This is one of those issues that turn on whether "averages" are meaningful and even if they are, how to calculate them. Here in my relatively densely populated Seattle suburb, for example, Verizon ranks third out of four major carriers in terms of data speed. (AT&T is fastest.)
And while VZW makes much noise about its "coverage," it's unclear how such "averages" should be calculated. How many calls or 3G downloads, for example, are located in southeastern Montana? AT&T would no doubt claim that an "average" should be calculated by looking at the average download/upload data speed for all customers, not all geographic areas.
Interestingly, the dropped calls and "no bars" data reported by users on the site above don't support the contention that VZW is better in NYC.
The "Root Wireless" project is an interesting one. I downloaded the app and used it over the last week. It runs repeated tests for signal quality, data speed, and enables reporting of problems like "no access" and "dropped calls." The data are then compiled to provide the maps on the site above and to provide a personal profile of coverage for your phone.
In my particular case, VZW is adequate for my needs but the comparing it to other carriers here in the Seattle area, it hardly lives up to the hype regarding either coverage or speed.
Great that AT&T is fanstastic in certain cities, but really not my experience. However, if you travel anywhere you cannot beat Verizon. I have had AT&T and after a few weeks, I end up going back to Verizon. Now, where I live, there is only two choices; Verizon or Sprint.
I have been in almost every major city in the USA, and almost all the Continental states and never had a problem with Verizon. I do tons of driving (as well as flying) and I have never had a problem with obtaining signals in 95 percent of the areas I travel in. Something AT&T cannot even address at this time.
And, if I am traveling in my Hummer, if my BB cannot locate a Verizon signal, my Onstar usually can, but that is another topic. (And if I cannot get a signal for either, I pull out a 9505A.)
I can always tell when someone is calling me from an AT&T phone. Sounds like they are on a bad bluetooth.
So, for those who love AT&T great to hear someone does. I own some of their stock and don't want them to go the way of GM.
I'll also add, I know more people who have dropped their iPhones and jumped to BB's or Droids than jumping from BB's to Droids. Everyone I know (such as me) who have jumped or considering jumping (like me) from BB's have jumped to Verizon Androids.
I purchased an iPhone in June, and returned it in July. I could only get EDGE, and even that did not work about 60% of the time. I had 5 bars, but usually couldn't connect to facebook or pandora. I spent 5 hours on Friday trying to get a connection, and then all of a sudden it worked great for 3 hours. And then nothing again. I returned it by mail on Saturday.
I can get 3g on VZW (I verified this using my Kindle), so I'll be ordering the Droid X on Thursday.