Atlanta, Chicago, and Indianapolis have the country’s best mobile networks, study says

rootmetrics mobile network city performance how will we survive phone calls on planes
Smartphone use has grown immensely over the last few years, and that’s only set to continue. For many, the smartphone has become a necessity, and mobile network speeds are an important factor in bringing the Internet to everyone.

A new report has been released by mobile network analysis company RootMetrics, highlighting the best and worst cities in the U.S. when it comes to mobile network performance. According to the report, Atlanta, Chicago, and Indianapolis sit in the top three spots for the best performing mobile networks in the country.

“Metros can improve based on both increases in the area’s population over time, as well as improvements made by carriers.”

Perhaps most interesting about the report is that it highlights one thing in particular — larger cities do not equate to better mobile networks. In fact, New York, the most populated city in the States, ranked at number 76 in mobile network performance. Los Angeles, which is the second most populated city, came in at 94. In fact, only three of the top 10 performing cities were also in the top 10 most populated — Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta.

Of course, there may be good reasons for this.

“A number of things can impact a city’s mobile performance, ranging from the number of users on a carrier’s network — which can lead to congestion issues – to the mobile infrastructure (e.g., number and location of towers and types of technologies being used by each carrier) to geography,” a RootMetrics spokesperson told Digital Trends.

Still, there is hope for these large cities that have consistently ranked low in mobile performance. Indianapolis, for example, increased in the reliability tests from being ranked at 93 to being number 7 on the list. This was due to much higher marks in users being able to get connected and stay connected on all four of the major networks. In fact, AT&T scored an impressive 100 percent in getting connected, while Verizon scored the same in staying connected.

Still, some cities may have scored well in one category, but scored poorly in others, leading to a lower overall score.

“Metros can either improve or digress based on both increases in the area’s population over time, as well as improvements made by carriers. When you look more closely at Phoenix, for example, you see that its Overall Performance weighted ranking (#115) may be bogged down by its Network Speed and Data Performance scores,” continued the RootMetrics spokesperson.

Scores themselves, according to RootMetrics’ statement to Digital Trends, are calculated based on an average of all carriers’ RootScores in a given city, which is then weighted by the national percentage of subscribers in those cities. What that means is that carriers with more customers are weighted heavier than those with fewer customers.

RootMetrics analyzes 125 cities in total, and it scores them twice per year. You can read the full report for yourself here.

Emerging Tech

Michigan’s former transportation chief has some advice for wannabe smart cities

After 31 years as Michigan’s transportation director, Kirk Steudle has seen it all, particularly with smart city projects. He spoke with Digital Trends recently about what makes smart cities work, and offers advice along the way.
Mobile

Google rolls out Night Sight to Pixel 3 and 3 XL camera app

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Computing

Having enough RAM is important, but stick to these guidelines to save some money

Although not quite as exciting as processors and graphics cards, RAM is one of the most important parts of your PC. Not having enough can hurt performance. So, how much RAM do you need?
Product Review

This is the best budget laptop you can buy

One of our favorite laptops, the Asus Zenbook UX330UA, has been updated to feature the 8th-gen Intel Core CPU. It's still the best budget laptop on the market, offering great battery life and zippy performance at a discounted price.
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Computing

Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Mobile

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.
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.
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.
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

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.