Verizon nabs video, 4G availability wins in Opensignal rankings

group of people holding smartphones
Verizon ranked third for fastest average download speed, behind AT&T and T-Mobile, according to Opensignal. (Getty Images)

While Verizon didn’t shine in the popular download speed metric in Opensignal’s latest report, it nabbed top billing across the 4G Availability, Coverage and Video experience categories.

For video experience, only Verizon and Sprint ranked in Opensignal’s ‘Good’ category with respective scores of 58.8 and 55.5 out of 100. That compares to third-place T-Mobile (54.7) and last-place AT&T (51.9), which each fell in the ‘Fair’ category. Opensignal’s rank relies on users’ real-world video streams and considers factors like load times, stalling and video resolution.

The Mobile Network Experience Report January 2020 is based on about 5.3 billion measurements automatically captured on 1.67 million devices over six months between September 16 and December 14, 2019.

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 “While most operators elect to throttle video traffic, or restrict video resolution, to stop the volume of video traffic damaging the experience of other services, Verizon seems to have struck a good balance with its users enjoying a Good Video Experience, while still seeing solid speeds and latency experiences,” wrote Opensignal in the report.

The company also gave Sprint kudos for its improved performance in the video experience category.

“Sprint may not have yet won an Opensignal award but the operator deserves to be recognized for its 16.8% jump in Video Experience from a Fair ranking of 47.5 in the July 2019 report,” the report said.

RELATED: U.S. ranks first in global 5G speeds, but mid-band 5G rivaling mmWave - Opensignal

In terms of 4G availability, Opensignal calculates the proportion of time users with a 4G device have a 4G connection, not geographic network coverage. The report showed widespread 4G availability, with all carriers achieving over 90% for the first time and Verizon and T-Mobile each moving past the 95% mark.

Opensignal Jan 2020 4G availability chart

Verizon topped the 4G coverage category with a score of 9.7 out of 10, meaning users experienced more 4G coverage in locations that are most highly trafficked. That compares to second-place AT&T’s score of 9.3, followed by T-Mobile with 8.7, and Sprint at 8.2.

Although beaten out by Verizon and AT&T in most categories, T-Mobile did nab a win for fastest upload speed experience at 8.6 Mbps, marking a 17.8% increase since Opensignal’s July report. Verizon saw its upload speeds increase by 14.5% to 7.9 Mbps for second place, followed by AT&T (6 Mbps) and Sprint (2.7 Mbps).

Like its rise in rankings for fastest average download speed, Opensignal said AT&T’s upload speed improvement (up 22.4% since July) could move the carrier to the top spot in the future.

“If AT&T continues to make such big strides in users’ average upload speeds it could soon rival Verizon and T-Mobile and win the award,” wrote Opensignal.

Read about AT&T overtaking Verizon and T-Mobile for fastest average download speeds here.

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