RootMetrics Report: AT&T Retains Title as Top-Performing Network in Atlanta

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AT&T is once again the top-performing carrier in Atlanta, but T-Mobile’s recent launch of LTE service boosted the carrier’s data speeds significantly.

AT&T is once again the top-performing carrier in Atlanta, but T-Mobile’s recent launch of LTE service boosted the carrier’s data speeds significantly. 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 performance in Atlanta, AT&T took the top spot in the combined performance category, which includes results from data, call, and text tests for the four national carriers.

The final combined performance RootScore rankings:

1 – AT&T (99)
2 – Verizon (96)
3 – T-Mobile (91)
4 – Sprint (90)

“Atlanta is an intriguing market. All four national carriers now offer LTE in Atlanta. But there’s more to mobile performance than just a label. Our testing shows that all LTE networks aren’t created the same,” said Bill Moore, CEO of RootMetrics. “With our RootScore Reports, we’re focused on giving people a true picture of carrier performance to help them make better decisions about the right carrier for their individual needs.”
T-Mobile picks up data speed as Verizon slows down

T-Mobile’s recent launch of LTE service in Atlanta should result in faster data speeds for consumers, particularly while uploading files. T-Mobile’s average download speed increased from 11.1 Mbps to 17.0 Mbps since previous testing in April, and its average upload speed more than tripled, rising from 2.1 Mbps to 7.1 Mbps.

Meanwhile, Verizon recorded slower data speeds compared with those found in April 2013. Verizon’s average download speed decreased from 17.8 Mbps to 16.1 Mbps, and its average upload speed fell from 10.6 Mbps to 7.6 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 seconds 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
AT&T: 21.8 Mbps download/11.5 Mbps upload
T-Mobile: 17.0 Mbps download/7.1 Mbps upload
Verizon: 16.1 Mbps download/7.6 Mbps upload
Sprint: 6.9 Mbps download/3.6 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 was the fastest at 1.9 seconds, with Verizon just behind at 2.5 seconds. T-Mobile and Sprint were neck and neck, at 3.4 and 3.5 seconds, respectively.

Making the call
While call performance was strong for all four carriers in Atlanta, AT&T and Verizon had a stellar call failure rate below 0.3% on average. To put this in perspective, only about 3 in 1,000 calls would fail (drop or block) at this rate.

Text me
Atlanta has plenty of great options for texting services. All four carriers delivered texts in less than 10 seconds at least 95% of the time. AT&T didn’t have any texts fail to send during testing.

More than 100,000 tests in Atlanta
To evaluate the mobile experience in the Atlanta area, RootMetrics conducted 100,996 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 August 10 – August 18, 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 135 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 4,645 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 Atlanta. 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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