The Connect Effect: Competition (Pt 3) - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

The Connect Effect: Competition (Pt 3)

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Do dead zones and dropped calls drive you crazy? Do you wish you knew who the best provider was for this area?

News 13 has put the top two cell service providers to the test in the final installment of our special report, The Connect Effect.

News 13 asked AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile and Sprint to provide us with a phone carried by all 4 providers.

Only AT&T and Verizon said they were up for the challenge, and in this literal faceoff between providers, who came out as champion?

Like any good competition, there's the battle for bragging rights, and in this heavy weight match up between cell providers, AT&T and Verizon, they're each packing a punch.

"AT&T customers have access to the nation's largest 4g network," said an official with AT&T.

"Verizon now has the largest 4g LTE network," said another official with Verizon.

But who is left standing when we put them to the test in an AT&T and Verizon faceoff.

With the increasingly popular Samsung Galaxy S III as our test subject, News 13 used the mobile performance app, Root Metrics; measuring bar strength, upload speeds and download speeds

News 13 reached out via Facebook to find the worst spots for coverage in the Panhandle. The response was overwhelming.

"With AT&T & Verizon at Carillon Beach and Pinnacle Port - dropped calls are the norm," expressed one resident.

"Can't make or receive any calls around the airport," voiced another.

"Your call will drop on top of the Hathaway Bridge every time," added another Resident.

With this new info in tow, News 13 hit the road en route to 3 of the area's dead zones.

We started in Carillon Beach. It's a known trouble spot on the West end of Bay County as you move into Walton County. Residents have said service from our top two providers is so bad there, that if they ever had to call 911, they're afraid they couldn't find a signal.

The area is slated for a new cell tower next year, but in the meantime, Carillon Beach gave the phones an appropriate stress test.

It's Verizon who showed it's strength with 3 bars and significantly faster upload and download speeds, in comparison to AT&T's 1 bar and failed upload speed test.

Round one went to Verizon.

Moving on, if you're a Bay County Driver chances are you're driving over the Hathaway Bridge just about every day and chances are you're probably using your cell phone while doing it. It's one of the reasons residents wrote News 13 and said reception can drop when going over the top.

News 13 put this claim to the test.

Root Metrics laid out a different set of numbers by the bridge.

AT&T was victorious with 5 bars and faster download speeds. Not to be out done, Verizon had a faster upload speed.

Still, round two went to AT&T.

Things were looking up for these providers, but there was still one more test to go.

Nearly 3 years ago, getting a cell signal in the rural area of west bay may have seemed down right impossible, but fast forward three years and now there's the existence of the airport. As the area grows around it, how about the cell coverage?

At the airport, the Root Metrics test proved interesting.

Verizon took an easy lead with 5 bars and faster upload speed. Verizon also crushed AT&T in the download speed test

Verizon triumphs in round 3.

So let's recap:

In Bar Strength: Verizon wins 2 out of 3

In Upload Speed: Verizon wins 3 out of 3

In Download Speed: AT&T wins 2 out of 3

So, by majority rule, in this unscientific experiment, it's Verizon who is the overall winner

With that, this concludes News 13's special report. We hope you've enjoyed learning a little more about how cell phones define our lives.

It would seem the sky is the limit for what they will create next and it seems our culture will be along for the ride. After all, that is "The Connect Effect."