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Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Sure, price matters a lot when a buyer is in the market for a new home. But do you know what matters more? Wireless service.

A consumer survey commissioned by CTIA found that homebuyers put more of a premium on reliable at-home wireless service (67 percent) than they do on home prices (60 percent), decent commute times (41 percent), proximity to a major airport (28 percent) and restaurants and nightlife (23 percent).

Only two neighborhood considerations—good hospitals (77 percent) and good schools (65 percent)—were rated higher than reliable wireless service.

“Even we were surprised at how high Americans now place reliable wireless coverage on the list of must-haves when moving to a new community,” CTIA writes on its blog. The CTIA online poll, conducted Dec. 28-29, 2016 by surveying firm Morning Consult, questioned 2,000 registered voters in the U.S.

The trade group points out that nearly half of U.S. households are now wireless-only, with a growing number of Americans accessing the internet solely on their smartphones. In 2015, American wireless customers gobbled up 9.65 trillion megabytes of wireless data, according to CTIA.

In the blog post, CTIA suggests that residential real estate agents check wireless coverage maps in places where they’re helping buyers and sellers, and recommends that local elected officials ensure their communities are ready for wireless upgrades.

“The wireless industry is ready to do our part,” CTIA writes. “We are projected to invest $275 billion and create three million jobs over the next decade. For those pockets without coverage today, we are ready to partner to find solutions to expand our networks further.”

For now, millions of Americans continue to grumble about dropped calls and other at-home smartphone woes. The How-To Geek website explains that poor signal strength inside your house could be the fault of your wireless carrier, or could be blamed on signal-blocking materials in the walls of your home.

RootMetrics, which measures the quality and reliability of mobile service, says mobile carriers continue to boost their LTE networks, add capacity and install new technology “to provide the fastest and most reliable service possible.”

“The constantly changing mobile landscape means that performance that might have been considered fast or reliable enough a few short years ago would be seen as slow or inadequate now,” RootMetrics writes.

In gauging the performance of mobile carriers during the second half of 2016, RootMetrics ranked Verizon first, followed by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

“Based on our testing, Verizon is the undisputed leader in terms of coverage and network reliability,” RootMetrics writes.

John Egan is editor-in-chief at LawnStarter, which offers an online platform and mobile app to connect homeowners with lawn care providers.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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