Consumer Reports ranks AT&T U.S. worst carrier, Verizon leads the way
The nation’s second-largest carrier came up last in Consumer Reports carrier rankings this year again.
Its closest competitor, Verizon Wireless, in stark contrast, ended up on the other side of the list grabbing the best title and first place. The U.S. largest carrier had excellent marks for both voice and data service, along with knowledgeable staff.
And while Verizon got favorable rankings, Sprint and T-Mobile had “middling to low marks” for their voice and text services. Still better than AT&T.
Interestingly enough, while overall AT&T came up last, it got the highest-rated 4G LTE network. Its customers had reported the least issues and currently LTE spreads to 103 markets covering 150 million Americans.
source: Consumer Reports via Gizmodo
1. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
Ha-Ha..... we already know this in New York York!!
All my friends who have AT&Terrible all say it's horrible (but they're used to it)!!
So much for their P.R. blitz!!
47. Hammerfest (Posts: 370; Member since: 12 May 2012)
I have, and can definitly agree with this report...
I also wish to add that AT&T DSL is horrid as well, and they lock out other companys as well :/
60. StringCheese01 (Posts: 64; Member since: 27 Jan 2012)
AT&T is absolute crap. Yes they tend to have the fastest LTE speeds, but what good will that do if you can't receive data anywhere!!
Don't even get me started on their horrible customer service or dropped call issues. Not surprised by this report at all.
72. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
I have....and in my area....they might be better than Verizon. I have Verizon. I just go by what works for me when I want n need it. My PS Vita using AT&T data gets better data reception in my apt than any smartphone I had/have on Verizon.
I used/use mostly Motorola phones on Verizon, currently have a Maxx HD.
Am curious if a phone would work the same. So at leats in my area....Verizon and AT&T are about even.
2. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 909; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)
AT&T will be last for sometime because they won't get 1x Advance LTE up and running before 2017, while Sprint, and Verizon will have their LTE 1x Advance network complete.
Come 2014 Sprint will be on par with Verizon, and if they keep unlimited data can catch up!
7. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Wow, seriously? Sprint has very little usable LTE available to consumers and is still the slowest data network out there.
8. FranksGT (Posts: 167; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)
Your a idiot plan and simple. AT&T already has better LTE then verizon. SPRINT DATA sucks!!!!
14. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Yeah, Qwikstrike is just being a troll along the same lines as G-King and Mxy.
29. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 909; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)
Networkdood you know that I never troll. You are just a big mouth idiot, and from the past you should know that I always speak from a factual point of view.
Also having a smaller LTE network has nothing to do with them sucking. I was on AT&T when they bought out Cellular one who bought out mobile one, and I left for Sprint because of all of he dropped calls when Sprint 1st opened the doors.
Based on my sisters iPhone always dropping it must still suck with dropped calls. rofl
40. PhoneG33k (Posts: 6; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)
Actually Cellular One was bought out by Airtouch which was one of many companies that merged together to for the Verizon Wireless powerhouse. Cellular One = Verizon... Get your facts together. And as far as AT&T having the fastest LTE is because they haven't even reached 15% LTE smartphone ratio whereas Verizon is almost at the 50% mark. To keep comparisons fair, compare Verizons LTE and ATT LTE at launch on an uncrowded network. Now those are facts
44. letgomyeggroll (Posts: 137; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)
Wrong, Cellular was brought out by ATT. And Airtouch was taken from Verizon. Airtouch was mainly in the East Coast and Midwest. In which where Verizon originally came from. I remember all this when shortly after the take over of Cellular One, it when with GSM.
49. xmusicianguy (Posts: 96; Member since: 13 Jul 2011)
In my rural area. Back in the mid 90's Cellular One was also CDMA. My mother had a CDMA Analog Nokia. Cellular One then became (via a buyout or "merger") Verizon owned. GSM and TDMA and other networks. Even (now outdated) iDEN was all late in coming here. So that is how I know. It's possible Cellular One had holdings in CDMA AND GSM networks.
