Verizon yet again becomes highest-ranked provider

Posted by Mark Raby

Verizon's claim that it is the country's "most reliable network" is not just a lot of lofty marketing speak. It actually has the goods to prove it, as has been evidenced again by JD Power & Associate's latest data.

The customer advocacy group has crowned Verizon as the top mobile service provider in four of the biggest regions in the country.

In the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, West, and Southeast regions, Verizon has ranked the highest among call quality. A footnote to the Southeast region is that Verizon is tied for the top spot with Sprint and T-Mobile. But in the other three, it is the runaway leader, including the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions where it has achieved that designation for the 12th consecutive time.

That consistency is what has led Verizon to grow to the largest subscriber base in the US. The unmitigated successes of the Droid family and other Android handsets has only helped to catapult its presence among mobile users.

"We invest heavily in our network to ensure that we anticipate customers' needs today and in the future and continue to provide our customers with the nation's largest and most reliable wireless network," said Verizon SVP and CTO Tony Melone in a statement.

Where Verizon was unable to come out on top was the Southwest region, where T-Mobile took the honors, and North Central, which was granted to US Cellular. Those areas are far less densely populated, however, leaving Verizon as the definitive top dog on a nationwide scale.

The latest rankings come with an extra halo on top of them as news and rumors continue to circulate about what Apple will do once its iPhone exclusivity deal with AT&T ends.

The AT&T pact was one of the biggest coups of all time for the mobile provider. AT&T ranked, as expected, among the lowest in the newest JD Power & Associates findings and continues to be the worst-ranked major carrier in the country.

Results are based on the proportion of dropped calls, failed connections, voice distortion, interference problems, and delays in presenting text message and voicemail notifications.

These factors are combined to create a statistic that JDP&A calls PP100 (Problems Per 100 Calls). For example in the Mid-Atlantic region, Verizon had a PP100 of 5, compared to AT&T which was almost three times worse - 13 calls out of every 100 had some sort of issue.

AT&T ranked lowest in all but one region, the Northeast. In that region it still scored a blistering 17 PP100, but T-Mobile was even worse with 23.

So all those complaints you hear from iPhone owners about their poor reception aren't just made up gripes. AT&T will surely begin sinking once it no longer has a death grip on the iPhone.