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Sprint Nextel and Cingular go crying to mommy about network quality

Chris Ziegler

Claims about the quality of wireless networks are all fun and games until someone gets taken to court. Cingular has done just that in a May 9 court filing against Sprint Nextel, setting the stage for a legal showdown that could ultimately spell the end of ridiculous and meaningless claims that a network is "most powerful," "most reliable," or "l33t." It seems the spat started after Cingular began spreading the word that its network has the "fewest dropped calls" (you know, the commercials that cleverly drop out the sound, making you think your television's busted). Sprint Nextel, with its "most powerful" claim, took issue with that, and brought it before the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division to sort out. Cingular, in response, told Sprint to go big or go home, bypassed the BBB entirely, and filed a lawsuit counter-claiming not only that they have the fewest dropped calls, but Sprint's network isn't the most powerful, either. (Oh, snap!) For the record, Cingular cites data from a 2004 report thrown together by Telephia, but they won't say what data exactly, as they refuse to release the report itself (sound familiar?). Don't expect this fight to end any time soon, folks, and don't be surprised if Verizon eventually gets dragged into the mud, too.

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