Knoxville ranks No. 1 in mobile performance among U.S. metro areas, study says

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Ever wonder where in the United States your mobile device would work best? According to RootMetrics’ most recent network performance test, Knoxville, Tennessee, takes the number one spot for mobile performance out of the 125 major metropolitan areas tested. Trailing closely behind in second place is St. Louis, while Minneapolis takes third.

RootMetrics’ recent findings dive deeper into the mobile experience within metropolitan areas across the country. Each area was ranked from highest to lowest across six mobile performance categories — overall, reliability, speed, data, call performance, and text.

Knoxville ranked first in three out of the six performance categories — overall, network reliability, and call performance. It also earned top-5 rankings in five different categories (all except for text).

In RootMetrics’ previous round of testing, Knoxville didn’t finish in the top five in any category. The report attributes its success to fast median download speeds, along with its high scores in call and data reliability which come in at 99.7 and 96.9, respectively.

When it comes to the mobile performance in the 10 largest U.S. cities, Chicago ranked highest in network speed and data performance. New York City and the Tri-state area ranked low in all six categories and placed at number 54 overall.

But the report notes that NYC did improve in all performance categories during this test period — most notably, network speed. After finishing 74th in the second-half of 2017, NYC ranked 37th this time around. Regardless, the findings do highlight one interesting thing — a larger city does not necessarily have better mobile networks.

As for the lowest-performing metropolitan markets in the U.S., Springfield, Massachusetts, finished within the bottom five in four out of six categories — overall, reliability, call, and text. The low rankings were attributed to poor blocked call results from all four carriers, along with slow speeds from Sprint. But in the network speed and data performance, it managed to rank higher than the bottom five.

Of the 125 areas, Santa Rosa, California, placed last for not only overall performance but also network reliability and data performance. While its speeds and reliability results can be considered satisfactory for most users, it was poor in comparison to results in other cities.

All of the rankings are based on the average of the RootScores for the four major U.S. carriers — AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon. Each ranking is weighted by the estimated national percentage of subscribers for each network — meaning a performance from a carrier that has more customers is weighted heavier than scores from carriers with fewer subscribers.

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