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Report: T-Mobile has Fastest Average Download Speeds among Big Four

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T-Mobile is claiming that according to a new report from broadband testing firm Ookla, the wireless carrier remains the fastest network among the Big Four operators in the United States, specifically in terms of clocking the highest average download speeds. Through a blog post on T-Mobile’s official website, Neville Ray, the chief technical officer of the company, described how the carrier has topped the connection speed and LTE availability categories. Although a spokesperson for Ookla has stated that the report is yet to be released, the company has reportedly been made aware of T-Mobile’s claim before Ray had published the blog post.

Apart from highlighting T-Mobile’s dominance in speed and quality of LTE network, Ray also took the opportunity to point out how the performances of industry leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T have dropped ever since the two started offering unlimited data options to their respective subscribers. According to the CTO, the Big Red is now down to third place with an average download speed of 22.7 mbps behind AT&T’s 23 mbps, in the first full quarter since offering unlimited. As for T-Mobile, it has a comfortable lead with an average download speed of 26.9 mbps.

In terms of LTE availability, Ray claims that T-Mobile has managed to surpass Verizon Wireless, garnering a 91.5 percent score over the Big Red’s 90.2 percent. AT&T was a distant third at 83.4 percent. Ray credits T-Mobile’s continuous improvement to its rapid LTE expansion. In the blog post, it was mentioned that the carrier has doubled its LTE coverage since 2015, now serving 315 million users across America. It now looks to cover six million more people by year’s end.

2017 looks to be an interesting period for the wireless industry, as mobile operators start to transition from today’s LTE to the much faster 5G. With online consumption of media higher than ever, more and more consumers now are evaluating wireless service providers based on download speeds and network availability. And test results and reports such as those released by Ookla are increasingly being used by wireless carriers to provide proof, so to speak, of the quality of their services. Of course, not all reports are the same, and Verizon would not hesitate to point out how it has the fastest network according to other testers (like PCMag.com, for instance).


Source: FierceWireless

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29 comments:

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  1. It is just those pesky "0Mbps" instances that just ruin it for me. When that fat 600Mhz block is up, I will reconsider.

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    1. Exactly. This was done using a study with no random selection, no statistical validity.

      If you did do a valid study, at least a third of the T-Mobile data points would be "0 mbps", which would mean an accurate average speed would be much lower.

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    2. Yep. Still poor coverage (many holes) for me in metro area even after Band 12 LTE buildout.

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    3. Readers are not stupid. This was a network speed test, not a coverage test. T-Mobile subscribers don't care about coverage they don't need, in rural places they won't visit. They do care about network speed. That, plus greatly increased Tmo native coverage, 1000 new stores so far this year to serve it (1500 planned), are big reasons why T-Mobile is going to report another huge quarter this week, where they kick the other big carrier's butts again in terms of phone subscriber adds.

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    4. Subscribers like me (and another commenter below) care about coverage wherever we go not about speed we don't need, will never use. Suit yourself but t-mo is a no go 0 signal MNO for vast areas of the USA even if they are less populated/traveled.

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    5. "Readers are not stupid. This was a network speed test, not a coverage test."

      Actually, it was an average speed test. Such a test, to be accurate, would require sampling T-Mobile speeds at random locations and averaging them.

      "T-Mobile subscribers don't care about coverage they don't need, in rural places they won't visit."

      No one said anything about rural places. T-Mobile has the slowest possible speeds... 0mbps... in thousands of cities and towns.

      You are correct, though, that expanding native coverage is the exact reason T-Mobile has expanded. If they move to cover all of where Americans go, instead of 2/3 of the places, they will get even bigger.

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  2. Their network is the fastest of the four in my area, but their coverage is not even close to ATT. Sprint still provides the best speed per dollar for me. So TMO is left in the middle.

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  3. "Ray also took the opportunity to point out how the performances of industry leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T have dropped ever since the two started offering unlimited data options to their respective subscribers."

    Oh, Neville. You may be British, but you behave like an American politician. You didn't make it an apples to apples comparison by mentioning that Verizon bundles in HS (LTE) tethering and HD video in for free with its unlimited plan whereas T-Mobile who has made these part of a paid add-on. Do the same for a month and then publish your performance/speed results.

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  4. Eeee WestchesterJuly 18, 2017 at 8:57 PM

    Try the Speedtest.net Android app on your phone with WiFi turned off. Then dispute the report. All you Anonymous experts.

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    1. One doesn't have to do any of that. just read how they get the data. There's no sort of random selection, or anything from which to draw the conclusions T-Mobile has.

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    2. Why, is that better than biased, user-reported data "Eeee Westchester" (if that is your real name, which it is not)

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  5. I switched to cricket unlimited and now i can even get a signal in the bathroom.

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    1. You may have an older phone that doesn't have the 700 MHz band 29 and 30 which has better in-building reception.

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    2. "I switched to cricket unlimited and now i can even get a signal in the bathroom."

      Did you then flush your T-Mobile phone and stream the video through Youtube on your strong Cricket signal?

