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The best (and worst) cities for mobile service in the U.S.

The best (and worst) cities for mobile service in the U.S.

When you travel across America, you start to notice that every city is vastly different. You get to know that the gas is cheaper in South Carolina than it is in California, the seafood tends to be better on the coasts than the heartland and the big cities have better cell coverage. We won't even get started on the pizza in New York versus the pizza in Chicago!

It's not news that different cities are, well, different. But you might be surprised at just how drastically different they are when it comes to wireless speed and quality. You'll definitely be interested to know which cities are the best and which are the worst.

There's a company called RootMetrics based in Washington state that does extensive testing of wireless networks across the country. It measures speed, reliability and performance on the four major wireless service providers in America. RootMetrics organizes the results into categories, and assigns each network a "RootScore."

RootMetrics also records the results by location, and posts them to a searchable map. It shows you which network is the fastest in the metro area, at the airport and at specific venues like sports stadiums and convention centers. That means you can see exactly which carrier is the most reliable or the fastest in almost any city over a six-month period of time.

The company also just released the city-by-city rankings for the first half of 2015. Want to see where your city lands on the full list?

Here are the rankings sorted by average overall score from best to worst:

  1. Atlanta, Georgia
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. Knoxville, Tennessee
  4. Nashville, Tennessee
  5. Jacksonville, Florida
  6. Port St. Lucie, Florida
  7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  8. Memphis, Tennessee
  9. Cleveland, Ohio
  10. Lansing, Michigan
  11. Birmingham, Alabama
  12. Raleigh, North Carolina
  13. Columbus, Ohio
  14. Concord, California
  15. Charleston, South Carolina
  16. Mobile, Alabama
  17. Stockton, California
  18. Augusta, Georgia
  19. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  20. Seattle, Washington
  21. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  22. Houston, Texas
  23. Greenville, South Carolina
  24. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  25. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  26. Spokane, Washington
  27. Dallas, Texas
  28. Tampa, Florida
  29. San Antonio, Texas
  30. St. Louis, Missouri
  31. Columbia, South Carolina
  32. Charlotte, North Carolina
  33. Rockford, Illinois
  34. Sacramento, California
  35. Flint, Michigan
  36. Wichita, Kansas
  37. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  38. Modesto, California
  39. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  40. Akron, Ohio
  41. Hampton Roads, Virginia
  42. Austin, Texas
  43. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  44. Louisville, Kentucky
  45. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  46. Richmond, Virginia
  47. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  48. Kansas City, Missouri
  49. San Jose, California
  50. Jackson, Mississippi
  51. Indianapolis, Indiana
  52. Victor Valley, California
  53. Youngstown, Ohio
  54. Mission Viejo, California
  55. Fort Myers, Florida
  56. Greensboro, North Carolina
  57. Bakersfield, California
  58. Orlando, Florida
  59. Syracuse, New York
  60. Boston, Massachusetts
  61. Chattanooga, Tennessee
  62. Rochester, New York
  63. Denton, Texas
  64. Portland, Oregon
  65. Baltimore, Maryland
  66. Corpus Christi, Texas
  67. Washington, D.C.
  68. Honolulu, Hawaii
  69. Temecula, California
  70. Salt Lake City, Utah
  71. Hartford, Connecticut
  72. Miami, Florida
  73. Provo, Utah
  74. New York City and the Tri-State Area
  75. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  76. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  77. Detroit, Michigan
  78. Little Rock, Arkansas
  79. San Diego, California
  80. Oxnard, California
  81. Toledo, Ohio
  82. Durham, North Carolina
  83. Madison, Wisconsin
  84. Tucson, Arizona
  85. Pensacola, Florida
  86. Sarasota, Florida
  87. Shreveport, Louisiana
  88. Boise, Idaho
  89. Los Angeles, California
  90. Las Vegas, Nevada
  91. Cincinnati, Ohio
  92. Providence, Rhode Island
  93. San Francisco, California
  94. Kissimmee, Florida
  95. Buffalo, New York
  96. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  97. Phoenix, Arizona
  98. Worcester, Massachusetts
  99. Fresno, California
  100. Palm Bay, Florida
  101. Daytona Beach, Florida
  102. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  103. Albany, New York
  104. New Haven, Connecticut
  105. Riverside, California
  106. Indio, California
  107. New Orleans, Louisiana
  108. Santa Rosa, California
  109. Scranton, Pennsylvania
  110. Allentown, Pennsylvania
  111. Ogden, Utah
  112. Dayton, Ohio
  113. Springfield, Massachusetts
  114. Antelope Valley, California
  115. Des Moines, Iowa
  116. Bonita Springs, Florida
  117. Bridgeport and Stamford, Connecticut
  118. Denver, Colorado
  119. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  120. McAllen, Texas
  121. El Paso, Texas
  122. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  123. Omaha, Nebraska
  124. Reno, Nevada
  125. Hudson Valley, New York

These are just the aggregate scores. If you go to RootMetrics' site, you can see each one broken down by reliability, speed, data, call and text. You can also find the handy map, and see which provider is the best in your area.

Are you surprised by these rankings? There are some humongous metropolises very low on that list, and some mid-size cities ranked pretty highly. Let us know your reaction in the comments below!

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Source: RootMetrics
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