According to the results of a new study recently conducted by PCMag.com, Verizon Wireless’ network is still the fastest compared to the other members of the Big Four mobile operators in the United States (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint). Also, according to the study, Sprint’s network has the most catching up to do. Overall, PCMag.com’s study shows that wireless networks across America are getting speedier than ever.
In conducting its study, PCMag.com looked into the data connection speeds of the four largest mobile operators in 30 different cities in the US. The study made use of Samsung’s newest flagship device -- the Galaxy S8 -- in running a special edition of Ookla’s Speedtest.net mobile app. The information gathered consisted of over 124,000 data points, spanning different categories such as downloading and uploading performance, levels of latency, and network reliability. The Big Red managed to garner an overall score of 97 in order to best its rivals. T-Mobile was not far behind with an overall score of 96. Meanwhile, AT&T got a 93 overall score, while Sprint got a rather distant 74 points.
PCMag.com first started conducting its study on wireless carrier network speeds at the start of this decade, and over the years, newer studies show the steady increase of data connection speeds. As explained by Sascha Segan of PCMag.com, data speeds roughly grow two fold every couple of years, growing from 50 to 60 mbps in 2014, to 120 mbps last year. In the newest study, data speeds have already reached 200 mbps.
Earlier this year, another similar study was undertaken by OpenSignal. In that other study, Verizon Wireless also had the fastest speeds, with average LTE download speeds clocking in at 16.89 mbps, while T-Mobile was not far behind with 16.65 mbps. In OpenSignal’s study, AT&T was third and Sprint was fourth, similar to PCMag.com’s findings. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two separate studies is in how they graded Sprint’s performance. OpenSignal has basically stated in its study that the gap between all members of the Big Four in terms of connection speeds was not so large, but PCMag.com’s findings seem to show how Sprint has fell behind somewhat.
According to Segan, the main issue with Sprint’s performance is consistency -- while the major wireless carrier has achieved the same peak speeds as the other three networks, its speeds would drop in certain cities, at least more frequently compared to its rivals. Its average, thus, has also plummeted.
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