TECH
08/29/2011 05:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Verizon's Network vs. AT&T's: Survey Shows Which Is Most Reliable

We can hear you now, Verizon.

A new survey by J.D. Power and Associates suggests that Verizon has the best overall network performance: It won the highest rating in 5 of 6 United States regions, while competitor AT&T was the worst or tied for the worst 5 of the 6 regions surveyed.

The Wireless Network Quality Survey Study split America into six regions: the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, North Central, Southwest and West. J.D. Power notes that it collected data on the ten most common problems among network users: "dropped calls, calls not connected, audio issues, failed/late voicemails, lost calls, text transmission failures, late text message notifications, Web connection errors, email connection errors and slow downloads."

With these criteria, Verizon ranked the best in all of the regions except for the North Central, where 12-time reigning champion U.S. Cellular took home the crown; AT&T was worst or tied for the worst in all but the Southwest, where it barely edged out acquisition target T-Mobile.

The study also noted that of the 30 most heavily populated U.S. cities, residents of Salt Lake City had the fewest network problems on average, while Sacramento had the most.

In addition to being the network that received some of the highest ratings, Verizon is also the largest network in the United States in terms of customers, though this would change if the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile deal goes through. Should AT&T and T-Mobile merge, the new entity would command 43 percent of the nation's cell phone users.

Verizon may not be able to beat AT&T for speed, however: Wired reported earlier this year that, according to its tests in San Francisco, "Verizon overall has better coverage, but AT&T download rates are 62 percent faster than Verizon, and AT&T upload rates are 38 percent faster than Verizon."

Over 20,000 wireless users across the continental United States participated in the semi-annual study, which ran from January to June 2011. Read more of the survey results on the J.D. Power & Associates website.

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