Why I’m switching to the Verizon iPhone: Coverage rules!

AT&T no coverage alert

AT&T no coverage alert

When the Verizon iPhone launches, I will be the first in line to snag the CDMA version of Apple’s popular smartphone. Yes, I realize that the handset will most likely be an iPhone 4 with a CDMA radio. Yes, I realize that the iPhone 5 may be right around the corner, but I don’t care. The iPhone 4 will carry me through until Verizon and Apple release an upgraded version of the smartphone. Why am I so willing to abandon AT&T, possibly cast aside the next generation iPhone and jump on the Verizon iPhone bandwagon?

For me, coverage is king. The iPhone on AT&T’s 3G network may be fast in select locations, switching a SIM between devices may be convenient, and using voice and data at the same time may be desirable, but having coverage everywhere I may travel is much more important than speed, SIMs, and simultaneous voice & data combined. I am dropping all these advantages afforded by the AT&T iPhone, because, in the area in which I live, AT&T’s 3G coverage is nonexistent, while Verizon Wireless’ coverage is almost ubiquitous.

Check out the coverage maps below. AT&T is mostly no coverage (light yellow) or partner coverage (striped), while Verizon is almost all 3G (red). To pick up strong AT&T 3G coverage, I have to drive approximately one to two hours away.

Verizon AT&T Coverage

Unlike many of my co-workers, I do not live in a metropolitan area. I live in a rural area. Though rural, it is not remote. I live near a major New England Ski area, the White Mountain National Forest and Mount Washington, one of the biggest tourist attractions in New Hampshire. Yet in all my travels around this tourist-filled area, I am without AT&T coverage in most of my travels.

When I do hit pockets of AT&T coverage, it is EDGE only and not 3G. Verizon’s coverage, on the other hand, is 3G with the occasional pocket of 1xRTT or no service. While Verizon’s 3G service does not rival the maximum HSPA speeds advertised by AT&T, I do get a solid 1.5 Mbps up and 700 kbps up on Verizon. For my usage, these speeds are adequate for web browsing and most internet-based mobile applications. Tethering is also fine at these speeds as long as you don’t try to stream Hulu or watch HD video.

In the end, I am going to choose the device that has the best cellular coverage and that is why I am choosing Verizon over AT&T and the CDMA iPhone over its GSM counterpart. Anyone going to join me?

  • folkrockrobot

    i can’t wait to join you, kiss my ass at&t! we’re fuckin through!

  • Mthscesarfranco

    I am too

  • RussOnline

    I’ve got an iPhone 4 on AT&T’s and wouldn’t dream of giving up the much faster performance HSPA offers over Verizon’s EV-DO. And for those few times when I’m in a coverage area where Verizon outshines AT&T, I si,ply switch my iPhone to WiFi and connect to my MiFi 2200 on their network running VoIP services like Skype to make and receive unlimited calls anywhere in the USA or Canada for just $3 per month.

    And when the MiFi 4510L (for LTE) becomes available from Verizon, I’ll upgrade to that model and all my WiFi capable devices will be ready to scream for years to come – unlike those users who immediately purchase a CDMA iPhone and are then stuck with a slow EVDO data network for the next 24 months.

  • Cellularcrazy09

    Except Verizon’s coverage map lies. There has been so many dead spots with Verizon here in NC its sickening. For as many apple fanboys there are, there are just as many Verizon fanboys. Verizon isn’t the best everywhere and if you think that you are delusional.

  • Anonymous

    If the coverage is that bad you should have never chosen AT&T to begin with. It sounds like you chose AT&T for the phone and then want to complain about your coverage. The jump to Verizon is the right one for you. And many will join you, but not everyone has a horrible experience.
    Enjoy your new phone and the much better coverage.

  • BradDelo

    Um…wifi?

  • BradDelo

    Basically, why use 3G at all? If there’s no wifi, no Internet apps for me. Bleh. WhO cares…

  • http://twitter.com/abemassry Abe Massry

    Check out this video my friend and I made about this “I’m switching to Verizon” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWanZ_QZ3Cw

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