AT&T Catches Verizon in Wireless Service Quality

What a difference a couple of years make.

Before upgrading its 3G network and launching its first 4G LTE services a year-and-a-half ago, AT&T took a whole heap of criticism from customers and industry insiders who ripped the carrier for its high number of dropped calls and overall service quality in some of America’s largest cities. AT&T said it was due to the massive number of iPhones it was selling, and the network’s inability to keep up. Some of the biggest problems were in San Francisco, but that seems to be ancient history now.

A new report from RootMetrics, and independent mobile-analytics firm and consumer advocate, this week said Verizon’s and AT&T’s networks share a victory as top performers in the City by the Bay.

RootMetrics analyzed calls as scientifically as possible, measuring performance both indoors and outdoors, across all hours of the day and night, undertaking nearly 25,000 tests based on how people use their smartphones most frequently.

Saying both carriers offer “remarkably fast data speeds,” the analytics firm said both AT&T and Verizon performed strongly in email delivery, and Web and app loading, as well as fewest blocked and dropped calls. AT&T, in particular, RootMetrics said, showed improvement over its last study in August 2012.

In tests to load a typical Web page or app, RootMetrics found that AT&T and Verizon were fastest, at 0.4 and 0.5 seconds, respectively. T-Mobile was just behind those two carriers, at 0.7 seconds. Sprint trailed the pack at 2.3 seconds.

AT&T added about 1,000 cell sites, including approximately 40 new or upgraded sites in San Francisco, between 2009 and 2011.

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