RootMetrics Report: AT&T and Verizon Both Named Top-performing Networks in Miami

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AT&T and Verizon tied as the top-performing carriers in Miami, but the recent launches of LTE service by Sprint and T-Mobile have boosted both carriers’ data speeds.

AT&T and Verizon tied as the top-performing carriers in Miami, but the recent launches of LTE service by Sprint and T-Mobile have boosted both carriers’ data speeds. That’s according to independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics®, which measures mobile performance of the four national carriers, with tests designed to replicate real-world consumer behavior.

AT&T and Verizon had the strongest overall results in Miami and shared the top spot in the combined performance category, which includes results across data, call, and text testing. The RootMetrics combined performance score, or Combined 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 Miami:

1 – Verizon (97.4)
1 – AT&T (97.1)
3 – T-Mobile (90.0)
4 – Sprint (85.9)

While reliability and speed have always been part of how RootMetrics tests, the company recently introduced two standalone indices within 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. Looking at the network reliability and speed indices in conjunction with Combined RootScores offers the most comprehensive look at a typical mobile experience in Miami.

In Miami, Verizon ranked highest in network reliability, and AT&T had the highest rank in network speed.
Reliability Index rankings for Miami:
1 – Verizon (98.4)
2 – AT&T (97.3)
3 – T-Mobile (90.0)
4 – Sprint (86.4)

Speed Index rankings for Miami:
1 – AT&T (95.6)
2 – Verizon (93.8)
3 – T-Mobile (86.9)
4 – Sprint (75.7)

“Now that all four major carriers offer LTE service in the Miami area, there are plenty of options when choosing a network. The interesting story in our latest Miami report is the improved download and upload speeds we found from Sprint and T-Mobile,” said Bill Moore, CEO of RootMetrics. “Our tests are designed to reflect the way people use their phones on a daily basis, and with these reports, we want to give people an easy and holistic way to understand how the carriers are really performing.”

T-Mobile and Sprint Speed Up; AT&T Slows Down
Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s recent LTE launches resulted in faster data speeds compared to the non-LTE speeds RootMetrics found during previous testing in May of 2013.

T-Mobile’s average download speed jumped from 8.7 Mbps to 12.4 Mbps since May, and its average upload speed increased from 1.8 Mbps to 6.2 Mbps.

Sprint’s average download speed increased from 1.8 Mbps to 6.1 Mbps since May, and its average upload speed jumped from 0.6 Mbps to 2.7 Mbps.

Meanwhile, AT&T’s average download speed decreased from 18.6 Mbps to 16.6 Mbps.

Average download and upload speeds by carrier
AT&T: 16.6 Mbps download/8.9 Mbps upload
Verizon: 16.1 Mbps download/8.4 Mbps upload
T-Mobile: 12.4 Mbps download/6.2 Mbps upload
Sprint: 6.1 Mbps download/2.7 Mbps upload

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 on average at speeds below 3.0 Mbps. At speeds above 6.0 Mbps, uploading a similar picture generally takes less than 1 second.

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 edged out Verizon for the fastest time in Miami at 2.1 seconds, with Verizon closely following at 2.4 seconds. While T-Mobile clocked in at 3.3 seconds, Miami residents using Sprint might have to wait a bit longer than those on other networks for emails to download, with the carrier recording 4.2 seconds on average.

Making the Call
Making calls on any of the four networks in Miami should be a sooth experience, but AT&T and Verizon shined during call testing and shared the RootScore Award for call performance. Each carrier recorded comparable call failure rates below 0.4% on average. To provide perspective, approximately 1 in 250 calls would fail (drop or block) at this rate. Moreover, Verizon didn’t record any dropped calls during testing.

Text Me
Miami has plenty of fast and reliable options for texting. With near-perfect send failure rates, AT&T and Verizon had the most reliable text results. All four carriers delivered texts in less than 10 seconds at least 95% of the time.

Over 52,000 Tests in Miami
To evaluate the mobile experience in the Miami area, RootMetrics conducted 52,515 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 October 2 – October 9, 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 72 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 2,479 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 Miami. For details about the results, see the methodology section of the online report.

About RootMetrics™
Based in Bellevue, WA, RootMetrics® is an independent mobile analytics firm that offers unparalleled, actionable insights into the consumer mobile experience. An advocate for consumers, RootMetrics provides data and reports free to the public to help them make more informed mobile decisions. 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. The end result: a better mobile experience for consumers.

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Ann Marie Ricard
Rootmetrics
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