Arrival of LTE in Kansas City Boosts Verizon and AT&T Ahead of Sprint in Data Speeds, RootMetrics Report Finds

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Verizon Earns Top Spot in Kansas City after 14,657 Real-world Data, Call and Text Tests

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“Because the carriers are constantly upgrading service and rolling out additional coverage, we deliberately return to cities like Kansas City to reevaluate carrier data performance, along with text and call performance.” - CEO, Bill Moore

Professionally testing how mobile carriers perform in cities across the country, RootMetrics™ announced today the latest Kansas City RootScore™ Report and corresponding RootScore Awards. The latest Kansas City RootScore report analyzes results from 14,657 real-world data, call and text tests on the AT&T, Cricket, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon networks.

What impact did LTE have and what will consumers find?
This is RootMetrics’ second RootScore Report for Kansas City. At the time of their first visit in August 2011, neither Verizon nor AT&T offered LTE service in the market. Since then, however, AT&T and Verizon have both rolled out LTE in Kansas City. Across the country, RootMetrics is increasingly seeing Verizon and AT&T compete for the claim of fastest data network and RootMetrics compares the LTE performance of Verizon and AT&T whenever possible.

“We’re increasingly seeing LTE performance – both speed and accessibility – as the No. 1 issue for consumers considering switching carriers or purchasing a new phone ,” said Bill Moore, CEO of RootMetrics. “Because the carriers are constantly upgrading service and rolling out additional coverage, we deliberately return to cities like Kansas City to reevaluate carrier data performance, along with text and call performance.”

As a result of AT&T’s and Verizon’s LTE upgrades in Kansas City, their data speeds increased significantly. For example, AT&T’s average download speed jumped from 4.1 Mbps in August 2011 to 16.3 Mbps during this round of testing, while their average upload speed improved from 1.5 Mbps to 5.9 Mbps. Verizon’s average download speed, meanwhile, increased from 1.2 Mbps to 17.1 Mbps. Their average upload speed increased from 1.0 Mbps to a rapid 10.7 Mbps.

Sprint, which led the market last time, actually showed a decrease in its average download speed, slipping from 4.6 Mbps in August to 3.1 Mbps in this round of testing.

While not as dramatic as Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile’s speeds also increased. Their average download speed moved from 2.0 Mbps to 4.3 Mbps and their average upload speed moved from 0.5 Mbps to 1.3 Mbps. RootMetrics also was able to test regional carrier Cricket for the first time in this report and will continue adding regional carriers whenever possible to give consumers the most complete picture of carrier performance in their area.

Which Carrier Ranks First in KC?    
RootMetrics sorted results to share with consumers 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 the data network.

Verizon’s LTE network had an average download speed of 17.1 Mbps, and its lightning quick upload speed of 10.7 Mbps is one of the fastest average upload speeds RootMetrics has ever recorded, for any carrier. Verizon recorded 91.0% of its download tests above 5 Mbps.

AT&T tied for fastest download speed with an average of 16.3 Mbps, and easily offered the second fastest average upload speed in Kansas City, more than quadrupling the speed of 3rd-place carrier T-Mobile.

T-Mobile finished in 3rd, with an average download speed of 4.3 Mbps and an average upload speed of 1.3 Mbps.

Sprint finished in 4th for both average download and upload speeds, with a 3.1 Mbps download average and 0.9 Mbps upload average.

Cricket placed last in all data speed measures and recorded the greatest percentage of tests below 1.5 Mbps, doing so in 83.2% of tests.

AT&T and Verizon, with data failure rates at or below 1.8%, offered the most reliable data service in Kansas City. Sprint, on the other hand, proved to be the least reliable carrier, recording an 8.3% data failure rate.

•Call Performance: With Verizon, Cricket, AT&T, and Sprint delivering statistically equal performances, RootMetrics did not declare a clear victor in the call category. T-Mobile placed last in the call category with a much higher dropped call rate than what was recorded by the other carriers.

•Text Performance: In testing, RootMetrics compared how long it took each carrier to receive a single text message. AT&T recorded the fastest overall receive time of 3.2 seconds, and also recorded the fastest time when considering how long it took to receive a text from within a carrier’s own network (0.8 seconds). Cricket finished far behind the other carriers, averaging 79 seconds to receive a text.

•Overall: With the strongest overall performance in Kansas City, Verizon earned the top spot in the combined standings. The final results are:
1 – Verizon (96.8)
2 – AT&T (87.2)
3—Sprint (53.7)
3 – T-Mobile (52.4)
3 – Cricket (51.6)

The May 2012 Kansas City 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 his or her individual needs. Review all RootScore reports at

To evaluate the Kansas City area, RootMetrics conducted 14,657 call, data and text tests during a seven-day period, covering all hours of the day and night, from April 24 - April 30, 2012. The real-world tests were conducted using the RootMetrics CoverageMap app running on Android-based, off-the-shelf consumer smartphones from carriers’ stores. To ensure that testing aligns with 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 centered 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 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 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 the Seattle area, RootMetrics is dedicated to helping improve the daily mobile experience of consumers. As a fiercely independent data company, we know that numbers are powerful and have made helping the mobile consumer our #1 priority. We’re using a smartphone app to gather independent data so that the carriers hear your real-world concerns, can make smarter decisions on how to upgrade their networks, and connect with you in better ways. Our accurate, trusted data shows you how the carriers really perform and helps you find the products and services that best fit your unique mobile life. RootMetrics: making mobile work better for you.

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