RootMetrics today released another hugely comprehensive wireless service report.
The independent firm’s latest data covers the second half of 2014 and finds both T-Mobile and Sprint making a lot of progress.
After finishing last in the previous RootMetrics report, Sprint has now moved ahead of T-Mobile in the overall performance category. Sprint scored 86.6 overall and T-Mobile scored 84 overall. Verizon Wireless led with 93.9 and AT&T scored 91.7.
RootMetrics CEO Bill Moore attributed Sprint’s higher score to improvements the carrier has made in its call network as well as better text performance.
Part of what hurt T-Mobile in this report was a slip in call performance. But RootMetrics notes that the carrier has been busy with network upgrades so the decline could be transitory.
Moore said that despite the call performance improvement, it’s important to note that Sprint is still the slowest network in the nation.
Sprint scored a 71 in the nationwide speed category, well below T-Mobile’s 79.1.
At the metro market level, the test results show both Sprint and T-Mobile gaining ground on AT&T and Verizon. But Moore pointed out that Verizon and AT&T still lead by large margins in most categories and have less room for improvement than Sprint and T-Mobile.
“Every single network is getting better,” Moore said.
But Sprint had to improve in this report, particularly after CEO Marcelo Claure specifically pointed to RootMetrics’ new report and told CNET the results would be a “rude awakening” for T-Mobile.
Did Claure’s prediction come true?
Moore said both carriers have bragging rights. He said T-Mobile is the third best carrier in metro markets and that it rivals Verizon for speed. He said T-Mobile’s metro market downlink speeds are now on par with Verizon’s and that its metro uplink speeds are faster than Verizon’s.
He said Sprint moved into third overall nationwide and grabbed second place in nationwide text performance behind AT&T. “But they’ve all got a lot of work left to do,” Moore said.
As in past RootMetrics reports, though, Verizon has seemingly done enough work to keep it ahead of all other carriers. Verizon placed first in five out of six nationwide categories and second to AT&T in one. But AT&T did not trail Verizon by much in the categories Verizon won.
RootMetrics releases two reports annually for the first and second half of a year. The company measures network performance—using phones bought from the carriers’ retail stores—in the categories reliability, data, speed, call, text and overall. The firm scores each carrier in those categories in 125 metro markets, all 50 states and nationwide.