T-Mobile CEO John Legere is not a happy camper.
Just a day after the Un-carrier delivered a glowing fourth quarter earnings report, Legere began grinding his teeth when RootMetrics released its new U.S. Mobile Network Performance report naming Verizon the top carrier in the country…again.
In a public message, Legere blasted the report, calling it biased and implying that RootMetrics was paid off by larger carriers.
“RootMetrics should be banned as an independent source for network benchmarking, period!” Legere said. “Why? Here’s one example….they manipulated their testing of the T-Mobile network, choosing to turn OFF Voice over LTE, our network technology that is on every single phone we sell. VoLTE handles roughly 50 percent of calls made on the T-Mobile network. That is 250 million calls per day, or over 40 BILLION T-Mobile calls that RootMetrics just CHOSE to exclude in their latest tests.”
Legere went on to call the report results “worthless” and offered to cite more examples of bias via email.
Despite Legere’s complaints about a lack of VoLTE testing in this report, RootMetrics said the technology will be the “default call experience for T-Mobile testing in the first half of 2016, as VoLTE is gaining significant consumer adoption.”
According to the RootMetrics report, Verizon swept top honors in each of the survey’s six categories: Overall Performance, Network Reliability, Network Speed, Data Performance, Call Performance and Text Performance. Though AT&T’s Text Performance tied that of Verizon, it was edged out and left in second place in four of the five remaining categories including Overall Performance, Network Reliability, Network Speed, and Data Performance. Sprint took second place in Call Performance.
Despite the dominance of Verizon and AT&T and Legere’s resulting protests, however, the RootMetrics report found T-Mobile gave a strong performance, with improvements in Network Speed and Reliability. On the state level, T-Mobile also won nine RootScore awards in the second half of 2015 in tests of the six categories in each state, compared to none in the first half of the year.
In the state level tests, Verizon won 272 RootScore awards, and was followed by AT&T with 110 and Sprint with 36.
For metro-area testing, Verizon won outright or tied to win 597 RootScore awards, compared to AT&T’s 424, Sprint’s 212 and T-Mobile’s 209.
Verizon on Thursday touted the report both as a win for the carrier and its customers, and said the results were evidence of the carrier’s $11.7 billion in network investments in 2015.
“Verizon customers were the real winners in the latest RootMetrics national network performance report,” said Verizon’s Executive Director of Corporate Communications Chuck Hamby. “That’s a 5th straight overall ranking (win), but our focus already has turned to number six, because our customers depend on us to be even better tomorrow. Right now, our teams are assessing how we can improve network performance across the country and in the four states where we weren’t ranked at the very top.”
Sprint, too, hailed the report on Thursday and boasted its third place ranking.
“Despite being outspent 2:1 by our top competitors, we see that we’re significantly closing the gap in network performance,” Sprint CTO John Saw wrote in a blog post. “We made good progress in 2015, but you haven’t seen anything yet…With our densification and optimization strategy you’ll see us make the most of our deep 2.5GHz spectrum asset to deliver the excellent reliability, coverage, and speed that our customers need, both now and well into the future.”