Verizon Wireless has filed a false advertising suit against Alltel, claiming that the carrier made false statements in a TV advertisement about Verizon's contract requirements.

According to the suit filed in federal court in Richmond, Va., Verizon claims Alltel wrongly suggested that Verizon customers are required to extend their contracts when they change calling plans. In the ad, mock sales representatives from other U.S. carriers try to stop customers from switching to Alltel when they hear that Alltel will let customers change plans without requiring them to extend their contracts.

"Whatever merit this comparison may have to other carriers, in the case of Verizon Wireless, the supposed 'advantage' is pure fiction," Verizon said in its complaint.

Verizon announced last fall that it would begin allowing customers to make changes to their plans without requiring them to sign new contracts.

Neither Verizon nor Alltel have commented on the case.