After a large-scale study yesterday gave Verizon top honors for best LTE availability and best video experience, RootMetrics is out today with its own large-scale study of US mobile carriers. While Verizon performed best in both studies, this latest report has AT&T in a solid second place instead of T-Mobile.
Notably, yesterday’s OpenSignal report that was based on 5.6 million measurements from March to June this year found T-Mobile to offer the fastest download and upload speeds. The carrier also tied AT&T for lowest network latency. Verizon took first place for best 4G availability and video experience.
With notably different results, RootMetrics’ study that includes almost 4 million network tests from the first half of 2019 show T-Mobile behind both Verizon and AT&T in every category ranking.
Verizon swept the field for national results winning or tying for first in every network category with an overall score of 94.8. AT&T came in a close second with 93.2 while T-Mobile and Sprint were notably further behind with scores of 86.
Verizon also beat out all the other major carriers for realiability and speed, but AT&T and T-Mobile were just behind Verizon by a couple points when it came to speed.
Other category rankings included data, call, and text with Verizon taking first place for all of them, except for tying with AT&T for text performance.
State level performance results also highlighted Verizon’s dominance as the higest rated carrier in 263 out of 300 states, regions, and urban areas in the US.
Here are RootMetrics’ key takeaways for each carrier:
Consistently fast and reliable: Verizon’s results remained outstanding across the board, with the strongest combination of stellar reliability and fast speeds among all networks. Verizon delivered median download speeds faster than 40 Mbps in more markets than any other carrier and achieved our mark of Excellent call and data reliability in nearly every market we tested.
The single fastest speed in 1H 2019: Verizon delivered the fastest speed among all networks in this round of testing, clocking a median download speed of 67.8 Mbps in Dayton, OH. It’s also worth noting that Verizon’s speeds were fast even at the “slow” end. For instance, Verizon’s slowest median download speed of 18.5 Mbps, found in Omaha, NE, is still quite fast. At that speed, Verizon subscribers can perform the majority of mobile activities with ease.
Faster speeds: Good news for AT&T subscribers looking for fast speeds: AT&T increased the number of markets in which it delivered median download speeds of at least 30 Mbps, moving from 38 in second-half 2018 testing to 78 in the first half of 2019, with speeds faster than 40 Mbps in 36 of those markets.
Outstanding reliability: With a total of 65 Network Reliability RootScore Awards—the second-highest total among all carriers—and strong call and data reliability results in nearly every market we tested, AT&T users looking for a reliable mobile experience shouldn’t be disappointed.
Consistently fast in metropolitan markets: T-Mobile continued its trend of delivering fast speeds in metro areas. The carrier’s total of 60 markets with median download speeds of at least 30 Mbps in first-half 2019 testing—and 24 markets with speeds faster than 40 Mbps—marked a modest improvement compared to our last test period.
Data reliability strong and shows improvement: While T-Mobile’s call reliability remained strong and generally consistent with what we found in our last test period, T-Mobile’s data reliability showed improvement. The carrier increased the number of markets in which it achieved Excellent reliability for getting connected from 104 markets in second-half 2018 testing to 110 this time. Likewise, T-Mobile improved the number of markets where it reached our mark of Excellence for staying connected from 124 to 125.
Worth noting: T-Mobile and Verizon were the only two carriers to reach our threshold of Excellence for staying connected in every metro area we tested.
Impressive speed improvements: Sprint’s median download speeds showed strong improvement for the second consecutive test period. Sprint increased the number of markets in which it delivered median download speeds of at least 30 Mbps from 10 in 2H 2018 to 34 in this round of testing.
Generally strong reliability: Sprint’s call reliability was solid. The carrier showed improved blocked and dropped call results since our last test period. Sprint’s data reliability, while generally good, didn’t show the same level of consistent improvement: Sprint reached our mark of Excellent data reliability for getting connected in 95 markets in this test period, an improvement from 91 such markets last time. In terms of staying connected, on the other hand, Sprint reached our mark of Excellence in nine fewer markets compared to 2H 2018. That said, Sprint’s data reliability was quite strong in the majority of markets we tested, with the carrier narrowly missing our threshold for Excellent data reliability in several metros.
Check out the full, detailed US mobile network report from RootMetrics here.
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