How to mislead with graphs: Verizon edition

You’ve probably seen the new Verizon commercials demonstrating that their 3G network is so much bigger than AT&T’s 3G network:

Nathan at FlowingData has a good post up about the differences. Obviously the Verizon 3G map covers more surface area, but that doesn’t translate to better coverage, because I spend most of my time in Claremont and the Bay Area, and little time in North Dakota. Here’s a map showing the population density in the USA:

I would guess that the AT&T map covers all of the major cities, where almost all of the people who use 3G live. Rural people aren’t going to have a very high demand for 3G coverage, so it doesn’t make much sense to cover them, or for 3G users to judge a company’s service based on how much rural area it covers. Verizon’s coverage probably is better than AT&T’s, but their ad campaign is not a good way to demonstrate that.

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One thought on “How to mislead with graphs: Verizon edition

  1. Kiem

    thank you! I hate these commercials for that reason. there’s probably 40 people in the US who chose Verizon over ATT because ATT did not have 3G coverage in their area


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