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New Report Shows MVNO Speeds are Inferior Compared to Host Network

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Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) have slower speeds compared to their host networks.

This discovery comes from a new report conducted by Tutela after it assessed the average download speeds of the top MVNOs in the country. And according to the network testing firm, these networks are up to 23% slower.

This report doesn't really come as a huge surprise since the larger network operators have been known to set aside their advanced services specifically for the network offers carried by their own brands. These providers include AT&T and Verizon.

One example that can be seen on the report is the results of the average data speed test of Comcast's Xfinity Mobile in urban areas. Comparing this with it Verizon, its host network, the test showed a score of 12.6 Mbps (Xfinity) and 24 Mbps (Verizon). As for its consistent quality score, Xfinity received a score of 48.6% as opposed to the 82.4% score received by Verizon.

Another example would be with AT&T and the MVNOs that operate under its networks, such as Consumer Cellular, Cricket Wireless, and H2O Wireless. The average download speed resulted to 14.8 Mbps vs 18.1 Mbps (Consumer Cellular vs AT&T), 7.2 Mbps vs 17.9 Mbps (Cricket Wireless vs AT&T), and 10.7 Mbps vs 18.2 (H2O vs AT&T). Surprisingly, both Consumer Cellular and H2O earned a consistent quality score higher than what AT&T obtained: 72.8% vs 67% (Consumer Cellular vs AT&T) and 71.5% vs 67.1% (H2O vs AT&T). Cricket, an AT&T prepaid brand, received a consistent quality score of 40.8% as opposed to AT&T's 65.7%.

In T-Mobile's case, Tutela discovered that the download performances of MVNOs Consumer Cellular, LycaMobile, and MetroPCS (now Metro by T-Mobile) had a score somewhat similar to T-Mobile: 11.6 Mbps vs 12.6 Mbps (Consumer Cellular vs T-Mobile), 11.3 Mbps vs 12.8 Mbps (LycaMobile vs T-Mobile), 11.0 Mbps vs 12.3 Mbps (MetroPCS vs T-Mobile), and 11.3 Mbps vs 12.9 Mbps (Ultra Mobile vs T-Mobile). The consistent quality score also proved to show similar numbers: 73.4% vs 81.6% (Consumer Cellular vs T-Mobile), 74.4% vs 81.4% (LycaMobile vs T-Mobile), 75.2% vs 80.5% (MetroPCS vs T-Mobile), and 76.1% vs 81.5% (Ultra Mobile vs T-Mobile). It is important to note though that MetroPCS (or Metro by T-Mobile) is owned by T-Mobile, which does not make it a standard MVNO.

Tutela also reported the network rankings for the wireless network providers in the country. The ranking shows Verizon leading the race, followed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Verizon also obtained remarkable scores for its consistent service quality.

Tutela collected this data from January 1 to August 31, 2018 with 240 billion measurements and a total of 5.9 million download tests. You can read the full results of the study here.


Source: FierceWireless  

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33 comments:

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  1. Why is this an article? Everyone on here knows this. This is why you pay less for an MVNO.

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    1. tl:dr? You stopped reading after para. 1?

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    2. It is still an interesting read even if we know it.

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    3. For a lot of MVNO's, you pay a lot more than for the normal postpaid version.

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  2. Wonder who funded this study that states the obvious?

    Here is a thought, how about somebody fund a study that accurately confirms the lack of wired broadband internet access in this country?

    Or maybe a study of how many people use cellular as their primary internet connection because no other option save satellite exists?

    Or an investigation of how congested the cellular networks are in correlation to the existence of wired access availability?

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    Replies
    1. One thing is obvious: Cricket is CRAP for quality.

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  3. Not to mention that 12 Mbps is probably well beyond fast enough for most people's regular needs.

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    Replies
    1. If regular people choose to stream 4k/HDR content they would need 15-25 Mbps, but yes, 12Mbps is generally sufficient. The real problem with wireless networks is latency. Always has been, always will be.

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    2. 4K/HDR on mobile?

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    3. Yup, even streaming 1080p only requires 5Mbps.

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  4. I get between 4 and 24 mbps down on Red Pocket ATT. HUGE variations based on congestion most likely. MVNOs are deprioritised to the bottom of the barrel.

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  5. OK with me. I would rather pay less.

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  6. A big NOTHING BURGER to bite into. We all know that it's 1)Postpaid 2)Prepaid branded divisions (Sprint/Att/Tmobile/Verizon prepaid) 3)Prepaid not branded (Boost/Metro/Cricket/Visible) and finally bringing up the rear and not even in the top three 4)The mvnos. A fourth class citizen in wireless land. But with first class prices.

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    1. "For T-Mobile US, Tutela found that “the MVNO download performances of Consumer Cellular, LycaMobile, MetroPCS, and Ultra Mobile were remarkably similar to T-Mobile."

      So T-Mobile, unlike AT&T respects their MVNO customers and gives them a very good experience. Unlike AT&T, who whacks Crooket customers with only 40.8% quality of service in meeting the low test standards, and cuts MVNO data speeds by half.

      That ain't "nothing." It helps explain why Metro has twice as many subscribers as Crooket.

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    2. If you actually want to use your phone, Cricket is a much better deal than MetroPCS. Cricket's throttled speeds are much faster than the "no speed at all" MetroPCs gives in a very large part of the country.

      That's a third or more of the US where T-Mobile "respects" their customers by giving them a literal nothing burger: zero bars of service. All areas well covered by Cricket.

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    3. That old dog won't hunt. Metro covers 99% of Americans with signal bars, and gives more LTE than Cricket because AT&T is too CHEAP to field LTE across their whole network (especially in the West). So chirpies get less than 4Mbps across tens of thousands of square miles of "coverage."

