RootMetrics Report: Verizon Named Best Overall Mobile Network in Minneapolis

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Verizon won the title of top-performing mobile network in Minneapolis, with T-Mobile trailing closely behind in the RootMetrics Overall performance category.

In a new report released today, Verizon won the title of top-performing mobile network in Minneapolis, with T-Mobile trailing closely behind in the RootMetrics Overall performance category. Since RootMetrics last tested in Minneapolis in April 2014, there have been notable changes to the mobile landscape. Verizon deployed its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum in the area. Also, Sprint’s percentage of download and upload tests on LTE increased by more than 29 percent. 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 Minneapolis:

1 – Verizon (97.7)
2 – T-Mobile (96.8)
3 – Sprint (95.3)
3 – AT&T (94.5)

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 Minneapolis.

Verizon ranked highest in network reliability, and Sprint leapfrogged the competition since April, moving from a fourth-place rank in network reliability to a tie with T-Mobile for second-place. T-Mobile ranked #1 in network speed.
Reliability Index rankings:
1 – Verizon (99.1)
2 – Sprint (98.5)
2 – T-Mobile (97.8)
4 – AT&T (97.1)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (94.4)
2 – Verizon (92.7)
3 – AT&T (86.2)
4 – Sprint (84.2)

“After analyzing the results of more than 50,000 tests in Minneapolis, we’re seeing very positive results when it comes to network reliability,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “All four carriers scored above 97 on our network reliability index, and we’re seeing improvements in data speeds as well. When it comes to choosing a carrier that’s both reliable and fast, consumers in Minneapolis have several options.”

Data Performance: T-Mobile is the Fastest Data Network in Minneapolis
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. T-Mobile won the RootScore Award for data performance for the second consecutive time. T-Mobile also recorded the fastest median download and upload speeds at 25.6 Mbps and 13.0 Mbps, respectively. Sprint’s data speeds were significantly faster than the speeds found in April: Sprint’s median download speed increased from 3.9 Mbps to 6.5 Mbps, and Sprint’s median upload speed increased from 2.3 Mbps to 5.0 Mbps.

Median download and upload speeds by network
T-Mobile: 25.59 Mbps download/13.04 upload
Verizon: 15.32 Mbps download/9.24 Mbps upload
AT&T: 10.25 Mbps download/4.35 Mbps upload
Sprint: 6.55 Mbps download/4.99 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 Minneapolis should be a positive experience on any of the four networks. Verizon and Sprint shared the RootScore Award for call performance with scores of 98.7 and 97.6. T-Mobile and AT&T tied for third with scores of 95.5 and 95.1.

Text me
Sprint won the RootScore Award for text performance outright for the first time, with a score of 97.8. With Text RootScores above 96 for all four networks, texting in Minneapolis should be a smooth experience.

More than 50,000 tests in Minneapolis
To evaluate the mobile experience in Minneapolis, RootMetrics conducted 50,887 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 September 5 through September 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 70 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 2,386 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 Minneapolis.

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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