With all three of the major US cell carriers now sporting the iPhone in their arsenal, consumers have never had it so good. Not only can you now choose which iPhone to buy, but you can also choose which carrier to run it on.

Choosing a carrier isn’t always the easiest thing in the world, but a new study by Metrico Wireless sheds some light onto the decision, and depending on whether voice or data is the most important thing in your world, the best carrier for you may well vary.

According to Metrico’s numbers, AT&T is currently the top dog if you need your data speeds to be as fast as possible, but if you’re more of a talker than a surfer, Verizon may be the best choice for your hard-earned dollar…

In order to reach its conclusions, Metrico performed more than 21,000 web-page downloads, 8,000 download/upload tests, and 6,000 voice calls across a variety of situations. The end results offer an insight into the call failure rate and data transfer speeds of Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T.

When it comes to actually talking with people, Verizon is clearly the winner with a 2.1% failure rate. AT&T’s 2.8% and Sprint’s 3.7% may surprise some, but with the lowest of the three numbers, it is clear that Verizon is the more stable voice network.

It is a different story when it comes to data, though. Here, AT&T wins with a higher upload and download speed when compared to its two iPhone-toting competitors. In fact, AT&T’s download speeds are around twice as fast as those of both Sprint and Verizon. The reason for this is perhaps the addition of HSPA+, but with the iPhone 4 also offering similar speeds despite supporting the ‘faux-G’ standard, AT&T may just have the better network.

With AT&T receiving such hatred over the last few years due to its data speeds and poor reception quality, it is interesting to see them sitting pretty at the top of the pile. This is a testament to the attention they have clearly given to their shortcomings.

Now we just need to be able to make a call on AT&T, too.

[The Next Web]

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget that AT&T has the worst customer service.

    • I actually haven’t had a bad customer service expierence with ATT. Granted I don’t have to call them that often, cause any phone repairs, I went through the Apple store. I guess the only thing I would have them change, is the amount of months it takes you for an eligible upgrade. 16months seems a bit long, when a new iPhone comes out close to every year. But hey, they have early upgrades which is still cheaper than buying the phone out right at full price.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, but when I came to preorder the 4S, they had me wait an extra three weeks past their promised arrival date. Not only that, but they weren’t helpful at all on the phone.

      • Anonymous

        I preordered my iPhone 4s over the phone with AT&T and I received it the same day it went on sale.

  • Do u know anything about the carriers in Canada?

  • Now put them all together and you have the perfect phone and network

  • Anonymous

    I drop calls on my company issued ATT iPhone every day, hard to run a business that way. When I called ATT they checked some kind of map, and said the network was actually spotty around my house, and they don’t guarantee coverage inside a bldg, then wanted to sell me their microcell for another $200 ! Wait, its a phone, shouldn’t I be able to talk to people on it?

    So they admitted the network isn’t good here, and would not offer any concession to improve it by offering a deal on the microcell, I’ve never dropped a call on my verizon phone. I’d rather be able to talk on it then download at this point.

    • i left at&t for that very reason. i love that i conduct business better now. i never drop calls. I want to cry every time i use the internet. Its not twice as fast on at&t its more like 3 to 4 times faster. Its painful if i could go back, i’d buy a ipad and regular bluetooth phone. if you leave At&t leave for iphone 5 or go to a straight cell phone, in my opinion. its painfully slow like worst then 56k modem. I work in boston around 4 or 5 major towers no excuses, Verizon….