AT&T and Verizon Continue to Battle for Network Supremacy in Las Vegas

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New Report from RootMetrics Shows Increased Data Speeds on Almost All Networks Compared to April 2012 Findings

BELLEVUE, Wash. (November 7, 2012) – RootMetrics™ announced today the latest Las Vegas RootScore™ Report and corresponding RootScore Awards. Complementing consumer-generated results from the RootMetrics CoverageMap app, the RootMetrics scout team professionally tests how mobile carriers perform in cities across the country. The Las Vegas report analyzed results from 17,944 data, call, and text tests on the AT&T, Cricket, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon networks using smartphone technology RootMetrics designed to replicate real-world mobile usage.

This is the third report from RootMetrics on the Las Vegas area. The company scouted the city in November 2011 and March 2012.

Observations Since Previous Test in Las Vegas
For the second time in a row, AT&T and Verizon tied in the data and combined performance categories. Though AT&T’s and Verizon’s average download speeds were similar to the speeds found during the previous test period, they were markedly faster than the other carriers in Las Vegas.

In terms of upload performance, AT&T’s and Verizon’s average upload speeds improved significantly. Verizon’s average upload speed increased from 6.0 Mbps to 10.2 Mbps, and AT&T’s average upload speed jumped from 5.4 Mbps to 8.8 Mbps.

MetroPCS’s average download speed increased from 1.9 Mbps to 4.2 Mbps, and their average upload speed moved from 1.2 Mbps to 3.2 Mbps.

Cricket’s data speeds lagged considerably behind the other carriers in Las Vegas, but their speeds were notably faster than those recorded during the previous round of testing. Cricket’s average download speed was 2.5 times faster, moving from 0.3 Mbps to 0.8 Mbps, and their average upload speed was 5.9 times faster, going from 0.1 Mbps to 0.5 Mbps.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon delivered average download speeds similar to those recorded during the previous round of testing.

Which Carrier Ranks First in Las Vegas?    
RootMetrics sorted the test results to show which carrier provided the fastest and most reliable data network, which carrier had the fewest blocked and dropped calls, and which carrier offered the fastest text service.

  •     Data Performance: The RootMetrics data performance tests analyzed how fast each carrier’s network was able to download and upload files and how often a customer could successfully connect to a data network.
  •     AT&T’s and Verizon’s LTE networks delivered statistically comparable 1st place results in the average download speed measure, with average speeds of 15.3 Mbps and 14.8 Mbps, respectively.
  •     While T-Mobile does not currently offer LTE service, their average download speed of 8.6 Mbps trailed the speeds of AT&T and Verizon, but was more than twice as fast than the speeds recorded by the remaining carriers.
  •     Cricket placed last in all data speed measures.
  •     Las Vegas High Speed Data Comparison and Potential Slowdowns: The standard for what constitutes “4G” speed is debatable, but looking at the consistency with which a carrier offers speeds greater than 5 Mbps gives a good indication of a fast mobile experience. In order to give consumers a more complete picture of how the carriers performed in Las Vegas, RootMetrics compared how often carriers recorded speeds greater than 5 Mbps.

The following details the percentage of tests that each carrier recorded download speeds above 5 Mbps:
o    Verizon 87.8%
o    AT&T 84.9%
o    T-Mobile 67.6%
o    MetroPCS 27.5%
o    Sprint 24.3%
o    Cricket 0.0%

  •     AT&T, MetroPCS, and Verizon were the only carriers to reach upload speeds above 5 Mbps during testing.
  •     Cricket recorded the greatest percentage of download and upload speeds slower than 1.5 Mbps, doing so in 85.5% and 100.0% of speed tests, respectively.
  •     Data Reliability: AT&T provided the strongest network reliability in Las Vegas, with an overall success rate of 98.6%.
  •     Call Performance: RootMetrics analyzed call performance by measuring both dropped calls and blocked calls (the inability to place an outgoing call). The race in Las Vegas was too close to call, as AT&T, Cricket, T-Mobile, and Verizon each delivered indistinguishable 1st place results.
  •     Text Performance: RootMetrics compared how long it took each carrier to send and receive text messages. With comparably strong text results in Las Vegas, T-Mobile and AT&T outperformed the other carriers and shared 1st place in the category.
  •     Overall: Verizon and AT&T shared 1st place in the combined standings. The final results are:

1 – Verizon (100)
1— AT&T (98)
3 – T-Mobile (73)
4 – MetroPCS (61)
5 – Sprint (58)
6 – Cricket (55)

The November 2012 Las Vegas RootScore Report is the latest in an ongoing series of performance measurement reports and corresponding RootScore Awards from RootMetrics. The company will continue to publish additional reports for U.S. wireless markets to help consumers make better decisions about the right carrier for his or her individual needs. Review all RootScore reports at http://www.rootmetrics.com.

To evaluate the mobile experience in the Las Vegas area, RootMetrics conducted 17,944 call, data, and text tests during a seven-day period, covering all hours of the day and night, October 11-October 16. The tests, which mimic real-world mobile behavior, were conducted using the RootMetrics CoverageMap app running on Android-based, off-the-shelf consumer smartphones purchased from carrier stores in Las Vegas. To ensure that testing aligns with the consumer experience, and to provide each carrier with the chance to rate as highly as possible, RootMetrics utilizes the most advanced smartphones available at the time of testing. Tests are conducted on activities that consumers perform most often: making phone calls, uploading and downloading files from the Internet, and sending and receiving texts.

Consumers who are interested to see how their network coverage performs compared to other carriers can download the free RootMetrics Cell Phone CoverageMap 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 http://www.rootmetrics.com and via the Cell Phone CoverageMap app, allow people to make better decisions about the right carrier for their individual needs.

About RootMetrics™
Based in Bellevue, WA, RootMetrics is an independent company that provides accurate and unbiased mobile performance data to consumers via coverage maps, market-specific RootScore Reports, and a free downloadable app for use on either Android or iOS devices. To ensure RootMetrics’ measurements reflect a typical consumer’s mobile experience, testing is conducted based on where, when, and how consumers use their devices most often. With data that is accurate and trusted by consumers and carriers, RootMetrics provides tools that empower consumers to find products and services that best fit their unique mobile needs.

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Ann Marie Ricard
RootMetrics
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