T-Mobile has been investing in its infrastructure for a few years now and it looks like those investments are finally paying off, as Speedtest.net testing has revealed that T-Mobile offers the fastest network in the United States. “But what about network congestion in highly populated areas?” I hear you asking. Ookla says that these carrier rankings remain the same when their analysis is limited to the 100 more populated Cellular Market Areas.
T-Mobile claims the top spot on the list with an average speed score of 23.17Mbps during Q1-Q2 2017. Ookla suggests that T-Mobile’s tightly-spaced cell site grid and its smaller subscriber base could be giving it an edge over Verizon and AT&T. They also note that T-Mobile is on track to become the first all-LTE mobile carrier in the United States, thanks to their speedy rollout of the 5GHz band.
Verizon Wireless claimed the second spot with a speed score of 21.13Mbps and Ookla notes that Verizon provides consistent and reliable performance across its entire network. They do note that a drop in performance was observed since Verizon launched its Unlimited plans.
AT&T ranks third with a speed score of 20.05, despite being one of the first carriers in the US to adopt LTE. Ookla notes that they also saw a notable drop in performance with AT&T’s expansion of its Unlimited Plans. However, Ookla notes that the quality of AT&T’s network has begun improving over the past few months as they begin deploying LTE in the 2300MHz band.
Sprint comes in last with a speed score of 15.39, but Ookla points out that it’s the network that has made the most improvements since the same period last year. Ookla says between December 2016 and June 2017, the mean download speed on modern devices on the Sprint network saw increases of 23.7%.
What’s even more interesting is that the Galaxy S7 seems to perform better across all networks than the iPhone 7. It would be interesting to see multiple Android phones in this comparison to see if it’s a difference between iOS and Android.