It's not a huge secret that the United States does not have the most reliable or the fastest mobile networks in the world, as determined time and time again by network benchmarks and speed tests. Taken cumulatively, however, the U.S.' networks' performance is far from terrible, though it still ranks near the bottom of the charts. The States are surpassed in average network benchmarking scores, provided by app analytics firm Apteligent and industry analyst STL Partners, by Italy, Spain, Germany, Canda, the United Kingdom and France, the king of the international mobile hill. Interestingly, according to these same metrics, the "best" network in the United States, as measured by "user app experience", is neither of the two dominant networks in the States; it's T-Mobile, the underdog who recently surpassed Sprint to become the third largest mobile carrier in the U.S.
The duo gets together quarterly to release the Mobile Network Experience Index, or MobiNEX for short. Analytics data is taken and compiled from 27 major carriers from the countries listed above. The report pulls data from running apps, such as the error rate, average latency, latency consistency and download speed, to determine how a given network performs in real-world usage, rather than more specialized benchmark tests like Ookla's Speedtest.net app. The scores were quite divisive, with the United States' top dog, T-Mobile, earning 45 out of 100 points, just 2 points ahead of market leader Verizon. Meanwhile, the best wireless carrier out of all those tested was Bouygues Telecom out of France, with 76 points, reaching far ahead of T-Mobile which should put things in perspective when it comes to network experience in the country. The worst network in the United States, according to the rankings, was Sprint. This leaves AT&T to claim the third spot. Error rate, being how often the connection outright fails or hiccups for no good reason, was highest for carriers in the United States.
The report's lead author and a partner with STL Partners, Chris Barraclough, said of the quarterly study, "The index shows in simple terms which operators are likely to do the best job for people. And while it is easy to compare, it's based on a huge amount of real world information so it's a pretty reliable indicator of what's going on."