ATT better than Verizon - NYT

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by spacemnspiff, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. spacemnspiff macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009


    More evidence that AT&T’s data network is head-and-shoulders above Verizon’s comes from Root Wireless, a start-up in Bellevue, Wash., that is developing software for consumers to install on their smartphones to do continuous network tests. This generates empirical data for consumers who “today are buried under opinions and advertising slogans,” said Paul Griff, the chief executive. Root Wireless has no business relationship with any carrier.

    This year, Root Wireless ran 4.7 million tests on smartphones for each of the four major carriers, spread across seven metropolitan areas: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles/Orange County, New York, Seattle/Tacoma, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington. In every market, AT&T had faster average download speeds and had signal strength of 75 percent or better more frequently than did Verizon. (A Verizon spokesman declined to comment about these test results or those of Global Wireless Solutions.)
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Good info, I think it's been posted before though.
  3. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    The more you look into the data, the more ridiculous the article is. Root Wireless themselves say their data doesn't point out any network being better.

    First off, it has no scientific method to it. Basically, volunteers loaded a monitor program on their phone. When they made a call, it would record some parameters. They could also manually trigger a recording.

    Right away, there's an unknown difference in types of phones being used. One older phone with lots of bad reports can skew the results over a wide area.

    Now zoom in on the data. It's from random locations, with lots of empty spots. Instead of comparing networks at each location, each location is only the data for a single network call attempt. If someone tried from a tunnel, it has the same report priority as someone trying above ground nearby.

    In other words, if ten people tried using data on ATT in basements within a few block area and got a poor signal, then ATT was deemed worse in that area than for a single Sprint user who was outside in the open.... because the Sprint user had a higher "average" data rate. Well, duh.

    Even worse, is the bogus >75% signal comparison. Signal strength is meaningless for CDMA and WCDMA radios. A weak signal with a large signal to noise ratio is much better than a strong signal with low signal to noise.

    Anyone who doesn't drill down on the reports (like apparently the NYT reporter) would get superficial conclusions. Even without drilling down though, the overall results were so close for each carrier, that his article is even less understandable, except as a weak attempt to blame the iPhone.
  4. spacemnspiff thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    Good post. As you mention you cant really compare the network entirely based on volunteer data without a standard for a data point at a particular location for both networks using similar devices. Also the location weightage is important as well.

    Using similar devices is almost impossible because of the difference in radio technology used. But that can be overlooked and still a fair comparison can be done if the standards for measurement are same for both carriers.

    Sorry I didnt search if this was posted. Mods can merge this thread if they feel so.
  5. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008
    every phone currently on the market is better at keeping and/or acquiring a signal than the iPhone.
  6. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    Based on what? Your opinion?
  7. Camaro6700 macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2008
    I have an iPhone on ATT and a BB (work phone) on Verizon. I really dislike the BB but the service on verizon is far superior. On the iPhone I will drop calls at least 3-4 times a day and I know that when I make the same calls from the BB in the same locations I will always keep the call. I called ATT and told them about my situation the rep said ATT just didnt have enough towers around. I am in Phoenix which should be a good enough reason to invest in their network.
  8. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008
    experience and research.

    The iPhone would be poor on ANY network where coverage is less than 'very good'
  9. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    In LA, I´ve never had a dropped call with Verizon over the last three years, even when I´m out in the Angeles Mountains camping or hiking.
    Friends with ATT see dropped calls quit frequently and once they get outside of a major populated area, they´re lucky to get a signal.

    That said, they're still really happy with the iPhone.
  10. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    Had Verizon for years, switched to AT&T and have had a much better experience with them. But I do think your experience will depend on where you live because some carriers are better in some areas. Nobody has blanket coverage even though Verizon's map tries to indicate they do. Their map shows areas in my part of the world that are covered with 3G and they don't even have voice coverage there. At least AT&T's maps are more accurate.

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