Verizon is seriously stepping up its game. OpenSignal has published its annual “Mobile Network Experience: USA” report, highlighting that Verizon has improved the quality of its network a lot over the past year. In fact, the company won three of the five categories in the report, then drawing with T-Mobile for the top spot in a fourth category, and losing in only one category.
The five categories in the study include 4G Availability, Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience, and Latency Experience. They’re all important factors in considering how high-quality a network is, and will all play a big role as we head into a world of 5G.
First up is 4G Availability, and Verizon won the category for the first time in two years. T-Mobile and Verizon have been neck and neck over the past few years when it comes to availability of their fastest networks, and while T-Mobile has made significant steps forward, Verizon won this year.
Second on the list is Video Experience, and this is the first year that the category is included in the Mobile Network Experience report. According to OpenSignal, this section essentially measures the quality of video being streamed to mobile devices, and is calculated on a scale of zero to 100. The issue with video quality is that carriers have been imposing restrictions on streaming video with their unlimited data plans, and as a result, all four of the major categories were only awarded a “fair” rating. Still, Verizon was the best of the bunch with a rating of 52.1, while AT&T scored the lowest with 42.5.
Next up is Download Speed Experience, and this one was too close to call, according to OpenSignal. Both T-Mobile and Verizon have made efforts to improve the download speed of their networks, and T-Mobile and Verizon are both now averaging 20Mbps, which isn’t bad at all. In fact, as OpenSignal notes, two years ago not one carrier had an average of 15Mbps.
Fourth is Upload Speed Experience, and it’s the area with the biggest variation between carriers. Verizon, for example, came in with an average of 7Mbps, while Sprint only offered an average of 2.4Mbps. T-Mobile was close behind Verizon with an average of 6.7Mbps, but alas, it wasn’t enough to take out the Upload Speed Experience title.
Last but not least is Latency Experience, and it’s the only category in which Verizon didn’t claim the top spot. AT&T was the winner here, being the only carrier to get an average response time of under 60ms.
As we head towards 5G, it’s possible these standings could change significantly. All four major carriers are pouring money into 5G, and with T-Mobile and Sprint poised to merge, they could soon have a ton more resources to develop their network.
- The best prepaid cell phone plans for 2021
- The best cell phone plan deals for January 2021: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and more
- 2020 was the year I switched back to a prepaid phone plan
- It’s the end of 2020, and there’s still no good reason to have 5G
- How to unlock a phone on every carrier in 2021