Can You Hear Me Now? Not So Well In SF, LA & NY


If you are a resident of one of the major US metros – Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco – then there is a good chance you have a love-hate relationship with your mobile carrier. You love your phone, when on rare occasions the calls don’t drop off. And rest of the time you experience mobile rage.

Apparently, there are some places in the US where the phone experience is actually pretty good. The Nielsen Company’s Nielsen Mobile service has released a report that reveals the Top 10 Cities with best voice coverage and wireless data connections. They are not necessarily the same. We put it in a nice handy map for quick referral. No NY, SF, and LA don’t make the list.

Cities with top ten voice networks averaged a 99.2% successful call rate; on average, 0.3% of all calls in these cities were dropped. Among the cities with top ranked 3G data networks, the average download speed for a 4 megabyte (MB) file was 727 kbps—an increase of more than 100 kbps over the top market average measured during the second half of 2006. Nielsen defines a “successful call” as one established and maintained for at least two minutes.

In 2008 when industry is espousing a wireless broadband future, completing and maintaining a phone call for at least 2-minutes is seen as an achievement.. go figure!



I would figure in those big cities…wouldn’t the high-rises have anything to do with interfering with radio waves maybe?

Om Malik

@ Len… was talking about the voice calls in LA where everyone especially the hollywood types are always on the phone


Pardon the slightly jumbled map labels. The artwork was a bit rushed and there wasn’t a whole lot of space for everything. :-)

Thomas Hawk

AT&T is terrible in San Francisco. It’s amazing to me how often I can’t get a signal or an Edge network connection on my iPhone in one of the most populous cities on the West Coast.


ROFL – nice “map”. Minneapolis and Chicago in Wisconsin? Indianapolis in Illinois? Atlanta in Alabama? St. Louis in Kentucky? San Diego near the Arizona border? You’re killin me here… argh!


Uh, Om, I think LA actually did make the list – for data networks at least (#8)…unless by LA you mean Louisiana


Favorite story: When Nokia put up a new US headquarters building in Richardson, TX, their architect specified windows with a thin metal film on them to keep out the Texas sun. Problem was, the film blocked cell signals. I visited months after they moved in, and the troops were still shocked and muttering to themselves.


I would really like to know how you are able to “game” a system that culls feature blogs by automation and consistently have yours show up on the home page………….yes I’m jealous!


San Antonio has good AT&T coverage given its headquarters there. When coverage for (Cingular) wasn’t so great, they made sure to install towers on the route AT&T’s CEO Whitaker took getting from home to the office.

Sadly, this just made him think Cingular had great coverage when really it was terrible everywhere else. Like 70 miles north in Austin, where connecting and keeping a call on Cingular has been very difficult.


Your map shows Minneapolis in the middle of Wisconsin. Voice coverage here is ok, but each carrier (I’ve tried them all) has their own bad spots. I use Sprint’s EVDO and get good coverage and decent download rates.

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