RootMetrics Report: T-Mobile Wins Data Performance Award for Second Consecutive Time in Minneapolis; Verizon Reclaims Title as Best Overall Carrier

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For the second consecutive time, T-Mobile holds the honor of having the strongest data performance and fastest speeds in Minneapolis.

For the second consecutive time, T-Mobile holds the honor of having the strongest data performance and fastest speeds in Minneapolis. In the previous testing of the market in December 2013, Verizon and AT&T were in a neck-and-neck tie for the title. And, Verizon once again holds the title of best Overall carrier – a change from previous testing, when it shared the title with AT&T and T-Mobile. 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.

The Overall performance category includes results across data, call, and text testing; the top-performing network(s) is awarded the Overall RootScore Award. A good Overall RootScore means strong overall coverage and a good consumer experience.

The final Overall Performance RootScore rankings for Minneapolis:

1 – Verizon (98.1)
2 – AT&T (97.4)
3 – T-Mobile (96.5)
4 – Sprint (85.8)

Network Reliability and Speed

RootMetrics measures network reliability and speed to give consumers a clear and holistic view of each network’s performance in these key areas of mobile performance. 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 Minneapolis.

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

Reliability Index rankings:
1 – Verizon (99.5)
1 – AT&T (99.4)
3 – T-Mobile (97.7)
4 – Sprint (91.2)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (94.1)
2 – Verizon (92.7)
3 – AT&T (89.7)
4 – Sprint (70.3)

“In this visit to Minneapolis, we’re seeing T-Mobile’s trend of delivering lightning-quick data speeds continue,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “Verizon and AT&T proved to be the most reliable carriers, but T-Mobile’s speeds were easily the fastest.”

T-Mobile Serves Up Fastest Data Speeds in Minneapolis

Data RootScores factor in each network’s reliability and speed when downloading and uploading data, performing email tasks, and handling files that represent elements of a webpage. T-Mobile won the Data RootScore Award in Minneapolis, recording the fastest median download speed at 25.2 Mbps and the fastest median upload speed at 12.3 Mbps. Verizon’s median download and upload speeds were second fastest, at 16.5 Mbps and 9.2 Mbps, followed by AT&T at 11.2 Mbps and 5.5 Mbps, while Sprint’s speeds were significantly slower than those of the other carriers.

Median download and upload speeds by network
T-Mobile: 25.2 Mbps download/12.3 Mbps upload
Verizon: 16.5 Mbps download/9.2 Mbps upload
AT&T: 11.2 Mbps download/5.5 Mbps upload
Sprint: 3.9 Mbps download/2.3 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 Minneapolis should be a smooth experience on any of the four networks. AT&T and Verizon shared the Call RootScore Award with scores of 99.4 and 99.1, respectively. T-Mobile wasn’t far behind with a score of 95.0, and Sprint ranked fourth with a score of 85.7.

Text me

T-Mobile and AT&T tied for the Text RootScore Award with scores of 96.6 and 96.4, but with Text RootScores above 95 for all four networks, text performance was strong across the board.

More than 55,000 tests in Minneapolis

To evaluate the mobile experience in Minneapolis, RootMetrics conducted 55,037 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 April 28 – May 5, 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 indoors (at 77 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 2,403 miles). For details about the results, see the methodology section of the RootMetrics website. Mobile performance varies depending on where people live, work, or otherwise spend time. Because a variety of factors can influence performance, examples that list 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.

About RootMetrics®

RootMetrics® is an independent mobile analytics firm that offers insights into the consumer mobile experience. RootMetrics provides data on mobile network performance to help people make more informed mobile decisions. The company offers its RootScore® Report series for the nation, metropolitan markets, and airports, as well as its downloadable CoverageMap app. 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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