best iPhone 4s service in NYC?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by truths, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. truths macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2011
    Wondering which carrier, Verizon or AT&T, has better iPhone 4S service (speed and reliability) in New York City -- mainly Manhattan? Voice? Data? :confused:

    I know theoretically speeds are higher with AT&T, but has real world service with AT&T improved on the 4S? (The 3g is really slow with data, poor with voice.)

    I know there's all kinds of quantitative reasons to choose one of the other, but I can't find much of anything on the qualitative aspect of service.

    Thanks for thoughts and any personal reports!
  2. 0000757 macrumors 68040

    Dec 16, 2011
    Since the iPhone 4S supports HSPDA+, the data is going to be faster on AT&T.

    With that said, I find Verizon to be more reliable in any situation. Since the iPhone does not yet support Verizon's LTE 4G network you won't be getting the same 4G speeds as the HTC Thunderbolt or Google Galaxy Nexus By Samsung, but you will get good 3G speeds as well as more reliability. I would go with either Verizon or AT&T. Do not get Sprint. They're awful. (And have the slowest data)
  3. truths thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2011
  4. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Not that I live in NYC, but I was up there this past weekend with my girlfriend, and I used my Verizon iPhone quite often to access data, send SMS/iMessages, and make a few phone calls. I had no problems whatsoever. I usually go up to NYC a few times year. In past years, I had AT&T, and it was a truly horrible experience. I don't know if AT&T improved their coverage up there, but I just remember when I did go up, my phone was basically useless.
  5. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    I live in northern NJ within about 5 miles of NYC. I've had Verizon and Sprint, and no trouble with either carrier for voice calls. That being said, I think being so close to a big market like NYC you're probably quite similar for call quality and data connectivity.

    I couldn't justify going with anyone EXCEPT AT&T simply because of the faster data speeds.

    Also, AT&T and Sprint offer unlimited mobile to ANY mobile features, which is pretty huge. Verizon gives you unlimited mobile to Verizon mobile at they give you 10 calling circle number if you're on a family plan with I think 1400 minutes or more.

    With Sprint's unlimited m-2-a-m plan, I went from using around 1000 minutes a month as a family to under 200. It's pretty huge. It enables me to consider a 500 or 700 minute family plan with AT&T and save quite a bit of cash every month.

    Just some food for thought.
  6. BiggAW macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    I was in the city on Thursday. Admittedly, I was in all the big tourist trap locations, so it wouldn't be typical for someone who actually lives there, but the speeds were atrocious. I also don't know if Verizon's creaky old EVDO network would have been more reliable or not. If the speeds and reliability were representative of anything typical of NYC, I'd have a DROID with Verizon's 4G LTE.

    From Stamford all the way down, the speeds were pretty much below 500kbps. I hit 3mbps a couple of times, one of them ironically outside the 5th ave Apple Store (I'm thinking not a coincidence...). Most of the speed tests were around 250kbps, and I had no data service on the first two floors of Macy's, much of Times Square, and throughout Rockefeller Center. The worst was having 1 bar in the M&M store in Times Square, which is made mostly of glass. Data was hopeless, even though 1 bar in Connecticut means decent data on the iPhone 4S.

    Once I got back to Connecticut (from north of Stamford all the way to the New Haven Shoreline), I was back to 3-5mbps service on a consistent basis.

    Bottom line: You have to really want the iPhone in NYC to put up with that kind of unreliable and slow data service. If you want good service, I'd get Verizon 4G LTE and skip the iPhone...

    Unfortunately, because the 4S doesn't have the switch, I couldn't try out EDGE, but I really doubt it was in good shape either with the number of people around.
  7. NYRangers11 macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Was this with Verizon? It kind of reminds me of AT&T 3G service in NYC....which is basically non existent from 10am to 6pm.
  8. vikingjunior macrumors 65816


    Aug 17, 2011
    What is a shame is T Mobile has stellar coverage and fast data speeds all around NYC.
    If there would be a perfect match for NYC residents it's a iphone and T Mobile.

    AT&T and NYC just does not play well together.

    Sprint although good in NYC the data speeds are horrible.

    Verizon has excellent coverage and a little better then Sprint data speeds.
  9. BiggAW macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Read the sig. AT&T. If I lived there, I'd probably get a DROID RAZR or wait for DROID 4, as AT&T is a little pokey for my liking, although the real turn-off for me were the outright data failure with no option to force EDGE (if that worked at all). 250kbps is slow, but doesn't materially impact the usefulness of the phone, 0.00kbps does. Another option if money were no object would be an AT&T iPhone with a mobile hotspot from T-Mobile or Verizon. I don't need more than the speed of EVDO, but when you start at that speed in a congested environment, you're only going down from there, so it wouldn't be a good choice for the city...

    A. T-Mobile sucks since you'll have crap if you travel outside the city. B. They can't build out UMTS on 1900mhz since they only have 10mhz of it, that they need for GSM, so until the iPhone comes in a WCDMA Band IV flavour, there's no T-Mobile iPhone love in NYC.
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Verizon will be far more reliable in NYC, particularly Manhattan. I have AT&T, and on just about any phone (Nokia, BlackBerry, iPhone 4S), I have had issues with dropped calls or slow/non-existent data speeds.
    Colleagues with Verizon usually have better service. The issue isn't signal strength. I can have 5 bars of signal but no e-mail/data will go through on my 4S at the office. It's just that there are too many people trying to access the network than AT&T has capacity to handle. I second NYRangers' view that from 10am-6pm in Manhattan, AT&T might as well not have a data network.

    True, but on AWS their 3G signal works great in NYC. When I'm at the office, I often turn the wi-fi sharing on my T-Mobile Nexus One just so that my AT&T iPhone 4S can send and receive e-mails. T-Mobile is terrible in NJ, though. When I'm there, usually AT&T comes through strong while T-Mobile works only outside.
  11. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    You are going to hear complaints about both carriers, especially in a market that large. Go with what's cheaper IMO. Fiance has verizon, I have ATT, and when traveling they are both pretty much on par with one another. ATT data speeds are much faster on non-congested networks. In NY, LA, etc they're about the same unless you are using it in the middle of the night.
  12. El3ctronics macrumors 65816

    Mar 30, 2011
    These are my AT&T speeds in Manhattan (SoHo area) right now. Note that I'm also on the 5th floor of an old office building. I'd say speed is very good (and much faster than Verizon or Sprint).

    Attached Files:

  13. solo118 macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2011
    In my office in Midtown NYC right now with my 4S using at&t. Overall I have been very happy with call quality (barely a dropped call where my 4 had some issues)

    I get 4 bars by my desk, and at this current moment I am getting 2.16mbps down, 2.75mbps up with 114ms ping. I have seen double that speed but I guess it just depends on the time of day (now its lunchtime go figure)

    The main issue I have with at&t where Verizon usually does not is getting signal inside a low floor/basement of a building.
  14. BiggAW macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Right but not with an iPhone. In the context of the discussion, if you're going to give up the iPhone, I'd say go for Verizon 4G LTE.
  15. einmusiker macrumors 68030


    Apr 26, 2010
    Location: Location: Location:
    I have both and prefer att. I'm much more of a data user than voice

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