T-Mobile is faster than Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T, according to Oookla Speedtest

ookla speedtest
Christian de Looper/Digital Trends
Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all lag behind T-Mobile when it comes to 4G LTE speeds. That is according to the newest Ookla Speedtest report, which analyzed crowdsourced test results taken during the first and second fiscal quarter of 2017.

T-Mobile is the fastest carrier in 40 of the U.S.’s 100 most populous cities, according to Ookla. Subscribers speeds regularly exceeded Ookla’s Acceptable Speed Ratio — a download rate of at least 5 Mbps —  78.1 percent of the time, ahead of Verizon Wireless (77.8 percent), AT&T (75.9 percent), and Sprint (64.9 percent). T-Mobile scored the highest in Ookla’s Speed Score rankings, an average of low-end, median, and top-end speeds.

It’s the 14th quarter in a row in which T-Mobile came in first.

Ookla attributes T-Mobile’s achievements to its infrastructural investment, which saw the rollout of the 700MHz spectrum and 4G LTE in new markets. And it pegged competitors’ declining speeds on unlimited data plans. In the fourth quarter of 2016 before the launch of the unlimited plans, Verizon and AT&T’s lowest-end download speeds (those under 5 Mbps) shot up compared to the period before unlimited data plans were widely available, according to Ookla. T-Mobile and Sprint saw the opposite effect.

“[Not] all carriers are responding equally to the performance demands of unlimited data plans,” Ookla said.

T-Mobile did not lead every category. Its coverage fell short of AT&T and Verizon’s, which made up 27.3 and 51.6 percent of Ookla’s test samples in rural areas.

Ookla spotlighted Verizon in particular, highlighting the network’s “network densification” and deployment of small cells in urban, suburban, and commercial areas. “Verizon’s rural coverage is laudable,” Ookla said. “Verizon has been able to maintain solid performance in areas of high traffic [despite] a drop in performance […] since Verizon launched Unlimited.”

And in terms of U.S. as a whole, carriers have a long way to go.

Despite a 19 percent improvement in average mobile download speeds in the U.S., the country fell to 44th in the world for download speed, behind Fiji and Germany, and customers in rural areas saw an average download speeds 20.9 percent slower than the nation as a whole. Average mobile upload speeds improved just four percent to 8.51 Mbps, Ookla said, putting the U.S. 65th in the world for upload speed (behind Mongolia).

“Mobile performance in the U.S. is improving, but not uniformly,” Ookla said. “Mobile data consumption is expected to continue to grow over the next year, and carriers will need to find creative ways to increase the […] efficiency of their networks.”

Ookla said it looked at data from 100 most populated Cell Market Areas (CMAs), a geographic determination used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to identify broadband markets in the U.S., to compile its report, including 3 million unique mobile devices.

Mobile

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Verizon has made its first 5G video call … with a phone that’s already out

Verizon has announced that it has successfully made its first video call, using a smartphone that's already available: The Motorola Moto Z3. To make the call, Verizon used the 5G Moto Mod.
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…
Mobile

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.