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I am bored of Verizon constantly sweeping the JD Power awards

Published Jul 20th, 2018 11:21AM EDT
Best wireless network 2018
Image: Shutterstock/QualityHD

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Testing which wireless network is the “best” is not a simple process, as we’ve covered before. There’s a handful of different testing companies that use varying methodologies that give wildly different results: Sometimes T-Mobile sweeps most of the plaudits, while other tests have it in last place. Unless you’re inclined to read through a ton of methodology, the awards for which network is “best” don’t really mean much. Instead, the most useful thing to take away from any of the reports are the trends: Which networks have improved, and which are slowly slipping into irrelevance.

There’s one trend that absolutely never changes, however: Verizon winning the JD Power customer satisfaction awards. Unlike the other testing companies that aim to quantitatively measure network coverage and speed, JD Power asks tens of thousands of wireless customers about which network “feels” the best, measuring things like customer satisfaction and reported problems per 100 connections instead of LTE signal strength and download speed.

While T-Mobile’s network is sometimes measured to be faster than Verizon’s network on average, Verizon’s service has always had the reputation of being the most consistent and wide-reaching. That likely explains why it scores better on road tests and in customer satisfaction survey — people would rather have a “fast” connection 99% of the time than a “super-fast” connection 95% of the time.

Anyway, you’ve likely heard this all before, because literally nothing has changed in the JD Power results since February, when it crowned Verizon the undisputed champion. In fact, the results are so consistent that we can save ourselves a little time and just reuse the same article, with a couple very small changes.

Every year, JD Power surveys nearly 40,000 customers from across the US on the perceived quality of their wireless network provider. And for the last three years, the result has been consistent: When asking customers about their own personal experience with a wireless provider, Verizon blows away the competition.

For the third fourth time running, Verizon ranked the highest in the six regions JD Power surveys, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, North Central, Southwest and West. Its customers reported the highest satisfaction with their wireless network experience, and the lowest number of problems per customer. The only region where it wasn’t the outright winner was North Central, where it tied with US Cellular.

“The consistent recognition of our network superiority, based on all types of testing including customer experience surveys and scientific drive testing, doesn’t happen by chance,” said Verizon network VP Mike Haberman. “It’s the result of careful year-round planning, investment in the latest technologies and engineering for an experience that exceeds our customers’ expectations. Delivering the largest 4G LTE coverage, consistently fast speeds and undeniable reliability is what matters to our customers.”

Hopefully, the rapid transition to 5G will have had some kind of effect by the time the next JD Power surveys come out so that we can have something new and interesting to write about.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.