RootMetrics Report: T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T Top-Performing Networks in Minneapolis

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T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T are in a three-way tie as the top-performing networks in Minneapolis.

T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T are in a three-way tie as the top-performing networks in Minneapolis. Since previous testing in May, T-Mobile’s data speeds have increased; in fact, T-Mobile ranked highest on the index for network speed. That’s according to independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics®, which measures mobile performance of the four national carriers with tests designed to replicate real-world consumer behavior.

Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T all registered statistically comparable results in Minneapolis in the combined performance category, which includes results across data, call, and text testing. A good Combined RootScore means good overall coverage and a good consumer experience.

The final combined performance RootScore rankings for Minneapolis:

1 – Verizon (96.2)
1 – AT&T (96.1)
1 – T-Mobile (95.7)
4 – Sprint (79.5)

RootMetrics offers two indices within RootScore Reports that give consumers a clear view of each network’s performance in the key areas of network reliability and speed. The Reliability Index is based on a combination of results from data, call, and text tests, while the Speed Index includes data and text results. Looking at the network reliability and speed indices in conjunction with Combined RootScores offers the most comprehensive look at a typical mobile experience in Minneapolis.

Verizon ranked highest in network reliability, and T-Mobile had the highest rank in network speed.
Reliability Index rankings:
1 – Verizon (98.3)    
2 – AT&T (97.5)
3 – T-Mobile (93.8)
4 – Sprint (81.7)

Speed Index rankings:
1 – T-Mobile (99.1)
2 – AT&T (90.7)
3 – Verizon (88.6)    
4 – Sprint (66.5)

“It’s clearly a close race for the best combined performance in Minneapolis, which is a win for consumers,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “With three strong performers, it’s the details that matter when choosing a carrier in this city.”

Verizon and AT&T tie in data performance category

While Verizon and AT&T tied for the top spot in the data category, Verizon’s speeds have fallen since May testing and AT&T’s have risen. Verizon’s average download speed dropped from 15.6 Mbps to 12.9 Mbps, and its average upload speed decreased from 9.0 Mbps to 6.9 Mbps. Meanwhile, AT&T’s average download speed rose from 13.9 Mbps to 14.3 Mbps, and its average upload speed increased from 7.4 Mbps to 7.7 Mbps.

Average download and upload speeds by carrier
T-Mobile: 19.9 Mbps download/9.3 Mbps upload
AT&T: 14.3 Mbps download/7.7 Mbps upload
Verizon: 12.9 Mbps download/6.9 Mbps upload
Sprint: 3.2 Mbps download/0.8 Mbps upload

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 on average at speeds below 3.0 Mbps. At speeds above 6.0 Mbps, uploading a similar picture generally takes less than 1 second.

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. T-Mobile was the fastest carrier in the category with an average time of 2.2 seconds, but Verizon and AT&T were immediately behind, with 2.7 seconds and 2.9 seconds, respectively. Residents using Sprint in Minneapolis might have to wait a bit longer than those on other networks for emails to download, with the carrier recording an average of 6.2 seconds.

Making the call
Making calls on any of the four networks in Minneapolis should be a smooth experience. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all had strong, and statistically comparable, call failure rates below 0.4% on average. Fewer than 1 in 250 calls would fail (drop or block) at this rate on average.

Text me
Minneapolis has plenty of fast and reliable options for texting. With send failure rates below 0.2% on average, all four networks provided reliable texting services during testing. Each carrier delivered texts in less than 10 seconds at least 94% of the time.

Almost 50,000 tests in Minneapolis
To evaluate the mobile experience in Minneapolis, RootMetrics conducted 49,459 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 December 5 – December 12, 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 75 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 1,996 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 Minneapolis. For details about the results, see the methodology section of the online report.

About RootMetrics™
RootMetrics®, based in Bellevue, WA, is an independent mobile analytics firm that offers insights into the consumer mobile experience. With its downloadable CoverageMap app for Android or iOS, RootScore Reports for 125 U.S. markets, and an online CoverageMap, RootMetrics provides data on carrier performance to the public to help people make more informed mobile decisions. To ensure that RootMetrics testing reflects real-world mobile usage, 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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