Aug 30 AT 12:17 PM Dima Aryeh 22 Comments

Verizon Wireless ranked highest in network quality by JD Power


JD Power has released a study on network performance, quality and coverage across the US. For the most part, the results are predictable. The study compared normal carriers to prepaid carriers and found that network quality is significantly better with regular carriers, especially in regards to call quality and data reliability. Obvious, right?

But when comparing the carriers in every one of six regions between January and June of 2013, Verizon Wireless comes out as the definitive winner in five of those regions. Only in the North Central region does Verizon not come out on top, but instead ties for first place with regional carrier US Cellular.

It’s becoming well-known fact that Verizon has the most reliable network in the US, with AT&T not far behind in many regions. However, Verizon’s service comes at a price. Not only is it fairly expensive, but they tend to lock down all of their phones. It makes purchasing from the customer difficult for many. Now let’s start a discussion: What is your favorite carrier and why? Mine is AT&T, due to great data speeds and GSM phones, but I’d love to know yours!

Source: JD Power

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • BlkSquad

    I don’t have a favorite carrier, there’s really only one option where I live if you want service and even then it’s scarce at times. Verizon isn’t an option because of the CDMA and locked down phones, not to mention lackluster coverage in my area. Sprint and Tmo are both non-existent or I’d probably have went to Tmo recently to save some money every month.

    • dingo33

  • mason

    T-mobile the best rates and I think they have great coverage.

  • GE918

    T-Mobile. The rates are great and coverage is good in the cities that I travel to.

  • Joel

    I’m on T-Mobile right now – they’re perfect for my area (ft.lauderdale, FL).

    With Verizon you get what you pay for obviously. But I find that their prices are steep and many of their customers are existing from a time when prices and plans were less convoluted and expensive.

    I have a GS4 and in a few months i’ll be getting a different phone thanks to T-Mobile’s new JUMP program. Smiley face for me.

  • Jess Blanchard

    I’m on the T-Mobile, too! The new JUMP program annoyed the crap out of me, because they didn’t do a very good job of explaining it. I even called in and spoke with a representative who assured me that I met all the eligibility requirements for JUMP. Lo and behold, I got charged some $150 upgrade fee. And this month, there were two “monthly charges” for the two devices I bought, as well as an additional “monthly partial charge.”

    It’s been very frustrating, paying money and not fully understanding why you’re being charged. They always have some explanation or excuse. Nothing is ever simple.

    The quality of customer service has also gone downhill since I first joined up with them 10 years ago. Ten years! You’d think I’d get better treatment for my loyalty than lies and mystery fees.

    But what am I gonna do? I’m stuck with them at least until I pay off the JUMP! agreement and everywhere else costs a million dollars a month, anyway. It’s like they know they’re just good enough for the lower price they charge. They’ve got some algorithm for exactly how much shit a customer will take before they jump ship and pay more to another faceless, giant company.

    • Jess Blanchard

      It wasn’t the down payment. The down payment was $99 for each phone. They charged me an additional $150 payment because it had been less than two years since one of the lines on the account had been upgraded. I called the representative to check on that, and was assured that I would not be charged anything other than the $99 down payments for the two devices I ordered. Then, surprise, extra $150 out of my pocket.

      I mean, if you have to pay stuff, fine. But I read the things and call the representative and still wound up with a surprise charge. I’m annoyed because I feel things are purposefully complicated in order to confuse people. This is especially true with the whole division of tasks you can complete online or in-store or on the phone. You should be able to do the same thing at any location (be it digital or brick and mortar) for the same price.

      I got Samsung Galaxy S 4 phones for fiance and myself.

      • Trevor

        Sometimes I think they just don’t know so they make something up. I recently wanted to try AT&T while I waited for the HTC One on Verizon so I called 2 official AT&T stores and 1 authorized retailer to find out what kind of fees I would be paying for a 2 week trial and all 3 of them told me something different. One of them did actually match what was stated in the terms online so I guess sometimes they get it right but it seems like a gamble unless you can find everything in their official terms yourself..

    • Bobba

      I have to chime in here and say that I just recently joined up on T-Mobile Jump. I experienced no surprises. The store representative actually walked me through a contract I was signing and made it very clear what was being charged and what we were paying for. The first bill came and no surprises.

      We had to pay for the Tax on the Jump phone upfront, plus a $10 SIM card fee since we came from pre-paid over to the Simple Choice plans to do the Jump.

      It was all simple, and straightforward.

      $150 sounds like a deposit if you don’t qualify for down payment free purchase credit wise. Or it could be the tax for two phone purchases.

