T-Mobile has managed to beat Verizon in terms of latency, download speed, and availability of its 3G and LTE networks, according to the State of Mobile Networks report released by OpenSignal for the second quarter of 2017. The study was conducted between April 1 and June 30, 2017, with the group getting 5 billion data points from more than 170,000 test devices. Based on the data gathered by the group, T-Mobile earned the crown for all the available categories, which include download speeds and latency of both 4G and 3G networks, and the availability of LTE networks.
T-Mobile also managed to beat Verizon in terms of LTE network availability, with T-Mobile subscribers establishing LTE connections 90.9 percent of the time. On the other hand, Verizon subscribers manage to get LTE signals 89.8 percent within the same time frame. It is important to point out that OperSignal defines availability as how often the subscribers manage to get LTE signal on the carrier's network, rather than the amount of area where signals are available. Another important metric is the download speeds, especially on LTE networks. T-Mobile holds the crown for the fastest 4G network in the United States, with the average LTE download speeds measured at 17.5Mbps. Unlike the availability metric, the carrier managed to beat its rivals convincingly in the speed metric, with the closest rival, Verizon, saw an average LTE connection speed at 14.9Mbps.
The study also highlighted the impact of unlimited data plans on the speeds of LTE networks across the carriers. According to OpenSignal, Verizon and AT&T saw its download speeds declined after it offered unlimited plans. Verizon, the largest carrier in the United States, saw its speeds go down from 16.9Mbps six months ago to 14.9Mbps. The measured download speeds of AT&T's LTE network, on the other hand, also declined from 13.9Mbps to 12.9Mbps. The smaller networks, which offered unlimited data plans before their larger rivals, increased their speeds within the same time frame. Sprint's connection speeds went up by 800Kbps within the last six months, and now averages 9.8Mbps on its network. T-Mobile had similar increases in network speeds, with the carrier jumping from 16.7Mbps to 17.5Mbps.