50. downphoenix (Posts: 2378; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
last stats I saw on LTE use with verizon placed about 5 million customers using LTE. Versus nearly 100 million customers on their network, that's only like 5%. They may be selling ha of all their current phones they're selling as LTE devices, but one out of 10 of those devices are actually connected to LTE. So everybody's got a lot of work to do in the LTE department, even Verizon. And giving them a pass isnt really fair because they were first out the door. Yes, they have the biggest LTE network too, but when you compare their growth of their LTE network vs AT&T and Sprint at the times they launched their LTE networks, its about the same or even slower.
57. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 909; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)
You come with a flawed fact Phoneg33k just as some of these idiot posters in this thread like "networkfool". Here's a little Cellular history posted from wikipedia..
AT&T Wireless began in 1987 as McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc.., a cellular telephone pioneer in the United States. Savvy licensing of cellular spectrum in the early 1980s put McCaw Cellular in an extremely strong position, quickly outpacing the growth of the "Baby Bells" in the emerging market. The company purchased MCI Communications's mobile businesses in 1986, followed by LIN Broadcasting in 1989, giving them widespread access in all of the major US markets. Partnering with AT&T as a technology provider, McCaw introduced their "Cellular One" service in 1990, the first truly national cellular system. AT&T purchased 33% of the company in 1992, and arranged a merger in 1994 that made Craig McCaw one of AT&T's largest shareholders. In 2002, the company was spun off from AT&T to become AT&T Wireless Services
Since I had cellular service when some of you were wiping your snot noses get your facts straight.
28. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 909; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)
You're an idiot AT&T has more LTE data now but in the future they have to solve how to get 1xAdvnace to work with their 700mhz signal, and a fool calling some one else dumb with backward flawed facts go figure
34. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)
Ok please explain how AT&T has more LTE data than Verizon? I really wanna hear this, b/c Verizon covers 4x the markets that AT&T does, and by AT&T's own admission, they are around 2 years behind Verizon in LTE rollout. I gotta hear this.
38. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 909; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)
You are also an idiot...follow the post then make a comment. I was referring to AT&T having more LTE than Sprint as posted to a comment to me by Networkdood fool....wake up read then post o.k.
41. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)
You cheapen your posts by resorting to insulting people qwik. Looking back at it closer I see what you are saying and my comment should have been more directed at FranksGT. Better LTE than Verizon? Yeah, no.
You must have anger issues or something dood. Name calling on a mobile phone forum? Is that really necessary?
63. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
yEAH, QUik, can be somewhat intelligent but then he turns into a 'HYDE', or a 'Jekyll'....
AT&T, when you combine HSPA+ and 4G LTE, has better coverage of '4G' networks than Verizon. With Verizon, not all 4G LTE areas are fast speeds and if that fails hello slow 3G CDMA - with AT&T from 4G LTE you get speedy HSPA+.
68. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 909; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)
Some what intelligent....rofl you would hope to have the unbiased intelligence that I have backed by facts not BS like most of your biased post.....you are a joke leading jokers, and you think that you are way smarter than you really are!
51. xmusicianguy (Posts: 96; Member since: 13 Jul 2011)
AT&T doens't have more. Their claims are based on their HSDPA+ AND LTE 700MHz network. Verizon is basing theirs on LTE alone.
74. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Whats interesting about that.....I feel HSDPA+ would be fine for many . I barely see over 25-30Mbps down on Verizon in good to great reception areas.
19. Bernoulli (Posts: 1491; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
what are you smoking man?sprint has LTE 1x Advance complete>? first, do you even know the definition of LTE advanced? it's averaging the 60 mbps, 300 mbps theoretical, and sprint has by no means not even that, T-Mobile's HSPA+ beats Sprint's joke of LTE
3. mydi.maus (unregistered)
at&t..put a smile on your face dont be like that;;)
20. Bernoulli (Posts: 1491; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
judging from your avatar and what you just said, I'm taking it as you're a girl, right?
