Verizon still the top LTE network in the U.S., RootMetrics says

Root Metrics chart 2016
Source: RootMetrics

Verizon once again operated the best LTE network in the U.S., according to a new survey from RootMetrics, topping the major carriers in each of five categories.

The nation’s largest carrier outperformed the competition in reliability, speed, data, and delivery of calls and texts. Verizon’s network claimed an overall score of 93.9, besting AT&T (89.9), Sprint (85.5) and T-Mobile (82.5).

Verizon’s network also earned a 91 from RootMetrics for speed, outpacing AT&T (86.1), T-Mobile (85.8) and Sprint (72.2).

“AT&T finished second to Verizon in five out of six categories at the national level, including the holistic areas of overall performance, network reliability, network speed, and data performance,” RootMetrics said. “The only area in which AT&T didn’t rank second behind Verizon was in the Call RootScore category; Sprint again narrowly edged past AT&T to finish second.”

T-Mobile’s performance stands in marked contrast to a recent report from OpenSignal. OpenSignal compiled data from 2.8 billion measurements collected by 120,000 users of its app from May 1 to July 10 and found that T-Mobile’s LTE network had an average speed of 16.3 Mbps, edging out Verizon for fastest among the major carriers. And Ookla, which maintains the popular app Speedtest, recently found results that were similar to OpenSignal’s.

RootMetrics uses Android phones to test wireless networks by performing everday tasks such as checking email, browsing the web, using apps, making calls and sending texts. The company said its methodology aims to ensure its tests accurately reflect performance across a range of real-world situations.

“For example: we collect samples during periods of high and low congestion; we measure performance across variations in speed, from standing still to driving on the highway; and we perform tests whether coverage is poor or excellent or somewhere in between,” according to the report. “We test each network head-to-head in these situations to make comparisons easy and assure all networks are measured on a level playing field.”

The relative rankings of both T-Mobile and Sprint were identical to RootMetrics’ results for the second half of 2015, although both of the two smaller major operators continued to close the network gap with Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile continued to perform significantly better in metropolitan areas compared to state or national levels, RootMetrics said, while Sprint demonstrated significant improvements to its LTE coverage in metro markets.

T-Mobile has taken issue with RootMetrics’ data in the past, claiming the company skews results in favor of its carrier customers.

For more:
- see this RootMetrics report

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Verizon, T-Mobile neck-and-neck in LTE speeds, two surveys show, while Sprint lags behind
With average speeds of 12.26 Mbps, T-Mobile is closing the LTE gap with Verizon, OpenSignal finds
Verizon again takes crown for top U.S. LTE network, RootMetrics says