T-Mobile and Verizon Tie for Top-Performing Mobile Networks in Philadelphia

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In a new report released today, T-Mobile and Verizon shared recognition as the top-performing mobile networks in Philadelphia.

In a new report released today, T-Mobile and Verizon shared recognition as the top-performing mobile networks in Philadelphia. In RootMetrics’ sixth time testing the City of Brotherly Love, T-Mobile moved up the ranks to join Verizon in first place for overall performance, a title held by Verizon and AT&T in the last round of testing, performed in October 2013. Additionally, T-Mobile is now the fastest carrier in Philadelphia, earning distinction for data performance and network speed for the first time. 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 performance and a good consumer experience.

The final RootMetrics Overall Performance RootScore rankings for Philadelphia:

1 – T-Mobile (97.4)
1 – Verizon (97.2)
3 – AT&T (96.0)
4 – Sprint (87.2)

Network Reliability and Speed

RootMetrics measures network reliability and speed to give you a clear and holistic view of each network’s performance in these key areas of your daily mobile experience. 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 Philadelphia.

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

Reliability Index rankings:
1 – AT&T (99.1)
1 – Verizon (99.0)
1 – T-Mobile (98.7)
4 – Sprint (92.8)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (92.6)
2 – Verizon (90.8)
3 – AT&T (85.2)
4 – Sprint (70.8)

“Our recent visit to Philadelphia shows that the carriers are focused on reliability,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “With three carriers tied for first place on our network reliability index, improved reliability scores from all four carriers since we tested Philadelphia in October, and scores in the nineties for all networks, reliability in Philadelphia was outstanding. We also found fast data speeds, but speed doesn’t mean much if you can’t reliably connect to your network. Consumers in Philadelphia have multiple options for choosing a carrier with both reliability and speed.”

Data Performance: T-Mobile Clocks Fastest Data Speeds in Philadelphia
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 Philadelphia with statistically comparable scores of 96.6 and 96.5, respectively. T-Mobile recorded an impressive median download speed of 16.6 Mbps, and its blazing-fast median upload speed of 15.8 Mbps was significantly faster than those of the other networks. AT&T’s Data RootScore of 93.5 ranked third, while Sprint ranked fourth at 84.9.

Median download and upload speeds by network
T-Mobile: 16.6 Mbps download/15.8 Mbps upload
Verizon: 13.2 Mbps download/6.5 Mbps upload
AT&T: 7.7 Mbps download/5.2 Mbps upload
Sprint: 5.1 Mbps download/1.6 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 Philadelphia should be a pleasant experience on any of the four networks. In a tight race for the call award, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon shared the honors with scores of 98.4, 98.4 and 98.1. Sprint followed in fourth place with a score of 87.7.

Text me
T-Mobile and AT&T were in a neck-in-neck tie for the Text RootScore Award, each with a score of 96.8. With Text RootScores above 95.0 for all four networks, text performance in Philadelphia should be a smooth experience on all four networks.

More than 76,000 tests in Philadelphia
To evaluate the mobile experience in Philadelphia, RootMetrics conducted 76,685 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 16 through May 22, 2014. The tests were conducted using the RootMetrics RootScout app running on Android-based, consumer smartphones purchased off-the-shelf from carrier stores. Tests were performed indoors (at 99 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 2,773 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 Philadelphia.

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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