Thursday, September 9, 2010

Charlotte cellphone reception lags other cities

If you've found yourself cursing your cellphone (and your carrier) for another dropped call, this next bit of news won't surprise you. According to the just-unveiled 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Wireless Call Quality Performance study, Charlotte has more problems per 100 calls than any of the top 27 U.S. cellphone markets. Charlotte has 19 problems per 100 calls, while at the other end of the spectrum, Tampa, Fla., logged just 5 problems per 100 calls:

What gives? I've got a call in now to a J.D. Power researcher, and hope to round up some details on why we apparently get such crappy reception here in the Queen City. Not surprisingly, some of the wireless companies are already jumping in with their spin. Verizon was happy to point out that it ranks highest in the Southeast in call quality. AT&T earlier today shot me an e-mail touting its nearly $200 million in investments in its N.C. network.

What do you think? Does call reception seem worse here than in other cities?

30 comments:

Jason said...

Simple one word answer....TREES!!!!

wiley said...

I have Verizon and never have that problem...

Many AT&T people do, as they wind up dropping me.

...and no I don't work for Verizon nor does anyone I know.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Verizon - they irk me with their customer service at times, but they've got the best coverage around.

Anonymous said...

Have had AT&T since February and zero dropped calls. My wife had Sprint and ALWAYS lost calls around the airport on 485. She's now on AT&T and no problems so far.

Anonymous said...

I have GREAT reception with Verizon. Except my house :(

Anonymous said...

The reason Verizon has good coverage here is from the Alltel aquisition. They had NC covered. Still have Alltel, and no dead zones/dropped calls, and great customer service. ATT coverage is terrible.

Timothy Whitson said...

Verizon definitely picked up a bargain in Alltel. I once made a phone call from the bottom of Linville Gorge on an Alltel phone.

wiley said...

Anonymous said...
The reason Verizon has good coverage here is from the Alltel aquisition. They had NC covered. Still have Alltel, and no dead zones/dropped calls, and great customer service. ATT coverage is terrible.


I had Alltel once a few years back. Worst service in the world.

It took 5 months to finally nail down the actual technician over cell towers who knew where the dead spots were.

Unfortunately, my neighborhood was thr worst dead cell they had.

I couldn't get away from Alltel fast enough.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I've had more dropped calls and "No Service" notifications on the display screen in the past month or so than I've had in years.

It's beginning to get irritating enough that I'm starting to think of switching carriers.

Anonymous said...

I've had Verizon since 2000 (10 years) and 99% of the time love it..Customer service has been great..price is high but not willing to change services due to all the complaints I hear from friends. I know that Sprint drops calls and AT &T as well. I can go to the mountains, up north of Wisconsin and never lose a call. Thanks Verizon for the wonderful years of service..and no don't work for Verizon..

Anonymous said...

I have Verizon and I have no problems with there service. However, I did have Sprint and that was the worst.

NoAlibis said...

I have the GREAT IPHONE with AT&T, I have dropped calls all the time. Can't wait till Verizon gets the iphone. Already dropped AT&T from home & office. Bye Bye AT&T

Anonymous said...

I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile about 8 months ago. I actually drop fewer calls on T-Mobile than I did on Verizon (though I didn't drop more than 10 or 15 per year with Verizon either) and pay a lot less.

Anonymous said...

I live near Quail Corners shopping center and everyone I know in this area calls the general area the "cell phone dead zone". I have an AT&T iPhone (personal) and a Verizon Blackberry (work) and both are HORRIBLE in and around a rather broad area near Quail Corners.

Anonymous said...

I have ATT work iPhone and Tmobile personal cell and coverages for both are terrible at home... (Providence Rd near Colville...walk a few feet in the house and the call drops...get 1 bar or less ALL THE TIME at home..

Eric Frazier said...

A note/correction: Verizon was tied for first place in the Southeast region with Sprint and T-mobile. Also, i'd love to hear more about the Quail Corners "dead zone" or others you guys might know about, for inclusion in my story in tomorrow's paper. Feel free to buzz me at 704-358-5145.

John Taylor said...

Eric --

A little bit of background for your readers may be helpful.

The latest J.D. Powers study says that Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are tied for first in the Southeast when it comes to call quality. Despite the claims from Verizon's PR rep.,Verizon isn't deemed to be any better than T-Mobile or Sprint in the Southeast. The study looks at the 1st half of 2010.

