T-Mobile once again recorded the fastest 4G download and overall download speeds among the four major U.S. carriers in the latest analysis of the domestic wireless industry by OpenSignal.
The carrier also received top honors in 4G upload speed, 3G download speed and 3G latency in the firm’s new State of Mobile Networks report for the U.S.
Verizon, however, caught up to T-Mobile to tie for the lead in 4G availability, while AT&T again led its rivals in 4G latency.
OpenSignal said the latest U.S. report comprised some 8.1 million measurements on more than 385,000 test devices between mid-March and mid-June. OpenSignal analysts noted that a “jolt of bandwidth” in the past year allowed each major carrier to improve its 4G download speeds compared to the previous study.
“What we’re seeing in these trends is definitive evidence of increased 4G capacity and LTE-Advanced upgrades across all four operators’ networks,” OpenSignal analysts wrote. “Data consumption certainly isn’t going down, nor is the number of 4G users dropping, so this can only mean network improvements.”
T-Mobile and Verizon, in particular, eclipsed the 20 Mbps threshold in 4G download speeds for the first time. T-Mobile led with an average 4G download speed of 21.6 Mbps, followed by Verizon at 20.6 Mbps, AT&T at 15.1 Mbps and Sprint at 14.5 Mbps.
In the overall download speed category, which comprised the average across both 3G and 4G networks, T-Mobile remained above the 20 Mbps threshold, while Verizon came in at 19.2 Mbps, AT&T at 13.7 Mbps and Sprint recorded 12.6 Mbps.
Analysts noted that Verizon, in particular, appeared to leave its previous data crunch — the result of reintroduced unlimited plans — “far behind.”
T-Mobile and Verizon users were each able to access an LTE connection nearly 94 percent of the time. AT&T finished slightly ahead of Sprint in 4G availability at just more than 88 percent, and the analysis said Sprint made “plenty of progress in our 4G metrics over the last year.”
AT&T customers experienced an average delay of about 54 milliseconds to top the 4G latency rankings, followed by T-Mobile at 56 milliseconds, Verizon at 62 milliseconds and Sprint at 64 milliseconds.