Wireless Networks See Satisfaction Rate Lift From Unlimited Plans

Perception is reality, particularly when it comes to wireless carriers.

In J.D. Powers’ latest wireless network quality performance study, the firm finds consumers that are on unlimited wireless network plans report a lower incidence of overall network problems than those with data allowances. 

“In theory, there shouldn’t be a reason that someone with an unlimited plan would have better network quality than those with a limited plan,” Peter Cunningham, technology, media and telecommunications practice lead at J.D. Power, tells Marketing Daily. “I don’t think there’s any technological [reason] for it.”

Even more surprisingly, consumers who participate in so-called Bring Your Own Device programs (which allow consumers to bring their existing handsets when they switch carriers) report higher incidences of network problems than those who purchase new devices when switching carriers. While a prevailing theory might be that BYOD consumers are bringing over older phones (which could lead to more problems), a deeper dive into the data showed that was not the case. 



According to the research, customers who had phones less than a year old experienced an average of 12 network quality problems for every 100 connections, while those who had phones 18 months old or older had an average of 10 network quality problems. “It might be a network optimization issue, where bringing over a phone from a different network might cause the problems,” Cunningham says. 

When it comes to the actual carriers, Verizon had the highest scores in all six of the country’s geographical regions (though tied with U.S. Cellular in the North Central region) for the third consecutive time. 

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