Saturday, 17 February, 2018

This Mobile Carrier Has the Fastest Network, According to New Study

Testing Firm: T-Mobile Is the 'Operator to Beat' This Mobile Carrier Has the Fastest Network, According to New Study
Theresa Hayes | 22 January, 2018, 21:50

"T-Mobile has clearly taken advantage of Verizon's 4G speed challenges", OpenSignal wrote in its report covering tests conducted in the fourth quarter. It won awards for 3G and 4G download speeds, 4G availability, 3G latency, and overall download speeds, based on their testing. We used that data to compare the 3G and 4G services of the big 4 operators in the USA on the national level, and we drilled down into that data on the metro level, examining our 4G metrics in 33 major cities. A new State of the Mobile Networks report published by OpenSignal shows that while T-Mobile ranks at the top in terms of network speeds, both Verizon and AT&T are starting to close the gap. In the 4th quarter, we measured AT&T's average LTE download at 13.3 Mbps, almost a megabit short of its February high of 14.2 Mbps.

T-Mobile's network had average download speeds of 19.42 Mbps compared to 17.77 Mbps on Verizon.
For this we saw T-Mobile and Verizon essentially deadlocked.

Just as important as speed is the availability of a 4G connection. The decline in speeds are ultimately on their way back up after the networks begin to recover, but that still could not put up a fight against T-Mobile speeds. While some wireless carriers in the United States were resting on their laurels, T-Mobile invested heavily in its LTE Advanced network, and it shows. Refer to the gallery below for a more in-depth look at OpenSignal's latest findings.

But if you do want silky smooth video calls, or online game connections, or more consistent music and video-streaming, maybe stay away from Verizon (69.99 ms) and Sprint (69.59 ms), which have the most amount of latency. All other categories were dominated by T-Mobile. In 2017, the two largest U.S carriers, AT&T and Verizon, unleashed their unlimited data plans, which means all four major carriers now offer an unlimited data plan in some form. For speeds, T-Mobile won in 8 while tying others in another 24. T-Mobile may have emerged as the dominant operator in our metrics, but it would be a mistake to dismiss Verizon. The four of the big carriers have boosted their 4G availability scores by between 6 and 9 percent in a single year, with Sprint by fast leading the growth, followed by T-Mobile. A year ago, no US operator had a 4G availability score above 90%. That's less than a half a percentage point separating them. Our AT&T testers were able to find an LTE signal 87% of the time, while our Sprint users tapped into an LTE signal 85.7% of the time.

Credit: OpenSignalT-Mobile claimed first in the category that most wireless users pay attention to - the speed of its 4G network. That means that the excuse made by the NAD that Big Red customers, not used to using unlimited data, were more apt to get throttled, no longer applies.

As comprehensive as OpenSignal's report results are, download speeds will always vary by region and device (different phones have different modems capable of different peak download speeds). The foundations of those 5G services will be built on the 4G infrastructure we use today.