T-Mobile’s chief John Legere will have another boasting point for his “uncarrier” as the State of Mobile Networks: USA (Feb 2016) report shows that they come out on top in terms of three network comparison categories, which includes the all important 4G speeds. This is based on data collected from over 180,000 US mobile phone users through the OpenSignal app, and compares the various networks’ speeds, latency, and network coverage. This includes AT&T, Verizon, among other carriers.
If you’re not familiar with OpenSignal, it’s actually an app that that you can install on your mobile phone and it passively monitors the speed, coverage, and general reliability of your carrier. This is the first time that they have put together all the data they have gathered to create a holistic national report on the state of US carriers and their 3G and 4G data services, although they have previously done this in Canada, Argentina, and Brazil.
The data they gathered from October 1 to December 31, 2015 shows that T-Mobile tops 3 categories, namely 3G latency, 3G download speeds, and 4G download speeds. When it comes to 4G coverage (referring to proportion of time users have coverage on their phone), Verizon just barely edged out T-Mobile and the two were actually tied when it comes to 4G download speed.
The study also shows that while the US is in the top 10 of countries globally when it comes to 4G coverage, when it comes to speeds, the country is in the bottom 20 when it comes to slowest average speeds for LTE, with less than 10mbps.