4. -box- (Posts: 3858; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
What are the rankings based on? Let's see what verizon's done: still only one 4G technology, still no simultaneous voice/text/data on the same network, they raised their prices and are forcing their customers onto the Share Everything plans which have unlimited minutes that few customers need, don't let their customers keep grandfathered features with upgrades, and still have goofy billing issues and fees they keep getting sued over, and still have to buy a special version of a phone for ot to work outside the U.S.. So is Verizon highly scored (I.e. 70% versus others' 50%), it just the least-lowest scored (50% versus others' 40%)?
Oh wait, consumer reports, I forgot how little actual knowledge and authority they have. Though they were accurate on the prior iphone; even blind squirrels find nuts.
10. kaoticbpr (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Sep 2012)
I agree with -box- , Where do they get their data for these reports anyway? It depends on where they live, I work for at&t and live in Georgia, At&t has the best service here except for some rural areas. I dont work for corp, but for a small retailer - we sit down with our customers, show them how to use their phone, monitor their data use, and we make sure they are put on the best plan for their situation. We don't take away your grandfathered features or plans when you sign a new contract. A Verizon store is two doors down from me, and their customers come into my store saying they are rude, expensive, and down talking other small businesses. So I welcome that. Yes i understand verizon is a giant, and has the best LTE coverage, but you are left in the dark when you go out of one of those LTE zones. Where At&t has HSPA+ to back you up if you fall out of one of their LTE zones. We receive extensive training monthly about new devices, features, and plans. These consumer reports can say whatever they want, because its always inaccurate data they're the ones that are not knowledgable, and its a small sample of what is truly the larger picture. not saying I'm bias but, Since I got a job for at&t I have found my career! I love this job, I love my customers, and I love my network!
17. JC557 (Posts: 1150; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
Wrong, it's up to the phone manufacturers to makes a simultaneous voice and data phone. HTC is one of the few to do so. Also, most phones on Verizon and Sprint are international roaming capable and both carriers will unlock the phones if your account is in good standing, no questions asked.
Prior to LTE, CDMA is actually more efficient and inherently more secure and many countries do make use of it. LTE remedies a lot of GSM's short comings. I'd suggest doing proper research on it. (This is going off on the special phones thing).
75. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
This is true. I dont know if it was GSM vs CDMA before....but now some phones on Verizon can talk n surf even on 3G. All LTE phones can do it over LTE.
26. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 864; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
Although I agree and hate the forced change to Share Everything when upgrading, you are absolutley wrong about everything else.
Verizon has simultaneous voice and data in all 4G devices but the iPhone. If you want your phone to work internationally then buy an international phone. Plain and simple. Personally I rather buy a crappy pre-paid when traveling through Europe anyway. International pricing for all US phone carriers is crazy expensive and not worth it or better yet buy a global phone and Verizon will unlock it for you.
All carriers have stupid billing issues. Not making an excuse for it just fact. Even though i've only had one billing issue with verizon in my 10+ years of service and they fixed it for me quick.
Plus being a Jersey resident during Sandy I appreciated all they did during the storm.
35. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)
-box-, ALL carriers have billing issues they get sued over. That is nothing that is specific to Verizon. The Share Everything plans actually work for a lot of people. Maybe 10% of users, no more than 20%, actually use more than 2GB of data a month. They DO have simultaneous voice/text/data on the same network. The crappy Thunderbolt I had when it launched could do it, even on 3G, b/c HTC made it that way. It is up the OEM, NOT the carrier to make the phones capable of that.
Tis better to have people think you a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
65. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
-box-, I will leave Verizon eventually, due to price - but on 4G LTE, you can talk and surf the web at once with a DROID RAZR.
5. bluescreen (Posts: 154; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)
hahahaha omg that frowny looks so cute with blue n white stripes lmao!!!
6. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Weird - AT&T has actually improved immensely...ah well, both carriers are expensive, but I have no billing or network issues with either one.
9. FranksGT (Posts: 167; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)
AT&T has some of the best service as far as I have seen between SPRINT and VERIZON, Way faster Data thats for sure.
