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J.D. Power has just issued the release for its U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study–Volume 1 for 2018, based on the responses of 38,595 wireless customers (phones, tablets, and mobile broadband devices) from July through December 2017.
Below are some of the key findings of the study:
· Unlimited data continues to improve customer perception of quality: Unlimited data plan customers experience an average of 11 overall network quality problems per 100 connections (PP100) vs. an average of 13 PP100 among customers with data allowances. They also experience a lower incidence of data problems (15 PP100 vs. 17PP100).
· Bring your own device (BYOD) customers experience higher incidence of network quality problems: Overall network quality for customers who brought their own device is 12 PP100 vs. 11 PP100 for those who paid their carrier in full or in installments for a device. This difference in overall network quality is driven by gaps in calling quality (14 PP100 among those who brought their own device vs. 13 PP100 among those who purchased a device from their carrier) and data quality (17 PP100 vs. 15 PP100).
· Phone age not really a factor: The average age of a phone brought to a carrier is 19 months vs. 14 months for phones that were purchased through the carrier. However, network quality does not necessarily decline with phone age. Phones less than a year and a half old are associated with 12 PP100 vs. 10 PP100 among phones 18 months or older, suggesting that some quality issues may be caused by network optimization issues and not the age of the phone.
As usual, the different carriers were also ranked. Verizon Wireless ranks highest in all six regions covered in the study, with better PP100 scores than the regional averages in call quality, messaging quality and data quality. U.S. Cellular ranks highest in a tie with Verizon Wireless in the North Central region.