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Top 10 worst cities for cellphone reception in the U.S.

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Which city in the U.S. is the least reliable when it comes to mobile phone reception? Data firm OpenSourceMaps finds out.

In a world of instant-communication and near constant connectivity, we’ve begun to expect that our cellphones will work anytime, anywhere. Unfortunately, some cities are better than others when it comes to mobile phone reception and the practice of waving a phone in the air in search of signal bars lives on.

In a recent collaboration with data firm OpenSignalMaps, TIME magazine set out to find the worst cities for cell phone reception in the United States.

The data firm obtained the rankings based on averages of at least 25,000 signal readings in each city provided by mobile users who had downloaded OpenSignalMaps’ signal-testing app for the Android.

Based on the crowdsourced data the firm acquired, here are the top ten worst cities in the U.S. for cell phone reception:

  1. Bakersfield, Calif.
  2. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  3. Oklahoma City
  4. Lincoln, Neb.
  5. Toledo, Ohio
  6. Tucson, Ariz.
  7. Milwaukee
  8. Jacksonville, Fla.
  9. Lexington, Ky.
  10. Detroit

While some cities, such as Detroit, suffered from an abundance of skyscrapers coupled with too few cell phone towers to counter them, others, such as Bakersfield, couldn’t keep up with rapid increases in population. Still other cities, like Oklahoma City and Jacksonville, are faced with the task of providing mobile service over an incredibly large area.

The study also revealed that across 75 major cities in the U.S., Sprint generally had the best average coverage while T-Mobile had the worst.

[via TIME]

Image: Jonathan Dinh/Flickr

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Sarah Korones

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sarah Korones is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for Psychology Today and Boston's Weekly Dig. She holds a degree from Tufts University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure