The competition between mobile analytics firms like RootMetrics and OpenSignal can be just as fierce as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T’s war for actual US wireless industry supremacy, so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that both those companies have released new reports on the same day.
Interestingly, the findings of the two massive sets of network performance tests are far from identical, offering T-Mobile and Verizon two distinct (and equally legitimate) opportunities to claim big overall wins.
While Magenta took home an impressive five out of the seven (virtual) 5G “mobile experience” trophies handed out by OpenSignal
for the September 16 – December 14 period of last year, Big Red incredibly managed to top every single H2 2020 chart in the preliminary results of the latest nationwide RootMetrics analysis
. The latter “State of the Mobile Union” report will be made public in full on February 3, mind you, but we don’t have to wait until then for an overview of the US wireless service landscape.
Verizon reigns supreme… when you consider both 4G LTE and 5G speeds
The key difference between the latest OpenSignal and RootMetrics measurements is that the latter firm takes everything into consideration when awarding Verizon
the 15th consecutive overall RootScore crown.
We’re talking network reliability, accessibility, speed, data, call, and text on both 4G LTE and 5G, suggesting T-Mobile is unlikely to catch up to its arch-rival in terms of the whole network shebang until it can make 5G truly ubiquitous
Arguably Verizon’s most notable win comes in the aggregate median download speed department, where AT&T prevailed just a few months ago with a 42 Mbps score for the first half of 2020. While Ma Bell slipped to 33.8 Mbps, Big Red jumped from 36 to 40 Mbps, which may have something to do with that “nationwide” low-band 5G
rollout T-Mobile repeatedly mocked in recent months
For its part, the “Un-carrier” failed to impress from an H2 2020 average speed standpoint, which means all its remarkable mid-band 5G upgrades
derived from the completion of the Sprint mega merger have yet to make a meaningful impact for the masses.
Speed is only part of the equation
While 75 percent of consumers are apparently more interested in data speeds than anything else when deciding what new phone to buy and on what carrier, the number of people closely monitoring 5G availability before making the same call is on the rise, from only 49 percent not that long ago to 59 percent right now.
But even though T-Mobile
‘s early lead in that department is well-known and rigorously documented
, many regular consumers might be more impressed to hear that Verizon towers above its rivals as far as things like overall network reliability and accessibility are concerned in addition to speeds.
The only aspect where AT&T is statistically tied with the nation’s top wireless service provider is the texting experience, while T-Mobile is ranked third (of three major mobile network operators) across the board.
What’s perhaps even more remarkable about Verizon’s reported industry dominance is the exact number of state and metropolitan victories racked up across a total area of over 300,000 miles. Specifically, 300 out of 350 state awards went to the overall champion, as well as a whopping 790 metro area wins when crunching data from close to 3 million tests conducted for the purposes of this very rigorous analysis.
Unsurprisingly, that dwarfs AT&T
‘s otherwise decent tally of 161 and 382 gold medals at a state and metropolitan level respectively while completely crushing T-Mobile’s disappointing results. Despite Magenta’s solid progress in “many major metropolitan markets” lately, its network is simply not as good as the competition nationally.