AT&T rated worst carrier in the U.S.

AT&T has been named one of the worst carriers in the U.S. in terms of quality service amongst a survey group of 50,000 individuals from across the country. In a study carried about by Consumer Reports and spotted by ModmyI, AT&T was named the worst in service availability, dropped calls, circuit capacity and voice service, out of the top four carriers.

The top ranking service provider, Verizon came out on top of T-Mobile, followed by Sprint, with AT&T in dead last. The readers score was judged on user's average monthly bill, customer support and cellular service that included voice, messaging, web access and email.

The surprising part of this news is that country's only supplier of the iPhone, AT&T, did so poorly on the country's most popular smartphone device. AT&T ranked the worst in 19 out of the 26 cities surveyed in terms of customer service, while Verizon ranked number one in all 26 cities surveyed.


Image credit: Consumer Reports

AT&T and Apple's exclusive contact to sell the iPhone in the U.S. will be coming to an end sometime next year, where companies like T-Mobile will be able to begin selling the iPhone, but at a price. The exclusive contact also eliminates some of the costs per phone, but once the contact is over, prices for the iPhone are likely to rise slightly.

Verizon's network uses the CDMA network, which is not compatible with the iPhone. However, Bell and Telus, who also use the CDMA network and GSM network, recently started selling the iPhone in Canada, breaking the exclusive contact Rogers had in Canada, which uses the GSM network.

9to5mac.com posted a break down of 13 U.S. cities for service:


Image credit: Novarum

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ATT is the best provider I've ever seen and/or had. I dont know where you guys get your stats from, but I've never had a dropped call, never had call quality issues, nothing...just awesome service. All my friends with TMobile, Sprint, Verizon....they'll drop calls all the time, have crappy sound quality, and have phones that are hijacked from the store to include some crappy locked down OS...no thanks...I'm stickin with ATT.

Same story here - just switched from at&t to t-mobile and couldn't be happier. They just activated their 3g network around Orlando even though their EDGE network was not much slower than AT&T's over-saturated 3g. Not to mention the convenience of 24/hr customer services... at&t being one of the largest carriers has their customer service call centers open mon-fri and sat (7 - 9pm) - that's it. And if you do get to finally talk to them after being dropped 2 - 3 times while on hold, they're not the most helpful customer service team...

I can agree with the finding's 100%. I manage 165 BlackBerry devices on an AT&T network. I can attest everyone complains constantly about the signal/internet etc. Yet I also manage 203 BlackBerry devices on a Verizon network with no complaints EVER. I'm on the phone constantly with AT&T about signal and internet issues. If I had a dollar for every time I was told "We will be upgrading soon". Well AT&T don't worry about your upgrade, I just signed papers to move 165 lines to Verizon as of Jan 13th =}

Personally I do not want or need a cellular Phone. Besides the inherant tracking capabilities it has built in, and engineers complete disreguard for human health in the designs of these cancer beamers, I don't want to pay a premium so that I can be bothered mobily as well as at home. We have AT&T at my Mom's house where I stay to take care of her, and since its a hard line, dropped calls are not an issue.
My issue is with a company that would tinkle on its paying customers and readily give up their information and access to their lines to a Corrupt Federal Government. Then turn around and cry to that same corrupt government to protect them from law suits it new it deserved.
It sure seems to me with all the acquisitions AT&T has been making in the last few years, that they are attempting to recreate the monopoly they held a few decades back as MA-Bell. And it also seems the Government is turning a blind eye to this move.
Our only recourse as consumers is to show our displeasure by switching carriers and dumping AT&T like the garbage they are.

One of my friends actually needs to leave the building to use his iPhone because of low signal strength. I get 3 bars with Verizon in my room.

Chrono951 said,
One of my friends actually needs to leave the building to use his iPhone because of low signal strength. I get 3 bars with Verizon in my room.

Well your friend should have bought the APPLE Iphone instead of the ATT IPhone...

I feel the need to add that the issue with AT&T isn't just with the iPhone (which I DO use). There are many people that have other makes and models of phones using AT&T that experience the same issues, 3G or no 3G. I had Cingular before and then eventually AT&T using a Sony Ericsson phone as well as NOKIA, and they ALL had problems. The same problem exists today with my other friends using AT&T sans iPhone.

