Which iPhone carrier is the best in your city?

“The myth: You’re getting five bars on your cell phone, so you’re getting good service, right? The reality: It’s way more complicated than that,” David Goldman reports for CNNMoney. “The answer to a very simple question — “What’s the best cell phone carrier in my area?” — depends on a tangled web of factors, including the network’s download speed, response time, signal strength, and the number of cell towers in your area.”

“Carriers don’t generally share any information about those metrics with the public,” Goldman reports. “That means real network performance data and carrier comparisons have been almost impossible to calculate.”

Goldman reports, “With the help of Boston-based startup SwayMarkets and its CarrierCompare iPhone app, CNNMoney gained exclusive access to real, user-generated network data. SwayMarkets analyzed the 3G network data generated by CarrierCompare users in Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Get ready for a few surprises.”

CarrierCompare: U.S. iPhone Carriers Shootout

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


  1. A FEW surprises?!?!?

    I’m happy with AT&T in Los Angeles, but do you see those blue bars on the map in San Francisco and New York?

    Yea, one thing I learned from trying to transmit photos at various McDonald’s using their WiFi, it doesn’t matter how many bars you have on your computer if all you have is AOL dialup on the other end.

  2. I have never managed to get an Internet connection using an AT&T iPhone in Chicago during weekdays in the financial district.

    Verizon seems to do better down here.

    Chicago is a very large place. Some places in it still allow an AT&T connection.

  3. I switched to AT&T when I got my IPhone this year. In Western NJ near I-78 I get excellent signal strenght and my phone is a pleasure to use. In Florida, 2 miles from US route 1 and in a populous area the AT&T signal is very weak to the point I need go to the back of the house to be able to use the phone at all. It is a much weaker signal than Verizon provides. If it does not improve I will need to get rid of AT&T when my contract is up.

  4. It’s weird they choose cities with insignificant populations (Boston, ranked 22nd at 617,594 and San Francisco, 13th with 805,235), yet ignore Houston (well over 2 million people) and Philly (at a million and a half!).

    Yeah, I realize SwayMarkets is based in Boston, but be for real. There are 21 cities serving far larger markets.

  5. It also depends on the amount of other users. Before when only AT&T had the iPhone the service was horrible due to the amount of people using iPhones all on one network

  6. I live in NE PA in Stroudsburg. Using AT&T with no problems. It stays between 4 and 5 bars. I have friends with iPhones from Verison and Sprint. With Sprint having the worst performance and Verison just slightly better than Sprint.

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