RootMetrics Report: AT&T and T-Mobile Share Honors for Best Overall Carrier in Phoenix; T-Mobile the Fastest

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AT&T and T-Mobile now share the title as the top-performing mobile networks in Phoenix, AZ.

AT&T and T-Mobile now share the title as the top-performing mobile networks in Phoenix, AZ. This marks the first time T-Mobile has earned a share of the RootMetrics award for overall performance in Phoenix. T-Mobile’s impressive data speeds also helped the carrier secure the top ranks in data performance and network speed. That’s according to independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics®, which measures mobile performance of the four major 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 Phoenix:

1 – AT&T (96.2)
1 – T-Mobile (95.9)
3 – Verizon (95.3)
4 – Sprint (80.0)

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 Phoenix.
Verizon and AT&T tied for the number one spot in network reliability, while T-Mobile earned the top rank in network speed.
Reliability Index rankings:
1 – Verizon (99.4)
1 – AT&T (99.2)
3 – T-Mobile (98.0)
4 – Sprint (85.4)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (89.9)
2 – AT&T (85.5)
3 – Verizon (80.7)
4 – Sprint (66.2)

"In this visit to Phoenix, we’re seeing T-Mobile’s trend of delivering fast speeds and strong results in the data category continue,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “We’ve typically seen tight competition in Phoenix for overall performance, but this was the first time T-Mobile has earned a share of the Overall RootScore Award. And while our results showed that Verizon and AT&T were the most reliable networks, T-Mobile wasn’t far behind. The parity we’re finding in Phoenix tells us that multiple networks can compete, which means consumers in Phoenix win.”

T-Mobile Serves Up Fastest Data Speeds in Phoenix

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 outright for the first time in Phoenix, recording a speedy median download speed of 13.3 Mbps and an impressive median upload speed of 6.6 Mbps. AT&T’s Data RootScore of 93.5 ranked second, with the carrier recording median download and upload speeds of 9.3 Mbps and 4.0 Mbps, respectively.

Median download and upload speeds by network
T-Mobile: 13.3 Mbps download/6.6 Mbps upload
AT&T: 9.3 Mbps download/4.0 Mbps upload
Verizon: 6.5 Mbps download/3.8 Mbps upload
Sprint: 2.2 Mbps download/1.5 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
Verizon and AT&T shared the Call RootScore Award, with scores of 99.0 and 98.8, respectively. T-Mobile followed in third place with a score of 95.9, while Sprint trailed with a score of 77.8. Sprint’s blocked outgoing call rate of 4.5% was significantly higher than those of the other networks, but dropped call rates were strong across the board in Phoenix.

Text me
AT&T won the Text RootScore Award with a score of 96.9, but with Text RootScores above 94.6 for all four networks, text performances were outstanding in Phoenix.

More than 47,500 tests in Phoenix
To evaluate the mobile experience in Phoenix, RootMetrics conducted 47,543 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 14 – 20, 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 75 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 2,209 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 Phoenix.

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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