When Comic-Con comes to town and there are over 125k people converging on downtown I can have 5 bars of 3G, but no service whatsoever. 5 bars, but still unable to make or take calls or use my data plan. That's when i turn off 3G and it works to a degree.

Sorry but...

Screw Verizon: The load their 1980's era menu system onto every damned phone they have. Not to mention how they nerf the hell out of the phone too. Bluetooth to be specific. The menus also nerf the hell out of the phones.

Screw Sprint: Myself as well as others I know have been shafted by their billing department on more than one occasion.

T-Mobile: I don't know anyone at all who uses them.

I don't care if the iPhone is exclusive to AT&T in the future... they just had better not drop it.

i have a iphone thru att & my calls get dropped all the time while my friends who are with other carriers don't get dropped in my area so pretty much att sucks in my area

Just left at&t for t-mobile yesterday. I'm tired of paying around $140 each month just to keep my blackberry. Also at&t told me that t-mobile doesn't have 3G just to ind out they do. I settled with the Blackberry Bold 9700 for t-mobile. Goodbye at&t, it's been a great 6 years.

Actually, they all suck pretty bad. AT&T is just a tick under Sprint and less than 10 points below Verizon who scored a miserable 75. Although AT&T is at the bottom, there's not that much room between them and the top. There's plenty of room for improvement for all of them.

I had at&t for many years before I moved to georgia. After I moved my bill was screwed up ever single month. I was getting double charged for my minutes because of a tower malfunction. It caused me to burn thru 5,000 roll over minutes in a single month. Despite my disputing of the bill they would not change it eventhough I use no more than 350 minutes a month for the past few years I was with them. In the end I said screw it, you know what I dont need this phone anymore because my job paid for me a new phone. Till this day I still have a $3000 cellphone bill that the collection people will never see a dime of because they tried to screw me over. Now I am with verizon for my personal phone and its been great so far.

When I was in the US, Cingular always had big ads telling everyone how reliable their network was.

... The hell happened?

South FL on ATT with iPhone, and no problems. DSL speeds when tethering. (Down160KBs and Up30KBs)

Other than their Rates, i've had no issues. No drops. and i live in the city too.

Verizon should just buy at&t and say: hey foobs we know your terrible with everything so because we care about our customers unlike you which only cares about money we are buying you out so your customers can join us so they don't need to put up with ur garbage so heres say 50 billion so take it so we can pwn you.

I have had AT&T for 3 years now and I think they are the best cell company I have had. I had Verizon before that and hated it dropped calls bad reception and crap customer service made me switch to AT&T and I would never go back to Verizon.

I would say the same happened to me. I had Verizon before, but I think it was mainly the customer service that chased me off.

I have had Verizon now for almost 2 years used to have AT&T love Verizon. Don't really like their coustomer support though but you can't hold the whole company at fault for a few morons.

It's kinda weird...I'm on AT&T, and right where I live I have no problems. No dropped calls, good voice quality, and 3G works and is fast wherever I go in town, but if I go just a few hours down the road to any of the 4 larger cities nearby, nearly every call gets dropped and 3G is hit and miss (more miss than hit). I think AT&T just can't handle the demands of a larger city, or something....

AT&T, Iphones, Macs, Bike Helmets... All for people that have no farking clue what they're doing anyway. Why bother. They're idiots. Leave them be.

Sprint will reign supreme in within 2 years. Verizon will lose customers once Android takes over and destroys or continues to destroy Windows Mobile fanboys (or girls, whichever tickles your pickle) and people, well the ones that are capable of using a high end device loaded with Android will realize that the confines of Verizon and other said carriers are quite Nazi in comparison to what's available. That is all.

Los Angeles gets calls dropped even in a 5 bar area. I have also seen my brother's 3Gs drop the 3G signal when it was on 5 bars in Los Angeles and Palmdale. Is he not alone or is he not alone?

Almost all of these speeds are under 1Mpbs and none of them reaches 1.5Mbps, and they call this 3G and charge US$30? US people are really rich. LOL

ALUOp said,
Almost all of these speeds are under 1Mpbs and none of them reaches 1.5Mbps, and they call this 3G and charge US$30? US people are really rich. LOL

They don't all charge $30USD. Sprint charges $15 for unlimited 3G data on the old school plans and on the new plans you get unlimited data, text, and nav for $70, $90, or $100 depending on whether you want 450, 900, or unlimited weekday landline minutes (any mobile is free to call).

