updated 04:50 pm EDT, Fri August 26, 2011
JD Power gives Verizon nod in cellular performance
JD Power late this week published an updated study that gave Verizon another win in cellular network quality rankings. Customers gave it the lead in all but the North central US, where US Cellular had the lead. In some cases, the margin was a wide one, with three to five fewer problems per 100 people.
Other carriers had more varying results but settled into common patterns. T-Mobile differed the most and was sometimes near the front as well as the back. AT&T and Sprint were more consistently at or near the back. Their results were more pronounced on the West coast and the Southeast, where both were near the back. AT&T's historical trouble spot has been California, where it has had trouble keeping up with iPhone demand in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The charts included voice as well as messaging and data. Researchers suggested that carriers still weren't investing enough in fixing problems.
In collecting responses from users, JD Power noted that the shift towards data and smartphones was clearly mounting in force. The average person was making 450 minutes of calls every month, which while just enough to justify the base plans at most networks was down 77 minutes from just two years ago. Those same people were sending a typical 500-plus text messages each month.