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Mountain Wireless Local Cellular Reports
Observations from information gathered on all the cellular carriers in the US from various sources, to help you determine which is 'best'. This analysis is arranged by state, alphabetically, Alabama through Kentucky.



Cellular Network Observations for Each State:

ALABAMA:

Our reports show AT&T and Verizon Wireless are about 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:
What information we have is more from visitors than locals. GCI Wireless provides coverage in the largest number of Alaska communities and with a recent expansion provides the greatest amount of the best cell phone coverage in Alaska, including data. AT&T serves many areas of the state with their own network, offering good broadband service as well as a large phone selection. Verizon Wireless has entered the state with a new 4G LTE network that depends on some roaming partners for greater coverage around the state, however, non-4G phones cannot access the Verizon network, so mainland visitors may end up roaming on a different network. Sprint and T-Mobile have no networks of their own in Alaska. TracFone and Straight Talk are also good choices in most areas of the state. Some towns have only one wireless carrier, many where wireless is the only phone service available.

ARIZONA:
Verizon Wireless dominates most of the state with the best cell phone coverage in Arizona with the exception of the Native American areas. Sprint gets second place in the state with good urban coverage and some coverage in rural towns. AT&T has improved greatly in the metro Phoenix area, but suffers from coverage limitations in rural parts of the state with the exception of tribal lands. T-Mobile has very good urban coverage but has somewhat of a roaming disadvantage as GSM coverage is not as extensive in the state. The Native American territories are a special case and, while Cellular One has the most widespread general coverage there, Choice Wireless provides a greater amount of high speed broadband coverage. TracFone and Straight Talk are available in most areas of the state. Grand Canyon National Park has very little usable cellular coverage except in Grand Canyon Village, where several carriers provide some limited coverage.

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 the 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:
It's too large and varied a state to declare a top cellular carrier but there are some indicators of what to expect. We believe T-Mobile has one of the best networks in the state, and with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, now offers the best cell phone coverage in California, including in rural parts of the state. Verizonhas maintained good coverage over most of the state, especially in areas where they acquired a superior network such as around Yosemite National Park. Sprint invested heavily to become the leader in coastal California and comes close to that goal. AT&T has been slow but more recently aggressive in adding coverage and features. TracFone and Straight Talk are good choices across most of the state.   Yosemite National Park has several cell sites in the developed areas of the park. Signals may be accessible from points far away from these locations, but that coverage can be unreliable.

COLORADO:
Verizon Wireless dominates the state with native service in the largest number of counties, although does not actually provide the
best cell phone coverage in Colorado. AT&T is almost as good as Verizon in urban areas and has improved rural coverage with their acquisition of the Alltel network however, AT&T is weak in the northwest quadrant of the state.  For rural residents, Viaero is an excellent choice east of I-25, and Union Wireless for the northwest part of the state. Sprint gives you good coverage and features in urban areas and along most major highways, but not in rural areas. T-Mobile has very good urban coverage but has not yet added their "Extended" service in rural areas. TracFone and Straight Talk are good choices over most of the state. Rocky Mountain National Park has some usable coverage along the main road through the park due to its high altitude. Move away from those high spots and there is no service other than near park entrances. A huge percentage of Colorado is covered by National Forest lands which generally do not permit cellular sites.

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 has the higher power to serve them in those monumental, 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:
There are big differences between wireless service in rural and urban Idaho, but the title for 
best cell phone coverage in Idaho is held by Verizon Wireless. They serve the largest amount of territory in the state.  AT&T and T-Mobile are tied for second place in Idaho with good coverage in most populated areas. Sprint is a close third especially with good service around Boise but less in rural areas off the Interstate. TracFone and Straight Talk are good choices over most of the state.

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:
Verizon Wireless serves most of the state well with excellent 4G coverage. For a large part of the state, US Cellular is our choice for the best cell phone coverage in rural Kansas with only the western edge of the state not served by them.  Viaero Wireless has taken over the northwestern corner of Kansas. AT&T offers good coverage in the urban areas of Kansas, and is tied with Verizon for coverage in the western half of the state. T-Mobile has not been able to add their Expanded coverage into Kansas with mostly coverage along some highways and urban areas. Sprint has some coverage in the eastern half of Kansas, otherwise they have no service of their own west of I-35. TracFone and Straight Talk are good choices across most of both states.

KENTUCKY:
AT&T has the 
best cell phone coverage in Kentucky while Verizon Wireless serves only about half of the state.  T-Mobile, with their new 4G LTE "Extended" coverage, offers excellent service across a large part of Kentucky. Sprint has adequate coverage in populated areas and along major highways. The eastern part of Kentucky is particularly challenging with no winners or recommendations available. We do know that TracFone and Straight Talk work in some of those areas, with the ability to choose whichever carrier is available, if any.

Go to: Lousiana - North Dakota.
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