AT&T tops in Gartner wireline report

Gartner Inc. has released its new report Critical Capabilities for U.S. Wireline Telecom Services, examining the major service providers’ capabilities in the American marketplace. Of the eight studied, AT&T landed on top with the best solutions and services for businesses of all sizes.

The study looked at seven key capability areas: multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) services, SIP trunking, dedicated Internet, metro private line, managed and redundant broadband, Ethernet WAN and managed routers.

“AT&T’s overall rating reflects its depth of product capabilities across the portfolio and explicit strengths in such areas as metro and optical networking and managed broadband, where competitors’ offerings are not as mature or as broadly deployed,” states the report.

On a scale of 1.0 (poor) to 5.0 (outstanding), AT&T averaged a product rating of 4.4. It particularly shone in the metro private line segment, receiving the highest possible mark. It was No. 1 in all use cases, including large enterprise, midsize enterprise and hybrid WAN network.

However, Gartner does point out the company has some customer service work to do – there have been demands for AT&T to react more quickly to network upgrade requests.

Verizon slid into second with an average product rating of 4.1. It was recognized for delivering a broad range of solutions and increases in private IP services over LTE, and for having a strong hold in several verticals including healthcare and finance.

“Although Verizon gets consistently strong feedback for the quality of presale design and engineering, Gartner customers continue to report frustration with service delivery of high-bandwidth connectivity, as well as network availability in large multisite deployments, which is reflected in their lower scores,” outlines the report. “Enterprises of all sizes should strongly consider Verizon for each of the key use cases presented in this research; however, midsize enterprises may find better responsiveness and pricing from smaller carriers.”

CenturyLink’s third-place average product rating was 3.3.

The Gartner report wasn’t the only bright spot for AT&T and Verizon this week. On the residential side of things, the two telcos were identified as the best bundled value in a recently released Consumer Reports survey.

Three-quarters of Verizon FiOS customers said they would purchase a “triple play” bundle of video, voice and data, while 79 per cent would add wireless service to the mix. AT&T U-verse subscribers expressed similar sentiments, with 68 per cent suggesting they would take a “quad play” package.