I chose them years ago because I always had unlimited data and theirs was $15 instead of $30-45 from ATT or VZW.

The cheapest plan that includes data w/ AT&T and Verizon Wireless is roughly the same at $50 for 450 "anytime" minutes and $30 for "unlimited" data. For another $5/15/20 you get 200/1500/unlimited texting.

I wish they would be more competitive than that. I'm debating switching to Sprint after my AT&T contract runs out.

Edit: my pricing on text messages was inaccurate. 200 text messages is right at what I normally use in a month. But going over sucks :(. The difference between 1500 and unlimited seems so marginal.

LOL @AT&T bashing... on a serious note, I've just recently moved down to Tijuana, Mexico (south of the border on the San Diego region) and I'm impressed that even being on a different country I get Sprint signal to make calls and even EVDO on certain areas ... not that I want to bash but in comparison my brother has Verizon and his BB switches to international roaming while mine is still under the local signal without having to spend intl roaming high prices, I've been happy with Sprint for the last 5 or 6 yrs.

I'm so glad I don't have AT&T anymore. We had it as one of our first providers when my family started using mobile phones. Once we moved to my current house, we could hardly get reception inside, unless we were standing right next to a window. We finally switched to Verizon when we found out we got a discount through my job, and I haven't looked back since.

Okay So I get it you want to post this iformation for people so they know AT&T is rated the worst, but what I don't get is all your bashing of AT&T I mean it seems as if that is all you people ever do. If you don't like AT&T then don't use there service, I know you'll say well I want to use an Iphone and that is the network I have to use. So what then just wait till it get relesed on other networks and buy it then. If not then just shut up I'm sick of reading your slams on AT&T I know they have problems but so do all the other networks. I have had AT&T for awhile now and don't have any problems, I mean I expect some with concerns to the cell radio but they are radio waves after all and radio waves are line of sight. I know you'll tell me that is what the cell towers are for and yes you would be correct but they are still just radiowaves. So again I understand if you don't like AT&T but you know you really don't have to use their service if you don't want to.

The complaints are what bring the poor service to the attention of the public and then in turn the carrier. The ones that do have AT&T service hope that it will bring some action on part of either Apple (or other companies) to consider another carrier for the phones, or AT&T to provide better service. While the complaining seems pointless to you, there is a reason for it.

Some people DO have good service, it's true. But as the polls indicate those people are in the minority. I purchased a couple of handsets that I can link to my phone via Bluetooth so that I can leave my iPhone in a part of my apartment that gets steady service. Now I can take my handset to the kitchen, living room, or even bathroom if I want to continue a conversation. And I can't help but get irritated when I receive an email from AT&T trying to sell me a MicroCell for $150 so that I can have a strong signal inside my place when the service is perfectly fine 20ft outside of my front door. Unacceptable service.

I never get dropped calls, however, download rates are slow, and if I travel away from the city forget about 3G, let alone signal coverage.

I'm more disappointed that I can't tether my iPhone, and I bet if they do allow it one day, it'll cost an arm and a leg, probably just as much as a seperate data plan.

If I didn't get an awesome discount from work, I'd probaby ditch their service for another provider. However believe it or not, they have the best coverage by my house.

I've actually switched from T-Mobile to Verizon recently and have been very happy. However I was a Cingular customer before moving to T-Mo three years ago and even then they stunk. In Baton Rouge, I couldn't make a phone call between 5-6 PM because cell towers were overloaded.

Switched from Sprint to AT&T with iPhone.

Sprint has the ****tiest service and call quality. Had so many dropped calls and times where other person couldn't hear me. Haven't had a problem at all with AT&T.

