What is the best cell-phone carrier in LA?

David just asked this question in a previous comment thread so I thought I’d post it here for others to chime in. It comes up from time to time but what applied last year doesn’t today, so what have you found?

Personally I’m with Cingular and it works great in the areas that I am in – which I think is a key factor. What works perfectly for someone who spends a lot of time in Beverly Hills might be crap for someone who lives in Koreatown.

14 thoughts on “What is the best cell-phone carrier in LA?”

  1. Have had Sprint for almost 2 years here and it’s been great (course, just speaking for own experience).

    (But, cell plans alone don’t matter…what really matters is a cell plan with a “310” area code!;)

  2. I second Cingular. Great for my area, which is mostly the westside and south bay.

  3. I have Verizon. Mostly it’s great, but sometimes calls don’t go through on the first try. (It happens on both incoming and outgoing calls.) I’m in North Hollywood.

  4. cingular is very good, although there are freaky dead zones in silverlake/echo park. service was more consistent with at&t, before they got eaten up by cingular.

  5. I have Cingular because I used to be an AT&T Wireless customer. I was an AT&T Wireless customer because I used to be an L.A. Cellular customer. While not as good as LAC was, I’m fairly satisfied with Cingular. Initially I had problems with AT&T’s GSM network, but it got better, and their TDMA network was great (since it used to be LAC’s). I don’t know how good Cingular would be if they didn’t add AT&T’s network to theirs. I’ve also heard really bad things about their customer service. My dealings with LAC and AT&T were almost always very positive.

    For me, it’s become more about which carrier has the phone I want, rather than which carrier is better. But ATM no carrier has a phone I like that I can afford, so it doesn’t matter at all. :)

  6. I’ve had Verizon for the past couple years and I’ve been happy with it. Previous to that I had Cingular and back then their coverage in sections of Silver Lake I frequented was spotty at best. As Sean said, what applied last year is ancient history, so I’m pretty certain they’re giving their eastside customers more bars now.

  7. I’ve had Sprint, Verizon and now Cingular, in that order. I realize substantial savings by grouping all my telecomm services w/ SBC, but I’m really happy with Cingular anyway. Good phones, good service and pretty good reception everywhere but canyons (where it seems no one has good–if any–reception).

  8. “What works perfectly for someone who spends a lot of time in Beverly Hills…” Sean, you’re such a self-absorbed wanker.

    FYI: Verizon has the largest network of new hardware, Cingular has the largest network of old hardware. Do with that what you will.

  9. Sigh – or maybe you are just looking for shit to complain about? I haven’t been to beverly hills in at least 6 months, I hate it there. Or Koreatown for that matter. Was just making a post about different areas but if you are pissed because I didn’t say North Hollywood or Compton feel free.

  10. I switched to Cingular from Verizon to get the rollover minutes and there’s been no change in quality. Dead spots are dead spots — near Fox Hills Mall, for example — for all companies. If not, you’d jump into roam temporarily.

  11. When I moved to my place in Silverlake (near the dog park), the *only* cell provider that worked on my block was Verizon. Since then, I think Cingular has upped their service, but my friends with other plans are all still SOL when visiting.

  12. I switched from AT&T/cingular to Sprint and life in Silver Lake, Echo Park and Downtown got a lot better.

  13. Newer isn’t necessarily better. It’s more mature now, but CDMA technology (Verizon and Sprint) sucked for a long time after it was introduced, even though it was touted as being better than TDMA and GSM. And I thought L.A. Cellular’s old TDMA network was more reliable than any CDMA or GSM network available now.

    Also, for frequent travellers, having GSM means you can get a tri- or quad-band phone and use it almost anywhere in the world.

    BTW, AT&T switched from TDMA to GSM as an interim step on the way to CDMA, but I don’t know if Cingular has the same plan.

  14. I have T-Mobile and it works well in all areas of the city except where I live, Southbay, but as far as I can tell no carrier works well down here. I used to have Cingular and hated it.

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