Earlier this month, testing firm OpenSignal released the results of its study which pits the Big Four wireless carriers in the United States (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint) against each other in terms of the best coverage, the most reliable connection, and the fastest speed. OpenSignal recognized T-Mobile as the fastest wireless carrier in America. T-Mobile then sort of celebrated the news by lowering the pricing of its unlimited data plan.
However, T-Mobile might have celebrated its achievement a tad too soon. That is because another study has surfaced, this time conducted by another testing firm called RootMetrics. Based on RootMetrics’ findings, Verizon Wireless has been minted the fastest mobile service provider in the country, not T-Mobile.
In conducting its study, RootMetrics detailed its results by US state, metropolitan areas, and specific categories that include reliability of voice calls and speed of network connections. In nearly all categories, Verizon Wireless got the top scores. RootMetrics conducts its study two times every year, and for the fifth consecutive time, the Big Red has dominated the proceedings.
On a countrywide scope, RootMetrics ranked Verizon Wireless ranked number one in overall performance, network reliability, network speed, data reliability/speed, and voice call reliability. In terms of text messaging reliability/speed, the Big Red shared the number one spot with close rival AT&T (currently the second biggest wireless carrier in the country).
What about T-Mobile? Well, it was often ranked number four in many categories. Naturally, the results of the study had T-Mobile protesting the validity of the study. Specifically, the wireless carrier claimed that RootMetrics shut off T-Mobile’s voice over LTE (VoLTE) feature. Moreover, T-Mobile argues that RootMetrics’ data is outdated because it got its information from tests conducted in the later part of last year.
Tests like these could prove helpful to mobile users, especially those who are looking to gather whatever information they can get regarding the network performance of the major wireless carriers in the US before they make a decision as to which provider to sign up for. For wireless carriers though, these tests have become their basis for bragging their alleged superiority against their rivals.
But with differing results every time a new study comes out, consumers are often left flummoxed as to who really is the best. Of course, no study is completely alike, and the way testing firms collect their data is almost always different from how others gather their information. For instance, OpenSignal makes use of crowd sourced data via mobile apps downloaded by users. According to OpenSignal, this method employs a more real time approach to getting results. RootMetrics, on the other hand, deploys vans and professional testers across the country in order to get far more comprehensive and more representative (hence, more accurate) findings.
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