OpenSignal: T-Mobile is Leading the Network Pack

OpenSignal has a methodology in place to test all of the major wireless networks in the United States, all in an effort to see how they compare to one another for the customers.

The latest report, OpenSignal’s “State of the Mobile Networks: USA” aims to see how each of the wireless networks are doing at the start of 2018. The test period this time around was staged between October 1 and December 30, 2017. During that time, the publication tested 237,213 devices out in the wild, and its measurements were more than five billion during that time.

The results show quite a few things, as usual, but mostly that T-Mobile is taking full advantage of its network upgrades and rollouts, while the other carriers are starting to trail in the third-largest wireless network in meaningful ways.

T-Mobile won a variety of different awards in the report, including when it comes to 4G LTE download speeds, availability, and even 3G download speeds. The Magenta Un-carrier even won the award for overall download speeds, with its 4G LTE average speed just over 19Mbps (Verizon came in second in this regard, with its average at 17.8Mbps).

Interestingly enough, T-Mobile has passed Verizon on the availability metric, too. T-Mobile’s availability percentage is now at 93.14% of its customers having access to 4G LTE speeds. Meanwhile, Verizon, firmly in second place, is now at 92.72%. AT&T is at third place with 87.03% and Sprint is at 85.56%.

Sprint saw improvements in its availability, though, jumping up nine percentage points from the last report. And its average download speed also jumped up to 12Mbps as well, so worthwhile improvements for its subscriber base.

The new report also indicates that Verizon Wireless and AT&T, the two largest networks in the United States, are starting to recover from launching new unlimited data plans in 2017. OpenSignal actually noted earlier in January that both companies saw huge drops in average download speeds because their 4G LTE networks were being hammered due to the new unlimited plans.

Verizon and AT&T both recovered before the end of 2017, though:

“After Verizon and AT&T reintroduced unlimited plans last February, their 4G speeds began steadily falling in our measurements as their networks faced the increased data consumption. This autumn though, both operators arrested their free falls in speed. Verizon has even managed to reverse the trend and is now back to its pre-unlimited speed levels, according to our data.”

You can check out the full report through the source link if you want to see how your carrier of choice is doing.

Our Take

T-Mobile has seen such a drastic turnaround from years past that it’s genuinely exciting to watch. Not only has the carrier surpassed Sprint to become the third-largest carrier in the United States, but the improvements it continues to make to its network are really paying off. Surpassing Verizon in 4G LTE availability is a pretty big step for the Un-carrier.

[via OpenSignal]

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