AT&T and Verizon Share Victory in Las Vegas as Top-Performing Mobile Carriers

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RootMetrics Report: Cricket and T-Mobile Show Much Faster Speeds over October 2012 Report

Independent mobile analytics firm and consumer advocate RootMetrics™ announced today the latest Las Vegas 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 both Verizon and AT&T had the strongest overall performances in Las Vegas and shared a victory as the top-performing mobile carriers.

To mirror a typical consumer’s mobile experience in the Las Vegas area, RootMetrics measured performance both indoors and outdoors, across all hours of the day and night, undertaking nearly 22,000 tests based on how people use their smartphones most frequently.

The Las Vegas story
Similar to the last report, AT&T’s and Verizon’s LTE networks both provided fast average download and upload speeds in Las Vegas. In bigger news, however, Cricket and T-Mobile each introduced LTE service in the market, and both carriers provided much faster average download and upload speeds compared to the previous round of testing. The increase to T-Mobile’s average upload speed was particularly impressive: it was the fastest upload speed RootMetrics has recorded from T-Mobile in any market to date. 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.

In addition, Cricket and Sprint each improved their text speeds significantly compared to the previous Las Vegas report.

AT&T Wins Data Victory in Las Vegas
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 and apps.

AT&T won the category, with strong performances 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 Las Vegas at 18.6 Mbps, as well as the fastest average upload speed at 9.2 Mbps. Verizon recorded a speedy average download speed of 13.8 Mbps and an strong average upload speed of 8.3 Mbps. T-Mobile delivered an impressive average download speed of 10.2 Mbps, with an average upload speed of 5.0 Mbps. Cricket’s LTE network provided an average download speed of 3.5 Mbps and an average upload speed of 1.2 Mbps. Sprint had the slowest speeds in the market, with an average download speed of 2.8 Mbps and a slow average upload speed of 0.8 Mbps.

  •     Downloading Emails the Fastest in Las Vegas

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 Las Vegas. With an average time above 6 seconds, Sprint 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 3.1 and 3.0 seconds, respectively. Cricket registered a time of 4.1 seconds, and T-Mobile clocked in at 4.5 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 0.3 and 0.4 seconds, respectively. T-Mobile was just behind those two carriers, at 0.8 seconds. Cricket recorded 1.2 seconds and Sprint was the slowest of all carriers at 1.7 seconds.

If consumers decide to load an app to check the latest news their phone, Cricket customers might be waiting longer than friends using other networks in Las Vegas.

  •     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 and AT&T both achieved the highest Network Reliability Score at 99.8, with T-Mobile close behind at 98.4. Cricket’s score was 96.0, and Sprint trailed with a score of 94.8.
  •     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, 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. Las Vegas 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.
  •     Overall: Both with strong overall mobile performances in Las Vegas, AT&T and Verizon tied for first place in the combined performance category. The final results are:

1 – Verizon (97)
1 – AT&T (96)
3 – T-Mobile (89)
4 – Cricket (82)
5 – Sprint (76)

The May 2013 Las Vegas 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 Las Vegas or elsewhere can download the free RootMetrics CoverageMap app for iPhone or Android devices. Review all RootScore reports at http://www.rootmetrics.com.

To evaluate the mobile experience in the Las Vegas area, RootMetrics conducted 21,872 call, data, and text tests, covering all hours of the day and night from April 15-19, 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 679 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 http://www.rootmetrics.com 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
RootMetrics
206.683.0552
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