At Sprint, our internal metrics look at both dropped and blocked call rates by market. Our internal measurements continue to have both our Sprint and Nextel wireless networks performing at best-ever levels.

When we look at specific markets, Charlotte is as good as any market for Sprint in either North or South Carolina. Our statistics don't match up with what J.D. Powers is reporting about the entire wireless industry's performance in Charlotte. I'll be interested to hear how J.D. Powers responds to your questions. Perhaps other carriers have an explanation about their experience in Mecklenberg Co. or the rest of the Charlotte metro area which will shed some light here.

Other external studies continue to point to the strength of Sprint in Charlotte. Earlier this summer, PC Magazine ranked Sprint 4G as the fastest network in Charlotte.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2364455,00.asp

We continue to invest millions of dollars in all our wireless networks in Charlotte and the surrounding area and will continue to do so -- witness our investment in bringing Sprint 4G to Charlotte.

John Taylor
Media Relations
Sprint Nextel Corp.

Twitter @jbtaylor

Jessica said...

I'm with Verizon and have no complaints about coverage (just their customer service). My friends with AT&T have a lot of complaints; a big reason I have yet to purchase an iPhone.

Anonymous said...

verizons is the bomb

Anonymous said...

we have had Sprint for over a decade. No dropped calls and outstanding internet service. The new phones are AWESOME. I have two Blackberrys (one work and one personal) and both kids have BBs. Not a single issue.

And no...none of us work for Sprint.

Anonymous said...

I had Verizon for years and was very happy with the coverage. I had to make a switch based on my employment to AT&T wireless. One word on their coverage, "awful". I continually dropped calls around the Charlotte area and in areas I travel around North Carolina and South Carolina. I worked with my employer to let me make the switch back to Verizon. I couldn't be happier although my Verizon phone is still lacking in my home but at least I can make calls and hear and could not say the same about AT&T coverage in my home.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this article. Verizon has terrible coverage in my area. I live in SW Charlotte and have been complaining for the past 6 months. I was finally told by a Tier 2 tech support person at Verizon that my area has marginal coverage and that I could get out of my contract because of it. The coverage is spotty in this entire area and inside my house - forget about it!!!

Anonymous said...

As a cell phone enthusiast, I find that the battle of the cell carriers are quite interesting. Verizon has the largest network, but not as fast as T-mobile, or Sprint. Sprint's so called 4g network (WiMax) is actually not even 4g, T-mobiles new HSPA+ network is 2 times the speed and better range then the WiMax that Sprint offers. However, each of them require a HSPA+ or 4g capable phone to utilize them.

I would gladly get the upcoming HSPA+ phones that T-mobile will be offering in the next couple months that will bring a new quality and speed to the area.

AT&T however, which also promises HSPA+ has not yet announced any plans to upgrade their towers.

Anonymous said...

re: "Earlier this summer, PC Magazine ranked Sprint 4G as the fastest network in Charlotte."
.. Which dodges the dropped call issue completely. I have had Sprint service for over six years.
The ONLY reason I stay with them is due to the fact my Family is on Sprint as well, and I have to stay to get the free cell to cell minutes. The dropped call issue is massive. Several areas on Hwy 51 have zero coverage, and if you are in a building, you can almost totally forget about making a call.
Also, the much touted $69 *everything* plan is a misnomer. If you have a smart phone, You must also buy a $10 / month data plan. Also all included calls are mobile to mobile only.. If You call a land line, you use minutes.
Don't fall for Sprint's doubletalk.

joe said...

There is also a dead zone on Sharon Road between the north end of the South Park Mall and Runnymeade on Sprint/Nextel network. Had the same problem on AT&T in the same area before I switched.

Anonymous said...

i was on AT&T it sucks man
now i moved to sprint which is far better never go for at&t in charlotte my buddies have iphone
i am only the guy with evo 4g in our group with 4g you won't feel that you are browsing through the cellphone

Anonymous said...

I've been told that AT&T is all digital, therefore they get service in spots. Verizon is analog & digital, so they get better service. I have Verizon and have never had a coverage issue. Have been out in Northern California, Upstate NY, NC mtns, basements of houses, floating down the New River...and still get service. My husband, who has AT&T, gets the worst service EVER. Even when he is right under an AT&T tower, he gets nothing. AT&T should not tout "more bars in more places", when you don't get squat. Even their employees know this.

Ron Ruiter said...

Right now I'm with AT&T but will return to Verizon once this contract is up. They are really bad. I never had a problem with Verizon, no matter where I was in NC or SC.

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