RootMetrics Report: AT&T and Verizon Locked in Dead Heat for Top-Performing Network in Las Vegas

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AT&T tied with Verizon as the overall top-performing carrier in Las Vegas

Once again, AT&T tied with Verizon as the overall top-performing carrier in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, T-Mobile boosted its data speeds with its launch of LTE. These faster speeds, along with fast texting, won T-Mobile the top spot on a new network speed index.

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 performances in Las Vegas, AT&T and Verizon shared the RootScore Award in the combined performance category, which includes results from data, call, and text tests for the four national carriers. A good combined RootScore means good overall coverage and a good consumer experience.

The final combined performance RootScore rankings for Las Vegas:

1 – Verizon (96)
1 – Verizon (95)
3 – T-Mobile (92)
4 – Sprint (75)

While reliability and speed performance have always been part of how RootMetrics tests, the company recently introduced two new indices within the RootScore Reports that give consumers an easy, clear view of a network’s reliability and speed performances. The new Network Reliability Index is based on a combination of results from data, call, and text tests, while the Network Speed Index includes data and text results.

In Las Vegas, Verizon ranked highest in network reliability, while T-Mobile beat the competition in network speed.
Network Reliability Index for Las Vegas:

1 – Verizon (97.6)
2 – AT&T (95.5)
3 – T-Mobile (90.2)
4 – Sprint (76.5)

Network Speed Index for Las Vegas:

1 – T-Mobile (93.4)
2 – AT&T (91.0)
3 – Verizon (87.9)
4 – Sprint (64.9)

Looking at the network reliability and speed indices in conjunction with Combined RootScores offers the most comprehensive look at a typical mobile experience in Las Vegas.

“Today, mobile phones are a core part of our daily lives,” said Bill Moore, CEO of RootMetrics. “Mobile network speed and reliability are key to people being able to do what they want, when they want, with their phones. Our new indices offer another way for people to see beyond the hype to how the carriers are really performing.”
T-Mobile picks up data speed as AT&T and Verizon both slow down

T-Mobile’s recent launch of LTE service in Las Vegas should result in faster data speeds for consumers, particularly while uploading files. T-Mobile’s average download speed increased from 10.2 Mbps to 13.5 Mbps since previous testing, and its average upload speed more than doubled, jumping from 5.0 Mbps to 10.6 Mbps.

Meanwhile, AT&T’s average download speed decreased from 18.6 Mbps to 14.9 Mbps since the last round of testing. And Verizon’s average upload speed fell slightly from 8.3 Mbps to 5.4 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: 14.9 Mbps download/7.2 Mbps upload
Verizon: 14.4 Mbps download/5.4 Mbps upload
T-Mobile: 13.5 Mbps download/10.6 Mbps upload
Sprint: 2.1 Mbps download/0.9 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. Verizon and AT&T had the fastest times in Las Vegas at 2.7 and 2.9 seconds, respectively. T-Mobile trailed behind at 4.0 seconds. With an average time above 6 seconds, people using the Sprint network could be waiting slightly longer than others for their email to download.

Making the call
AT&T and Verizon had the strongest call results in Las Vegas and shared a victory in the category. Verizon had the most reliable call results during testing, with failure rates of just 0.1%. To provide perspective, only about 1 in 1,000 calls would fail (drop or block) at this rate. AT&T and T-Mobile had statistically comparable call failure rates below 1.0% on average.

Text me
Las Vegas has plenty of great options for texting services. All carriers delivered reliable texting performances, with send failure rates below 0.3% on average. All four carriers delivered texts in less than 10 seconds at least 95% of the time.

More than 19,000 tests in Las Vegas
To evaluate the mobile experience in the Las Vegas area, RootMetrics conducted 19,293 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 23 – August 28, 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 27 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 775 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 Las Vegas. 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
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