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Fresh set of 4G LTE and 5G tests shows AT&T and T-Mobile coming after Verizon fast

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Less than 24 hours after Opensignal released its latest US 5G user experience report, awarding T-Mobile four out of a grand total of seven 5G mobile experience top prizes for the March – June 2021 timeframe, RootMetrics is ready to update us on the “state of the mobile union” as well after completing its own extensive H1 testing.

The key difference between the two new comprehensive reports is that the latest one does not focus exclusively on 5G connectivity, instead evaluating the nation’s “big three” wireless service providers on the whole and thus providing (at least in theory) a more complete picture of how everyday smartphone users stateside experience things like network reliability, accessibility, data, calls, texts, and especially speeds.

Verizon manages to stay ahead of a rapidly improving pack

Beyond tallying everyone’s awards total to declare an overall champion of the US wireless industry and two losers, the most important thing when dealing with the sheer amount of data harvested by RootMetrics every six months is to notice and track the constant progress of the market’s top players.

Said progress is impressively evident right off the bat this time around, as AT&T shows “major improvements across the board”, T-Mobile continues to perform remarkably well in metropolitan areas, while Verizon remains “the carrier to beat.”

Obviously, Verizon has no one to blame but itself for taking a hit in overall network accessibility and speed while failing to improve its reliability and call RootScores. At the end of the day half-year, the number one US carrier by subscribers kept its total RootScore completely unchanged, with both AT&T and T-Mobile going up and thus threatening Verizon‘s long-standing supremacy.

Big Red also took home far fewer state awards than back in H2 2020, nonetheless eclipsing the competition’s tallies with 264 victories in total (including both outright wins and ties). When it comes to 5G, Verizon continues to shine in terms of “everyday data reliability” while recording its highest “everyday 5G availability” and “fastest everyday 5G median download speed” in Salt Lake City, Utah and Shreveport, Louisiana respectively.

AT&T is the speed winner but T-Mobile is closing in fast

At first glance, it may seem like T-Mo is light years behind AT&T pretty much across the board, but that 90.3 overall RootScore is actually almost three full points up. 

The “Un-carrier” has managed to register significant improvements in the reliability, data, call, text, and especially speed categories, which means that Verizon and AT&T’s lead over it could well go away soon enough if T-Mo can maintain this crazy growth rate.

Everyday 5G availability remains one of Magenta’s greatest strengths, especially in places like Wichita, Kansas, but 5G median download speed results like the absolutely insane 195.8 Mbps recorded in Hampton Roads, Virginia undoubtedly contributed to T-Mobile‘s jump from 20.1 to 30.3 Mbps when it comes to aggregate median download speed (meaning both 4G LTE and 5G) across “the entirety” of the US.

That’s still more than 10 Mbps lower than AT&T’s same result, which went up from 33.8 to 40.9 Mbps to leave Verizon in the dust. Ma Bell also trumped Big Red 41 to 24 in individual state speed contests after losing that particular battle 30 to 37 during the final six months of last year.

All in all, AT&T‘s top executives and network engineers have plenty to smile about here, including solid everyday 5G download speeds “nationwide” and everyday 5G availability hitting a local record of 97.6 percent in Columbus, Ohio.

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