AT&T to Verizon to AT&T?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by exi, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. exi macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    I was on AT&T for awhile. The allure of much more widespread LTE access and the carrot-on-a-stick of VoLTE, combined with AT&T's "meh" approach to an email or two as well as Verizon's rep for wider cell coverage, convinced me to switch to Verizon a year ago.

    While on Verizon, I have had fragments of texts over 160 characters go missing, particularly out of network. Not just not concatenated -- I understand Verizon's CDMA network may not behave ideally with AT&T's GSM network in that regard -- but unpredictably gone.

    I have also had multiple people on the other end of a voice call tell me I sound distant and/or muddled when on Verizon.

    Neither of these things happened on AT&T that I can remember.

    That's got me thinking about switching back. And getting a 5S (currently on a 5).

    RootMetrics has not tested my city (but gave AT&T an across-the-board advantage in one an hour away). Third party app "Coverage?" clearly shows wider VZW LTE availability around me as compared to AT&T's HSPA+ and LTE combined. No surprise there.

    Verizon is the popular carrier here, so the sheer number of measurements may be biasing apps like OpenSignalMap and Rootmetrics. That's compounded by a more recent AT&T LTE availability in my area.

    What say you, MacRumors? Stick with Verizon for network spread or go back to what (mostly) worked for a long time?
  2. techiegirl macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    I did that. I was a long time AT&T customer, with unlimited data and all. I switched to Verizon, but found that data just isn't as fast as AT&T. (My friend, still on Verizon has "LTE" speed of .4mb.) I switched back to AT&T, but lost my unlimited data in the process. :(
  3. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    I've had AT&T for about 10 years now, and my wife has had Verizon for about the same amount of time. I'm perfectly happy with the consistently faster data service that AT&T provides, even though I have a couple of spotty coverage areas when I'm farther away from the more populated areas. Additionally, I'm one of the people who actually uses voice and data at the same time, which I believe is still something you can't do on Verizon.

    As much as I've complained about AT&T, I don't really think the grass is greener. It's just a different type of grass.
  4. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Abandon ship and switch to AT&T. I've had AT&T for over 6 years now. Great coverage in my area and their service has always been good.
  5. fedecape macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2011
    Miami, FL
    I don't know what your intentions are, but I strongly suggest you to get the AT&T $60 GoPhone plan. Not everybody knows about it, and I think it's awesome.
    It gives you 2GB of data (if you want more you can get 1gb for $10) unlimited calls, texts and also international texts.

    Isn't your iPhone unlocked? My dad bought a Verizon 5S full price and he's using it abroad with a simcard.

    You can give it a try, this is prepaid and there're no annoying contracts involved.

    BTW, I get 60$ gift cards for about $50 on ebay.

    and no, I don't work for AT&T lol
  6. Dominicanyor macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2012
    I just change from sprint to AT&T in a family plan with my wife. I got the 5s gold and the service is pretty fast. I have not got a bad thing to say about AT&T yet.
  7. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Appreciate the posts.

    The local AT&T stores have the iPhone 5S model I'd want in stock, so no worries there. Plus there's the Nexus 5 now and the other Android flagships -- I'm an equal opportunity techie.

    This has come up here on MR before, but is there any inherent advantage to AT&T versus Verizon for building penetration as far as lower GSM frequencies versus the higher ones used by CDMA, or is that all theoretical?

    Basically trying to convince myself to switch back to AT&T because it's (a) GSM and with the inherent advantages of that, (b) this distant voice thing on Verizon that people keep saying to me is getting annoying, and (c) the poor CDMA -> GSM text handling thing is silly.

    All ears for any reasons either way.
  8. AllieNeko macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2003
    CDMA and UMTS run on the same channels in the US. AT&T doesn't really use GSM anymore, and hasn't for years. The network is still up in most areas, but people have been moved to UMTS. Parts of Idaho are still GSM-only though, shockingly.

    AT&T does, in my experience, have the better network in my state - Montana - but this depends on your area. One thing for sure, AT&T voice does sound far superior to Verizon voice basically everywhere.
  9. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Ahh, see what you mean. 1900 MHz, looks like. Is there anything inherent to UMTS networking, something maybe I'm just ignorant of, that would translate to any perceptible benefit in signal-unfriendly buildings?

    Where I used to live, AT&T was great. Especially when LTE arrived. Where I live now, Verizon is a few orders of magnitude more popular, so things like RootMetrics and OpenSignalMap reflect that / may be a little skewed by lower AT&T sample size.

    Thinking I'll stop by the AT&T store soon and just switch. Verizon has thus far said "no we're not waving your ETF" despite switching for network performance concerns. If anyone knows any tricks I don't, I'd appreciate it.
  10. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009

    Verizon has slightly lower frequencies that penetrate buildings better
  11. AllieNeko macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2003
    If anything, it's the opposite. The UMTS channel is wider (5 MHz vs 1.25 MHz) which makes it more prone to noise and distortion. However, this difference is TINY compared to differences in network build out. Technology is nice at times, but the reality is the quality of the network build, not the technology it's using, makes all the difference.
  12. Bluemustang macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2013

    You can do some testing and hear for yourself the difference in voice quality. Here was how I tested:

    I had a VirginmobileUSA 4S (uses Sprint, is CDMA), and an at&t iPhone5 (wife's phone).

    Using these 2 phones, I called my land line and left messages. Then I listened to them and concluded that the at&t iphone5 sounded distinctively better. The voice message from the CDMA iphone sounded tiny and muffled. Very strange and unexpected.

    Added to this I discovered that the 4S on VMUSA couldn't receive SMS text from Facebook, nor could it send or receive 8 bit non-Roman text. So I returned the 4S only 2 days after buying it, and got an at&t iphone5 instead.

    Network quality varies according to location. I wouldn't want to be on a 2 yr contract using a phone where I would hear complaints from people on the other end for 2 whole years!
  13. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    I also had issues with non-Roman character texts. Would usually send/receive but with either a blank box or "?" where the character was to be.

    Only on Verizon. Never on AT&T.

    Hoping to make it to an AT&T store before they close tomorrow night to switch. Tired of this.

    Tried to get VZW to waive the ETF. Despite me having network tickets open with them months ago, "not our fault" they say. Maybe true, undoubtedly convenient. Eh, I'd rather be on most of the rest of the world's type of network anyway.
  14. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2010
    Parts Unknown
    Not exactly true. Higher frequencies have shorter wavelengths which will actually tend to "penetrate" buildings better. The advantage of the lower frequencies and therefore longer wavelengths is that they typically propagate further from the towers. So it isn't necessarily penetration, but rather propagation as the advantage of a lower frequency. Verizon LTE uses 700 mHz in a lot of areas for data but their voice network operates on different frequencies depending on what part of the country you are located in.
  15. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    This became irrelevant when most if not all modern phones that have LTE have a built in "GSM" Radio for roaming.

    If you are having problems hell will freeze over before Verizon grants a ETF. So I think your better off just cutting your losses and going to AT&T if your already thinking about it and decided enough is enough.
  16. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Agree. Just mean it in a day-to-day functional sense. I'm nerdy like that. But seeing as how it's MR's forum... lots of us are.
  17. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    Agreed and I figure most people on here know that already but its always worth reminding if its basis for a decision. If AT&T works for you and you are having issues that you feel justify the ETF cost I would say go for it. There is no one size fits all fore USA wireless.

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