Verizon again claims top honors in RootMetrics study

Verizon's network was determined to be the best for reliability, speed, data, voice and text.

Verizon once again topped a RootMetrics study of the best wireless networks in the United States. And AT&T came in a surprisingly strong second.

The network-measurement company took nearly 4.7 million test samples for its biannual report, driving more than 276,000 miles across the country. Verizon took first place in every category—reliability, speed, data, voice and text—while T-Mobile finished a distant fourth among the nation’s major wireless carriers.

“Verizon’s performance on the national stage was outstanding in all categories in the first half of 2017,” according to RootMetrics’ report. “AT&T, meanwhile, offered strong competition, finishing second in five out of six performance categories and earning a share of the Text RootScore Award with Verizon and Sprint. Sprint showed improvement at the national level, delivering particularly strong text results…. T-Mobile’s rankings at the national level remained unchanged compared with those in our previous test period.”

Indeed, T-Mobile finished last among the big four in RootMetrics’ test of U.S. wireless networks in the second half of 2016, while Verizon swept all six categories in that test as well. The nation’s largest carrier has claimed top honors for overall performance in RootMetrics’ report eight consecutive times.

Interestingly, RootMetrics’ report comes less than two weeks after T-Mobile crowed about results from Ookla, which compiles data from its Speedtest app to gauge the performance of wireless networks. T-Mobile said a new report from Ookla indicates its LTE network provides the fastest average download speeds among major U.S. wireless carriers, and the carrier made a point of noting that the networks of Verizon and AT&T have slowed since the bigger carriers have jumped aboard the unlimited-data bandwagon.

Verizon was quick to tout RootMetrics’ latest study.

“These results are incredible, and we’re rightly proud of them, but they are really something for our customers to celebrate,” said Nicola Palmer, Verizon’s chief network officer, in a press release. “Millions of people have switched to Verizon Unlimited since its launch in February, and these latest results show they are enjoying the best possible network experience.”

Meanwhile, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray questioned RootMetrics’ agenda.

“Unbiased scientific studies tell us loud and clear that Verizon’s network is struggling with unlimited and T-Mobile has caught up,” Ray said in a statement. “That’s based on millions of actual customer experiences, not consultants funded by Verizon. Color me surprised that a Verizon-sponsored report claims they’re on top.”