Summer 2016 Update: Recently AT&T installed a new tower in my area and it made our cell phone coverage worse (aka no coverage). I contacted AT&T and they said they are working on the problem, but it could take up to 25 days to resolve. Sorry, but no one that I know in today’s connected world can go 25 days without cell phone service, especially in my profession being a REALTOR®.
Therefore, I decided to switch back to Verizon. Wow was that a mistake! Verizon’s data speed HAS NOT CHANGED in the Phoenix area for 90% of the places I tested. It was still very congested and slow. There were a couple of spots that I received the “wow” speed you would expect from their Advanced LTE network, but many of the spots were at 3G or Slower speeds even though our phones read LTE.
Well that only leaves one network left: T-Mobile. Now I am on T-Mobile and have had a couple of dropped calls around the valley, but their data speed is consistently better than Verizon for the places that I frequent.
It all comes down to this: Do you need a reliable cell phone service to make a PHONE CALL? Then choose Verizon and consider a flip phone because they have the best coverage in the Phoenix area. Do you want the fastest internet speed, but mediocre phone coverage on the outskirts of the city? Then choose T-Mobile. Do you want good cell phone coverage and faster than Verizon Average Data Speed? Then choose AT&T. I have not tested Sprint enough to render an opinion. I hope this helps making an informed decision on which cell phone provider you choose.
Summer 2015 Update: I switched from Verizon to AT&T because of DATA SPEED. Verizon has the LARGEST data coverage footprint, but it is VERY SLOW in congested areas of the valley. AT&T has great coverage and consistent data speeds. T-Mobile has the FASTEST data, but mediocre phone / data coverage outside the inner city (outlying areas).
Who as the best cell phone service in Phoenix? I get a lot of people in my office or that are moving here from out of state that ask me about cell phone service. They want to know who has the best cell phone service for phone calls, texting and data in Phoenix?
I often recommend Verizon, because being a valley of the sun resident since 1971, I know who had the first cell towers in the Phoenix area and who has the best coverage and without a doubt it is Verizon. Verizon has the least amount (if any) dropped calls in the Phoenix area. My personal worst experience was with AT&T with several dropped calls or low quality voice calls. I was happy with T-Mobile (except no iPhone was available) and Sprint has good voice coverage but slow data service in the Phoenix area. Each cell phone provider has their advantages and disadvantages, but if phone calls are important to you, then there is a clear winner in Phoenix and that is Verizon Wireless.
Just in case I was wrong, I decided to look to my consumer reports magazine and sure enough I was right. According to the January 2013 edition of consumer reports magazine, Verizon Wireless is the top Voice text and data provider, followed by Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. Since I have had all 4 carriers over the years, I would have to argue on one point. T-Mobile Service is better than AT&T in most parts of the valley.
Of course there are dead spots with every cell phone provider, but Verizon Wireless still comes out as the overall winner.