Here Are The Best – and Worst – Cell Companies

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Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the best mobile network of all?

If only it were that easy to distinguish which wireless carrier is the best. New technology and constant upgrades can make it difficult to decipher which mobile network would be a good fit for you.

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If you want the best overall network, look no further than Verizon. That’s according to RootMetrics, a Seattle-based independent mobile analytics firm, which recently released its midyear mobile network performance report.

RootMetrics gave top honors to Verizon based on performance, reliability, data, speed, call and text.

Verizon proved to be the dominant award-winner in nearly all aspects of our testing across the U.S., states, and metros, but AT&T was not far behind. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has emerged as a contender at the metro level with its focus on urban centers. While Sprint and T-Mobile generally remain a step below the other two networks overall, they have each made improvements and could be poised for a stronger second half of 2014.

Indeed, T-Mobile performed better than it did in the second half of 2013, when it finished last in five out of six categories. This time T-Mobile beat Sprint, finishing third in four categories.

The report did note that “if you are primarily a data user or if reliability is most important to you, it’s worth noting that Sprint and T-Mobile markedly trailed the top two networks in our data category and our Network Reliability Index at the national level.”

Here’s how the mobile networks stacked up, along with their overall performance score (out of 100):

  1. Verizon — 81.6.
  2. AT&T — 79.5.
  3. T-Mobile — 71.5
  4. Sprint — 69.6.

RootMetrics conducted tests in all 50 states to determine the results. Testers reportedly drove 234,000 miles, stopped at 6,400 indoor locations and performed 5.6 million tests.

If you want to see how the mobile networks stack up in your state, click here to access an interactive map.

Which mobile network do you use? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

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  • Jason

    If people are using the “big 4″ for cellular service they are paying way too much.

  • Kadiva

    Republic wireless. I had enough when AT&T started forcing me to pay for a ($30) data plan because I was using an iphone even thought I did not use data. I did not need data away from home and at home I used wifi. They could detect the iphone and automatically added the plan to your bill.

  • crabbyoldlady

    Dependability is important to us, so we use Verizon. Have had no problems with them at all, apart from being expensive, that is.

  • Shawna Foss

    I’ve used a couple pay as you goes, the best one that I found was AT&T for prepay.. I’ve used sprint on a contract and the service sucks, they also don’t have very many cell towers, using their cell phones isn’t any fun at all.. Right now I’m on a 2 yr plan at Verizon, I’ve been with them for 5 yrs now, their service is the best, as well as the people who work there are fast and friendly, and I think Verizon and AT&T have the most cell towers up, because I’m not usually out range of a tower..

  • Dick Ribas

    I believe Consumer Cellular uses Verizon…and they are terrific! Helps V ratings as well!!!

  • Jason

    BTW, Boost is one of Sprint’s pre-paid brands. If you don’t have good network coverage with Sprint then Boost won’t be any better.