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Mountain Wireless Network Reports & Ratings
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Mountain Wireless Local Cellular Reports
Observations on cellular carriers in the US, broken down by performance based on location, and reported by state.




ALABAMA:
Our reports show AT&T and Verizon Wireless are tied for the best cell phone coverage in Alabama.  T-Mobile with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, now offers excellent service across much of the state with the exception of a few remote rural areas. Sprint is a reasonable fourth choice with a notable number of dead spots in rural areas away from major highways.  We also like the availability of service in much of the state from Straight Talk and TracFone.

ALASKA

ARIZONA

ARKANSAS:
Verizon Wireless and AT&T have very good networks in the state but this is also where US Cellular shines as having the best cell phone coverage in most rural areas of Arkansas. T-Mobile, with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers very good service in most urban and rural areas of Arkansas. Sprint serves urban areas and the interstates, but not much else. TracFone and StraightTalk work very well in the the entire state.

CALIFORNIA

COLORADO

CONNECTICUT:
Historically, Verizon Wireless has covered the state best but the market is so competitive there isn't really a carrier with the
best cell phone coverage in ConnecticutAT&T has made improvements that have fixed their capacity and coverage problems putting them in first or second place depending on location. As you move closer to populated areas, Sprint and T-Mobile are strong contenders, but they don't do as well toward the northwestern parts of the state.  TracFone and Straight Talk work well in the the entire area.

DELAWARE:
There's little difference between AT&T and Verizon Wireless in the state, they both provide the
best cell phone coverage in Delaware.  T-Mobile with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers excellent service across most of the region with the exception of a few remote rural areas.  Sprint also does well along highways and the cities but has a few  rural areas without coverage. TracFone and Straight Talk work very well in the the entire area.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:
With Washington DC and its suburbs mostly urban, it's hard to find a carrier that can be considered as having the
best cell phone coverage in DC.  AT&T and Verizon Wireless have catered to large groups of government employees and have the higher power to serve them in those thick-walled federal buildings. TracFone and StraightTalk work very well in the area.

FLORIDA:
From our reports, AT&T and Verizon Wireless each get credit as having the
best cell phone coverage in Florida.  T-Mobile with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, now offers very good service across much of the region with the exception of the remote rural areas. Sprint is a reasonable fourth choice with a notable number of dead spots in rural areas away from major highways. Field reports note challenges along "Alligator Alley" where only the top 2 carriers provide any coverage.  We also like the availability of service in Florida from Straight Talk and TracFone.

GEORGIA:
Both AT&T and Verizon Wireless serve most of Georgia well with one or the other suffering from a few dead spots in the northern parts of the state. For now, we tend to favor AT&T as the carrier having the 
best cell phone coverage in Georgia. T-Mobile with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers good service across most of the state with the exception of only a few remote rural areas.  Sprint also does well along highways and the cities but has large rural areas without coverage.  TracFone and StraightTalk work very well in the the entire area.

HAWAII:
Verizon Wireless has a slight edge for the
best cell phone coverage on all of the Hawaiian Islands, with AT&T a close second. Another option is to deal with Mobi PCS.  They were Hawaii's only locally-owned carrier, and, while they have been purchased by Verizon, Mobi PCS still conducts business as if they were independent.  Sprint and T-Mobile follow behind with a number of spots tourists might go that have no service. TracFone and Straight Talk are also available in most areas.

IDAHO

ILLINOIS:
AT&T is the leader for the 
best cell phone coverage in most areas of Illinois outside of Chicago, but Verizon Wireless has several coverage and frequency advantages in many locations.  Part of the region is covered by US Cellular and if they're in your neighborhood, we prefer them over almost all others. Sprint performs slightly better than AT&T in many cities, including Chicago, but they suffer in rural areas.  T-Mobile, does not have their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage in Illinois, but they do offer good service along major highways and in most urban areas. TracFone and Straight Talk are also good choices across the state.
INDIANA:
Verizon Wireless has several coverage and frequency advantages for the
best cell phone coverage in rural areas of Indiana with AT&T at the top in as many locations. With so many urban areas and busy highways, Sprint performs well, even slightly better than AT&T in some areas.  T-Mobile, offers good coverage in the populated parts of northern Indiana and very good coverage with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage over the southern half of the state including Indianapolis. TracFone and Straight Talk are good choices across the whole region.

