RootMetrics Tests 4G Networks in Los Angeles, Finds that Verizon’s LTE Dominates Competition

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New Report Details More than 40,000 Real-world Data, Call and Text Tests; Verizon’s LTE Outshines AT&T’s LTE Network in Data Category

RootMetrics RootScore Report for Los Angeles (March 2012)

RootMetrics™, the first independent service to measure mobile experience from a consumer’s point of view, announced today the latest Los Angeles RootScore™ Report and corresponding RootScore Awards. This is the second time RootMetrics has visited the Los Angeles area, having previously reported on LA in June 2011. The new report analyzes results from more than 40,000 real-world data, call and text tests and ranks AT&T, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon on their performance. The RootScore Report reveals which carriers provided the fastest data network (Verizon’s LTE is the victor), shows that all five carriers delivered about equal call service and points to a tie in texting between Verizon and AT&T. Overall, Verizon’s strong performance in all three categories led to a hands-down victory in Los Angeles, earning a score of 95.8 out of 100. AT&T (65.2) came in second place, T-Mobile (54.4) and MetroPCS (51.3) tied for third, and Sprint (39.6) was ranked fifth.

There were notable differences between the March 2012 and June 2011 reports. Since the last report, AT&T introduced LTE service in Los Angeles and, as a result, AT&T’s data speeds jumped dramatically. Also new to this report, RootMetrics was able to test T-Mobile’s network with a device enabled for HSPA+42 service and download speeds showed a marked increase from what RootMetrics recorded in June 2011. Verizon’s LTE speeds increased slightly as compared to the June 2011 tests. Sprint’s average download speed, however, decreased, moving from 4.4 Mbps to 2.6 Mbps. Lastly, RootMetrics was able to include scoring for MetroPCS in this latest report. RootMetrics will continue to test and add regional carriers whenever possible to provide the most complete picture of mobile performance.

In markets where both Verizon and AT&T have introduced LTE networks, RootMetrics’ test results have shown the two carriers jockeying back and forth for the position as the fastest data network. RootMetrics will continue to compare the LTE performance of Verizon and AT&T whenever possible in upcoming reports, keeping an eye on this tight race.

“The mobile landscape in Los Angeles has changed significantly since the last time we tested in market, and we wanted to come back and experience the impact of the recent network upgrades and changes in device availability,” said Bill Moore, CEO of RootMetrics. “In every market we enter, we want to perform tests that provide consumers with a true picture of the major carriers’ performance. The information from our reports empowers consumers to make better decisions about the best carrier for their mobile habits.”

Which Carriers Shone in Los Angeles?    
To evaluate the Los Angeles area, RootMetrics conducted more than 40,000 call, data and text tests during a seven-day period, covering all hours of the day and night, from February 13-19, 2012. The real-world tests were conducted using the RootMetrics CoverageMap app running on off-the-shelf, Android-based consumer smartphones from carriers’ stores. 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: 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 the data network. In Los Angeles, Verizon’s LTE almost tripled the average download speed of AT&T’s LTE service and more than tripled AT&T’s upload speed.

AT&T showed marked improvement, with an average download speed 3.4 times faster than RootMetrics previously recorded in June 2011.

For the first time in any of RootMetrics tests, T-Mobile’s HSPA+42 offered faster average download speeds than AT&T’s LTE service.

Verizon recorded download speeds above 5 Mbps in 84.9 percent of the tests, compared to T-Mobile’s 54 percent and AT&T’s 44.6 percent. In contrast, Sprint recorded download speeds below 1.5 Mbps in 47.9 percent of the tests, while MetroPCS recorded speeds this slow in 38 percent of RootMetrics’ tests.

  • Call Performance: When it comes to call performance in Los Angeles, all five carriers delivered statistically equal performances, resulting in a draw.
  • Text Performance: Verizon and AT&T delivered statistically equal performances in the Los Angeles market, and shared the top spot in the category.
  • Overall: With a strong showing in all three categories, Verizon took the top spot in the combined standings for Los Angeles. The final results are:

1 – Verizon (95.8)
2 – AT&T (65.2)
3 – MetroPCS (54.4)
3—T-Mobile (51.3)
5 – Sprint (39.6)    

The March 2012 Los Angeles 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 on U.S. wireless markets to help consumers make better decisions about the right carrier for their individual needs. Review all RootScore reports at http://www.rootmetrics.com.

Consumers who are interested to see how their network coverage measures up 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™

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 http://www.rootmetrics.com.
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Ann Marie Ricard
RootMetrics
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