According to a new report from Tutela, Verizon offered the fastest average download speeds across the country, at roughly 20 Mbps. AT&T clocked in second at around 12 Mbps, while T-Mobile came in third and Sprint came in fourth with speeds of almost 8 Mbps. Tutela’s findings included a 2 MB download and 1 MB upload, and covered 3G and 4G connections.
“Our testing runs in the background of devices 24/7 at random intervals without user intervention to avoid testing bias,” the firm noted. “The speed testing configuration used to produce these graphs has been designed to simulate typical user experience (i.e. downloading a photograph or webpage) rather than testing the peak throughput speed. The results show the average transfer speed that was achieved during the data transfer.”
According to the firm’s report, T-Mobile provided the fastest upload speeds, as well as the lowest latency recordings on a 4G connection at 29.8 ms. Verizon came in third in terms of latency at 34.6 ms on 4G, while Sprint had the longest latency figures with a measurement of 37.9 ms.
“Our average latency results show the average one-way trip time for packets sent from our user devices to our test servers,” Tutela noted. “Lower latencies indicate better network performance.”
Tutela’s said its software runs on over 200 million end user devices – via software that runs in the background of over 2,000 mobile apps and games on Android and iOS – and that it collects over 10 billion crowdsourced mobile data measurements every day. The firm said its data for the U.S. market was collected during the first quarter, from January to March, and included a total of 20 billion measurements and 1.8 million speed tests. The company’s full report is available at the end of this article.
Tutela is perhaps the newest entrant into the crowd-sourced data measurement space. Other players offering similar services include OpenSignal, P3, Strategy Analytics’ OppOptix operation, and others. As noted by Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner, crowd-sourced data is one of three different ways – the other two are drive testing and surveys – that third parties can use to assess the performance of wireless networks.
As Entner noted, each of the different measurement methods offer pros and cons. On crowdsourced data specifically, Entner wrote that it’s useful because it is derived from real-world users in real-life situations “but that is also its central issue,” he noted. “Such tests are not repeatable or verifiable and anomalies in the data shake my faith in them.”
Additionally, though Tutela touts its ability to monitor data from iOS devices, crowd-sourced data typically comes from Android devices due to the looser app-performance regulations in the Google Play app store. Indeed, in Tutela’s report, the company did not obtain any data from iPhones, and noted that the bulk of its data came from various Samsung Galaxy phones.