RootMetrics Report: Verizon Maintains Title as Best Mobile Network in Seattle

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In a new report released today, Verizon won the title of top-performing mobile carrier in Seattle for the second consecutive time.

In a new report released today, Verizon won the title of top-performing mobile carrier in Seattle for the second consecutive time. Since RootMetrics last tested Seattle in March 2014, Verizon has deployed its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum in the area. Verizon’s median download speed increased from 11.7 Mbps to 26.9 Mbps since Mach, and Big Red’s median upload speed increased from 7.3 Mbps to 13.7 Mbps. Verizon also ranked highest in network speed and tied for the top spot in network reliability with Sprint and AT&T. 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 RootMetrics Overall Performance RootScore rankings for Seattle:

1 – Verizon (97.6)
2 – T-Mobile (96.6)
3 – AT&T (95.1)
4 – Sprint (94.4)

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 usage. 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 Seattle.

It was a three-way tie between Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T for the highest rank in network reliability, while Verizon bumped T-Mobile from the top spot for network speed. T-Mobile ranked number 1 in RootMetrics’ two previous visits to Seattle.    
Reliability Index rankings:
1 – Sprint (98.9)
1 – Verizon (98.8)
1 – AT&T (98.4)
4 – T-Mobile (98.1)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – Verizon (93.7)
2 – T-Mobile (91.9)
3 – AT&T (83.7)
4 – Sprint (77.7)

“In our most recent visit to Seattle, the results confirm that all four carriers have placed a priority on reliability in this market,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “We see a three-way tie for first place between Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T, and all four carriers scored above 98 on our network reliability index. Network reliability in Seattle is outstanding, and we’re seeing improvements in data speeds as well. The good news for consumers in Seattle is that there are options for choosing a carrier that’s both reliable and fast.”

Data Performance: Verizon is Hands Down Fastest Data Network in Seattle
Data Performance 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 the RootScore Award for data performance outright for the second consecutive time in Seattle with a score of 97.9. Verizon also recorded the fastest median download and upload speeds at 26.9 Mbps and 13.7 Mbps, respectively. And since the last round of testing in March, all four networks in Seattle delivered significantly faster data speeds.

Median download and upload speeds by network
Verizon: 26.88 Mbps download/13.69 upload
T-Mobile: 24.53 Mbps download/12.64 Mbps upload
AT&T: 8.29 Mbps download/3.75 Mbps upload
Sprint: 5.90 Mbps download/3.88 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 Seattle should be a positive experience on any of the four networks. Sprint won the RootScore Award for call performance outright for the first time with a score of 98.9. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile tied for second place, with scores of 97.5, 97.4 and 96.5, respectively.

Text me
T-Mobile and Sprint shared the RootScore Award for text performance, with Verizon and AT&T tied for third place. With Text RootScores above 96 for all four networks, texting in Seattle should be a smooth experience for all networks.

More than 52,000 tests in Seattle
To evaluate the mobile experience in Seattle, RootMetrics conducted 52,992 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 August 4 through August 11, 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 71 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 2,271 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 Seattle.

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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