Post by L***@UnReal.invalid
Last three paragraphs are probably the best
"Some research even suggests that network quality may be less of an issue
than companies and even consumers think it is. In the 50 largest markets
nationwide, more than 97 percent of wireless calls are connected and
completed successfully, according to Telephia. More than one-third of the
wireless subscribers surveyed by Telephia also said their network quality
had improved since they signed up with their current provider, while only 13
percent said it had declined.
The consumers who really value network quality, Mr. Chamberlain and others
say, are those who use a cellphone as their only phone and those who rely on
their phones for work. Many other consumers, particularly younger ones, are
more likely to choose a carrier based on the handset, not the quality of the
network, they said.
"Honestly, these ads don't make a dent," said Meredith Belloli, the
president of Slant, a marketing agency that focuses on consumers in their
20's. Young consumers "are aware of the 'Can you hear me now?' guy, but it
comes down to the style and coolness of the phones." "
I tend to agree with that. The ads may reinforce what people already
have learned from unbiased sources such as JD Powers or Consumer
Reports, but consumers simply filter out proclamations from the carriers
about having the best network. Cingular's "fewest dropped calls"
campaign is especially poor because a) dropped calls are only one of
many factors that determine the quality of a network, and b) there is no
evidence that they have the fewest dropped calls.
OTOH, the statement by Telephia regarding the 50 largest markets is a
bit misleading. They stated that 97% of calls are connected, but this
could mean that one carrier was closet to 100%, while another carrier
Furthermore, I find that a network's coverage is of the most value when
going _outside_ those 50 largest markets. Specifically, in California,
when you go into the Sierra's, Verizon (or other CDMA and AMPS carriers
that you can roam on), provide far greater coverage than is obtainable
on Cingular or T-Mobile. The same level of coverage may be available on
Sprint, via roaming, I don't know, as I don't have a Sprint phone, but
Cingular and T-Mobile are at a big disadvantage.
Another issue is the coverage on the fringes of those markets. In the
San Francisco Bay Area, fringe coverage (outside the urban or suburban
core) varies greatly among carriers (though this will change somewhat if
AMPS is turned off). Go to parks in the green belt, or to some of the
new (or old) developments where there is opposition to cell towers, and
the coverage is very different among carriers, with Verizon being far
better (as evidenced by all the survey results, as well as my own
So for someone that doesn't travel outside the confines of the core of
those 50 largest markets, maybe the differences in coverage aren't
important, but for many people, the true test of network is how well it
works when they are away from home.