      Well, while there are indeed some major models with Band 12, most phone models out there in use even now lack Band 12. This means that for them. they are stuck with the smaller T-Mobile native footprint that doesn't have Band 12... a footprint that satisfies the coverage needs of only a small proportion of Americans.

      This older phone problem will continue to bite T-Mobile for a while. For example, while the most recent iPhones will make beautiful music on the more extensive T-Mobile Band 12 network. a third of iPhones in use are 5s or older: tiny sad violins. heard by few. not much good on the T-Mobile network due to outdated radios.

      Delete
  6. I have T-mobile, but I am considering a switch to Cricket or Xfinity Wireless (Verizon). Coverage is more important than speed to me. I can live with 3mps if necessary.

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    1. Coverage is king, and coverage is speed. Because when you are in areas with no coverage, that "0 mbps" speed will kill you.

      Those who are most concerned about coverage (the vast majority of phone users, actually) are indeed putting speed first as well: They believe having some speed is better than having none.

      Delete
  7. I wonder if AT&T and Verizon MVNO's that are throttled lower the overall speed results for these networks.

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    1. I doubt they tested MVNOs for this. Slippery slope.

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  8. Just be glad that the US carriers are offering what they do at the price-points they do.
    Go to other countries and try their network platforms on for size. You will be ever so grateful for what is available in the states.

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    1. Voice tends to be cheaper in the US, but with the exception of Canada, data is generally less expensive in the rest of the world.

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    2. I somewhat agree with this POV. It's probably true that the US carriers provide the best balance between price and coverage for a country+population the size of the US, there's still too much profiteering. I remember reading a few years ago that the US ARPU was around $40, whereas Europe's was $25 and India (which is a cutthroat, regulated, race-to-the-bottom market,) the ARPU was around $10.

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  9. I'm glad the ambiguously flamboyant Chad from accounting gets great T-mobile service within his comfy corner office at "Daddy's" multinational "startup", but the dead zones you'll hit outside Silicon Valley tend not to be considered or penalized in studies like these.

    I'll take 5mbps Verizon or AT&T over 0mbps T-mobile any day, and there's a reason Metro's website only touts their superiority over token joke carrier Sprint.

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  10. Hasn't been my experience in my own home with a tower right down the street and in an area that shows as perfect LTE on the major carriers. AT&T much faster. Also, lots of major holes in the Northeast. Take a look at Downeast Maine for example.

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    1. Downeast Maine......Why fast data would be a necessity there unless there are businesses that depend on it, thus the service holes. The north country there is mainly for fishing, hunting. Using data for that? US Cellular is the best for coverage in that state. Fast data in general, stay near a more densely populated area where there is more necessity.
      Where T-Mobile has their service, their data is on a par with Verizon. Just that their network is full of holes once out of more heavily populated area and highways.

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    2. "Downeast Maine......Why fast data would be a necessity there unless there are businesses that depend on it"

      Let's see: Maine...

      1.3 million population
      36 million yearly visitors (as of 2016).

      People who fish, hunt, run from monsters in Castle Rock, tickle mooses, bust clouds at Orgonon, and any number of things in Maine are typical Americans. And there is no reason to assume that they don't need data like typical Americans.

      The total number of people who need data in Maine might even be half of the total of T-Mobile's current customer base. It makes great sense for T-Mobile to give American customers what they want in Maine.

      "Fast data in general, stay near a more densely populated area where there is more necessity"

      The idea that people in heavily populated areas need faster data is preposterous.

      "Where T-Mobile has their service, their data is on a par with Verizon. Just that their network is full of holes once out of more heavily populated area and highways."

      Which means that if you average out the speed, T-Mobile in Maine is rather slow. Great reason for them to change this, and fix the problem!

      Delete
  11. People shouldn't take this report to serious. I live in Houston 4th largest city in America. For the most part all 4 networks do ok here. However, as a person who has both the not so secret 30/ 33 with tax t-mo plan and the Att 45/ 40.50 with calling mart code a month 6gb plan I know for a fact t-mo has never been faster than Att. I mainly use the data for hotspot on my unlocked jailbroken device to watch new movies and other stuff and Att data is fast at anytime of the day where t-mo data is mostly fast hotspot wise at least towards 11pm midnite to noon that is when t-mo is at it's fastest. I have mutliple cells but most people only have 1 or 2. I would say if that's you you are better off paying the extra 7.50 a month to have a more reliable network, extra GB of data, and unlimited minutes as oppose to 100 and just get ATT.

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    1. Daytime hours are when normies use their phones, which means they're the best measure of real world speed and reliability.

      Apparently T-mo just can't handle the load.

      Delete
  12. As usual...another report from tmo's "partner" ookla in this. Remember when they (Tmo)arranged it such so that speedtest.net's domain allowed the max speed, but other sites showed otherwise? Reports can be manipulated to show the data they want it to show. Interesting nonetheless...

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    1. Yes, of course you can claim fastest average speed if you cook the results with a fundamentally flawed data-collection design that excludes data points with the slowest speed from consideration.

      Delete
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