Best and worst cities for Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint mobile networks

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Best and worst cities for Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint mobile networks
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Your cell phone bill can easily cost $50 a month or more, so you’re right to expect to get reliable service for the price that you pay.

With Americans spending hours a day talking, texting and surfing the web using their smartphones, many consumers say dropped calls and slow data speeds are just not acceptable.

Read more: This is the #1 wireless network in America

Cities with the best and worst mobile networks

Although mobile performance is pretty strong nationwide, testing by RootMetrics found some metro areas perform much better than others.

To determine the best and worst cities for mobile performance, RootMetrics looked at the major networks across the 125 most populated metro areas nationwide for the second half of 2016.

The research firm then ranked the cities from highest to lowest across these categories:

  • Overall performance
  • Network reliability
  • Network speed
  • Data performance
  • Call performance
  • Text performance

Contrary to what some people may believe, the largest cities in the United States — like New York City and Los Angeles — don’t always have better mobile performance than smaller cities.

RootMetrics found the #1 overall city for mobile performance is Indianapolis, Indiana — the 32nd most populous metro area.

How did your city compare? Here’s how the 125 cities ranked, based on overall performance:

  1. Indianapolis, IN
  2. Richmond, VA
  3. Cleveland, OH
  4. Columbus, OH
  5. Minneapolis, MN
  6. New Haven, CT
  7. Chattanooga, TN
  8. Chicago, IL
  9. Kansas City, MO
  10. Modesto, CA
  11. Corpus Christi, TX
  12. Stockton, CA
  13. Fort Myers, FL
  14. Sacramento, CA
  15. Des Moines, IA
  16. Detroit, MI
  17. Nashville, TN
  18. Houston, TX
  19. Buffalo, NY
  20. Lansing, MI
  21. Wichita, KS
  22. Syracuse, NY
  23. Atlanta, GA
  24. Fayetteville, NC
  25. Austin, TX
  26. Dallas, TX
  27. San Jose, CA
  28. Knoxville, TN
  29. Louisville, KY
  30. Tampa, FL
  31. Mission Viejo, CA
  32. Philadelphia, PA
  33. Cincinnati, OH
  34. Tulsa, OK
  35. Raleigh, NC
  36. Little Rock, AR
  37. Denton, TX
  38. Augusta, GA
  39. Providence, RI
  40. Washington, D.C.
  41. Spokane, WA
  42. Palm Bay, FL
  43. Fresno, CA
  44. Orlando, FL
  45. Bakersfield, CA
  46. Toledo, OH
  47. Milwaukee, WI
  48. Phoenix, AZ
  49. Los Angeles, CA
  50. Rochester, NY
  51. Baltimore, MD
  52. Greensboro, NC
  53. Oklahoma City, OK
  54. Las Vegas, NV
  55. Ann Arbor, MI
  56. Akron, OH
  57. Grand Rapids, MI
  58. Ogden, UT
  59. Rockford, IL
  60. Seattle, WA
  61. Dayton, OH
  62. Kissimmee, FL
  63. St. Louis, MO
  64. Youngstown, OH
  65. Honolulu, HI
  66. New York and the Tri-State Area, NY
  67. Provo, UT
  68. Oxnard, CA
  69. Fort Wayne, IN
  70. Albany, NY
  71. Port St. Lucie, FL
  72. Columbia, SC
  73. San Diego, CA
  74. Daytona Beach, FL
  75. Jacksonville, FL
  76. Mobile, AL
  77. Shreveport, LA
  78. Temecula, CA
  79. Salt Lake City, UT
  80. Memphis, TN
  81. Baton Rouge, LA
  82. Charlotte, NC
  83. El Paso, TX
  84. Jackson, MS
  85. Victor Valley, CA
  86. San Francisco, CA
  87. Boise, ID
  88. San Antonio, TX
  89. Miami, FL
  90. Sarasota, FL
  91. Hartford, CT
  92. Flint, MI
  93. Pensacola, FL
  94. Durham, NC
  95. Birmingham, AL
  96. Tucson, AZ
  97. Boston, MA
  98. New Orleans, LA
  99. Reno, NV
  100. Harrisburg, PA
  101. Winston-Salem, NC
  102. Madison, WI
  103. Allentown, PA
  104. Portland, OR
  105. Hampton Roads, VA
  106. Concord, CA
  107. Pittsburgh, PA
  108. McAllen, TX
  109. Antelope Valley, CA
  110. Albuquerque, NM
  111. Greenville, SC
  112. Colorado Springs, CO
  113. Indio, CA
  114. Denver, CO
  115. Riverside, CA
  116. Lancaster, PA
  117. Charleston, SC
  118. Scranton, PA
  119. Bridgeport and Stamford, CT
  120. Bonita Springs, FL
  121. Hudson Valley, NY
  122. Springfield, MA
  123. Santa Rosa, CA
  124. Worcester, MA
  125. Omaha, NE

For a more detailed look at the rankings, RootMetrics has a tool on its website that lets you see how specific carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — perform in your metro area.

Overall, RootMetrics described Verizon’s performance at the national level as “outstanding.”

Read more: Best cell phone plans and deals for 2017

Common Cents: Saving 101

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Mike Timmermann About the author:
Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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