of flak in the weeks and months after it first introduced its Binge On service. Launched in November of last year, the Binge On feature allows T-Mobile subscribers to view video content from various providers without ever having to worry about their monthly data allotments getting affected. It started with YouTube, which claimed that Binge On downgraded the quality of YouTube videos without the provider’s and its users’ consent. T-Mobile claimed it was merely optimizing videos for better mobile viewing. Afterwards, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) which charged that T-Mobile was throttling videos. Legere had defended the service, although not too politely, and then ended up offering an apology. A couple of days ago, it was reported that T-Mobile and YouTube had made up, with the latter finally joining the Binge On program.
And now, there is this new beef with Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Legere seemed to imply that both the Big Red and the number two wireless carrier in America are also downgrading the quality of video content from Netflix, which has been one of Binge On’s video content provider partners since day one.
Both Verizon Wireless and AT&T are strongly denying Legere’s claims. As explained by Chuck Hamby, a director on Verizon’s Corporate Communications team, playback of video content over LTE can vary depending on network speeds, and the Big Red has never been to set a specific speed for video playback. Hamby added that other variables such as weather conditions and scope of coverage also play a part in affecting the resolution of video content. Hamby contends that Legere’s words are nothing but gasbaggery.
AT&T also issued its own statement, saying that T-Mobile is once again throwing words without properly backing them with complete facts. The wireless carrier insists that it is not lowering the resolution of any video content on its network. AT&T then claimed that its subscribers on 4G LTE can enjoy much higher resolution than the optimized 480p limit offered by T-Mobile.
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