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There’s really no such thing as a ‘best’ mobile provider

As with all things tech, there are rabidly loyal fans of each of the four major mobile network providers, and strong opinions on all sides about which is the “best.” While Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile each have their pros and cons, it’s virtually impossible to declare one the winner.

Late last month, PCWorld‘s sister site TechHive published results of its own nationwide study. After bouncing around the country testing the speed and reliability of the mobile networks from city to city, TechHive declared that AT&T takes the crown this year as the fastest mobile network provider. Kudos to AT&T, but the victory has little impact in the real world.

The “best” mobile service varies
from place to place.

There is obviously something to be said for choosing a mobile provider with fast, reliable 4G/LTE service. The reality, though, is that the most important benefits and pitfalls of a particular provider are subjective, and depend on where you intend to use the service. The fastest network in the nation is less important than the fastest network where you live and work and plan to use the service.

I experienced that reality first hand when I moved a year and a half ago. I had been a devoted, long time AT&T customer. There were a handful of known “dead zones” in the area—small pockets where there was no AT&T signal and calls would drop—but I knew where they were, and how to avoid them. I could live with that.

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Categories: General.

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