      • Jess Blanchard

        I know I’m a woman and everything, but I am capable of understanding the explanation of a phone bill. The $150 was charged to my accounted because I had upgraded one of the phones within the last two years. You have to have no upgraded for two years to quality fully for the program. Otherwise, you are charged a fee on a sliding scale, depending on how recently you have upgraded. I called, naturally, and got to the bottom of the charge when it appeared. I spoke with two customer service representatives and a manager.

        And $150 in tax would be insane. Tax was about $40 for both devices.

        From the support section:

        Migration Fee / Early Migration Access Charge Information

        A migration fee or Early Migration Access Charge applies for each line being migrated to a new plan in which less than 18 months have passed since purchasing a discounted device.
        Moving to the Simple Choice plan can offer great savings through its affordable cost of the rate plan minutes, text messages, and data.
        The fee or charge is applied to your monthly bill and will be due on your next statement following the change.
        The fee or charge is based on the time since you last purchased a discounted device.

        Fee or charge
        amount Months since last
        discounted device purchase
        $200 0-7 months
        $150 8-11 months
        $100 12-15 months
        $50 16-17 months
        $0 18 months or more

        That is what I got charged. At no point during the JUMP process does this come up. If you click “learn more” you just get some little blurb about how much easier it is to just click here and get a new phone!

        I had to dig and dig for that information. Here is the link, if anyone else wants to check it out.

        • Jess Blanchard

          Basically, they told me I had migrated to a Simple Choice plan, even thought I hadn’t changed my plan at all, because I did not elect to go for one of the more expensive plans when JUMPing up my phone.

        • Jess Blanchard

          I tried so hard to get it refunded, to no avail. Luckily, I caught it as soon as my bill came out. So, I actually had two paychecks come before the bill was due, which let me pay it off in two installments. And I purchased it online, because there was some special web-only thing going on. (See my earlier comment about how stupid it is that things aren’t the same across all interactions with carriers). I wish I would have waited a few more months, because now you can get the phone for $0 and the same monthly installment price.

          The one good thing about it is that the monthly installment price is equal to the discount I received on service for the next 24 months. So, essentially, I paid $350 + tax for two Samsung Galaxy S 4 phones. And in the scheme of things, that’s not so bad. Would have been better if I’d only paid $200 + tax, like I was expecting, though.

          The worst thing is that the fee happened when I was about to go on vacation, so I didn’t get to buy as much pointless crap for my friends and loved ones.

  • snowbdr89

    Here in SLC Verizon is OK their lte is spotty at best id average 6 to 8 mbps with small pockets of super fast data so to me its hard to agree with this article!!

    • Bobba

      Yeah that’s the thing…it’s all so relative to the area you live in, or frequently travel too. Verizon was great when I traveled for work. Always a signal no matter where I went. T-Mobile is excellent in Los Angeles and Southern California. I only travel to big cities now may 3 times a year, and T-Mobile is always present in the large cities, so no problem for me with T-Mobile.

  • Audio

    We are with t-mobile going on 5 years; we live in an area with great coverage and speed, usually over 20mbps.

    And you can’t best the value; we have 4 phones on a family plan with 2gb of data each for $120 a month.

    If we weren’t on this plan we would probably be on the t-mo $30 100 min, unlimited data plan.

  • Jorge Vieira

    I travel alot and Verizon is my favorite for that aspect they are very reliable Never really had a bad service from them. I have art also it’s a great back up. But not us cellular is Peking my interestet now.

  • Trevor Cameron

    Here is my thing… Because I am a cell phone geek/nerd/addict and honestly it is the most important non-living thing in my life, I’m willing to pay a high price for reliability and coverage.

    That being said, I have been with Verizon for two years and overall, I’m happy. I know I could save money and go with T-Mo, but coverage is worth the extra money to me. I could go with AT&T and pay the same $$$ for lesser coverage and reliability and a worse upgrade program. Also, they are just as controlling as Big Red. No FoxFi? And no Nexus 4 support or sales? I won’t even mention Sprint…

    My biggest problem with Verizon is the lack of updates. I wish they would be more aggressive in firmware upgrades instead of always being the last. I understand they are controlling of the ecosystem, but I’ve been able to root/unlock my phone and do whatever I wanted with no problems.

    I’m at the end of my two years, and I almost went T-Mo, and then a couple of my friends who have the stinky pink told me of their problems. Verizion getting the Edge upgrade program sealed the deal for me!

  • Max.Steel

    T-Mobile for me. Great rates, great data speed, great call quality. Can’t ask for much more.

  • Peter Marker

    There is a reference guide of the prepaid resellers (25+) and categorized by network on

  • donger

    Go T-mobile.