Carrier AT&T vs. Verizon in the San Francisco Bay Area

WahooSF

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2010
27
0
Thoughts everyone? I know there have been a ton of threads on this issue, but I cannot find any recent threads specific to the Bay Area. I'm sure there are tons of MacRumors users in this area.

Here's the story for me - I recently upgraded to the iPhone 5 on AT&T, but I have 30 days to decide to cancel/switch. I have been a lifelong AT&T customer, but mostly because AT&T was cheaper than Verizon. Now, the costs for Verizon/AT&T will be the same because my work is reimbursing me for my data plan and we have unlimited plans with each carrier.

My general sense from reading the articles specific to SF - Verizon has better call quality/reliability, but the local AT&T data network is slightly faster. The dual call/data functionality on AT&T is a plus for me. I use it a fair amount (not a ton, but enough). I haven't had many issues with AT&T, but it does tend to have call network issues in congested areas (baseball games, etc). Also, the occasional dropped call, but nothing terrible.

I would appreciate honest opinions from local Verizon users. Almost all of my friends use AT&T.

Thanks!
 
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sundog925

macrumors 6502a
Dec 19, 2011
925
896
I live in Walnut Creek, and Verizon's LTE is pretty good. Of course AT&T's will be a lot better, but I enjoy having signal everywhere I go. AT&T's network has always been faster than Verizon's. But I go off of coverage, and sometimes my AT&T friends don't have LTE coverage and they're stuck on 4G Which by reading I have heard is just HSPDA+.
 

acorntoy

macrumors 65816
May 25, 2010
1,465
1,357
My experience is that Verizon is much more reliable than AT&T ever was ( had iphone 3G/3GS with AT&T, have had verizon with 4,4S and now the 5 ) LTE is blazing fast on both networks, but it seems as if I get more bars more often with verizon. If you are satisfied with AT&T I don't think it's really worth the hassle to switch after you just got your phone.
 

stevedusa

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2012
151
3
I think we can safely say that in the west coast that if you want overall (average) slightly, I mean SLIGHTLY slower speed but way more stable and reliable LTE network? Go with VZW.
 

cababah

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,692
165
SF Bay Area, CA
I live in the South Bay and am pretty much blanketed by AT&T LTE wherever I go. I routinely hit 50-60Mbps download speeds. 20Mbps on the low end.
 

rkuo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2010
705
305
AT&T is a disaster in San Francisco. It's pretty good in the South Bay tho.
 

mpossoff

macrumors 68020
Mar 21, 2010
2,093
0
Philadelphia
How's AT&T HSPA+ there? I'm in Philly and keep LTE off because HSPA+ is good enough. I only use LTE when I need it.

The question is does your AT&T iPhone perform decent where you're at?
 

mpossoff

macrumors 68020
Mar 21, 2010
2,093
0
Philadelphia
AT&T is a disaster in San Francisco. It's pretty good in the South Bay tho.
You hear mixed reviews. My wife's cousin lives in SF and says that AT&T is decent all around SF. To save battety he keeps LTE off mostly and says that HSPA+ is ok. All he cares about if his iPhone 5 performs for what he needs and he says it does.
 

Paulshaqz

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2009
902
174
i live in the south bay i had my iphone 5 for only 4 days and returned it back to att because of horrible lte and only 1 and 2 bars including dropped calls i'm most def switching to verizon because of the realiable coverage.
 

cababah

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,692
165
SF Bay Area, CA
i live in the south bay i had my iphone 5 for only 4 days and returned it back to att because of horrible lte and only 1 and 2 bars including dropped calls i'm most def switching to verizon because of the realiable coverage.
Where in the south bay are you? I frequent between San Jose and Fremont and it is full time LTE 3-4 bars...except my condo (2 bars LTE).

Btw, this is what I pulled in the East Bay this past weekend on AT&T
 

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nando1

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2012
3
0
If you're in the city (SF) you're better off with Verizon. Better signal inside of buildings, even in underground floors. I had ATT before and never got a signal at work, one floor below ground level. With Verizon I get service everywhere. I prefer reliability over speed. What good is speed if you can't connect?
 

Paulshaqz

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2009
902
174
Where in the south bay are you? I frequent between San Jose and Fremont and it is full time LTE 3-4 bars...except my condo (2 bars LTE).

Btw, this is what I pulled in the East Bay this past weekend on AT&T
i'm in the borderline of san jose and milpitas area the network is horribal on my block. and worst in my house.
 

MsRandall

macrumors 65816
Nov 27, 2011
1,119
505
Bay Area, Ca
I like Verizon. I live in Fairfield/Green Valley area. I work in Sacramento and I hang out in the SF/Oakland area on my spare time. I rarely drop calls and my data is pretty fast...
 

erratikmind

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2009
771
1
S.F./Las Vegas
I've been with AT&T since the mid/late 80s when they were a start-up called Cellular One. Lots of growing pains back then with the first mobile car and handsets. For the past decade or so, I have no complaints with AT&T's service. Now, since I have upgraded from an iP2g to an iP5, the experience is all that much better. LTE has been blazing fast, thus far.
 

bidwalj

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2007
1,036
112
Verizon overall has more lte coverage in the Bay Area and areas beyond it ( Livermore for an example doesn't have AT&T lte). In the long run, AT&T and Verizon lte speeds will even out as AT&T adds more and more devices ( Verizon has all lte only devices, minus the iphone, for more a year now). AT&T will also eventually provide even coverage. I also had the 4s on Verizon for a year and while the data is slower than AT&T, it always had a faster ping. This allowed pages to open faster.

I had AT&T prior to last year for over 5 years. Overall, their network was always strong however they gradually had issues where the phone will show full bars but data wouldn't work. I always had issues at sporting events where my Verizon phone always worked.

It all depends on where you live at the end of the day.

----------

Also I believe with lte you should be able to get data at sporting events however texting and calling will remain the same. At raiders games, my old AT&T phones couldn't even make a call or send a text.
 

Paulshaqz

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2009
902
174
That sucks. Maybe you live in a dead spot. I have a hard time finding areas where I don't have LTE where I live. Guess it's hit and miss.
it totally is a hit and miss where att don't cover verizon dose i plan on switching.
 

AbyssImpact

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2010
799
14
If you're in the city (SF) you're better off with Verizon. Better signal inside of buildings, even in underground floors. I had ATT before and never got a signal at work, one floor below ground level. With Verizon I get service everywhere. I prefer reliability over speed. What good is speed if you can't connect?
That's weird. I live in San Francisco in the sunset district and Verizon is terrible for me. I always lose signal when downstairs in my house. That is why I no longer use Verizon.
 

Baconrad

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2013
1
0
Speed test: AT&T 2.5 x faster than Verizon

I was just comparing plans and phones at the Verizon and AT&T stores on lakeshore dr in Oakland this weekend. Speed test in the Verizon store showed 12.5 Mbps. AT&T was 30mbps. MetroPCS was 6 Mbps. Cost of plans at Verizon and AT&T were virtually identical. Since coverage seems to be up for debate and at least close, I thought the difference in speed significant enough to convince me to go with AT&T. I wonder If faster downloads saves battery, ie, if the processor doesn't have to work as hard or long.

Btw, I chose a moto-x phone for excellent voice recognition and integration as well as battery life. Hope that doesn't strike as heresy on a Mac site.
 
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