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In this report

Cell Phone Plan Rating Sources

Total of 17 Sources
1. J.D. Power & Associates
March 7, 2013
2013 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study – Vol. 1
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentThis study from J.D. Power and Associates examines wireless usage in three aspects of network performance -- messaging, calling and data -- in six geographic regions within the United States. The study is based on responses from more than 27,000 wireless customers. Verizon Wireless ranks highest in five of the six regions, with U.S. Cellular winning in the North Central U.S.
2. J.D. Power & Associates
Feb. 6, 2013
2013 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Ratings Full-Service Performance Study – Vol. 1
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentThe Customer Care Study from J.D. Power and Associates is based on responses from more than 7,000 wireless phone users. Verizon Wireless comes out on top for the fourth consecutive year with an impressive 5 out of 5 stars. All other wireless networks mentioned receive 3 stars out of 5 or fewer.
3. J.D. Power & Associates
Aug. 15, 2013
2013 Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Study – Vol. 2
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentIn the 2013 J.D. Power and Associates' Wireless Purchase Experience Study of full-service wireless carriers, more than 8,500 respondents rated their customer purchase experiences in three contact channels -- phone calls with a sales rep, visits to a retail store and online. AT&T ranks highest for the first time.
4. ConsumerReports.org
September 2013
U.S. Cell Phone Service Ratings
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentFor this article, ConsumerReports.org asks more than 58,000 magazine subscribers to rate their cell phone plans for service (voice, texting and data), customer support and value. Editors rate seven carriers -- Consumer Cellular, Credo, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless -- from best to worst based on the results. Editors also provide separate ratings for each of 23 urban areas and an additional ratings chart for Canadian cell phone plans.
5. PCMag.com
March 13, 2013
Readers' Choice Awards 2013: Smartphones and Mobile Carriers
by Ben Gottesman
Our AssessmentIn this reader survey of cell phone users, U.S. Cellular retains the top spot while Verizon Wireless takes second place; both earn Readers' Choice awards. Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular receive significantly better-than-average ratings in all categories, including coverage, call quality and network reliability. AT&T is once again at the bottom of the pack, this time along with T-Mobile.
6. PCMag.com
June 17, 2013
Fastest Mobile Networks 2013
by Sascha Segan
Our AssessmentPCMag.com staffers drive "more than 20,000 miles" to evaluate 4G LTE network speeds for the four national carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. Testing is done in 30 major cities, and in suburban and rural locales. AT&T is judged to be the fastest nationwide and in each region of the country. Verizon is named a better choice in rural and suburban areas because of the wider reach of its 4G network.
7. Laptop Magazine
Sept. 20, 2013
Phone Upgrade Plans: Sprint vs. AT&T vs. Verizon vs. T-Mobile
by Cherlynn Low
Our AssessmentCherlynn Low selects Sprint's One Up phone-upgrade plan as the best overall for its unlimited talk, text and data. However, she says T-Mobile's Jump! gives more frequent handset upgrades and AT&T's Next has great coverage and speed. Verizon Edge rates as the costliest option.
8. Wired
July 19, 2013
T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Smartphone Upgrade Plans Compared
by Alexandra Chang
Our AssessmentAlexandra Chang says the new phone-upgrade plans are only worth it for those who must own the latest gadgets. If that's you, then she recommends T-Mobile's Jump! as the best plan, with the least costly phone upgrades and its relatively inexpensive data plans.
9. AllThingsD.com
July 18, 2013
T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Plans Promise Early Upgrades, but the Devil's in the Details
by Bonnie Cha
Our AssessmentBonnie Cha compares T-Mobile Jump!, AT&T Next and Verizon Edge and explains how much you really pay for these programs. She says T-Mobile's plan is the cheapest of the three, but none of the plans is a good deal.
10. Laptop Magazine
Sept. 16, 2013
iPhone 5s: Which Carrier Has the Best Plans?
by Cherlynn Low
Our AssessmentLaptop Magazine's Cherlynn Low presents a useful chart that details the costs of the different plans that support the iPhone 5, available from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. She also includes the early phone-upgrade plans like AT&T's Next for those who want to get the new version of the iPhone as soon as it's released.
11. CNET
Updated July 19, 2013
Quick Guide to Cell Phone Carriers
by Kent German
Our AssessmentAlthough CNET doesn't rate cell phone service providers, editors compile a buyer's guide that outlines the pros and cons of the four major nationwide carriers (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile) and three regional carriers (U.S. Cellular, MetroPCS and Cricket). Virgin Mobile and Boost, both wholly owned by Sprint, are also covered.
12. TopTenReviews.com
Not dated
2014 Best Cell Phone Provider Comparisons and Reviews
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentThis website doesn't test phone services or conduct owner surveys; rather, ratings are based on coverage, available plans and other features. This isn't the best way to rate cell phone plans because it doesn't take customer service or satisfaction into account. Still, Verizon takes first place. Although AT&T also earns a rating of Excellent, its scores for help and support are lower than Verizon's but it scores better for fees.
13. TechHive.com
May 21, 2013
T-Mobile Wins 3G Shootout, Sprint and Verizon Speeds Fade
by Leah Yamshon, Mark Sullivan
Our AssessmentIn this article, Leah Yamshon says that despite the increased availability of LTE, 75 percent of U.S. wireless subscribers still use the 3G network at least part of the time. In TechHive.com's nationwide testing, the speeds of T-Mobile and AT&T significantly outpace those of Verizon and Sprint in both uploading and downloading.
14. The Christian Science Monitor
Feb. 24, 2013
Phone Plans 101: Breaking Down the Major Carriers
by Simon Hill
Our AssessmentSimon Hill at The Christian Science Monitor crunches a lot of numbers to illustrate how to calculate the actual costs and savings of contract versus prepaid cell phone plans. He factors in the subsidized costs of the phone; talk, text and data plans; multi-person plans; and cancellation fees.
15. My Rate Plan
April 18, 2013
Best Wireless Plans of 2013, According to MyRatePlan.com
by Editors of MyRatePlan.com
Our AssessmentIn this press release, wireless industry analysts from MyRatePlan.com list their top three plans of 2013: T-Mobile Simple Choice Unlimited, Sprint Simply Everything and Verizon Wireless Share Everything. Criteria include price, data speed and limits, coverage, voice minutes, consumer reviews and expert opinions.
16. GottaBeMobile.com
Sept. 11, 2013
iPhone 5s: AT&T vs. Verizon vs. Sprint vs. T-Mobile – Which Carrier Is Best?
by Josh Smith
Our AssessmentJosh Smith of GottaBeMobile.com compares the two-year wireless contract plans available for use with the iPhone 5s at three of the top four cell phone networks -- Verizon, AT&T and Sprint -- and available without a contract at T-Mobile. He also identifies the pros and cons of the iPhone 5s on each carrier.
17. Viewpoints.com
As of December 2013
The Best Cell Phone Providers: Cell Phone Provider Reviews & Ratings
by Contributors to Viewpoints.com
Our AssessmentViewpoints.com accumulates user reviews for the most popular wireless carriers, both prepaid and contract. Verizon Wireless gets the best ratings of any contract provider, averaging 75 out of 100 points after more than 800 reviews. Ratings are based on recent reviews as well as those that are several years old.

Cell Phone Plans Runners Up:

T-Mobile $50 per month and up

5 picks including: J.D. Power & Associates, Laptop Magazine…

AT&T $40 per month and up

2 picks including: About.com, J.D. Power & Associates…

Sprint $50 per month and up

2 picks including: DigitalTrends.com, J.D. Power & Associates…

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