AT&T and Verizon in Dead Heat for Top-Performing Carrier in San Jose, while T-Mobile has a Fast Foundation Ready for LTE

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RootMetrics Report: AT&T Data Speeds Significantly Slower Than September 2012 Report.

Independent mobile analytics firm and consumer advocate RootMetrics™ announced today the latest San Jose RootScore™ Report and corresponding RootScore Awards. The company provides free mobile performance information to help consumers make more informed decisions and improve their mobile lives.

To mirror a typical consumer’s mobile experience in the San Jose area, RootMetrics measured performance both indoors and outdoors, across all hours of the day and night, undertaking nearly 18,000 tests based on how people use their smartphones most frequently.

The San Jose story
Tech-centric San Jose has often performed strongly in mobile performance testing undertaken by RootMetrics and there’s good news for consumers in the area again. AT&T and Verizon both offered fast LTE speeds in the latest testing from RootMetrics, while T-Mobile continued to offer very fast non-LTE speeds. T-Mobile’s performance is especially interesting, given last week’s revelation that the carrier has made San Jose one of its first LTE markets. The fast non-LTE speeds that RootMetrics recorded establish an incredibly strong foundation for its LTE network moving forward.

Other interesting changes noticed by RootMetrics
Though AT&T once again offered the fastest average download speed of any carrier in the San Jose market, their speeds were noticeably slower than what RootMetrics found in their August visit to the area: AT&T’s average download speed dipped from 19.5 Mbps to 13.8 Mbps.

AT&T and Verizon’s average upload speeds rocketed past those of the other carriers. This is great news for AT&T or Verizon customers in San Jose who like to add pictures to online albums, post videos to YouTube, or perform other tasks that require uploading data.

Sprint showed improvement from the last San Jose report in both their rate of blocked calls and their text speed.

San Jose Has Two Top Carriers
RootMetrics analyzed the test results in order to share real-world data with consumers on 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.

  •     Carrier Speeds: The RootMetrics data performance tests analyzed how fast each carrier’s network was able to download and upload files, as well as how fast and reliably each network could download email and load web pages or apps.

Verizon and AT&T performed strongly in RootMetrics’ network speed, email and the web and app testing, sharing victory in the category.

AT&T’s network delivered the fastest average download speed in San Jose at 13.8 Mbps and an average upload speed of 7.3 Mbps. Verizon recorded an average download speed of 11.8 Mbps and the fastest average upload speed in San Jose at 9.4 Mbps. T-Mobile delivered a 3rd place average download speed of 8.2 Mbps and Sprint’s network provided an average download speed of 2.4 Mbps. Sprint’s average upload speed of 0.8 Mbps was the slowest speed among all four carriers.

  •     Downloading Emails the Fastest in San Jose

To provide some context around these data speeds, RootMetrics measured the average time it took to download a set of 10 emails during its testing in San Jose. AT&T was the fastest, at 2.5 seconds, but Verizon was not far behind at 3.2 seconds. With average times above 5 seconds, Sprint and T-Mobile customers could be waiting longer than friends on other networks.

  •     Browsing the Web or Using Apps

In tests to load a typical webpage or app, RootMetrics found that Verizon and AT&T were fastest, at 0.4 and 0.5 seconds, respectively. T-Mobile and Sprint trailed just a bit behind, at 0.9 and 1.4 seconds.

  •     Network Reliability Score: RootMetrics looks at two factors during its network reliability testing: 1) how often each carrier successfully connected to the network and 2) once connected, how reliable each carrier was at completing the speed tests, successfully downloading emails, and loading web pages and apps. Verizon achieved the highest Network Reliability Score at 99.3, with AT&T close behind at 99.1. T-Mobile’s score was 98.4, and Sprint trailed the group at 91.8.
  •     Call Performance: RootMetrics analyzed call performance by measuring both dropped calls and blocked calls (the inability to place an outgoing call). Call performance was strong across all carriers, so there was no clear winner in the call category.
  •     Text Performance: To replicate the most typical user experience, RootMetrics compared how long it took each carrier to send and receive text messages. San Jose has great options when it comes to carriers with strong text performance. All carriers delivered texts in less than 10 seconds at least 93% of the time. AT&T and T-Mobile offered the fastest texting services, recording average overall delivery times of approximately 3.4 seconds. Sprint and Verizon weren’t far behind, with average times of 3.5 seconds.
  •     Overall: Both with strong overall mobile performance in San Jose, AT&T and Verizon tied for first place in the combined performance category. The final results are:

1 – Verizon (96)
1 – AT&T (94)
3 – T-Mobile (89)
4 – Sprint (67)

The April 2013 San Jose 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 markets to help consumers make better decisions about the right carrier for his or her individual needs. Consumers who are interested to see how their network performs compared to other carriers in San Jose or elsewhere can download the free RootMetrics CoverageMap app for iPhone or Android devices. Review all RootScore reports at

To evaluate the mobile experience in the San Jose area, RootMetrics conducted 17,877 call, data, and text tests, covering all hours of the day and night from February 9 – February 13, 2013. The tests, designed to mirror a typical consumer’s mobile experience, were conducted using the RootMetrics RootScout™ app running on Android-based, off-the-shelf consumer smartphones purchased from carrier stores. To ensure that testing aligns with the consumer experience, RootMetrics conducts tests on activities that consumers perform most often: making phone calls, uploading and downloading files from the Internet, browsing the web and using apps, downloading email and sending and receiving texts. To reflect how consumers’ use their phones on a daily basis, tests were conducted both indoors (at 24 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 727 miles).

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 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 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. 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
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