T-Mobile found to have fastest LTE network, U.S. is almost worst overall

February 20, 2014
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When it comes to LTE, the United States has one of the slowest networks. Only outpacing the Phillipines, our LTE speeds are just plain terrible, according to Open Signal. T-Mobile, however, was found to have the quickest overall network.


LTE speeds in the US averaged around 6.5Mbps, according to the study. Though we’re ahead of the Phillipines at 5.3 Mbps, we’re well behind Australia, which boasts average LTE speeds of 24.5 Mbps. Open Signal did point out that while we technically have the best LTE coverage stateside, we’re hampered by some carriers who only offer LTE on a very small portion of their network — and do so at a greatly diminished speed.

T-Mobile was a surprise winner for fastest LTE network, as they outperformed all others for top spot in the study. At 11.5 Mbps, they were well ahead of AT&T at 9.12 Mbps. Verizon was third in the study at 7.82 Mbps, while Sprint was a sad, distant fourth place (as usual) with 4.32 Mbps on average in the US. T-Mobile beat the rest by deploying LTE on large blocks of AWS spectrum. They regularly deploy on 10x10 or 20.20MHz blocks, while others either don’t utilize AWS (yet), or do so in much smaller blocks.

Fastest doesn’t mean largest, though. Verizon still holds that mantle, and as they start introducing more LTE on their AWS spectrum, we expect their speed position to change. As all carriers push toward a singular standard, we’ll expect that overall speeds stateside will improve as well.


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  • ⚽Edgar Michel⚽

    Sorry but didn’t Verizon started pushing LTE way before T-Mobile? I remember everyone talking how T-Mobile was stuck in HSPA+. At least this show That John Lengere was not talking smack when he told At&T that T-Mobile was faster

    • wasabi

      I think that there may be a few factors at play here, namely yes the traffic on the carrier, also paired with the location… But DIDNT Verizon sell bandwidth to T-Mobile for some FCC reason or deal acquisition? Aws is also very enticing. Just do a Google search for it. The timing seemed to change their ratings as well.

      • Noel

        T-mobile swapped AWS and PCS spectrum with Verizon, while i think Tmo in return got 700MHz A-Block low frequency spectrum from Big Red and also paid about 3 Billion

  • Victor Who

    Of course T-Mobile is gonna be the fastest. That’s because the bandwidth is free and clear since they don’t have that many users compared to Verizon and AT&T.

    Right now, in my office in Newark, NJ my T-Mobile has a 5.88 Mbps download speed. My Verizon is 9.85 Mbps.

  • Rog

    I must really be lucky then. In the backwoods of Northern Illinois using Speedtest on my T-Mo line, I regularly get 20+ Mbps downloads with my 4G LTE connection.

  • matt

    I’m getting 12.5MB/s with sprint and usually it’s around 12 and I’m in the metro Detroit area