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.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Gartner 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software See why CommVault was positioned as the #1 leader in Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery software for the 3rd year in...
- Forrester Report: CommVault is a Leader in Enterprise Backup and Recovery In this report, Forrester takes a deep dive into the evaluation criteria, how CommVault is positioned and the features and functionality that make...
- Forrester Wave for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Read this report to see how CommVault continues to outpace its competitors and why Forrester positioned CommVault Simpana as the top backup and...
- Architecting the Network of the Future Networks need to change, as does the way IT thinks about and manages them. In addition to reliability, IT must now add higher...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
All Wireless Carriers White Papers |