Aug 17, 2017

Big cities aren't always best when it comes to cell service


Sam Jayne / Axios

If you are looking for the best wireless service in the country, you might need to look in some unexpected places.

Indeed, in the most recent RootMetrics study, it was Lansing, Mich., that had the best wireless service, with cities like Modesto, Calif. and Port St. Lucie, Fla. also in the top five for the first half of 2017.

Among the top 10 cities, only Chicago ranked in the top five, coming in at No. 3. New York slid a few places, from No. 66 to No. 72, while Boston showed the biggest jump among the ten largest cities, climbing 42 spots, to No. 55 from No. 97.

RootMetrics measures factors like network reliability, the speed of data and texts and call quality.

Our thought bubble: It also matters a lot which carrier you have. These rankings reflect performance across all providers and you are only signing up with one. Some are better in some cities than others and it pays to look at the coverage maps in your area and talk to friends.

Here are the top cities for wireless, among country's the 125 largest regions. Their population rank is in parentheses.

  1. Lansing, Mich. (117)
  2. Indianapolis, Ind. (32)
  3. Modesto, Calif. (104)
  4. Chicago (3)
  5. Port St Lucie, Fla. (100)

Meanwhile, here are the bottom five:

121. Indio, Calif. (110)122. Omaha, Neb. (57)123. Hartford, Conn. (46)124. Bridgeport/Stamford, Conn. (47)125. Hudson Valley, N.Y. (88)

Go deeper