RootMetrics Tests 4G Networks in San Francisco, Names Verizon Top-scoring Carrier

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More Than 10,000 Data, Call and Text Tests Point to a Verizon Victory in San Francisco

RootMetrics RootScore Report for San Francisco

RootMetrics™, the first independent service to measure mobile experience from a consumer’s point of view, announced today the results of the San Francisco RootScore™ Report and corresponding RootScore Awards. This comprehensive report analyzes results from more than 10,000 data, call and text tests and ranks Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon on their performance. The data reveals which carrier provided the fewest blocked and dropped calls (Verizon), which carrier shows the fastest data speeds (Verizon again) and which one has the fastest text service (T-Mobile). Due to the strong showing in both data and call tests, Verizon’s LTE network received the highest combined score of 90 out of a possible 100. T-Mobile (52.3), AT&T (48.8) and Sprint (47.4) had a statistical, three-way tie for second place.

“Our goal is to provide a true picture of the major carriers’ 4G performance, and similar to what our other market tests have shown, 4G technology is not one size fits all,” said Bill Moore, CEO of RootMetrics. “Our reports empower consumers to make better decisions about the best carrier for their mobile habits.”

Are the 4G Networks in San Francisco Created Equal?
To evaluate the San Francisco Metro Area (defined as the Urbanized Area for San Francisco according to the U.S. Census Bureau), RootMetrics conducted its call, data and text tests during a seven day period, covering all hours of the day and night, from June 24-30, 2011. The tests centered on activities that consumers perform most often: making phone calls, uploading and downloading files from the Internet, and sending and receiving texts.

Data Performance: In San Francisco, RootMetrics tests measured how fast each carrier’s network was able to download and upload files, and how often a customer could successfully connect to the data network. As in several previous markets, Verizon’s LTE network once again earned top honors. Verizon’s average download and upload speeds were the highest observed for the carrier to date. Verizon’s data network delivered download speeds over 3.5 times as fast as T-Mobile and AT&T and 6 times faster than Sprint. Verizon’s upload speeds were, on average, 9 times faster to 11 times faster than AT&T and over 14 times faster than Sprint. Verizon’s maximum data test speeds were also much faster than the competition. Maximum data test download speeds were 43 Mbps and maximum upload test speeds were 24.9 Mbps.

Although each carrier delivered high speeds during the testing, the percentage of time that high speeds were delivered varied significantly. Sprint delivered download speeds of less than 500 kbps 41 percent of the time. RootMetrics observed that T-Mobile delivered download speeds of less than 500 kbps 22 percent, Verizon 9 percent and AT&T 7 percent. Conversely, Verizon delivered speeds above 10 Mbps 67 percent of the time, compared to 6 percent by AT&T.

•Call Performance: In San Francisco, Verizon and Sprint shared the top spot for Best Call performance, with the fewest blocked and dropped calls during testing. Dropped call rates varied widely by carrier. Test data showed that T-Mobile’s network was 1.5 times more likely to drop a call than AT&T’s network, three times more likely that Sprint’s and over five times more likely than Verizon’s.

  • Text Performance: T-Mobile continued its strong performance in this category and again placed first on text performance. T-Mobile delivered texts the fastest, recording a median text delivery time of 8.4 seconds, just over two times faster than AT&T and nearly two times faster than Sprint and Verizon. T-Mobile sent the most texts in under 10 seconds (57 percent of the time). Sprint sent the most texts in over one minute (20 percent of the time).

•Overall: Due to the strong results on Verizon’s LTE network for both call and data performance, it is the recipient of the RootScore Award – Combined for San Francisco.

The San Francisco RootScore Report is the 11th in a series of performance measurement reports and corresponding RootScore Awards from RootMetrics. Earlier reports covered Seattle, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Miami, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston and New York. The company will continue to publish additional reports on U.S. wireless markets to help consumers make better decisions about the right carrier for their individual needs. The next report will feature San Jose.

Consumers who are interested to see how their network coverage measures up can download the free RootMetrics Cell Phone Coverage Map App for iPhone or Android devices.

Mobile performance varies depending on where people live, work or otherwise spend time.
The results of this report combined with the geographical coverage maps at and via the Cell Phone Coverage Map Apps allow people to make better decisions about the right carrier for their individual needs.

About RootMetrics™

Bellevue, Washington-based RootMetrics is building a movement to create a more open mobile market that democratizes mobile performance data. Deploying a sophisticated smartphone application, RootMetrics partners with consumers to collect network signal strength and data throughput speeds, aggregating collected metrics into easy-to-understand maps that rate each carrier’s performance. This comparative data provides transparency into comparative carrier performance down to the most granular levels. For more information, please visit


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Ann Marie Ricard
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