Must depend on where you are. I've never had a dropped call in literally 5 or 6 years on Sprint. Prices for voice and unlimited text/data/etc. are much lower than the competition and we roam for free on Verizon's network if we end up in the boonies where Verizon admittedly has superior coverage, albeit at higher cost. Last summer I considered a move to ATT for the iPhone but between the $40 more I would pay every month for the same service and the spotty 3G coverage I decided to stay with Sprint. As it stands, my girlfriend and I each pay around $65 a month for two Palm Pres and we split:

1500 weekday landline minutes
Free after 5pm
Free on weekends
Free calls to any cell phone
Unlimited 3G data
Unlimited text
Unlimited use of their commercial turn-by-turn nav

I don't own stock or anything so it's not like I'm married to them. If someone offered a better deal I would leave in a heartbeat but so far nobody can beat them on price. They have always been one of the best carriers for smartphones having all the WM and Palm phones first (when those were the only real US smartphones) and with a good assortment of WebOS, Android, WM, and RIM phones to this day. I use their 4G as my home internet and it's nice...around 7mbps download for $25/month. Hopefully the rumors of an upcoming 4G Android handset this summer are true since they let me upgrade at the subsidized price every year instead of every two years as a perk for being a long time customer.

I live in a major city too (Austin, TX). Nothing but problems.

Price really doesn't concern me. Really, what good is a cheap plan if it doesn't work well? My family has all had Sprint and I was on the family plan as a free line. I was that fed up with it to go from free to paying. We have had so many problems all together with the phone bill and plan, getting screwed over on contracts, etc and crappy quality.

I get 25% discount off my bill, so it's not too big a deal.

Xilo said,
I live in a major city too (Austin, TX). Nothing but problems.

Price really doesn't concern me. Really, what good is a cheap plan if it doesn't work well? My family has all had Sprint and I was on the family plan as a free line. I was that fed up with it to go from free to paying. We have had so many problems all together with the phone bill and plan, getting screwed over on contracts, etc and crappy quality.

I get 25% discount off my bill, so it's not too big a deal.

Oh I agree wholeheartedly. I just never had any of those issues. Coverage has always been great in the city and suburbs. In the rural areas I roam on VZW for free if there are no Sprint towers, and the phone selection has always been good for smart phones. Obviously if coverage in your area sucks then that does you zero good. I count myself lucky to live in an area with decent coverage by the major carriers so I can choose based on price and handset availability.

I've had at&t for years (at&t wireless, bought out by cingular, then name change to at&t), never had any issues.
yeah, everyone drops a call once in a while, it is a RADIO TRANSMITTER/RECEIVER. Interference etc...

I've used verizon for years and never had an issue, with an acception when talking to AT&T customers who I would loose connection with (Dropped Calls). And I don't think we should blame the "RADIO/TRANSMITTER" , Interference etc... for this.

fair enough. when i was in northern California over the holidays AT&T was awesome. the data speeds were terrific and the coverage was 5 bar 3g everywhere I went. In southern new mexico, not so much :(. Verizon does laps around AT&T here.

Oh yea, not arguing that AT&T is perfect, but I don' t think they are bad "everywhere" and I get the impression a lot of what gets posted on these forums is "me too" rubbish from people who have never used the carrier.

perochan said,
I have AT&T and so far no problem.
I've had AT&T for 10 years and I haven't had any issues with connection, data or voice. In my entire time, I may have no more than 5 dropped calles total. *shrugs* I probably will stay with them for a bit longer too. Sure Verizon is the big one, but over all, I'm happy with what I have.

Check the ModmyI link in the article. It has a clickable image that's slightly more readable. The original is on the CR site and they're subscription-only.

GreyWolfSC said,
Check the ModmyI link in the article. It has a clickable image that's slightly more readable. The original is on the CR site and they're subscription-only.

Oh thanks. I didn't see the link there.

I'm in San Francisco and had to turn off 3g on my Bold. Without 3G enabled I can sometimes make a call between 4pm and 6pm and my emails are only delayed 3 minutes instead of 10. Even with no 3G on, I drop calls ALL the time and rarely have a signal long enough to download a 1MB app.

badbread said,
I'm in San Francisco and had to turn off 3g on my Bold. Without 3G enabled I can sometimes make a call between 4pm and 6pm and my emails are only delayed 3 minutes instead of 10. Even with no 3G on, I drop calls ALL the time and rarely have a signal long enough to download a 1MB app.

Oh wow. That's worse than the stories I've even heard before... I download stuff all the time and it's very fast on my Verizon phone...

bob_c_b said,
Hmm, guess I'm lucky, my AT&T service has been nothing but excellent.

Same. Calls get dropped occasionally, but no worse than my friends that use Verizon.

