Picking a mobile network isn't always an easy thing to do when there is so much company driven hype and so few ways to find out just what the end-users are thinking via other means than word of mouth. When you pick your next smart phone you definitely don't want the calls dropping all of the time, that's the last thing you need. Also slow applications due to poor mobile broadband is never an enjoyable experience for a consumer. What about coverage area? You don't want a smart phone dropping out every time you end up on a small hill or in a low lying dip. So let's compare these networks and get the real scoop on whether or not they are worth our time.
Currently AT&T claims the nation's fastest mobile broadband network and while there may be truth to this, the fact is that they had a really rough year in 2010. While this year might be a bit better than the last the dropped call complaints were huge in the first and even second quarter of 2010. This is 2011 and while there is a lot of buzz about them finally offering 4G and being the last major mobile network to do so, versus HSPA+ the voice concerns don't seem as prevalent. There was a huge network upgrade last year but they likely would have gained benefit from network optimization to avoid excess costs.
Well really this is an ironic review, when I searched for information on the latest Verizon Wireless reviews I had no idea that they claimed to be “America's Widest and Most Reliable Wireless Network”. This is really ironic because the reports are showing them falling off of their game pretty fiercely. One person was complaining about how they have had their phone for 6 months now and because they live in the country, no less than 5 miles from a cell tower, they have no reception. Another report mentioned 911 wasn't working during January's winter storm in a certain part of the country. Then again, I have to give Verizon credit beyond these negative reviews, the truth is the customer support is one of the highest ranked and the company seems to express a certain lack of greed by offering mobile hot-spot solutions more readily than some of their competitors.
Sprint is calls themselves “The Now Network” and mentions being the first national carrier of 4g speeds. It looks like we finally have a network that isn't claiming to be the greatest of anything and the users seem to love the 4g connections and pricing. The down side to it is that they mention poor 4g coverage still in some states on the reviews I was able to find from users. Other complaints were poor 3g performance but then again, who could blame them for not optimizing 3g capacity when everyone is moving to higher speeds?
They claim to be “America's Largest 4g network”, I have no reason to doubt this claim. Their speeds and coverage for 3g seem to remain great even now. I am actually on contract with T-Mobile so I will give a personal review. The customer support is horrid, I mean they really have an “I don't care if you stay or go because I have plenty more where you came from” kind of attitude. I had to call their CEO's office one time because the support was so bad and to find a number outside of their generic customer service number was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I was fortunate to find a very disgruntled ex-customer who wanted to get through to the CEO or even have people spam him. I also feel that their claims for “Free Phones” are misleading when there is a $200.00 deposit in the form of a mail in rebate necessary for purchase. Don't tell me they can't just give the phone just the same if it is indeed, “FREE”. Remember they have these phones custom designed for them as carriers. Their attitude on “Tethering” was disappointing with the G2, supposedly they claimed they wouldn't hinder this but obviously they did. Aside from all of my complaints though, T-Mobile does offer a very good service, their coverage has been outstanding for me and the mobile broadband speeds have been outstanding. Those are probably two of the most important factors which is why after 2 years I haven't switched to another network but I certainly have considered it from time to time. Pricing is fair, but not great, if you really want good pricing try Metro-PCS or Boost Mobile.
Overall, they have their pros and cons but none are really that much better than the others