Another study has found T-Mobile managed to best Verizon’s LTE speeds, but the report ultimately concluded LTE speeds overall have slowed by as much as 50 percent in mature markets thanks to traffic increases.
According to Twin Prime’s State of Mobile Performance report for the first half of 2016, Verizon still covers the most people with LTE at 95.3 percent to T-Mobile’s 91.7 percent, but T-Mobile’s LTE coverage offers faster speeds.
The report didn’t specify what the fastest LTE speed was, but noted Verizon trailed T-Mobile’s speed by just one percent, while Sprint’s LTE was five percent slower and AT&T’s was 17 percent slower. T-Mobile also reportedly won out in latency with an average of 52 milliseconds, compared to Sprint’s 55 milliseconds and Verizon and AT&T’s 56 milliseconds.
The report is the second this year to peg T-Mobile’s LTE speeds as the fastest. In August, OpenSignal’s State of Mobile Networks: USA report came to a similar conclusion when T-Mobile’s LTE download speed of 16.3 mbps edged out Verizon’s average of 15.9 mbps.
Twin Prime’s report said LTE services 90 percent of total mobile traffic in the United States. That figure was up 20 percent from 2015 and significantly higher than the 53 percent of cellular mobile traffic served by LTE in Europe.
In Twin Prime’s study, the Un-carrier also came on top in the rankings for 3G network speed and latency. The report found second place AT&T’s 3G network to be 55 percent slower, while Sprint’s was 73 percent lower and Verizon’s trailed at 82 percent slower. In terms of 3G latency, Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T all trailed T-Mobile’s 75 millisecond standard by about 55 percent.
But across the carrier rankings, Twin Prime found a substantial slowdown in LTE speeds from last year.
According to the study, the median LTE performance in most major U.S. cities was down between 40 percent and 50 percent. The report said the drop could partly be explained by an increase in LTE traffic share in the surveyed cities as well as an increase in overall mobile data consumed by LTE devices.
Though speeds have decreased, Twin Prime found network response times actually improved by 20 percent and retransmit rates in most cities are virtually nil. About half of users reached the company’s accelerators in 37 milliseconds or less, and three quarters reached them in 52 milliseconds or less, Twin Prime said.
Twin Prime said its data for the report was collected via its accelerators from 600 apps with traffic across the United States, India and Europe. More than 1,500 different network operators were tracked for the study to measure their performance over 2G, 3G, HSPA, HSPA-Plus, LTE and Wi-Fi.