T-Mobile now has fastest LTE download speeds of four big carriers, study shows

t mobile fastest download speeds
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
For a long time, T-Mobile has been on the lower end of the big four carriers in terms of connectivity and speed. The Un-carrier has come a long way — it’s now rates the second highest in customer satisfaction, according to a recent survey, and offers the fastest LTE downloads in the U.S., according to a new study by OpenSignal.

It’s a close match, though, as Verizon’s average speed is only 0.4 megabits behind T-Mobile’s 16.3 Mbps, at 15.9 Mbps. AT&T logged in average speeds of 12.3 Mbps, and Sprint came last with a poor 9.4 Mbps. On 3G connections, T-Mobile and AT&T led the pack with the fastest average download speeds, at 4.59 Mbps and 3.01 Mbps, respectively.

Verizon did get a win in the availability category, though — its customers were able to jump onto LTE networks 85.6 percent of the time. But even in this category, T-Mobile nets another win by surpassing AT&T — the “un-carrier’s” subscribers are able to find LTE networks 83.2 percent of the time, while AT&T sat at 80 percent. Sprint has dismal 4G LTE availability of only 69.85 percent.

“For the last year, T-Mobile has been dispensing with the notion that it’s merely an urban-focused operator by building new 4G networks in rural areas,” the report says. “It’s also made use of recently acquired 700 MHz airwaves to give those networks more reach. 700 MHz’s low frequencies mean signals propagate further in rural areas and penetrate deeper into buildings in urban areas — two factors that help explain its rising availability ranking.”

It’s not all bad news for Sprint, as the carrier did win the 4G latency category, meaning that web pages rendered more quickly. AT&T had the highest 4G latency count, putting it in last place.

OpenSignal’s study shows a regional list of how well the big four carriers did in 4G availability and download speeds. In the New York-Newark-Jersey City area, Verizon won in availability but T-Mobile reigned in average 4G download speeds of 20.41 Mbps. Overall, most of the wins in both categories for the various regions go to T-Mobile and Verizon, but AT&T has its fair share.

OpenSignal says the test was conducted by collecting 2,818,124,916 datapoints from 120,586 users between May 1 and July 10. The data is collected from OpenSignal’s iOS and Android app.


AT&T and Rush System are using 5G to create the 'hospital of the future'

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.

Is 5G as fast as they’re saying? We break down the speeds

We take a look at the kinds of speeds you can expect from 5G when the networks roll out. Find out 5G compares to the last generation of network technology, what the minimum and maximum speeds will be, and what it means for us.

Verizon 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.
Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.

How to make a contact group on an iPhone

There's no obvious way to crate contact groups on your iPhone, but you can do it through iCloud or you can install a third-party app to help. We explain both methods as we explore how to make a contact group on an iPhone.

Xiaomi shows how its folding smartphone will look, and you’re going to love it

Xiaomi is the latest manufacturer to show off a folding smartphone prototype. The unnamed phone has a different design than others we've seen, adopting a double fold where the sides of the screen fold over the back of the device.

These patent images may show the new Moto Razr folding phone

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?

HMD Global confirms which Nokia phones will definitely receive Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Here's how (and why) to use safe mode with an Android phone

When you have an issue with your phone, safe mode can help you determine whether a third-party app is to blame. If you’re wondering how to access it, or how to turn the feature off in Android, then you have come to the right place.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

The Meizu Zero punctures tradition by eliminating nearly all its holes

The Meizu Zero has cut as many holes as possible to create an almost completely seamless device. There's no speaker, no headphone jack, not even a charging port. Here's everything you need to know.

LG teases air-gesture technology in LG G8's MWC 2019 event invite

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Social Media

Twitter shares sneak peek at simpler, less cluttered design with new features

Twitter shared a sneak peek of an upcoming redesign of its website, showing a less cluttered design with a handful of new features. The update brings keyboard and emoji shortcuts, improved search, and a two-column layout.