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Voice calls are still the biggest complaint of cell users

Cell Rage

J.D. Power and Associates is reporting in their U.S. 2011 Wireless Network Quality Performance Study that performance levels for networks differ greatly depending on whether devices are used for voice, text, or data. Voice calls are the most challenging for wireless customers, followed by data.

For data, slow downloads are the biggest complaint over connection failures or email problems. The same type of complaints are associated with calls, as audio quality has eclipsed dropped calls as the top concern.

“Based on the varying degree of consistency with overall network performance, it’s critical that wireless carriers continue to invest in improving both the voice quality and data connection-related issues that customers continue to experience,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates.

The semiannual study is in its ninth year and has been expanded in 2011 to collect evaluations from wireless customers’ most recent usage activities in three areas that impact the network performance: calling, messaging and data. 

Highlights from the study:

  • Call times have dropped from 527 minutes per month in 2009 to 450 in 2011 as texting becomes more popular.
  • Smartphones are having more troubles than normal cell phones.
  • Among the top 30 U.S. markets, average problem rates are lowest among wireless customers in the Salt Lake City market and highest among wireless customers in the Sacramento market.
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