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Who's the best cell phone carrier of them all? Verizon, according to RootMetrics

The jury’s back, and the verdict favors Verizon. According to RootMetrics’ most recent network performance test, Verizon was ranked the best overall network, taking top honors in reliability, speed, data, calling, and text messaging. In second place in nearly every category was AT&T, though Sprint took the silver in the calls category.

These results closely resemble those of RootMetrics’ second-half 2015 test, but for those of you using other carriers, don’t worry. Other testing firms have published rather different results — for example, OpenSignal called T-Mobile the best overall network, and according to Speedtest.net, the Un-carrier is the fastest network, too.

All the same, RootMetrics’ recent findings give Verizon a leg up on the competition for the time being, at least providing the carrier with some more marketing material to justify its premium costs. The most recent data, which examined network performances across the first six months of 2016, rewarded Verizon Wireless a total of 93.9 points. AT&T scored an 89.9, Sprint got an 85.5, and T-Mobile rounded out the pack with a score of 82.5.

Apparently, however, all the carriers except for T-Mobile are doing slightly worse than they were in the the last six months of 2015, when Verizon scored a 94.5 , AT&T scored 91.3, and Sprint scored 86. At the very least, T-Mobile has improved its previous score of 80.9.

“The high level results show that Verizon remains the top carrier when it comes to overall network performance at the national level,” RootMetrics noted. “In fact, this round of testing marked the first time that Verizon was able to earn the National RootScore Award for all six categories outright.”

And on the state level, Verizon performed quite well as well, winning the outright performance test in 41 states, and tying for top honors in seven other states. Sprint was the only carrier not to be ranked best overall in any state.

RootMetrics drew its conclusions after conducting 3.7 million tests, driving 265,386 miles, and testing 4,249 indoor locations to get its results.