Jun 20, 2017
Data: Verizon, T-Mobile Close Rivals For Fastest '17 Network
Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T closely rival each other for the title of the fastest network in the United States, according to the eighth annual speed test conducted by PCMag.
The publication compared the speeds of the four major mobile service providers in the United States using several units of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and a customized version of Ookla's Speedtest.net app. The study was conducted in 30 different cities across the United States, wherein researchers recorded the carriers' download speeds, upload speeds, latency, and data reliability. The collected data was then balanced to create what the publication refers to as the "Speed Score."
The speed scores obtained by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile were very close to each other this year; Verizon obtained 97 points, T-Mobile got 96 points, and AT&T scored 93 points. These minute differences between the scores indicate that the three carriers should provide almost the same quality of service to both current and potential subscribers.
The publication, however, highlighted that there are still some slight differences between the three companies. For example, Verizon maintains the fastest network in the United States but it is AT&T that could provide the highest average download speeds across its network. Also, the carrier's network reliability, data speeds, and latency may differ substantially between different cities across the country.
Meanwhile, Sprint is far behind other major mobile service providers, scoring only 74 points. The main reason why Sprint scored quite low compared to the competition pertains to the inconsistent data speeds experienced on its network, resulting in a lower average compared to other carriers.
As the PCMag's annual speed test is now in its eighth iteration, the publication was able to review the data collected from its previous tests and see how the carriers in the United States improved in terms of data speeds and coverage. In 2010, no U.S. telecom giant was able to get average download speeds of more than 5Mbps but after seven years, subscribers on the three largest carriers now experience average download speeds of around 30Mbps.
Also, there has been a massive increase in maximum data speeds experienced across different networks. At this point, all providers can deliver maximum download speeds of around 200Mbps, which is four times faster than what could have been obtained from their networks merely three years ago.
Also, PCMag noticed the improvements in T-Mobile's coverage in some rural areas, allowing the said carrier to directly compete with two of its significantly larger competitors in terms of network performance.
By Mark Real