Florian Seroussi's Blog

Entrepreneur, traveler, geek, curious about so many things.

AT&T vs. T-Mobile vs. Verizon

Call Failed

Over the past years I accumulated a number of plans from different carriers. I’m constantly using 3 phones (this is going to change soon), running on all kind of platforms, BlackBerry, Android, iPhone

The number one question people ask about phone service targets reliability of the network. I decided to write a quick post to share my experience. This is a non-scientific review based on phone usage – voice and data- in different US cities.

AT&T:

Customer since 2007.
Device: BlackBerry 9700

I was reluctant at first. Heard so many bad things about AT&T.
Reason to pick them was/is 3G. I couldn’t stand the slow T-Mobile edge connection.

Voice: Best network in South Florida. Fewer drop calls vs. T-Mobile. Sucks in NYC.
I do get those ‘congestion’, ‘call failed’ from time to time. Voice quality is good.
4/5

Data: Fast, solid 3G network. Blackberry is a no brainer on the network. AT&T should give up on all their ‘multimedia services’. They are all terrible. I wish my BlackBerry was not infested with so many worthless applications imposed by the carrier.
4/5

International calls: World Connect for $5/month offers great pricing for calling foreign destinations. I use Google Voice for all my long distance calls but I still appreciate the ability to pay cheap for premium quality over AT&T.
5/5

Customer Service: I can’t believe AT&T customer service is not 24/7. This is a deal breaker for me. They take our money 24/7 they MUST provide service 24/7. I hope VZW jumps on this for their next comparison campaign against AT&T.
2/5

Total: 15/20

T-Mobile:

Customer since 2005.
Currently running on HTC Hero

When I first heard of T-Mobile landing in Miami I saw hope. The underdog would conquer mobile subscribers by offering better pricing, better service and newer devices. Over promised – under delivered. Definitely not what I expected from them. Hoping HSPDA (fast cellular broadband) will put them back in the game.

Voice: Coverage in South Florida is growing but still displays a lot of ‘no signal’. I have a much better experience with them in NYC. Voice quality is average.
3/5

Data: So far I haven’t got anything higher than Edge on T-Mobile network. Even my HTC Hero locks in as Edge. Apparently T-Mobile is rolling out a new HSPSA 21Mbs today J. Definitely something I will try.
3/5

International calls: T-Mobile offers a discounted calling option. Prices are a bit more than AT$T. Again I encourage to use Google Voice for this service.
4/5

Customer Service: AT&T and Verizon are pretty flexible when it comes to discuss billing issues. T-Mobile will not reduce your bill – ever. One should know that. They are very helpful on technical support though.
4/5

Overall: 14/20

Verizon Wireless:

Customer since 2008
USB Dongle and Droid

I first signed up for a Verizon account to get fast internet access while roaming in the US. So far VZW has been super solid on all counts.

Voice: by far the best coverage compared to competition. Clear crispy sound, very few dropped calls. Excellent quality.
5/5

Data: Fast and reliable. I use my dongle everyday with no complaint whatsoever. Works everywhere even in confine places.
5/5

International calls: VZW is CDMA and won’t offer roaming service outside the US [actually they do on certain phones using a Vodafone sim card]. I don’t use them either for long distance BUT they have a very open policy to allow VOIP applications on their network. That enough deserves a good grade.
3/5

Customer service: when you offer a flawless product you handle much less customer support. I never really connected with their CS. The only time I needed to change my plan to cut some extra charges they were prompt to credit me back. Awesome.
5/5

Overall: 18/20

There is room for competition in the US and I really hope Google will grab the momentum to invade this space. Only 2 GSM carriers is just ridiculous compared to 5 in the UK and 4 in France (with Free Mobile).

Just for fun I added a YouTube video of all AT&T ads attacking Verizon.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010 at 7:41 pm and is filed under android, Apple, Blackberry, google, iPhone, Telecom, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 comments to “AT&T vs. T-Mobile vs. Verizon”

  1. Danny Skarka says:

    We are a mix Verizon-AT&T house. We started on Cingular but were frustrated with the lack of coverage. Moved to Verizon (which is also our landline and ISP). Tried T-Mobile as a work experiment however there was zero coverage at both my house and my work. Would stay there if not for the iPhone.

    AT&T coverage in the San Francisco north bay is fine. Coverage in San Francisco itself is a joke. No really….there is a joke. We are all waiting for AT&T to install the second antenna. Most areas are Edge at best. Many prime areas, including downtown, have no service at all.

    So, for voice and TXT, Verizon hands down. For data, AT&T, just not where you need it the most.

  2. Verizon is the only service working at my place and indoors in general.

  3. Zarin says:

    I have AT&T. Voice coverage is excellent, but data services are not good. 3G is crazy fast – 5mbps down and 3 mbps upload! But I am in an EDGE area and it is not efficent.

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