Hi, I don’t mean to sound like an idiot, asking “Which provider is best?”, but I’m serious…
I started off using 3G IoT devices. Some were GSM with SIMs which could connect to ATT or T-Mobile. Some were CDMA and, of course, didn’t use SIMs and could connect to Verizon. In Urban and suburban areas I would deploy the GSM devices because coverage was generally good either way, and my costs for Verizon (CDMA) were almost twice as much as for GSM.
About half my customers are in rural areas and CDMA coverage wasn’t always perfect, but it was almost always much better than GSM. My understanding is that Verizon had their CDMA equipment hanging on twice as many towers as anyone else.
Verizon’s CDMA network is slated to be shut down at the end of this year, and that have forced me to LTE.
Okay, so now I’m using NovaM devices for Cat M1 (NB-IoT isn’t widely deployed or accessible yet). The NovaM seems to be faster registering with a tower when it is told (AT+UMNOPROF) to connect to a single provider (as long as that provider is available) and to seek only Cat M1 conections (AT+URAT) rather than letting it try whatever is available.
Okay, where I live (which is just a sample size of 1) I get a weak ATT signal and strong Verizon signal which doesn’t surprise me. My expectation (based on nothing more than my 3G experience) is that Verizon will have the broadest coverage. In urban areas and lots of suburban ones ATT and Verizon will both have good enough coverage. In rural areas Verizon–I suspect–will generally have better coverage than ATT. But I have no empirical evidence for any of this.
So, here’s my question: are other folks finding that Verizon is generally as good or better than ATT (coverage-wise)? I’m hoping the answer is yes, and then I can just configure all of my NovaM devices to connect only to Verizon.