Carrier

Which is the best carrier?

  • AT&T

    Votes: 8 80.0%
  • Metro PCS

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sprint

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • T-Mobile

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Verizon

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10

ivantwilliams

Evangelist
Gold
Jul 14, 2009
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#1
I'm gearing this question towards the American audience; since I'm in America :)
Based on:
- availability of service
- devices available
- cost of data
- cost of calls
- terms of contracts
...which carrier would you say is better (listed in alphabetical order)?:

AT&T
Metro PCS
Sprint
T-Mobile
Verizon

I know this is probably an old argument. But, I'm not really looking for an answer per se', more to see what others have to say. Currently, I have 5 lines with AT&T, and I've used T-Mobile for a brief stint, too. We're not looking to move or anything, more generating constructive conversation.

Go...
 

up10ad

Genius
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Aug 1, 2007
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Fruita , CO
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#2
The real problem in answering that question is, most individuals haven't experienced more than one of the mentioned carriers. Some may have used two, but even they can't comment seriously on your question.

[edit]. See additional post below.
 
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Europa

Moderator
Senior Moderator
Dec 12, 2008
28,365
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Utah
#3
They all have pros and cons. The carriers with the best coverage and fastest data charge higher rates. Verizon has the best coverage throughout the country, especially in remote areas in the west. They have the second fastest data on average. A lot of people say their customer service isn't the greatest. Unlike AT&T, Sprint and Verizon do not have voice over 3G. This was a big deal prior to LTE being rolled out and one of the main reasons a lot of us stuck with AT&T. AT&T has the fastest data on average, good customer service and voice over the older networks (not just LTE), but it has a reputation for high dropped call rates and only has the second best nationwide coverage. I've had hundreds of dropped calls with AT&T, but I never had a single one with Sprint. To be fair, I talk on the phone a lot more since switching to AT&T. T-Mobile has great rates, but the coverage area isn't as good as AT&T's or Verizon's. Sprint has good rates as well, but 3G data speeds are the slowest of the big four. Their LTE coverage area isn't as good as AT&T's or Verizon's.

Monthly rates, coverage and data speeds are not the only factor. The carrier's upgrade policy is also important. For example, AT&T allows people to upgrade sooner with subsidy than Verizon does. Additionally, with AT&T, you get to keep your old subsidized phone when you get your first Next phone, even if you've had that subsidized contract phone for less than a year. With Verizon, they take your old phone if you have had it for less than 24 months. AT&T customers can then sell that old phone that's only a year old for $300+.

Throttling is another thing to consider. AT&T allows people to keep their grandfathered unlimited data plans when they upgrade with subsidy, unlike Verizon, but they AT&T also tends to throttle people a lot more.
 

silvermoon

Evangelist
Gold
Jul 17, 2013
1,624
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Washington
#4
If I was to rank them from greatest to least, my list would be:

1. Verizon
2. AT&T
3. T-Mobile
4. Sprint.
5. Metro

I've used Verizon and T-Mobile.
 

up10ad

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Aug 1, 2007
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Fruita , CO
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#5
Ok. In retrospect I guess I under-answered your question. I should have at least given my observations and related my experiences. So far I agree with the characterizations given. I've only used AT&T for 7 years and have been totally happy. I've lived in far rural areas in Colorado as well as urban areas around DC and MD. Never had a problem getting a voice signal or data. Friends with Verizon relate similar experience.
 
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Ledsteplin

Genius
Gold
Oct 29, 2013
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Florence, AL
#7
I've had Verizon for over 10 years. I've been very happy with their service and with their customer service. So I can't rate that list.


Sent from my ancient but trustworthy iPhone 5.
 

MrMike6by9

Evangelist
Gold
Nov 16, 2008
1,482
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Maryland, USA
#8
I'm reviving a thread as I contemplate changing my carrier. Our scenario; family members are currently using 5's or better on AT&T. This household is considering a change from AT&T to Verizon since subsidies are no longer a factor for our phone upgrades and we are a VzFiOS subscriber. Up to now, we'd always heard the Verizon didn't support simultaneous voice and data usage. Has this changed? We live in several areas in and around Metro DC and coastal Maryland. The app "CoverageMap" suggests these carriers are about an even match. Any comments?
 

Europa

Moderator
Senior Moderator
Dec 12, 2008
28,365
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Utah
#9
Verizon supports simultaneous voice and data with LTE, but not 3G. Most places in DC and Maryland have Verizon LTE, so you should be fine.
 

Rgn

Contributor
Bronze
Apr 29, 2013
111
36
28
#16
At&t is the only one with reliable service in North Pole AK. Verizon just now came to Fairbanks area and the coverage a little spotty well with any other company as well.