Verizon the Clear Winner in Rootmetrics Nationwide Network Evaluation

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Verizon the Clear Winner in Rootmetrics Nationwide Network Evaluation

The mobile industry is more competitive than ever, with rival carriers' advertising making disputed claims about having the best service or largest network. But each year, a company called Rootmetrics drives across the U.S. testing mobile connections to see which provider really is best in terms of connectivity. For its latest report, which covers the first half of 2017, Rootmetrics team members drove more than 276,000 miles and tested carrier network performance in both urban and rural areas. When their work was done, Rootmetrics had tested the networks covering every square mile of the country and determined how each carrier performed in terms of data transfer speeds, calling and texting. Here are Rootmetrics’ findings for the 2017 first half. 

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Verizon Reigns Supreme

Verizon was the best overall carrier performer of Rootmetrics’ survey, scoring 94.5 out of a possible 100. The carrier got top scores in multiple metrics, including data speeds, call reliability and overall network performance. AT&T landed in second place with a score of 92.9.

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T-Mobile’s Performance Doesn't Live Up to Its Claims

T-Mobile and its CEO John Legere have spent the last few years boasting about the network’s superiority over competitors including Verizon and AT&T. However, T-Mobile finished in last place in the Rootmetrics study, scoring 86.5 out of a possible 100. Even Sprint, which has faced its fair share of problems, beat T-Mobile, with a score of 87.9.

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Verizon’s Reliability Is Strong

Part of Verizon’s appeal is in its reliability. According to the Rootmetrics survey, Verizon’s network almost never dropped calls, earning a score of 95.9 out of a possible 100. Still, it didn’t win by a large margin; AT&T nabbed a score of 94.5 for the same metric.

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Overall Carrier Reliability Is Quite Good

In a bit of good news, Rootmetrics’ study showed that generally speaking, carrier networks in the U.S. are reliable. The worst performer, T-Mobile, scored an 87.5, which is still quite good on a global scale. AT&T’s 94.5 score was trailed by Sprint, which scored 91.1.

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Sprint Has a Network Speed Problem

Speed, of course, is important. And it’s one area where Sprint has some work to do. Rootmetrics gave Sprint’s network a score of just 78.2 in the speed category, placing it far behind the market leader Verizon, which secured a 92.9 rating. AT&T and T-Mobile trailed Verizon with scores of 91.4 and 90.5, respectively.

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Verizon, AT&T Data Transfer Quality Tops the List

Data performance is best at the biggest of the big carriers. According to Rootmetrics, Verizon secured a score of 96.5 in the data study, followed by AT&T with 95.5. T-Mobile was close behind, scoring a 93.2. Sprint again trailed in this category, with a score of 86.6.

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Verizon Was the Clear Leader in Call Quality, Reliability

When it came to call quality, T-Mobile scored the lowest of all four major carriers. It could muster a score of only 77 out of 100, placing it far behind Verizon’s 91.5. AT&T and Sprint earned call quality scores of 89 and 88.6, respectively.

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Most Carriers Get Texting Right

When it comes to texting, carriers don’t seem to have a problem. Verizon’s text-messaging reliability rating was 96.5 during the survey period, topping AT&T’s 95.6. Sprint came in strong at 95.2, and T-Mobile trailed the others with a score of 89.5.

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Rootmetrics Finds Verizon, AT&T Perform Best Nationwide

In its evaluation, Rootmetrics noted that Verizon and AT&T provide the very best network performance across the U.S. And although Verizon topped all the major categories, AT&T’s performance was so close that the difference would be negligible for many users. In individual state testing, the results were the same.

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T-Mobile's Network Works Better in Major Metropolitan Areas

Overall, T-Mobile didn’t score as high in the survey as its competitors. However, Rootmetrics noted that T-Mobile’s performance is notably better in major metropolitan areas than in rural areas. The data suggests that T-Mobile customers who live in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, for example, might see better performance than the national ratings suggest.

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