The largest U.S. cellular operator received top marks in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Southwest regions, and it scored well in other locations. The report said the wireless operator was particularly good at limiting dropped calls, and delivering text messages and voicemails with little delay. This is the second time this year Verizon has topped the call quality report.
Alltel and T-Mobile tied with Verizon for the top spot in the West region. The study said T-Mobile was good at reducing echoes and distortion, while Alltel limited the amount of late messages. AT&T had a solid performance in most regions, but ranked lower in the Southeast, Northeast, and the West.
Call quality can have a tremendous impact on the rate at which subscribers cancel their service, and this may be one of the reasons Sprint Nextel continues to lose subscribers. The third-largest U.S. carrier did not rank the highest in any region, and it scored average numbers in most locations.
The report also said the increased use of smartphones will tax mobile networks, and cellular providers will have to adjust in order to maintain users in a competitive environment.
"As customers continue to increasingly stress wireless networks with growing call volume and data usage for texting, e-mailing, and surfing the mobile Web, it is critical for carriers to keep enhancing network performance by maintaining and upgrading to next-generation technologies," said Kirk Parsons, director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement.
The study also found that wireless subscribers receive 112 text messages per month, which is almost double the amount from a year ago. The volume of SMS messages is expected to grow and an ABI Research report estimates text messaging will generate about $177 billion in global revenue by 2013.
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