RootMetrics Report: AT&T and Verizon Named Top-Performing Networks in Portland, T-Mobile Boosts Data Speeds

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AT&T and Verizon edged out T-Mobile as the top-performing carriers in Portland, while the recent launch of LTE service by T-Mobile and Sprint has boosted both carriers’ data speeds.

AT&T and Verizon edged out T-Mobile as the top-performing carriers in Portland, while the recent launch of LTE service by T-Mobile and Sprint has boosted both carriers’ data speeds. That’s according to independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics™, which conducts mobile performance tests designed to replicate real-world consumer behavior.

With the strongest overall performances in Portland, AT&T and Verizon shared the top spot in the combined performance category, which includes data, call, and text test results from the four national carriers. The RootMetrics combined performance score, or RootScore, is synonymous with coverage: a good Combined RootScore means good overall coverage and a good consumer experience.

The final combined performance RootScore rankings for Portland:

1 – AT&T (96.3)
1 – Verizon (95.6)
3 – T-Mobile (94.1)
4 – Sprint (83)

While reliability and speed have always been part of how RootMetrics tests, the company recently introduced two standalone indices within the RootScore Reports that give consumers a clear view of each network’s performance in these key areas. The new Reliability Index is based on a combination of results from data, call, and text tests, while the Speed Index includes data and text results. In Portland, AT&T and Verizon shared the highest rank in network reliability, and T-Mobile was the outright leader in network speed.

Reliability Index for Portland:
1 – Verizon (97.5)
1 – AT&T (97.1)
3 – T-Mobile (93)
4 – Sprint (85.1)

Speed Index for Portland:
1 – T-Mobile (94.6)
2 – AT&T (93.6)
3 – Verizon (87.4)
4 – Sprint (72)

Looking at the network reliability and speed indices in conjunction with Combined RootScores offers the most comprehensive look at a typical mobile experience in Portland.

“Today, mobile phones are a core part of our daily lives,” said Bill Moore, CEO of RootMetrics. “Mobile network speed and reliability are key to people being able to do what they want, when they want, with their phones. Our new indices offer another way for people to see beyond the hype to how the carriers are really performing.”

T-Mobile races past the competition with LTE-fueled speeds
All four major carriers now offer LTE service in Portland. T-Mobile’s recent launch of LTE more than doubled its average download speed, which jumped from 9.1 Mbps in May to 18.4 Mbps. Its average upload speed more than tripled, rising from 1.8 Mbps to 7.0 Mbps.

T-Mobile’s average download speed of 18.4 Mbps was the second fastest average speed recorded by the carrier in any market RootMetrics has tested to date.

Sprint’s average download speed increased from 2.8 Mbps to 4.2 Mbps since previous testing in May, and its average upload speed jumped from 0.7 Mbps to 3.0 Mbps.

Data speeds affect how quickly consumers can perform various tasks online. For example, in an ideal situation, uploading medium-sized pictures (1 MB) to Facebook or other online albums typically takes 25 to 45 seconds at speeds below 3.0 Mbps. At speeds above 6.0 Mbps, uploading a similar picture generally takes less than 1 second.

Average download and upload speeds by carrier
T-Mobile: 18.4 Mbps download/7.0 Mbps upload
AT&T: 15.7 Mbps download/8.2 Mbps upload
Verizon: 12.1Mbps download/6.2 Mbps upload
Sprint: 4.2 Mbps download/3.0 Mbps upload

You’ve got mail — how long does it take to get it?
RootMetrics measured the average time it took each carrier to download a set of 10 emails. AT&T had the fastest time in Portland at 2.1 seconds. T-Mobile and Verizon trailed AT&T at 2.8 seconds and 2.7 seconds, respectively. People using the Sprint network could be waiting slightly longer than others for their email to download, with an average download time of 5 seconds.

Making the call
Verizon had the strongest call results in Portland. The carrier was named as the most reliable in the RootMetrics call tests, with a failure rate of 0.0% on average. To provide perspective, only about 1 in 200 calls would fail (drop or block) at this rate.

Text me
Portland has plenty of great options for texting services. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon tied for the most reliable text results, with less than 0.2% of text messages failing to send during testing. All four carriers delivered texts in less than 10 seconds at least 91% of the time.

Nearly 24,000 tests in Portland
To evaluate the mobile experience in the Portland area, RootMetrics conducted 23,931 call, data, and text tests on the networks of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon during all hours of the day and night from September 19 – September 25, 2013. The tests were conducted using the RootMetrics RootScout app running on Android-based, off-the-shelf consumer smartphones purchased from carrier stores. Tests were conducted both indoors (at 37 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 1,101 miles). Mobile performance varies depending on where people live, work, or otherwise spend time. Because a variety of factors can influence performance, examples that show what data speeds mean while performing various mobile activities are a general look at data speeds for illustrative purposes and aren’t specific to Portland. For details about the results, see the methodology section of the online report.

About RootMetrics™
Based in Bellevue, Wash., RootMetrics™ is an independent company that provides accurate and unbiased mobile performance data with market-specific RootScore Reports, geographical coverage maps, and a free downloadable CoverageMap app for use on either Android or iOS devices. To ensure that RootMetrics testing reflects a typical consumer’s mobile experience, testing is conducted based on where, when, and how consumers use their devices most often.

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Ann Marie Ricard
Rootmetrics
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