AT&T still at bottom of Consumer Reports rankings, but boasts best 4G network
In the annual rankings of major U.S. cellphone carriers, Verizon Wireless retained the top spot while AT&T once again brought up the rear
PC World - AT&T held onto its last place position in Consumer Reports ranking of the four major U.S. cellphone carriers. But the company can point to one bright spot in the annual ratings published by Consumer Reports Thursday: AT&Ts 4G service garnered the least complaints from customers.
In the Consumer Reports survey of 63,253 cellphone subscribers, Verizon Wireless landed at the top of the heap, earning high marks for voice and data service quality and customer service. Sprint and T-Mobile received average ratings, finishing second and third, respectively. AT&T placed last for its voice and text quality.
Verizon also was No. 1 in last years Consumer Reports survey.
LTE gives AT&T an edge
Though Verizon led the pack in cellphone service in this years ratings, AT&Ts 4G LTE network was tops for subscribersor, rather, it received fewer complaints than any other carriers 4G service.
PCWorlds 4G LTE speed tests reflected customer perceptions earlier this year. AT&T had the fastest 4G download speeds of any carrier at 9.12 mbps.
Verizon has the most robust 4G network, as it was the first American carrier to offer LTE in December 2010. AT&T and Sprint have both since introduced LTE for their customers, and T-Mobile plans to launch its own service next year.
The Consumer Reports survey arrives a couple months after the September release of the iPhone 5, Apples first LTE-supported smartphone. With Apple having sold 5 million of the new phones during its first weekend of sales, customer perceptions of carriers 4G offerings could shift dramatically.
Pre-paid plans an attractive option
Besides its 4G ranking, AT&T could also take solace in the fact that Consumer Cellular, a national carrier that uses AT&Ts network, garnered positive reviews for its no-contract, standard service in Consumer Reports ranking of carriers offering monthly billing without a contractual requirement.
Consumer Reports found that no-contract plans are growing in popularity because they save consumers more than $20 a month, according to survey respondents. Consumer Cellular and TracFone ranked at the top of the pre-paid providers for offering value and quality voice and text.
Some smaller carriers that scored respectably in our ratings and offer low-priced plans, such as Straight Talk and Virgin Mobile, now offer fairly sophisticated smartphones, Consumer Reports electronics editor Paul Reynolds said in a statement announcing the survey results, which appear in the January 2013 issue of the magazine. And you can even save by switching a phone from a major carrier thats coming off contract to a pre-paid plan.
Many smartphone users worry that the high upfront cost of buying a top-of-the-line phone without a contract will negate any savings from going with a lower-priced carrier, but that might not be the case.
- Big Data, Big Mess: Sound Risk Intelligence Through Complete Context This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- Using Cyber Insurance and Cybercrime Data to Limit Your Business Risk This paper examines the challenges of understanding cyber risks, the importance of having the right cyber risk intelligence, and how to use this...
- 5 Tips to Secure Small Business Backdoors in the Enterprise Supply Chain This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- Confront consumerization with convergence Virtualization expert Elias Khnaser spotlights the security, compliance, and governance issues that arise when enterprise users "consumerize" with shadow IT and public cloud...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Wireless Carriers White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!