Mine as well, its all the whiney iPhone users. Sorry people, its the phone, not the carrier and its still about where you live. I'm central (STL) and only have dead spots when travelling. Friend has iPhone and looses sync every few towers.

kak said,
Same. Calls get dropped occasionally, but no worse than my friends that use Verizon.

I think I've had 2 calls drop since joining Verizon. It's not very common for me at all. My friend that had AT&T was dropping calls CONSTANTLY... He eventually switched to Verizon, and he's very happy now. The thing with cellular carriers though is that it can differ in different areas of the country. What makes AT&T unique is that they seem to be relatively consistent across the country. Unfortunately for AT&T, that's not a good thing... lol

Dashel said,
Mine as well, its all the whiney iPhone users. Sorry people, its the phone, not the carrier and its still about where you live. I'm central (STL) and only have dead spots when travelling. Friend has iPhone and looses sync every few towers.

Ummm, 2 iPhone 3GS's on my account, so it's not the phone either. I can't speak for all markets, but Northeast and Central Ohio are well covered by ATT.

bob_c_b said,
Ummm, 2 iPhone 3GS's on my account, so it's not the phone either. I can't speak for all markets, but Northeast and Central Ohio are well covered by ATT.

It most definitely could be the phone. The radio and software on the iPhone sucks.

bob_c_b said,
[url="http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/0,39029453,49303754,00.htm"
That's it, a good article from Cnet showing O2 has lousy coverage and bunch of opinion? Not one technical test of call quality? Some of you are pathetic.


Did you even bother reading it? If not let me quote stuff for you:

We could point the finger of blame at O2's network, which has the thinnest 3G coverage in the UK, according to maps released by Ofcom this year. In our tests, however, it's common for other O2 phones to work well in places where the iPhone gets nothing.


SEATTLE - Spotty wireless broadband connectivity for some of Apple Inc.'s new iPhones most likely results from a hardware problem introduced during mass production, a Swedish technical magazine reported Wednesday.

Ny Teknik, Sweden's foremost engineering weekly, obtained a report on tests conducted by unnamed experts that showed some handsets' sensitivity to third-generation network signals is well below the level specified in the 3G standard.


The report said the most likely cause of the 3G problems is defective adjustments between the antenna and an amplifier that captures very weak signals from the antenna. This could lead to poor 3G connectivity and slower data speeds.


Since the launch of the next-generation iPhone, Apple's message boards have been flooded with complaints of dropped calls and poor 3G connectivity indicated by few or no "bars" on the phone's display.

Some users said they performed side-by-side tests and found that the iPhone had connectivity problems in locations where 3G phones from other manufacturers did not. The reports were made by users who said they lived in the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain and other countries.


One part of a linked article on that site however made me laugh:

In the United States, AT&T Inc. is the only wireless provider to sell the iPhone. Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T's wireless unit, said AT&T has not received a significant number of complaints and that, "overall, the new iPhone is performing just great on our 3G network."


Apple has, however, fixed some of these issues with updates.

Well, to add fuel to your fire, I have an iPhone and very very rarely drop calls, so the iPhone doesn't just drop calls. It may or may not have worse signal than some phones, but if you have good AT&T service in your area, it doesn't matter. It's definitely not JUST the iPhone's fault.

Aww that's a shame... Maybe if they hadn't stupidly sold off their wireless carrier years ago, and invested in the infrastructure over the long term,instead of buying it back when it got really popular, they'd still be better off than Verizon.

There's a Map for that! ;)

I have to use my BB Bold with AT&T for work, so I can agree it sucks, esp. tethering when I'm on call.

Why doesn't Verizon change to UMTS/HSPA+ (21.6 Mbps) like Bell & Telus have done in Canada? Apple will never release a CDMA version of the iPhone, and as long as Verizon stays on this antiquated network, they are going to have to deal with the latest and greatest handsets being available exclusively on the HSPA networks like AT&T and T-Mobile.

Bell and Telus both spent $1 billion combined to develop this HSPA network. Judging from the size of the area they are covering in Canada, compared to the size of land Verizon needs to cover, they are looking at $4-$5 billion just to install across America.

