Verizon debunks claim it doctored rural coverage maps

Verizon debunks claim it doctored rural coverage maps
Back in the spring, the FCC allocated no less than $435 million a year in the form of subsidies for improving LTE coverage in rural areas, and it seems that everybody is now scrambling for a piece of that sweet pie.

That's why Verizon, whose rural coverage is its pride and joy, as it scores consistently above other carriers in that respect in various tests, was pretty miffed to learn that someone says it's cooking the books coverage maps. That someone is a coalition of consultants who base their claims on testing done by a subsidized local carrier which has a vested interest to prove that Verizon is not all that it's cracked up to be, and the government money should keep flowing to Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, a rural carrier in Oklahoma.

So far, it's gained $40 million from the government program, but it has to keep proving that nobody is providing better coverage in the area it operates to keep getting subsidies. On the consultants' filing with the FCC which states that "Verizon’s claimed 4G LTE coverage is grossly overstated and not supported by rational RF engineering practices," Verizon replied with the following:

In a recent letter, consultants for the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) assert that Verizon’s Mobility Fund coverage map overstates Verizon’s coverage in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The RWA consultants’ assertion is unfounded. The Verizon Mobility Fund coverage map complies in all respects with the Commission’s mapping specifications and with industry best practices for propagation modeling.


Burn. After all, Verizon is an unsubsidized carrier, and if it blankets an area with coverage according to the FCC specs for speed and latency, it will prevent any local network that counts on the government subsidies to acquire that funding. Or, as Verizon puts it, "the PTSI consultants’ coverage map is also flawed because it does not comply with the
Commission’s specifications for Mobility Fund maps, i.e., 80 percent cell edge probability and 30 percent cell loading factor." Word on the loading factor.

source: FCC via FierceWirless

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9 Comments

1. rebretz

Posts: 115; Member since: Dec 26, 2011

I don't live in that rural of an area and I can tell you that Verizon exaggerates it's coverage strength in my area. According to Verizon I should have almost perfect strength at my house but I was only getting about 1-2 bars and was having a lot of dropped calls. Every time I talked to a rep the always came to the conclusion that it must be my fault or the phones fault not that their map was wrong. I went through 4 phones, 10 sim cards, and a better business bureau complaint to finally get out of my Verizon contract. I think Verizon's coverage maps still represents what their coverage was using LTE band 13 which has better range and building penetration that their new LTE band 4 which has faster speeds but decreased range and building penetration. A lot of people that live near me that have Verizon and are getting new phones that are programmed to connect to Verizon's new bands instead of the old ones are having the same problem with signal strength.

2. gsengillo

Posts: 45; Member since: Sep 05, 2010

My Verizon services sucks!!

3. D34ever

Posts: 236; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

VZ's coverage is not as good as it claims. I live in a big city and in my area, VZ's coverage is very spotty and even non-existent in one area. I finally switched to TMO and haven't looked back since. Bottom line is, don't buy into the claims and hype. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and whoever to find out who they are with and what the coverage is like before you decide.

4. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

I've never had issue with VZW, except their pricing structure. But I tried switching to T-Mo for the better pricing and my service sucked. my job requires me to be in and out of buildings and T-Mo just doesn't work. Even in my home, I had to get cellspot, because I couldn't even make calls, or they would drop for no reason. The LTE is slow. Not as slow as when I first tried T-Mo in 2008, but its still much slower than VZW. Every carriers has areas they suck in, no matter what size they are. VZW does have the best coverage. Having the best coverage doesn't mean you won't have service issues. The only true benefit of T-Mo over VZW other than price is, because they have less users on the network, things can be better dependinh on where you live. In a big city, VZW has even been better than ATT.

9. jonathanfiuwx

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 10, 2017

urban areas use 1900mhz for capacity, which sucks on signal strength.

5. ibap

Posts: 871; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

At my home, no one has coverage that works inside my house. I've been through femtocells and different carriers. I haven't tried T-Mo lately, but the last time I did I had ZERO at my home, in my home, and a great portion of the roadway heading out, even though their maps paint the whole area magenta. Google Voice and wifi calling have made all the difference. Doesn't much matter any more who I've got at home. I had Project Fi for a while, so at home that was fine, but when I'm out, Sprint and T-Mo both have their failings, and US Cellular doesn't help much around here. Fi doesn't switch carriers unless the signal is absolute zero, so I ended up switching manually too often. In Europe, it was great. (T-Mo's foreign roaming.)

6. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1588; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Verizons coverage isn't perfect, but Tmobile and Sprint are a joke in comparison around Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas.

7. droiduh

Posts: 101; Member since: Jun 04, 2015

Never gone West but pretty much no coverage problem with Verizon from Maine to Florida. Nowadays extremely rare dead spots. Sure there are some places far out in woods or small boring towns with slow speed. Actually I have been to West but that was 10+ years ago. I was with T-Mo (Sidekick).

8. Omarc07

Posts: 576; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I been up and down California and not one dead spot with Verizon. At&t Is not that far behind either .

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