It is a well-known fact that AT&T users experience more dropped calls and coverage issues compared to its main competitors, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. To understand the reason behind these service inconsistencies, it is useful to examine the extent of coverage that each company offers in the United States. In order to do so, the coverage maps for these companies need to be compared. When looking at the AT&T coverage map compared to that of the other companies, it is clear that large parts of certain states completely lack coverage; while this may make sense for less densely populated states like Arizona, Wyoming, and Nebraska, there are large sections of populous states without service as well, including New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina (AT&T, 2013).
Despite the fact that AT&T offers poor reception in many areas, it remains a top competitor because it is able to compensate for this in other areas. For a long time, AT&T remained a top cell phone company choice because of its special contract with Apple that it would be the only phone company able to sell the iPhone. Much to the company’s dismay, this changed in 2011 when Apple altered this agreement and also decided to make the iPhone available for Verizon. In fact, a survey that was issued to AT&T users in 2010 indicated that about 23% of their customers wanted to switch to Verizon once the iPhone became available (Ong, 2010).
Even after Verizon began to sell the iPhone, AT&T remained popular for several reasons. They are currently one of the two cell phone companies who are willing to offer unlimited data service (the other is Sprint). In addition, iPhone users who have Verizon are unable to use the internet and have difficulty sending text messages while they are on the phone; AT&T therefore remains the only service provider that will allow iPhone users to surf the web while in a phone conversation.
AT&T. (2013). AT&T Maps. Retrieved from http://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html#fbid=CPG62n5s0aQ
Ong, J. (2010). Verizon iPhone would hurt AT&T less than expected – report. Apple Insider. Retrieved from http://appleinsider.com/articles/10/09/21/verizon_iphone_would_hurt_att_less_than_expected_report
Sprint. (2013). Coverage Check. Retrieved from http://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp?
T-Mobile. (2013). 4G LTE Coverage. Retrieved from http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage.html
Verizon. (2013). Coverage Locator. Retrieved from http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/CoverageLocatorController