In a new regional ranking of wireless call quality, Alltel ranked highest in the Southeast, which includes Florida, followed closely by Verizon and T-Mobile, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study released Thursday.
Two wireless companies were ranked below average in the Southeast: AT&T and Sprint/Nextel.
The semiannual study measures wireless call quality based on seven problem areas that affect overall carrier performance: dropped calls; static/interference; failed connection on the first try; voice distortion; echoes; no immediate voice mail notification; and no immediate text message notification.
Among a majority of regions, Verizon Wireless ranked high in the study. Sprint/Nextel, last in the Southeast among major firms, ranked first in the Southwest, said J.D. Power.
Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power, said improving the quality of wireless networks helps minimize customers switching to other providers.
"Customers who are more likely to switch due to quality issues tend to spend an average of $84 per month and make or receive 144 calls per month, while nonswitchers spend $79 and make or receive 108 calls per month, on average," he said.