AT&T yet again the worst-rated carrier in U.S.

The carrier was far behind the leading major carrier, Verizon, which won out on voice and data services in a new Consumer Reports study.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

More bad news for AT&T.

Consumer Reports has released its annual carrier ratings. And just as it had in the last two years, AT&T landed in last place, far behind the top major carrier in the roundup, Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless fared somewhat well in the study, earning relatively strong marks on voice and data. The only bright spot in AT&T's review was its 4G LTE network, which actually beat out its chief competitor in this year's study.

Sprint and T-Mobile USA landed between Verizon and AT&T.

For its part, AT&T isn't ready to back down. In a statement to CNET, an AT&T spokesperson said the company is always working to improve its service.

"While delivering an even better customer experience is a never-ending job, we're pleased that our customers rate their 4G experience as best of any carrier," the spokesperson told CNET. "We've invested significantly to deliver unique advantages, including offering the nation's largest 4G network, which enables the fastest iPhone 5 downloads and simultaneous talk and surf."

Consumer Reports' survey examines voice, data, and customer service across the wireless space. Although Verizon was tops among major carriers, across the industry, it actually landed in the middle of the pack. Smaller carriers, in fact, fared better than their major rivals.

Here is the actual ranking of the seven carriers included, from highest to lowest rating:
1. Consumer Cellular
2. U.S. Cellular
3. Credo Mobile
4. Verizon Wireless
5. Sprint
6. T-Mobile USA
7. AT&T

Consumer Cellular and Credo are actually mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that rely on other carriers' networks to deliver their service. Interestingly, Consumer Cellular relies on AT&T's network. Credo uses Sprint's network.