US STATE CONNECTIVITY – CELLULAR NETWORK COVERAGE IN INDIVIDUAL US STATES
US STATE CONNECTIVITY
When your mobile phone indicates it has an active signal, it is connect-ed with the most expensive part of your carrier‘s infrastructure – the radio access network with thousands of base stations providing coverage to, ideally, every place you go and want to use your connected devices.
Currently you see a compilation of so-called 2G technologies like CDMA or GSM up to LTE technology that we also call 4G. On top of that, what technology you are actually served with may depend on the kind of service you are using.
MOBILE DATA SERVICES COVERAGE ‒ THE EAST-WEST DIVIDE
CARRIERS USE 3G AND 4G TECHNOLOGIES TO DELIVER HIGH SPEED DATA SERVICES. 2G NETWORKS ARE EFFECTIVELY NOT CAPABLE OF SUPPORTING DATA CONNECTIONS WITH SUFFICIENT SPEED. VERIZON HAS ALREADY ABANDONED 3G AND PROVIDES ALL DATA SERVICES OVER 4G.
Coverage for Data Services
Who is the leading carrier with respect to coverage for data services when we look at each individual state? Red and Blue indicate states where Verizon or AT&T lead the benchmark, respectively. Grey indicates states where at least two networks are on par; providing about the same degree of data coverage (within a relative margin of 2.5%). The numbers indicate the degree of coverage (rounded), relative to P3 requirements. 100% means both 100% availability and 100% connection is achieved within the area.
Looking at the coverage for data services, a clear East-West divide becomes apparent. In many of the eastern states, Verizon and AT&T compete head-to-head, though Verizon has a slight advantage. The Western part of the country is clearly dominated by Verizon. In the East the degree of coverage is significantly higher compared to the West. In most Western states, there is at least one carrier that provides data coverage nearly everywhere consumers roam in these states. Averaged over the whole US test area, there is no clear winner of the data coverage benchmark. However, when looking at each state separately it shows that Verizon wins the benchmark in more individual states.
Who is the leading carrier with respect to LTE coverage when we look at each individual state? Red and Blue indicate states where Verizon or AT&T lead the benchmark, respectively. Grey indicates states where at least two networks are on par providing about the same degree of LTE coverage (within a margin of 2.5%) The numbers indicate the degree of coverage (rounded), relative to P3 requirements. 100% means both 100% availability and 100% connection is achieved within the area
TO COMPARE EACH CARRIER‘S COVERAGE, WE LOOK AT THE COMBINED 3G AND 4G FOOTPRINT. WE EVALUATE BOTH THE PURE NETWORK AVAILABILITY AND THE SHARE OF OUR USERS CONNECTED TO A TECHNOLOGY IN A DEFINED AREA. BOTH PARAMETERS ARE COMBINED INTO ONE SINGLE VALUE.
CELLULAR VOICE COVERAGE
Coverage for Voice Services
The graphics shows the best network with respect to fulfilling/meeting the P3 coverage requirements for voice services. The numbers indicate the degree of fulfillment of the coverage targets. Grey indicates that at least two carriers are on par providing about the same coverage for voice services with respect to the P3 coverage requirements. The analysis was completed estimating Sprint’s coverage of VoLTE.
T-Mobile and AT&T use a combination of 3G and 4G technologies to deliver voice services. Sprint announced it was launching Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) in late 2018 but currently carries the voice traffic on its 1X CDMA network. Verizon has converted into an LTE-only network and provides all voice and data services over the same network. It is worth mentioning that the four big US carriers also have adopted WiFi calling which is especially useful when connected to WiFi in areas with weak carrier coverage.
However, this technology currently does not support mobility and is not taken into account in our analysis. Looking at the coverage for voice services, there are similarities to the data coverage. A clear East-West divide indicates that there is still a lot of room for improvement in the middle of the Unites States. At the same time, Verizon dominates the voice coverage benchmark by far.
OUR COVERAGE BENCHMARK COMPARING THE FOUR LARGEST CARRIERS SHOWS THAT VERIZON DOMINATES IN ALL DISCIPLINES IN MOST STATES. IN A FEW STATES WE SEE A COMPETITION BETWEEN VERIZON AND AT&T. SPRINT AND T-MOBILE CAN JUST WATCH THE TWO GIANTS COMPETING FOR COVERAGE.