RootMetrics Report: AT&T and Verizon Share Title for Top-Performing Mobile Network in San Jose; T-Mobile Earns Recognition as Fastest Network

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AT&T and Verizon shared recognition as the top-performing mobile networks in San Jose.

AT&T and Verizon shared recognition as the top-performing mobile networks in San Jose. Meanwhile, T-Mobile ranked first in network speed and delivered the fastest data speeds in San Jose. 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 San Jose:

1 – AT&T (96.9)
1 – Verizon (96.2)
3 – T-Mobile (95.1)
4 – Sprint (80.4)

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 San Jose.

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

Reliability Index rankings:
1 – AT&T (99.4)
1 – Verizon (98.5)
3 – T-Mobile (96.6)
4 – Sprint (85.9)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (90.2)
2 – Verizon (87.9)
2 – AT&T (87.8)
4 – Sprint (61.5)

“The story we’re seeing unfold in San Jose reflects the carriers’ increased focus on network reliability,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “AT&T and Verizon tied for the highest rank on our network reliability index, but T-Mobile is closing the gap, and Sprint’s reliability score was significantly higher than it was during October testing. We also found impressive data speeds, but speed is meaningless if you can’t connect to your network; in this respect, consumers in San Jose have great options for choosing a carrier that’s both fast and reliable.”

Data Performance: A Three-way tie between Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile

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, AT&T, and T-Mobile tied for the Data RootScore Award in San Jose with scores of 95.2, and 95.1, and 94.8, respectively. Sprint ranked fourth at 74.8. T-Mobile had the fastest data speeds in San Jose, recording a 15.1 Mbps median download speed and a blazing-fast 14.1 Mbps median upload speed. AT&T and Verizon recorded impressive median download speeds of 11.6 Mbps and 11.2 Mbps, respectively, but their median upload speeds were much slower than that of T-Mobile.

Median download and upload speeds by network
T-Mobile: 15.1 Mbps download/14.1 Mbps upload
AT&T: 11.6 Mbps download/8.1 Mbps upload
Verizon: 11.2 Mbps download/5.3 Mbps upload
Sprint: 0.8 Mbps download/0.9 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 San Jose should be a smooth experience on any of the four networks. AT&T and Verizon shared the Call RootScore Award with scores of 98.9 and 97.5, respectively. T-Mobile ranked third with a score of 95.4, and Sprint placed fourth with a score of 83.3.

Text me
AT&T and T-Mobile tied for the Text RootScore Award with scores of 95.8 and 95.8, respectively, but with Text RootScores above 91 for all four networks, text performance was strong across the board in San Jose.

More than 17,000 tests in San Jose
To evaluate the mobile experience in San Jose, RootMetrics conducted 17,914 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 May 8 – May 12, 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 25 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 722 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 San Jose.

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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