Currently, if one is asked to point out the most fiercely competitive field in the industrial world, telecom sector would be the clear and unarguable choice. In no other sector have we seen such rapid growth. In recent years, the telecom monopoly, that was once enjoyed by AT&T in USA, was broken with the introduction of cell phones. If you go by market capitalization, Verizon ranks second after AT&T and is rapidly gaining a larger market share.
Both are big players in the wired and wireless market. After recent acquisitions made by Verizon, it is the largest wireless network provider in the USA, followed by AT&T. The latter continues to dominate the fixed telephony market. While AT&T has a GSM based wireless service, Verizon is based on CDMA technology.
AT&T or Verizon: Which is the Better Connection?
When evaluating the services of AT&T and Verizon, the major factors to be compared are connectivity, coverage, call drop rate, extra facilities, and subscription plans. Besides the old 2G spectrum connectivity, there is competition in the 3G and 4G spectrums too. Here is a straightforward comparison, based on the above factors. Read and decide for yourself, which telephone company to stay loyal to or desert.
One of the best 3G phones currently is the iPhone. AT&T having an exclusive deal with Apple, you have no option but to opt for an AT&T sim card, when buying your Apple iPhone. However, there are rumors of Apple ending its iPhone deal with the company, by the end of 2010, and opening it for other providers. For now, you are stuck with AT&T, when it comes to the iPhone. Verizon provides 3G connectivity to other smartphones like Blackberry. While AT&T's 3G network is strong in the major US cities, it is not so good for nationwide coverage.
Verizon, on the other hand, has a better 3G coverage over all of USA. So, if you are of the nomadic kind, it is a better choice, when it comes to 3G services. However, if you tend to be mostly localized in any of the big cities in USA, AT&T and Verizon, both offer excellent 3G network coverage. Verizon has heavily invested in the emerging 4G spectrum technologies, which will surpass 3G.
Compared to Verizon, when it comes to 2G (Voice) services, AT&T has the widest and biggest network spread throughout the country. However, if you compare the recent call drop percentage surveys, Verizon scores high compared to AT&T. It also has a substantially greater subscriber base. The USP of AT&T is the seamless 2G coverage they can offer nationwide.
In the 2G spectrum, Verizon is clearly ahead as it offers better service at this point of time. What gives it the edge is the FiOS (Fiber Optic Services) technology, which uses optic fiber connectivity to directly connect with homes, compared to the partly optic fiber covered network of AT&T.
The cell phone plans offered by both companies are quite comparable. Both offer a USD 60 per month subscription fee. The only difference seems to be in the night calling minutes of Verizon, which are unlimited, compared to the limited ones offered by AT&T. The range of phones, offered exclusively by AT&T, is quite wide, compared to Verizon. The latter has plenty of other extra services to offer, and the network seems to be under pressure with the growing subscriber base.
Customer Service Support
The customer service offered by AT&T is not up to the mark, compared to Verizon. The latter seems to offer the best customer support service among all the wireless providers. This is quite a glaring point of difference that gives Verizon a clear advantage.
While Verizon is ahead in some aspects, AT&T is not far behind overall. In the emerging 4G spectrum, the former might have an edge. With the iPhone monopoly of AT&T ending soon, there are chances that Verizon might get a piece of the iPhone market share. Currently, I don't recommend a switch in service providers. Unless you are really stressed out with frequent call drops, it is better to wait and watch the 4G spectrum developments, before you decide to switch over.