IOWA:
Verizon Wireless and AT&T have assembled very good networks in the area but this is also where US Cellular shines as having the
best cell phone coverage in most rural areas of Iowa. T-Mobile is almost non-existent in most of the state, but their affiliate, iWireless peforms well over populated parts of the state. Sprint serves urban areas and the interstates, but not many rural areas. TracFone and StraightTalk work very well in the the entire state.

KANSAS

KENTUCKY

LOUISIANA:
Our reports show AT&T and Verizon Wireless are about tied for the best cell phone coverage in Louisiana.  T-Mobile with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, now offers excellent service across much of the state with the exception of a few remote rural areas. Sprint is a reasonable fourth choice with a notable number of dead spots in rural areas away from major highways.  We also like the availability of service in much of the state from Straight Talk and TracFone. Broadpoint provides cellular service in the Gulf of Mexico.

MAINE

MARYLAND:
From our reports, there's little difference between AT&T and Verizon Wireless so they both provide the best cell phone coverage, statewide in Maryland.  T-Mobile with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers excellent service across most of Maryland with the exception of a few remote rural areas.  Sprint  also does well along highways and the cities but has many rural areas without coverage. US Cellular as a top choice in western Maryland.  TracFone and StraightTalk work very well in the the state.

MASSACHUSETTS:
Verizon Wireless has historically had
the best cell phone coverage in Massachusetts, but the market is very competitive so the others have caught up. AT&T has made improvements that have fixed most of their capacity and coverage problems putting them in first or second place depending on location. Closer to urban areas, Sprint and T-Mobile are strong contenders.  TracFone and StraightTalk work well all over Massachusetts.

MICHIGAN:
Verizon Wireless has several coverage and frequency advantages including the Upper Peninsula to give them the best cell phone coverage in the largest area of Michigan.  AT&T is the leader in a few areas including certain rural locations, but they suffer in some urban areas. Sprint performs slightly better than AT&T in urban areas but they suffer in rural areas.  T-Mobile, with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers excellent service across most of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. We like Thumb Cellular for their superior coverage and local participation in the "thumb" of eastern Michigan. TracFone and Straight Talk are good choices across the state.

MINNESOTA:
Verizon Wireless and AT&T have assembled networks with the best cell phone coverage in Minnesota. T-Mobile has good coverage in most of the state and is excellent in the southeast half of the state with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage. Sprint serves urban areas and the interstates, but not much else. TracFone and StraightTalk work very well in the the state.

MISSISSIPPI:
Without question, our favorite network here is C Spire Wireless with the best cell phone coverage in Mississippi along with consumer-friendly customer service. They operate in all of Mississippi with some coverage in border states, especially Tennessee. Followed closely in coverage, but not as consumer-friendly, are AT&T and Verizon Wireless.  T-Mobile does not have coverage with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage in Mississippi, their coverage is good along major highways and in urban areas. Sprint is a reasonable fourth choice with a notable number of dead spots in rural areas away from major highways.  We also like the availability of service in much of the area from Straight Talk and TracFone.

MISSOURI:
Verizon Wireless and AT&T have the most coverage in Missouri, but this is also where US Cellular shines as having the best cell phone coverage in most rural areas with the exception of the southwest corner of the state. T-Mobile, with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers very good service in most urban and rural areas of Missouri. Sprint serves urban areas and the interstates, but not much else. TracFone and StraightTalk work very well in the the entire area.

MONTANA

NEBRASKA

NEVADA


NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW JERSEY:
Verizon Wireless gets credit for the best cell phone coverage over most of New jersey, but as you travel eastward the others are just as good. AT&T has made improvements that have fixed most of their problems putting them in first or second place depending on location. As you move closer to the coast, Sprint and T-Mobile are strong choices.  TracFone and Straight Talk work well in the the entire area.

NEW MEXICO

NEW YORK:
Verizon Wireless has covered the western part of New York a bit better than the others, but as you travel east, the other carriers do their best to serve as much of  New York and surrounding areas as possible. AT&T has made improvements that has put them in first or second place depending on location. Sprint and T-Mobile are strong competitors
, but they don't do as well toward the northern part of the state.  TracFone and StraightTalk work well in the the entire area.


