The race for the title of top operator is heating up in New York City, a new study from RootMetrics has found.
Though Verizon remains dominant overall, the new RootMetrics New York City Urban Mobile Experience report found that both T-Mobile and Sprint have made gains on their other top four rival, AT&T. Among the findings were improvements in Sprint’s reliability and call performance and boosts in T-Mobile’s speed and data performance.
To determine carrier performance, the inaugural study looked at network service measures – including 72,000 tests of calls, text and data – in New York City area sports venues, college campuses, train stations, airports and other key areas across Manhattan. Testing in the Manhattan Urban Zone covered the Financial District, the Garment District, Midtown, Soho, Tribeca, the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side. Nearly half of the tests were conducted in indoor locations.
“New York City is one of the most important cities in the world. A strong mobile infrastructure is imperative to keeping New Yorkers and visitors connected, whether it’s for business or pleasure,” said RootMetrics Vice President Julie Dey. “This report is a comprehensive, scientific indication that while the carriers are doing well in reliability as people go about their daily, connected life in Manhattan, there is still room for improvement, particularly when it comes to meeting demand at major sporting venues and transit stations across the city.”
Among the top four carriers, T-Mobile clocked the fastest median download speed in the Urban Zone at 16 Mbps, edging out Verizon at 14 Mbps and leaving Sprint (6.7 Mbps) and AT&T (5.7) in the dust. The fastest median download speeds for three of the carriers came on the Upper West Side, with T-Mobile supporting 23.2 Mbps in that area. The slowest median download speeds for the majority of the four carriers can in the Financial district. All four carriers demonstrated “excellent” performance in call and data reliability in the Urban Zone, the study found.
At the four major area venues surveyed, including the Barclays Center, Madison Square Garden, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, Verizon took top performance honors for reliability and data speeds. At the Barclays Center, T-Mobile struggled to maintain its high network performance from the Urban Zone, clocking a median download speed of 1.0 Mbps at that location. Sprint also struggled at certain venues, garnering only a 40 percent network connection rate at Yankee Stadium. The venue with the best coverage across all carriers was Madison Square Garden.
At transit locations, such as Penn Station and Grand Central Station, carrier reliability suffered, with none of the top four receiving a score of greater than 97 percent (also referred to as “excellent”) on that measure. At Penn Station, Verizon took top honors for data performance, while T-Mobile earned the same at Grand Central Station.
At area airports, T-Mobile won out overall, taking the RootScore Award at Newark and John F. Kennedy. AT&T won top honors at LaGuardia. Reliability was strong for all four carriers at the three airports, with AT&T and Verizon earning marks of excellence at those locations and Sprint and T-Mobile hitting near the same mark. Verizon and T-Mobile recorded their fastest data speeds at Newark, while Sprint and AT&T recorded their fastest speeds at LaGuardia.
Verizon took top honors at most of the area’s college campuses with nine RootScore Awards, trailed closely by T-Mobile and Sprint with seven awards each. At Fordham, Verizon won outright or shared all measurement scores, while T-Mobile did the same at Columbia.
Across all testing locations, Verizon won or tied for 14 top honors, followed by T-Mobile with 10 top scores, Sprint with seven and AT&T with three.