I've heard rumours of Verizon working on LTE, but I seriously doubt they'll launch it in 6 months. I would be surprised if it was launched earlier than mid 2012. Bell, Telus, and Rogers are also deploying LTE across Canada, but they have all stated a goal of 2012 for the launch year. HSPA+ deployment for Bell & Telus at least was a way to offer the iPhone along with Rogers, and to "pave the way" for LTE in 2012.

Andrew Lyle said,
Bell and Telus both spent $1 billion combined to develop this HSPA network. Judging from the size of the area they are covering in Canada, compared to the size of land Verizon needs to cover, they are looking at $4-$5 billion just to install across America.

Bell & Telus have spent $1 billion ($500 million each) and are dealing with a population size of roughly 33 million as their client base. Verizon is dealing with a client base that's almost 10 times larger, so the $4-$5 billion figure is not a huge amount in comparison.

stooley said,
Because Verizon is launching LTE within the next 6 months

They've been claiming that for at least a year now, think they might be full of it

Tom W said,
Not really surprised, all I hear from people I know in NY is how bad their iPhones are on AT&T.

I think that's why they came out with the unlock method for the iPhone.. because AT&T just sucks

thornz0 said,
I've never had a carrier worse than Cingular (AT&T). It was horrible call quality and frequent dropped calls.

Yeah. When my mother had AT&T years ago her service was so horrible she used to joke she only had service in their store... After seeing my friend's service last year I see they haven't really improved anything all that much. Upon seeing how good my service was, he switched to Verizon... LOL

aww too bad they can't sue them for this now like they tried to with verizon pointing out their flaws... which they just got laughed out of court for

NoLiMiT06 said,
I work for them.... Yea we do suck :D

You do know if your companys find out who you are (name for example) you could get fired right?

nokiaxion said,
You do know if your companys find out who you are (name for example) you could get fired right?

That would be even better press... AT&T fires employee after criticizing company in response to survey which found AT&T as the worst national cell carrier.

NoLiMiT06 said,
I work for them.... Yea we do suck :D

i worked for them through a third party. i worked at west corporation which takes att mobile call. It was the most stressful job ever. It couldn't have been a worse job.

NoLiMiT06 said,
I work for them.... Yea we do suck :D

Check you Email.
You have just been granted with unlimited Holidays!!!

Regards,
Your Manager
:P

Nicholas P. said,
Check you Email.
You have just been granted with unlimited Holidays!!!

Regards,
Your Manager
:P


What!!! Hows the pay with a schedule like that?!

Joshie said,
Speaking as someone who JUST left at&t (like, two days ago), I whole-heartedly agree.

Speaking as someone who left Verizon for ATT and the iPhone

I WHOLE HEARTEDLY AGREE

I actually disagree with everyone above me. I left Verizon's high prices and save lots with AT&T and my iPhone. I am in a suburb of Philadelphia, so I really think AT&T is the best.

No drop calls, fast 3G, and no problems.

njn007 said,
I actually disagree with everyone above me. I left Verizon's high prices and save lots with AT&T and my iPhone. I am in a suburb of Philadelphia, so I really think AT&T is the best.

No drop calls, fast 3G, and no problems.

Must be nice living UNDER a tower

njn007 said,
I actually disagree with everyone above me. I left Verizon's high prices and save lots with AT&T and my iPhone. I am in a suburb of Philadelphia, so I really think AT&T is the best.

No drop calls, fast 3G, and no problems.

I agree and disagree. In my area (Raleigh, NC), AT&T's coverage is great. I just ran a speed test and got by far faster downstream than anything listed above: 1831 Kbps down, 206 Kbps up, and 384 ms ping. AT&T is fast, almost always has full signal, and never drops calls.

HOWERVER... I do recognize the fact that that's my area, and it's not the same in a lot of places. I'm thankful for the fact that my 3G speed is that fast here, which keeps me from complaining, but I know that Verizon's coverage is better all.

In the end, as usual, it comes down to personal preference (and location). For me, here, I'd rather AT&T for it's faster internet and great service. If I lived somewhere else, or traveled more, I'd probably be with Verizon.

My contract is up any day now on my original iPhone 3G, and I'll be choosing my next carrier based on the phones offered. If the next iPhone is great, I may stay with it, otherwise I'm looking for a Snapdragon based Android phone with a huge display, something like the Nexus One (but I'll never use T-Mobile).

It's nice living somewhere where I have two awesome carriers to choose from.