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    4. "Metro covers 99% of Americans with signal bars"

      Sorry, that figure is irrelevant and only works for Americans who never leave their houses. For Americans who use mobile phones, square miles is what matters. While T-Mobile has expanded, there is a huge total area, all across the US, which lacks coverage.

      "So chirpies get less than 4Mbps...

      Yes, they get 4mbps in places where there's STILL not a whiff of T-Mobile for hundreds of miles. That's a much better network.

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    5. The old dog is still hunting. All carriers cover 100% of Americans. Your statistic is meaningless. It only works if those 100% of Americans only ever use their phones (including traveling to) a limited number of areas.

      With T-Mobile still only covering about 60% of the territory in which Americans need to use their phones, this hundred percent of Americans will have to do a lot of traveling just to use their T-Mobile.

      AT&T and Verizon cover more than 90% of the places that these Americans need to use their phones. That means that they can rest assured that for the most part when they turn on their phones they will get a signal. Without having to travel to a distant place in order to get coverage from a second-rate carrier like T-Mobile.

      T-Mobile does cover most Americans using their cell phones in their houses. Unfortunately, most Americans aren't prison inmates or sick shut-ins. They do leave their houses, and there that they find that they must have Verizon or AT&T. And that's why I even now, four times as many people choose these much better carriers then choose T-Mobile. The difference in informed carrier choice is striking.

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    6. "that figure is irrelevant and only works for Americans who never leave their houses."

      Shame - that big fib doesn't scare people; it never did. The notion that Cellular radio waves only reach houses is a fool's joke, and you know it. Metro includes free roaming coverage, so a native network comparison it bogus anyway. Metro customers enjoy great coverage, with more LTE and 2-3X faster speeds than Cricket. Twice as many customers, and they use much more mobile data than the chirpies.

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    7. 324 Million Americans have T-Mobile and Metro coverage right now, and by within two months an extra million will have it. Verizon and AT&T have to make up new scare tactics to overcharge for their networks now. And so do their boosters.

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  7. They should stop saying full speed LTE then.

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  8. I get 2.33 down and 0.06 upload on MANGO Network

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    1. "What all the corporate apologists here fail to point out is that few of these MVNO..."

      I'm not sure your point. When you are defending these risky MVNOS, you are also being a corporate apologist: every SINGLE MVNO is a corporation, or is a division of one.

      Delete
  9. What all the corporate apologists here fail to point out is that few of these MVNO, especially the independent MVNOs plainly specify this when you subscribe.
    An MVNO should be required to explain exactly how your data speeds are to be throttled and or deprioritized!
    It used to be that the cost savings were at the expense of customer service and lack of features, which is pretty much still the case, but now data speeds are capped, throttled and deprioritized in a much more significant manner.
    More so now than I ever experienced since first subscribing to various MVNOs

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    1. "Cricket has had poor reliability from the beginning"

      Cricket will give you a few MBPS in most places: enough to stream. Sprint gives you 0 MBPS in most places. The same is true of older devices (pre Band 12) on T-Mobile. The real-world definition of "reliable" differs from yours.

      Cricket is more reliable than everything EXCEPT FOR Verizon-based plans, and postpaid AT&T.

      Delete
  10. "Cricket, an AT&T prepaid brand, received a consistent quality score of 40.8% as opposed to AT&T's 65.7%."

    “H2O and Consumer Cellular “both managed to achieve significantly higher consistent quality scores than AT&T: 72.8% and 71.5% respectively, compared to around 67% from AT&T. While we can’t draw any absolute conclusions, one possible reason for this is superior core network elements (e.g. gateways and routers) on the part of those two MVNOs. Cricket, meanwhile, came in far lower with 40.8% compared to AT&T’s 65.7%,” Tutela said."

    Cricket has had poor reliability from the beginning. Remember their buggy proxy servers, and average download speed of 3.5Mbps in comparative testing? No wonder they have to throttle; their gateways and routers are not adequate.

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  11. o well my speed isn't there fastest. fast enough to stream all day long on my $15 Sprint Kickstart plan. thanks doingS

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  12. With Boost, Sprint does not slow down, I wish I could post pictures on this forum because I'm in Denver metro area and using a J7 refine, I get 100 MB down constantly all over Colorado. Boost and sprint are using HPUE technology and with less customers than the big carriers they have more bandwidth space to accommodate there customer base.

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    Replies
    1. .... But they accommodate their customer base only if they never stray from the rather small part of the US. The vast majority of Americans move about, and this is the major reason why Sprint is chosen by very few compared to the other companies.

      Delete
  13. I beg to differ, most americans go home to work 99% of the time, When they vacation boost has FREE roaming on verizon talk and text. So it actually is an amazing deal for those with native sprint coverage in there cities, Which is most american metro areas now...

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    Replies
    1. I agree. And people can read coverage maps to make sure they have coverage where they need it. Anon bloggers flaming sprint net are useless for advice on this. Time-wasters.

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    2. Actually, that is untrue. Most Americans use their phones at work and home... but most Americans also go shopping, go to movies, go on vacation, etc etc.

      It is not an "amazing deal" for most people, since only a small number of people only use their phone and their house and workplace. Sprint in fact only has good coverage in about 10 out of 50 US states.

      That is why people "read coverage maps" and only a small percentage go with bad carriers, and the vast majority go with AT&T and Verizon.

      What is worse: telling the facts about Sprint not covering most places Americans need to use their phones, or Sprint shills repeating a version of the "99%" claims.

      If you actually want reliable service, where you use your phone, you will only go with AT&T and Verizon .. or just maybe T-Mobile.

      The customers know their own needs, which is quarter after quarter, less than 15% of cell customers go with Sprint. It's best to stop wasting time trying to fool people that Sprint will meet the needs of anyone outside this small niche.

      Delete
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