RootMetrics Report: AT&T and T-Mobile Share Title For Top-Performing Mobile Network in Portland; T-Mobile Earns Top Honor for First Time

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AT&T and T-Mobile now share recognition as the top-performing mobile networks in Portland.

AT&T and T-Mobile now share recognition as the top-performing mobile networks in Portland. This marks a milestone for T-Mobile, as this is the first time the carrier makes its way into the top-ranking position. 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.

AT&T and T-Mobile tied in the Overall performance category, which includes results across data, call, and text testing. A good Overall RootScore means strong overall coverage and a good consumer experience.

The final Overall Performance RootScore rankings for Portland:

1 – AT&T (97.6)
1 – T-Mobile (97.1)
3 – Verizon (96.8)
4 – Sprint (84.8)

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 Overall RootScores offers the most comprehensive look at a typical mobile experience in Portland.

AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile shared the highest rank in network reliability, while AT&T won the top rank in network speed outright.

Reliability Index rankings:

1 – AT&T (99.3)
1 – Verizon (99.2)
1 – T-Mobile (98.8)
4 – Sprint (90.2)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – AT&T (91.3)
2 – T-Mobile (90.8)
3 – Verizon (88.5)
4 – Sprint (65.2)

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Win Big in Portland

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon shared the RootScore Award for Call performance. This is in contrast to results found in September 2013, when Verizon won the Call performance award outright.

Data performance has improved, with all four networks’ Data RootScores showing improvement since September testing. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon continued to deliver impressive download and upload speeds to residents of Portland, but T-Mobile’s lightning-fast median download speed of 19.3 Mbps was notably faster than that of any other network.

"We’re seeing all of the networks in Portland improve in the data category overall,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “This is good news for consumers, meaning they have options when it comes to choosing for the right carrier for them.”

Median download and upload speeds by network
T-Mobile: 19.3 Mbps download/10.0 Mbps upload
AT&T: 12.3 Mbps download/ 6.9 Mbps upload
Verizon: 9.8 Mbps download/6.6 Mbps upload
Sprint: 1.7 Mbps download/1.0 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.

Making the call
Making calls in Portland should be a smooth experience on any of the four networks. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon tied for the top rank in this category, all registering statistically comparable results (98.8, 98.3, 98.3, respectively). Sprint came in fourth place with a score of 89.7.

Text me
In Portland, AT&T and T-Mobile shared the Text RootScore Award, but with Text RootScores above 95 for all four networks, text service was strong across the board.

More than 25,000 tests in Portland
To evaluate the mobile experience in Portland, RootMetrics conducted, 25,133 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 February 16 to 23, 2014. 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 28 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 1,084 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 Portland. For details about the results, see the methodology section of the RootMetrics website.

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 network 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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