NORTH CAROLINA:

In most locations, there's little difference between AT&T and Verizon Wireless for the best cell phone coverage North Carolina.  T-Mobile with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers excellent service across most of the region with the exception of the western part of the state.  Sprint also does well along highways and the cities but has large rural areas without coverage. Look for US Cellular as a top choice in eastern North Carolina. In the western part of the state, Carolina West Wireless tries hard to serve their home market better than the others.  TracFone and StraightTalk work well in the the entire area. Coverage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is quite variable. Public records indicate good service near the entrances to the park but signals within the park are unrelaible.

NORTH DAKOTA

OHIO:
Verizon Wireless has several coverage and frequency advantages for our choice with the best cell phone coverage through most of Ohio.  AT&T is the leader in south and southeast Ohio, but they suffer in several urban areas including Cleveland and Akron, and off-highway areas of the north. Sprint performs slightly better than AT&T in many urban areas of the state, but they suffer in rural areas.  T-Mobile, has added to their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage and offers excellent service across many, but not all, parts of the state. TracFone and Straight Talk are good choices across Ohio.

OKLAHOMA

OREGON

PENNSYLVANIA:
Verizon Wireless has been the coverage leader in Pennsylvania with AT&T making significant improvements, especially around Philadelphia that have fixed most of their capacity and coverage problems. 
T-Mobile with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers excellent service across both urban and many rural areas. Sprint works well along the eastern edge of the state, adequate along highways and urban areas with many uncovered rural areas elsewhere. TracFone and Straight Talk work well in the the entire area.

PUERTO RICO:
Claro leads with more coverage over the island than others. AT&T provides nearly as good coverage but at higher prices. Sprint and T-Mobile have adequate coverage in the area but T-Mobile gets extra credit for tailoring their product to more reflect a Puerto Rico lifestyle. Open Mobile offers an even more "local" product but we have no coverage reports. Open Mobile and Sprint have agreed to a joint operating agreement in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands which should help both carriers when the deal is finalized, probably in 2017. Keep in mind, wireless in Puerto Rico is governed by the FCC which means mainland US phones should be compatible in Puerto Rico if your plan allows, and vice versa.

RHODE ISLAND:
With more urban areas than other states, there is little difference among the Top 4. Verizon Wireless and AT&T have the more established networks. 
T-Mobile, with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, now offers better building penetration than before, and Sprint also does an acceptable job in most places. TracFone and StraightTalk work very well in Rhode Island.


SOUTH CAROLINA:
There's little difference between AT&T and Verizon Wireless for the best cell phone coverage in South Carolina.  T-Mobile, with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers excellent service across most of the region with the exception of a few areas in the northeast part of the state.  Sprint  also does well along highways and the cities but has some rural areas without coverage.  TracFone and StraightTalk work very well in all of South Carolina.

SOUTH DAKOTA

TENNESSEE

TEXAS

US VIRGIN ISLANDS:

AT&T is reported to have the most cell sites and currently has a lead in coverage in the US Virgin Islands. Viya Mobile has benefitted from the combination of 2 networks that now provide very good wireless coverage. Sprint serves most of the island with coverage that is a step below AT&T but Sprint has agreed to a joint operating agreement with Open Mobile to serve the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This is not an acquisition and the transition should be smooth but it will not immediately improve service to Sprint users in USVI.

UTAH

VERMONT

VIRGINIA


WASHINGTON


WEST VIRGINIA

WISCONSIN:
Verizon Wireless has several coverage and frequency advantages including the northern reaches of Wisconsin and the U.P.  About half of the region is covered by US Cellular and if they're in your neighborhood, we prefer them over almost all others. AT&T is the leader in a few areas including certain rural locations, but they suffer in some urban areas. Sprint performs equally well as AT&T in many cities, including Milwaukee and Madison, but they suffer in rural areas.  T-Mobile, does not have much service outside of the urban areas of the southeastern part of the state. TracFone and Straight Talk are good choices across the whole state.

WYOMING


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