OpenSignal names T-Mobile the best mobile network in almost all categories

Woman using phone on 4G speeds

According to the latest OpenSignal report, T-Mobile takes first place for fastest 4G download speed and all other categories. — except two. As with last year’s report, the carrier was beat out by AT&T, which snagged the top spot for latency. T-Mobile also tied with Verizon for 4G availability.

OpenSignal monitors the performance of mobile networks using crowdsourced data with the OpenSignal app. The app compares the performance of networks in surrounding areas and tests the speed of the mobile connections.

This quarter’s report collected more than 8 billion measurements from over 385,679 devices throughout a 90-day test period between the months of March and June. The analysis compares 4G LTE speed, 4G availability, and more, offered by T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

Overall, average 4G download speeds have increased amongst all four carriers. Verizon and T-Mobile specifically, have surpassed 20Mbps for average 4G download speeds. Sprint and AT&T both trail closely behind at 14.46Mbps and 15.08Mbps, respectively.

While T-Mobile wins for 4G and 3G download speed, along with 4G upload speed, it’s still struggling with 4G latency. AT&T managed to win the award with an average response time of 54.1 milliseconds on its LTE networks — over 4ms since the last six months.

In OpenSignal’s last report, T-Mobile managed to beat Verizon for the top spot for 4G availability by half a percentage point. This time around, both carriers were tied for first place. But there was still some progress made — the report shows that T-Mobile’s 4G availability has increased by half a percentage point. This could be due to the fact that the carrier has been using low-frequency airwaves to expand its LTE reach. Verizon, on the other hand, has been highlighting its improvements via a new TV ad campaign.

Even though they didn’t manage to take the top two spots, AT&T and Sprint did see availability gains. AT&T’s availability score grew from 87 percent to 88.4 percent in six months. Sprint saw the biggest increase amongst the four carriers, rising two full percentage points to 87.7 percent.

Both carriers also experienced similar results for 4G speeds. While AT&T saw a decrease in the category after reintroducing unlimited plans last year, the carrier managed to grow its LTE download speed over 17 percent over the last year — bringing it to 15.1Mbps.

But the biggest year-over-year increase was from Sprint, who had a 48 percent jump bringing its LTE download connection to 14.5Mbps. If Sprint continues on the same path, it could jump to third place in OpenSignal’s next report.

While the report proves that T-Mobile is the fastest network as of right now, it’s clear Sprint has made some significant improvements. The advancements come only a few months after the carrier announced its agreement to merge with T-Mobile. The merger could mean an improvement in overall 5G wireless technology, which promises pervasive connectivity and faster speeds.


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