AT&T and Verizon Share Victory in San Diego as Top-Performing Carriers

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RootMetrics Report: AT&T and Sprint Data Speeds Show Big Improvements over August 2012 Report

Independent mobile analytics firm and consumer advocate RootMetrics™ announced today the latest San Diego 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. In this newest report, RootMetrics notes that Verizon and AT&T both had the strongest overall performances and shared a victory as top-performing carriers.

To mirror a typical consumer’s mobile experience in the San Diego area, RootMetrics measured performance both indoors and outdoors, across all hours of the day and night, undertaking nearly 32,000 tests based on how people use their smartphones most frequently.

The San Diego story
San Diego 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 remarkably fast LTE speeds in the latest testing from RootMetrics, while T-Mobile continued to offer a very fast non-LTE download speed.

AT&T and Verizon were again particularly impressive during upload speed testing. This is good news for consumers in the area who like to add pictures to Facebook albums, post videos to YouTube, or perform other tasks that require uploading data.

AT&T’s Network Makes Gains Since August Report
Compared to the August 2012 RootMetrics report, AT&T’s LTE network provided significantly faster average download and upload speeds in San Diego. And Sprint’s speeds, though much slower than AT&T, also improved considerably.

In addition, Cricket and Sprint showed improved text speeds compared to the last San Diego report.

AT&T and Verizon Share Data Victory in San Diego
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 webpages or apps.

Sharing a victory in the data category, Verizon and AT&T performed strongly in the RootMetrics tests of network speed, email delivery, and webpage and app loading.

AT&T’s network delivered the fastest average download speed in San Diego at 18.2 Mbps and an average upload speed of 8.3 Mbps. Verizon recorded an average download speed of 16.3 Mbps and the fastest average upload speed in San Diego at 10.0 Mbps. T-Mobile delivered an average download speed of 10.3 Mbps, with a significantly slower average upload speed of 2.0 Mbps. Sprint’s network provided an average download speed of 1.4 Mbps and a slow average upload speed of 0.9 Mbps. Cricket had the slowest average speeds in San Diego, with an average download speed of 0.6 Mbps and an average upload speed of 0.4 Mbps.

  •     Downloading Emails the Fastest in San Diego

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 Diego. With average times above 9 seconds, Sprint and Cricket customers could be waiting longer than friends on other networks for emails to download. AT&T and Verizon provided the fastest email services, with statistically comparable times of 2.5 and 2.8 seconds, respectively. T-Mobile registered a time of 4.9 seconds.

  •     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 was just behind those two carriers, at 0.7 seconds. Sprint recorded 1.3 seconds and Cricket was the slowest of all carriers at 3.9 seconds.

What this means to the consumer is if they decide to load an app or check scores on their phone, Cricket customers might be waiting longer than friends using other networks in San Diego.

  •     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 webpages and apps. Verizon achieved the highest Network Reliability Score at 99.5, with AT&T close behind at 99.4. T-Mobile’s score was 98.5, Sprint was 97.0, and Cricket trailed the group with a score of 92.1.
  •     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, but Verizon had the strongest call results and won the 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 Diego has great options when it comes to carriers with strong text performance. All carriers delivered texts in less than 10 seconds at least 95% of the time. Cricket’s network provided the fastest texting service, recording an average overall delivery time of approximately 2.8 seconds. All three of the other carriers weren’t far behind, with average times ranging from 3.1 to 3.3 seconds.
  •     Overall: Both with strong overall mobile performance in San Diego, AT&T and Verizon tied for first place in the combined performance category. The final results are:

1 – Verizon (98)
1 – AT&T (97)
3 – T-Mobile (89)
4 – Sprint (79)
5 – Cricket (68)

The April 2013 San Diego 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 Diego 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 Diego area, RootMetrics conducted 31,826 call, data, and text tests, covering all hours of the day and night from February 27 – March 06, 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. 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 35 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 1,168 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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