J.D. Power and Associates yesterday announced results from the first volume of its semi-annual Wireless Call Quality Performance Study. Verizon Wireless ranked the highest, but the study concluded that the gap in call quality performance among carriers has narrowed considerably.
The study measured wireless call quality based on seven problem areas that impact overall carrier performance: dropped calls; static/interference; failed connection on the first try; voice distortion; echoes; no immediate voicemail notification; and no immediate text message notification.
Call quality issues were measured as problems per 100 (PP100) calls, where a lower score reflected fewer problems and higher quality.
As the wireless services industry becomes more competitive, the gap in call quality performance between the highest- and lowest-ranked carriers was smaller compared with previous years, according to the study.
While call quality performance among carriers still varies at the regional level, the gap between the highest- and lowest-ranked carriers for the overall industry decreased from 8 PP100 in the 2008 Volume 2 study to only 5 PP100 in the 2009 Volume 1 study.
For a ninth consecutive reporting period, Verizon Wireless ranked highest in both the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and achieved fewer customer-reported problems in dropped calls, initial connections and late text notifications, compared with the regional averages.
Verizon Wireless also led in the Southwest region and tied with Sprint Nextel to rank highest in the West region. Sprint Nextel customers, in particular, report fewer problems regarding echoes compared with the region average.
In the North Central region, U.S. Cellular ranked highest for a seventh consecutive reporting period. U.S. Cellular had fewer customer-reported problems in dropped calls; initial connections; static/interference; voice distortion; and late text message notifications, compared with the region average.
Consumer confidence in wireless phones increased in 2009, as 27 percent of customers reported having replaced their traditional landline phones with wireless phones. That marks an increase from 25 percent in the 2008 Volume 1 study.
The 2009 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study – Volume 1 is based on responses from 27,754 wireless customers. The study was fielded between July and December 2008.
Filed Under: Infrastructure