Over the last few months, I've inadvertently undertaken a very unscientific study on the networks of three of the major U.S. wireless carriers. I didn't mean to do it -- I just wanted a MiFi that worked when I traveled or was out of my office for a few hours. What I found out was that only two networks are even worth considering, and one is far and away better than the other.
The beginning of the tale
I started my quest at Best Buy
Next came a short run with T-Mobile's 4G MiFi, which never seemed to work whether I was standing next to a tower or out in the middle of nowhere. Maybe AT&T was better off without this carrier after all.
At this point, I had learned a hard lesson. If you are in real need of Internet access, don't skimp on the cost. Obviously Sprint and T-Mobile couldn't provide devices that met my needs, and after my experience with AT&T's
I must say, I've been amazed at the results. Not only is Verizon's network faster and more reliable, but my Verizon MiFi device even loads faster than the other two. Sure, the cost is higher, but if you earn a living by having Internet access, it's a small price to pay.
Foolish bottom line
The power of the network is obviously important to wireless carriers, but I didn't realize the pricing power they have until I did the runaround. When it comes to investing in wireless, there are only two names I would look to: Verizon and Vodafone
I'm compelled to add outperform CAPScalls on both Verizon and Vodafone as a result of my experience. Check out the rest of my picks here.
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Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Vodafone Group and writing covered calls on Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.