The carrier came in first in first in five out of six evaluated U.S. regions. It had to concede victory to U.S. Cellular, but still scored a "better than average" rating. AT&T was rated average in four regions, but below average in the West and Southeast. Both T-Mobile and Sprint received five "below average" and one "average" rating. According to JD Power, Sprint's service is average in the West, while T-Mobile received its best result in the Northeast.
"It's very interesting to see the stark performance differences between the newest generation of network technology,4G LTE, and other network services that were the first offerings of 4G-marketed devices in early 2011," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at JD Power in a prepared statement. "With the network advantages of using 4G LTE technology, in terms of spectrum efficiencies and increase in data connection speeds and reliability, it's not unexpected that wireless carriers are rushing to expand and upgrade their networks to align with this latest generation of service."
Parsons added that better network performance "may translate into incremental revenue by not only increasing monthly spending, but also lowering churn rates." He noted that the average 4G LTE bill is $131 versus the average non-LTE smartphone bill of $125. The likelihood of switching among 4G LTE customers is significantly lower than among smartphone customers using other network technology - 11 percent versus 15 percent.