RootMetrics Report: Verizon and T-Mobile Deadlocked as Top-Performing Mobile Networks in New York City

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In a new report released today, Verizon and T-Mobile shared honors as the top-performing mobile carriers in New York City and the Tri-State area.

In a new report released today, Verizon and T-Mobile shared honors as the top-performing mobile carriers in New York City and the Tri-State area. This marks the first time in six RootMetrics test periods, dating back to June 2011, that Verizon hasn’t won the title outright in the New York metro area. T-Mobile, meanwhile, ranked third in overall performance during previous testing performed in November, but during the most recent test period, T-Mobile climbed the ranks and shared the top spot with Verizon. 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 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 performance and a good consumer experience.

The final Overall Performance RootScore rankings for New York City and the Tri-State area:

1 – Verizon (96.1)
1 – T-Mobile (95.8)
3 – AT&T (94.9)
4 – Sprint (84.3)

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 New York City and the Tri-State area.

AT&T ranked first in network reliability, while T-Mobile and Verizon tied for the number one spot in network speed.
Reliability Index rankings:
1 – AT&T (98.4)
2 – Verizon (97.8)
2 – T-Mobile (97.4)
4 – Sprint (90.3)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (91.1)
1 – Verizon (91.0)
3 – AT&T (83.1)
4 – Sprint (64.5)

“Our recent testing in New York shows that the carriers are focused on providing their customers a reliable experience,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “AT&T edged out Verizon and T-Mobile for the highest rank on our network reliability index, but with scores above 90 for all four networks, reliability in New York 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 the New York City area have multiple options for choosing a carrier with both reliability and speed.”

Data Performance: T-Mobile and Verizon Deliver Fastest Data Speeds in New York City and the Tri-State area

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 its sixth consecutive Data RootScore Award in New York City and the Tri-State area with a score of 96.7, edging out T-Mobile, which scored 95.8. Verizon recorded the fastest median download speed at an impressive 17.6 Mbps, while T-Mobile recorded the fastest median upload speed at a speedy 12.2 Mbps. AT&T followed with a Data RootScore of 92.3, while Sprint ranked fourth at 78.8.

Median download and upload speeds by network
Verizon: 17.6 Mbps download/6.1 Mbps upload
T-Mobile: 14.7 Mbps download/12.2 Mbps upload
AT&T: 7.6 Mbps download/3.8 Mbps upload
Sprint: 1.6 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 New York City and the Tri-state Area should be a smooth experience on any of the four networks. AT&T won the Call RootScore Award with a score of 97.3, while Verizon and T-Mobile tied for second with scores of 95.8 and 95.7. Sprint placed fourth with a score of 87.6.

Text me
T-Mobile was awarded the Text RootScore Award with a score of 96.7. With Text RootScores above 94.2 for all four networks, texting in New York City and the Tri-State area should be a hassle-free experience on any of the four networks.

Nearly 130,000 tests conducted in New York City and the Tri-State area
To evaluate the mobile experience in New York City and the Tri-State area, RootMetrics conducted 129,628 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 - 23, 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 conducted indoors (at 165 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 5,790 miles). For details about RootMetrics testing, 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 New York City and the Tri-State area.

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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