Verizon May Lose Top Carrier Status to AT&T


Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is losing its place, at least according to a study by wireless testing firm RootMetrics, via CNET. In a surprise upset, AT&T (NYSE:T) beat out Verizon, which was rather recently the named the top carrier.

The study evaluated both speed and reliability of the carriers. Verizon still holds the top position for reliability, according to the study. However, AT&T has narrowed the gap and its higher speed pushed Verizon out of the top spot.

The test is actually ongoing and won’t be done for a few more months, so the results could change notes RootMetrics CEO Bill Moore. About 60 markets have been tested so far.

CNET notes that even these results are important for the carriers to distinguish themselves. Carriers are becoming increasingly similar by adapting the same high-speed cell technology and carrying a lot of the same phones, which is why any difference can be an important advantage.

Even before this study came out, the two carriers were engaged in an ad battle regarding their claims of speed and reliability. AT&T has come a long way since it was mocked for reliability problems after it became a carrier for the iPhone.

Companies that do cellular testing often do not go into detail about what their testing involves, but RootMetrics is changing that. For instance, they define reliability as ”what you want to do, when you want to do it, without interruption.” It defines speed as how quickly tasks can be accomplished on a smartphone instead of just looking at peak times. They are also posting information on testing, which gives customers a better opportunity to compare the carriers. Although Verizon has started lagging behind, the battle, or rather the study, isn’t over yet.

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