Consumer Reports recently published its annual cell-phone service ratings report, which will also run in the January 2013 issue of the magazine. The consumer testing organization found that Verizon Wireless was the highest-rated major U.S. carrier at the conclusion of a survey of 63,353 wireless subscribers in the United States.

"Verizon led the pack, receiving favorable scores for voice and data service quality, and also for support attributes like staff knowledge and resolution issues," Consumer Reports said. Sprint came in second place, followed by T-Mobile and then AT&T. The "middle to low marks" received by each of the three aforementioned carriers were mainly related to voice and text service quality.

Even though consumers complained about AT&T's voice and text service, its 4G LTE network was "rated the most favorable of any carrier" and had the fewest reported problems. Here's where stuff gets a bit confusing though:

An AT&T MVNO, Consumer Cellular, ranked at the top of all standard monthly bill carriers. So, basically, AT&T ranked the lowest when it comes to the big four carriers, but another carrier that uses its network ranked the highest among smaller carriers. Yeah, we're confused.

TracFone, meanwhile, received the winning score for prepaid providers.

[via Consumer Reports, PC World]