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Best and Worst New York Cell Phone Coverage – Cell Phone Plans Showdown: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and Nextel

New York is notorious for its sometimes frustrating cell phone coverage. New York’s a 24 hour city that never sleeps – and that includes cell phone usage. With so many busy New Yorkers hopping on to the network to do business, share videos, find out what’s happening, when and where, every cellular provider including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Nextel feel the strain. When deciding which provider to use, coverage is everything. A dropped call can mean the difference between closing a deal or missing the boat. The best provider for you often depends on where you are located in relation to cell phone towers, but Mobiledia has an enlightening breakdown of user comments on the top cell phone providers. Here are how the major cellular networks stack up in New York:

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless tops the charts for the 10010 zip code with an average rating of 3.41 and 32 comments. Many users are defectors who previously had AT&T and they report much faster data connections and less drop calls. Coverage is good almost everywhere, including Manhattan, midtown, downtown and uptown. There are a few token horror stories, of course, with some users complaining of poor or no reception in their office or apartment buildings and the typical customer service woes. But all in all Verizon’s got it good in New York.


Sprint is the number two wireless provider in New York city, according to Mobiledia with a 2.87 rating with 15 comments. Generally, comments are favorable with few reports of dropped calls and poor reception. Some users, however, report poor reception in their homes or while commuting (particularly through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and throughout Manhattan). Most poor reviews were complaints about customer service and hardware issues and were largely anecdotal.


AT&T, while a top contender vs. Verizon nationwide, falls relatively flat in NYC with an average 2.0 rating and 38 comments. As you may know, AT&T is notoriously plagued by the iPhone, which bogs down 3G networks and slows data speeds network-wide. AT&T users report poor service indoors and have frequent call quality issues and dropped calls. Some users report improved service after updating their phones.


T-Mobile is fourth place for New York cell phone coverage with a 1.88 rating and 56 user comments. It’s notable that T-Mobile has more comments than any other New York carrier, so take it with a grain of salt. Problem areas include inside office buildings, apartment complexes, Gramercy Park, Grand Central Terminal, Soho. It works fairly well in midtown and uptown, Manhattan and some other areas. Generally, though, reports say there is poor voice quality, especially during peak hours and many dropped calls.


Nextel has an average rating of 1.5 but with only 4 comments. That’s likely because Nextel and Sprint have merged since most of these reviews have been posted. So apply Sprint comments to Nextel.

Do you live in New York? Which cell phone provider do you use? Are you happy? Unhappy? Let us know.

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