11. oister85 (Posts: 408; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
I think att is the best one, they have hspa+ 4g lte a least in tampa they excellent coverage. The worst is print no for 4g very very poor 3g not acceptable
12. Jyakotu (Posts: 823; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)
When I had AT&T, I never had any major issues with their service. Sprint on the other hand. Yeah, it's not pretty. But you pay for what you get I suppose.
13. JunitoNH (Posts: 964; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)
Would love for T-Mobile to step up its game; become more reliable, dependable in usability. Sure, when near a tower their data streaming is good, but not always feasible or the case. Compared to maybe four years ago, voice quality has improved dramatically, and they offer some of the best prepaid packages in the industry. I still maintain one line with Verizon for traveling purposes; they are still the most reliable network in the contiguous United States, and of course overpriced.
15. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
I would love to go to another small company that piggy backs onto a major network - like that NET thing, but I am always leery of how well the data will be for me.
16. imkyle (Posts: 1019; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
AT&T has no problems. Customer service rocks and their 4G speeds whether its HSPA+ or LTE are fantastic.
21. Bernoulli (Posts: 1491; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
hehe not really, especially HSPA+ my area is an HSPA+ market with at&t and people are lucky to get 4 mbps, Verizon has LTE so they hit the 30's, sprint has 3G so they're lucky to hit 1 mbps and people with T-Mobile average around 17 mbps so yes their HSPA+ is a big problem, and none the less I used to be with at&t and main reason why I left was their rude staff whether it was in store or on the phone, I travel a lot and back in 2010 they wouldn't unlock my then marvelous xperia x10, I couldn't believe that the phone couldn't be unlocked until august 2011, that pissed me off so much because then I had to get an unlocked smartphone to use it abroad, so then after I decided to jump ship to T-Mobile, where you can get any phone unlocked after 14 days, that's waaay better than waiting a year and a half, oh and recently I went by their hostile store where I intended to purchase a Lumia 920, at this the rep said I had to enroll in a contract, and I said no I just want to purchase the phone at full retail, they said that it couldn't be done and that I needed to enroll and if I ended up canceling that I would be charged the ETF AND the rest of the phone plus the first month bill, so I was looking at 450+350+70(cheapest plan) = 870$ for a lumia, so in regards to that they really need to change that weird policy because it just ends up pissing people like me off, I can't wait for my home internet DSL contract with at&t to be over with.
33. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 864; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
HSPA+ is not 4G don't care what anyone says. Its the same CDMA REV A (Verizon's CDMA network) which is considered 3.5G in most of the world.
66. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
HSPA+ is far better than 3G CDMA....in terms of speeds, and that has been proven in the past.
18. speckledapple (Posts: 879; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
Seems like everyone has their own story on how their perspective carrier works. However, I think its important to remember that for every great review there can be an equally bad one. And everyone knows that these carriers are very far from perfect. But the question is which carrier has the least complaints, the least problems, and the best service overall. Verizon won because of that and not a single person's view. Next year it could be T-Mobile that wins who knows. But I think its clear that at least Verizon customers seem to be happier than others.
22. threeline (Posts: 259; Member since: 11 Sep 2011)
I can tell you Sprint sucks all the way around, voice sucks, signal sucks, the unusable unlimited data sucks!
23. Theblaxican (Posts: 9; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
I've been with AT&T for over a decade now and I haven't had any issues with them at all. If you pay your bill on time and stay within the limits of you plan you'll be just fine.
If you happen to live in an area where AT&T's coverage is subpar then that's a different story. However, all carriers have spotty coverage in certain areas - some just have more than others.
30. CliffordVII (Posts: 3; Member since: 06 Nov 2012)
In my humble opinion AT&T is doing well for me or at least here in the bay area CA. I also get $20 off or 15% off since like 2006 so maybe I'm a little bias. (-_-)_b
32. davidtb (Posts: 23; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)
IN upstate NY, Verizon is better service, for 2g, heck, friends boast they get Verizon in tunnels underground. BUT Verizon costs, ala carte pricing, AT&T isn't far behind. The taxes and fees are a killer. And 4g, at this stage is a battery grinder. I'm going to backdoor month to month for a while until they catch on to it.
37. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)
The gov't has taxed and feed wireless service hardcore the last couple years as it has exploded in adoption by consumers. They know they can get away with it b/c we will complain but still keep paying it.
36. KickRocks (Posts: 117; Member since: 22 Mar 2011)
I know I'm a newbie to att but I made the switch from sprint 3 days ago and it's nice to be able to use a 4G lte phone on a network that supports Lte. I have no complaints with att, so far. It is simply better than sprint.
39. nwright94 (unregistered)
I switched to Verizon in October from AT&T. I actually get dropped calls now. Lte is fast, but this dropped calls thing is ridiculous. It may just be Pittsburgh is a bad area, but I don't find verizon the best around here.
42. mike2959 (Posts: 265; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)
I travel throughout Northern Cleveland Ohio to Pittsburgh PA and I have had all 4 major carriers in the last 5 years, with AT&T my current carrier. As far as voice goes its a tie between Verizon and AT&T, then Sprint then T-Mobile. As far as data goes nothing is close to AT&T. It's beyond fast. Now the argument is HSPA+ 4G or not, who really cares what's it called because Verizons 3G isn't even close. About 1-2GB download on Verizon, 5-8 on AT&T...Call it whatever you want. On LTE its closer but again in my location and experience AT&T is faster. T-Mobile is quick in metro areas, and Sprint 3G is just horrible. Again based on my locations and experience.
48. nwright94 (unregistered)
I live just south of Pittsburgh in monongahela and AT&T is the best hands down, but it's so sad to see people still won't switch because they're still hung up on the dropped call thing from years ago.
56. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)
Keep in mind though that the 4G LTE adoption rate with AT&T isn't as high as Verizon's. I bet the speeds with LTE will be quite close to each other once the adoption rate equalizes. The more devices using the service, the slower it will get, little by little. Based on adoption rates, AT&T's LTE should be somewhat faster due to less traffic overall, imo.
45. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 645; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Lots of dumb comments in here, VZW does have VoLTE capable phones the Droid Razr HD does it, it's all up to the OEM when they put in their chipsets and I believe that phones sporting Qualcomm S4/Pro chipsets do VoLTE. Verizon is expensive, but no mmore expensive than AT&T. Verizon actually has a very well built network and backup systems. My younger sister works for these guys and she is going on a tour of their back up facility, the one that will even allow the network to stay connected during bad storms like Sandy. A building with nothing but battery nests connected to even more battery nests to keep their network rolling, why you pay more on VZW as opposed to T-Mobile well they try to ensure you are always connected.
VZW did get a bit slow during the storm, and for the first time in my 6 years of service I dropped a call. Yes it was a shock to me, but it was due to the storm knocking out power and such.
I don't like VZW for their removing of Unlimited, but no fear it will be back, once these slow to change networks get up to par and start challenging VZW. Get your acts together and give these guys competition, it's the only thing that makes the corporate jerks at VZW change things to appease us.
46. Omarc07 (Posts: 264; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
Like always it depends were one lives I have att over here were I live in Puerto Rico att is the only carrier that has coverage in all the island I never drop calls i also been to NY, LA and san Fran and I never really had a problem with dropped calls I think att has improved a lot I admit in 2008 it was horrible I was ready to switch to Verizon . But stayed with att my sister has t-mobile and sprint and she has had more problems with dropped calls and coverage on T-Mobile and sprint especially sprint it's much worse than T-Mobile I think sprint should be rated worse carrier out there cuz like many people on here have said sprint has Slooow data and horrible reception..
53. cdgoin (Posts: 369; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)
Personally I find the HSPDA+ 4G from T-mobile to be faster than my friends Verison or AT&T LTE...
54. switza93 (Posts: 19; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)
Ive had AT&T for 10 years, ever since they were Cingular, and there service has been improving. There service in California nears Sacramento and there service in Maryland near Ocean City has great coverage. Ive traveled all across the U.S and my AT&T phone has held up much better than my verizon phone. My verizon phone is a Droid DNA and my AT&T phone is an HTC One X+