Mobile Comes Out On Top in Latest OpenSignal Report

Alyssa Bailey
January 23, 2018

OpenSignal reveals a new report on the latest state of the mobile industry and said that T-Mobile took the awards for Overall Download Speed, Availability, 3G Latency and 3G and 4G Download Speed.

OpenSignal today shared its State of Mobile Networks: USA report, which examined the networks of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon from October 1, 2017 through December 30, 2017.

Verizon and AT&T are neck and neck when it comes to availability, but the only area where T-Mobile falls short of the competition is 4G latency, where OpenSignal has given AT&T a slight edge.

It was only a year ago that T-Mobile and Verizon shared the download speed trophy, with the country's largest cellular company also ranked first in 4G availability, and now somehow, the number three in subscribers manages to easily win both gold medals.

Sprint has been struggling, lately, but its recent network investments have paid off.

Specifically, T-Mo averaged 19.42 Mbps velocity in 4G downloads and 3.46 Mbps where only a 3G connection was available, compared to 17.77 and 0.87 Mbps for Verizon.

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According to the latest report, both Verizon and AT&T have stopped the declining performance on their networks that were attributed to the return of unlimited data plans. This reduces the traffic on the network and helps boost speeds for other customers who rely exclusively on their 4G connection to make calls and use data for applications.

For the fourth straight report, LTE signal availability increased across all four operators networks. Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter. Our AT&T testers were able to find an LTE signal 87% of the time, while our Sprint users tapped into an LTE signal 85.7% of the time.

T-Mobile swept the remaining five metrics winning the top spot in each category. AT&T, for what it's worth, won the award in "Latency: 4G", which indicates that it has the most responsive network with a score of 58.29ms.

But if you do want silky smooth video calls, or online game connections, or more consistent music and video-streaming, maybe stay away from Verizon (69.99 ms) and Sprint (69.59 ms), which have the most amount of latency. Sprint was by far the most improved operator in LTE reach in 2017.

T-Mobile's download speed has steadily climbed over the past year, according to OpenSignal's testing. Its availability score rose almost 9 percentage points over the last twelve months, compared to 6 percentage points for T-Mobile and 5 percentage points for both Verizon and AT&T.

Having fast download speeds is important - especially as we march towards 5G - but it's not the only thing that matters and makes a wireless network great. T-Mobile 4G speeds have been shooting upwards steadily for the a year ago, and in the 4th quarter it hit a new 4G download high of 19.4 Mbps, establishing it as the clear leader in 4G speed for the second report in a row. This was due to the "deluge of data demand on their networks", said OpenSignal. With more network investments in advanced 4G LTE and upcoming 5G infrastructure, they could catch up.

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