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Verizon Drops Fewer iPhone Calls Than AT&T

April 6, 2011

A recent ChangeWave survey found that while overall satisfaction rates of owners of AT&T and Verizon versions of the iPhone are “virtually indistinguishable,” users of the Verizon iPhone have reported fewer dropped calls.

ChangeWave Research surveyed 4,068 mobile phone users last month and found that about 82 percent of Verizon subscribers were “very satisfied” with their iPhone and 80 percent of AT&T subscribers felt the same with their iPhone.

However, Verizon customers reported dropped-call rates of only 1.8 percent, versus 4.8 percent with AT&T.

ChangeWave has been tracking overall dropped call rates for the past few years in its consumer surveys. AT&T has trailed Verizon in overall dropped call rates since the firm first started tracking them back in 2008.

In the current survey, Verizon continued to maintain the best overall rating across all platforms, with customers reporting on average only 1.4 percent of dropped calls. T-Mobile was second with 2.3 percent, followed by Sprint/Nextel with 2.7 percent. AT&T ranked fourth in the current survey with customers reporting an average of 4.6 percent of calls dropped in the past 90 days.

ChangeWave noted, however, that Verizon has only been offering the iPhone 4 since February. “It remains to be seen how well the Verizon network performs as the number of Verizon iPhone 4 owners ramps up and inevitably puts more pressure on their system,” the firm said.

AT&T has improved their dropped-call rates considerably, from 6 percent in September 2010 to 4.7 percent in December. Meanwhile, rival Verizon is at its lowest rate ever, dropping from its all-time highest rate of 2.7 percent in September 2008.

“In sum, while the survey finds overall customer satisfaction ratings are virtually indistinguishable between Verizon iPhone 4 owners and AT&T iPhone 4 owners, there are apparent differences in the relative percentage of reported dropped calls ““ where in the current survey Verizon is outperforming its industry rival,” ChangeWave said.

ChangeWave also noted that those who planned to purchase an iPhone in the future, 46 percent said they would go with Verizon while 27 percent said they will go with AT&T, “a sign of the magnitude of the ramp-up Verizon is facing.” 

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