Consumer Reports: AT&T has the best 4G LTE, worst voice and data service quality

By , Nov 29, 2012

Consumer Reports, an influential U.S. magazine that has been reviewing products since 1936, is out today with its annual rankings of major United States wireless operators. And just like last year and the year before, AT&T again was ranked the worst in the United States in customer satisfaction. On a brighter note, AT&T’s 4G service garnered the least complaints from customers…

The survey, highlighted by PCWorld, complied rankings from over 63,000 reader responses, ranking Verizon Wireless the top carrier in terms of voice and data service quality, followed by Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T. When it comes to 4G, AT&T leads the pack though Verizon has the most robust 4G network.

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.

It’s interesting that smaller carriers like U.S. Cellular and Credo Mobile won better scores for customer satisfaction than the nation’s four biggest carriers. For example, U.S. Cellular had an overall customer satisfaction score of 88 percent while AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile individually couldn’t rank better than a score of 72 percent.

Consumer Reports also found that no-contract plans are getting more popular because they save people more than $20 a month. Carriers Consumer Cellular and TracFone are ranked best pre-paid providers for offering value and quality voice and text.

The magazine’s electronics editor Paul Reynolds said:

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. And you can even save by switching a phone from a major carrier that’s coming off contract to a pre-paid plan.

It should be noted that the numbers vary depending on a region. For example, AT&T fares better in certain metropolitan areas than its rivals.

Consumer Reports will publish the full results in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.

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  • Justin

    I am a t-mobile prepaid customer, and it is awesome. I get unlimited 4G (HSPA+) for just 45$ per month! There’s a big blank area for all the others near my home, and only t-mobile has service there. No joke, I tried all four carriers, and the only one that worked was t-mobile.

    • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

      This is why I said in the other post “no way anyone can tell WHICH ONE IS BETTER”, as long as it is working at your home and office, where we spend 80% of our time, even that is just HSPA+, I am sure you are happy.

  • http://twitter.com/El_Barto_01 El Barto

    Verizon LTE is garbage in NYC…other cities is amazing…too bad they won’t recognize the problem or improve the network….and no, is not due to the hurricane, it actually got a little better after it…

    • goofygreek

      probably got better because they had to put up new equipment. and, at&t also sucks in new york city. at least it did last time i went.

      • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

        It is doing great in NYC, compared with Verizon 4G LTE, and at&t 3G, 4G+, the speed is much better this time.

        As for the speed, as long as the carrier can do 10mbps+ then they are “good”. There is no way anyone can tell WHICH ONE IS BETTER.

        I am an IT support, and a lot of the time I have to check email/website and talk on the phone at the same time, this is why I am still with at&t.

        To give a better reference, I did NOT have any problem with my at&t 4G LTE and Verizon FISO during the hurricane Sandy.

        Verizon usually have stronger signal but not the 4G LTE…

        For my boss iPhone 5-Verizon, I even have to turn off the 4G LTE because he concerns the voice more. And it is 1 bar vs 5 bars at Broadway 36th st……

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmitaritonna Justin Mitaritonna

    I second that their data quality is terrible, so many times when I go to load something that requires data, nothing happens. I plan on leaving them when my contract is up next year and the iPhone 5S is on another better/cheaper carrier.

    • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

      It could be the website, at first, I though it is the network too… then I found the loading speed is really slow even I am on wifi(FIOS 15/5).

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    atnt is fine if you live in the city…lololol

  • FrankensteinBlack

    Anyone that has T-Mo service and didn’t vote for Obama is an ungrateful Jirk-off. Sayin…

    • Scott Kennelly

      ? Where do you get THAT idea? Ungrateful? You think the free phones program is an Obama program? It started in 1985 you douche bag.