Verizon and AT&T brought back their unlimited plans as a way of competing with the unlimited data plans offered by T-Mobile and Sprint. Ever since then, this action by Verizon and AT&T was met with fervor, as evident by the demand.
Today, data from OpenSignal, a mobile network measurement company, shows that Verizon and AT&T's decision to reinstate unlimited data plans may have not been a wise move for the company after all. As a matter of fact, their findings show that these plans have been slowing down the mobile speed used by Verizon and AT&T customers.
The results of OpenSignal's biannual study of US mobile networks showed that T-Mobile topped the list on all categories, including LTE availability, 3G/LTE download speed, and 3G/LTE latency.
OpenSignal believes that the reason behind Verizon and AT&T's low results is because they bring slower speeds. As compared to both T-Mobile and Sprint, who have been offering unlimited data plans longer, Verizon and AT&T have not met the data demand since they reinstated their unlimited data plans. This has been a result by either gaining more customers or more data usage. And because these two companies have almost twice as much subscribers compared to T-Mobile and Sprint, any change in their offers could have a bigger impact on the network.
Recode shares that ever since Verizon and AT&T introduced its unlimited plans, there was a noticeable decline in their data speeds. Meanwhile, T-Mobile and Sprint were slowly able to account for the increase in data demand. As a result, their speeds were not affected this year. This can be seen on the report OpenSignal released back in February.
At the start of 2017, Verizon and T-Mobile were tied for roughly the same speed. The new report, however, show that T-Mobile has outranked Verizon's average LTE download speed at 17.5 Mbps to 14.9 Mbps.
Verizon has reached out to Recode through an email as it contested the findings.
“We constantly monitor our network performance. The launch of our unlimited data plans has not impacted wireless speeds on our network.”
AT&T has also taken an issue with OpenSignal's findings, stating that its data transmissions remain unaffected by the presumed increase in traffic. The company sent an email to FierceWireless.
"We constantly monitor our network performance. The launch of our unlimited data plans has not impacted wireless data speeds on our network."
Never one to pass up an opportunity, T-Mobile CEO John Legere has taken to Twitter to relish in the findings of OpenSignal.
Get out the brooms!! Customers have spoken & @TMobile has completely swept the OpenSignal results. #ReadEmAndSweep pic.twitter.com/ak2gfxi5KY— John Legere (@JohnLegere) August 2, 2017
Although OpenSignal's findings reveal that T-Mobile has won the nationwide metrics, it also shows that out of the 32 metropolitan markets, the Un-carrier faced Verizon as a tough competitor. One of the two carriers have either topped or tied for 4G speed and availability.
OpenSignal collected data from over five billion measurements between 172,919 U.S. smartphones for this report. The data was collected throughout June through its signal mapping app.
Source: Recode, FierceWireless