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AT&T trails Verizon, others in call quality ranks

updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon September 8, 2008

ATT Trails in Call Q Ranks

AT&T has come in last or near-last for call quality in virtually all of the US, according to JD Power's second wave of 2008 call quality rankings. The carrier placed last in four out of six regions and was never able to produce better than a three-out-of-five rating in the results, which measure the number of dropped or failed calls as well as the quality of calls themselves and the responsiveness of the text and voicemail systems. Verizon led the results with the top spot in three of the areas and was followed by Alltel with two wins; both Sprint and US Cellular tied for third with one lead each.

JD Power doesn't explain the likely reasons behind the difference in results, though all of the winners are based on CDMA phone networks versus the GSM of both AT&T and its opponent T-Mobile; the latter fared almost as poorly in the latest study but still produced a four-out-of-five result in one area.

The ratings may serve to refocus AT&T and similarly affected carriers, which are facing an increasingly saturated market and thus have to concern themselves more than before with retaining customrs. As many as 51 percent of customers determined to switch carriers will do so because of call quality issues, the research group says.

Research was also conducted between February and June and so may result in further damage to AT&T's reputation for 2009's first call quality report, which may be inflated by iPhone 3G dropped call issues. The company has been partly combating this and more universal problems by expanding and upgrading its 3G network such that supporting phones see an increase in quality.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    +2

    3G "Interference"

    There are many places where I get very poor reception (1bar) on my iPhone. I turn off 3G, and suddenly I get four bars and fewer dropped calls.

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    +2

    3G "Interference"

    There are many places where I get very poor reception (1bar) on my iPhone. I turn off 3G, and suddenly I get four bars and fewer dropped calls.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    -1

    Now we know...

    Now there is bona fide empirical evidence that "fewest dropped calls" is a complete lie—since the real-life experience of millions of AT&T users doesn't count.

    I am sure AT&T will dispute JD Power.

    Why don't I set aside $1M and split it half and half: half ATT phones and half Verizon phones and see who has the fewest calls. Whoever loses will foot the bill. We'll see if ATT would step up to the plate and take the challenge.

    Of course, now ATT would cry foul, because "you can't compare CDMA with GSM.

  1. gambit-7

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2001

    -1

    You know...

    I've been using and writing about the iPhone for the past year and AT&T is clearly the weakest link.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    -1

    I dropped AT&T and...

    I drop ATT and suddenly the dropped calls are gone and I get more bars. I guess ATT would claim that only Bourbon Street has more bars, but that's just not the case. There are plenty of fake bars on ATT's phones. Those who use ATT network/phones know what I am talking about.

  1. SSharon

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2003

    -1

    ATT isn't this bad

    For the last 2 years I have carried around both an ATT phone and a verizon phone. They both drop calls, they both have voice quality problems, but last week I finally ditched my verizon phone. Crazy as it is, the phone just isn't all about voice calls any more, just like a computer isn't just about word processing. I chose ATT because I don't like verizon's customer service, because I don't like the way they bastardize the interface on all their phones, and because I don't like their phone selection.

    I'm happy to have a few dropped calls on my iphone if it means I get a more functional phone in other areas and that I actually enjoy using just like I enjoy using my mac.

  1. itguy05

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Apr 2005

    -1

    Amen

    I have both and talk daily with coworkers on Verizon (I carry and AT&T and make many calls to them from landlines).

    Verizon's quality is HORRIBLE - sounds like 1/2 duplex and has a very poor sound to it. And they both drop calls, but Verizon just is not all that it's made up to be.

    It's all marketing, folks. Can you Hear Me Now is BS as is More Bars in More Places

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999

    -1

    Old News

    This really isn't anything new. Every Consumer Reports article on cell phones for the past many years has shown the exact same results. ATT/Cingular at or near the bottom of every market and Verizon at or near the top.

    It is quite simply a historical fact at this point. If you ask the actual users of the phones and carriers, ATT has always and continues to perform very, very poorly.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -3

    AT&T much beter in 2G

    I switch from Verizon because they have more dropped calls than AT&T. The problem with AT&T that not enough 3G services around that why all those expensive phone that is almost locked under 3G they have a problem. Voice quality much better specially when you make long distance call ( i mean very long distance like Europe or Asia)
    Verizon is good only for wireless internet - that all. But i guess they do comparison by how many customers are in not but the real people. Before when i was Verizon i was never get reception in my mom place but AT&T no problem.

  1. pt123

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    -1

    don't need quality

    We don't call quality. We got the iPhone. Woohoo.

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