March 7, 2011 at 1:24 PM ET
In its annual survey of wireless carriers' call quality, J.D. Power and Associates awarded most top honors to Verizon Wireless. The study, which divides the U.S. into six regions, saw Verizon victories in five of the six regions, while T-Mobile was consistently rated below average in all six regions.
The survey results, announced last week, are based on the responses of 26,019 people conducted from July through December, 2010. Respondents were asked to evaluate their own carriers based on dropped calls, static or interference, failed call connections, voice distortion, echoes and delays in voicemail or text message notification.
The other two nationwide carriers came out mixed. AT&T's performance was most erratic, as it shared the win with Verizon in the Mid-Atlantic region, ranked average in the Southeast and Southwest, and scored below average in the remaining three regions. Sprint scored "Better than most" in the Southeast and the West, but was still bested by Verizon in both markets.
The only market Verizon did not win was the North Central region, where a non-nationwide carrier, U.S. Cellular, took top honors. Verizon came second, ahead of its nationwide competition.
It's worth mentioning that this survey took place before Verizon got an iPhone, and before it launched any phones on its 4G network. The question on many tech aficionados' minds is whether or not Verizon can stay ahead in call quality with all of its new initiatives. Guess we'll have to wait a year to find out.
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