RootMetrics Report: Verizon Reclaims the Lead from AT&T in Seattle; Named Best Overall Carrier

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Verizon has reclaimed the title as the top-performing mobile network in Seattle. In the previous testing of the market in September 2013, AT&T was first in the Emerald City.

“In this visit to Seattle, we’re seeing Verizon regain its foothold for overall and data performance, as well as in network reliability,” - Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO.

Verizon has reclaimed the title as the top-performing mobile network in Seattle. In the previous testing of the market in September 2013, AT&T was first in the Emerald City. Verizon was also noted as the top-performer in the data category. 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 Seattle:

1 – Verizon (97.2)
2 – AT&T (95.6)
2 – T-Mobile (94.8)
4 – Sprint (86.0)

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 Seattle.

Verizon ranked highest in network reliability, while T-Mobile won the top rank in network speed.
Reliability Index rankings:
1 – Verizon (99.4)
2 – AT&T (98.0)
3 – T-Mobile (96.5)
4 – Sprint (91.3)

Speed Index rankings:
1 – T-Mobile (90.2)
2 – Verizon (89.4)
3 – AT&T (88.1)
4 – Sprint (64.1)

“In this visit to Seattle, we’re seeing Verizon regain its foothold for overall and data performance, as well as in network reliability,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “That’s a powerful combination, but T-Mobile does show impressive speed. In all, the results in Seattle show great options for consumers.”

T-Mobile Serves Up Fastest Data Speeds in Seattle

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. Verizon won the Data RootScore Award outright in Seattle, with a fast median download speed of 11.7 Mbps and impressive median upload speed at 7.3 Mbps. T-Mobile came in second for the Data RootScore Award, but it recorded the fastest median download and upload speeds in Seattle, at 17.5 Mbps and 9.0 Mbps.

Median download and upload speeds by network
T-Mobile: 17.5 Mbps download/9.0 Mbps upload
Verizon: 11.7 Mbps download/7.3 Mbps upload
AT&T: 10.4 Mbps download/4.5 Mbps upload
Sprint: 1.1 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.

Making the call
Making calls in Seattle should be a smooth experience on any of the four networks. Verizon was the Call RootScore Award winner with a score of 99. AT&T ranked second with a 96.4, and T-Mobile and Sprint weren’t far behind at 94.2 and 93.9, respectively.

Text me
AT&T was the leader for the Text RootScore Award with a score of 96.9. With Text RootScores above 94 for all four networks, text performance was strong across the board.

More than 50,000 tests in Seattle
To evaluate the mobile experience in Seattle, RootMetrics conducted 50,131 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 March 24 – 30, 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 74 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 2,140 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 Seattle.

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
Rootmetrics
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