RootMetrics Report: Verizon and T-Mobile Share Title of Best Carrier in Baltimore; T-Mobile Earns Recognition in All Performance categories

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Verizon and T-Mobile shared the honor of being named the top-performing mobile networks in Baltimore.

Verizon and T-Mobile shared the honor of being named the top-performing mobile networks in Baltimore. During previous testing in October 2013, AT&T won the award for overall performance outright. Meanwhile, T-Mobile showed significant gains since October, sharing the top rank for network reliability with Verizon and ranking first in network speed, while winning or sharing awards for data, call, and text performance. 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 RootMetrics 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 Baltimore:

1 – Verizon (97.6)
1 – T-Mobile (97.0)
3 – AT&T (96.5)
4 – Sprint (81.3)

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 Baltimore.
Verizon, AT&T and T-mobile tied for the highest rank in network reliability, while T-Mobile won the top rank in network speed.
Reliability Index rankings:
1 – Verizon (99.2)
1 – AT&T (98.4)
1 – T-Mobile (98.4)
4 – Sprint (87.4)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (92.2)
2 – Verizon (91.5)
3 – AT&T (90.6)
4 – Sprint (67.1)

"The story we’re seeing unfold in Baltimore is the critical importance of reliability,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “We found impressive data speeds in our recent testing, but speed is meaningless if you can’t connect to your network. The three-way tie between Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile on our reliability index is exciting; our testing demonstrates the parity between networks in Baltimore, which is great news for consumers.”

T-Mobile & Verizon Deliver Fastest Data Speeds in Baltimore

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 and T-Mobile tied for the Data RootScore Award in Baltimore with scores of 96.8 and 96.5, respectively. AT&T ranked third with a score of 96.3, while Sprint ranked fourth at 82.5. Verizon recorded the fastest median download speed in Baltimore at a speedy 16.7 Mbps. T-Mobile’s median download speed of 14.8 Mbps was a tick behind that of Verizon, but it’s lighting-fast median upload speed of 14.4 Mbps was easily the fastest among all four networks. AT&T’s median download speed was slightly behind at 12.8 Mbps, while Sprint’s data speeds were significantly slower than those of the other carriers.

Median download and upload speeds by network
Verizon: 16.7 Mbps download/6.7 Mbps upload
T-Mobile: 14.8 Mbps download/14.4 Mbps upload
AT&T: 12.8 Mbps download/5.2 Mbps upload
Sprint: 4.2 Mbps download/1.1 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 Baltimore should be a smooth experience on any of the four networks. Verizon and T-Mobile shared the Call RootScore Award with scores of 99.0 and 97.6, respectively. AT&T ranked third with a score of 96.8 and Sprint placed fourth with a score of 77.3.

Text me
T-Mobile and AT&T tied for the Text RootScore Award with scores of 96.4 and 95.9, respectively, but with Text RootScores above 94 for all four networks, text performance was strong across the board in Baltimore.

More than 27,000 tests in Baltimore
To evaluate the mobile experience in Baltimore, RootMetrics conducted 27,137 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 29 – May 5, 2014. The tests were conducted using the RootMetrics RootScout app running on Android-based smartphones purchased off-the-shelf from carrier stores. Tests were conducted indoors (at 39 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 1,215 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 Baltimore.

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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