RootMetrics Report: Verizon and T-Mobile in Neck-and-Neck Tie as Best Overall Mobile Network in Baltimore

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In a new report released today, Verizon and T-Mobile are locked in a neck-and-neck tie for the title of top-performing mobile network in Baltimore.

BELLEVUE, Wash. (October 13, 2014) – In a new report released today, Verizon and T-Mobile are locked in a neck-and-neck tie for the title of top-performing mobile network in Baltimore. Moreover, Verizon and T-Mobile also tied for the top rank in both network reliability and network speed. Since RootMetrics last tested in Baltimore in April 2014, Verizon deployed its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum in the area and, subsequently, Big Red’s median download and upload speeds have increased significantly. Additionally, Sprint’s median download and upload speeds have more than doubled since April. 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 coverage and a good consumer experience.

The final RootMetrics Overall Performance RootScore rankings for Baltimore:

1 – Verizon (98.3)
1 – T-Mobile (97.5)
3 – AT&T (95.2)
4 – Sprint (93.0)

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 Baltimore.

Verizon and T-Mobile ranked highest in network reliability. During testing conducted in April, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile shared the top rank. Verizon and T-Mobile also shared the #1 rank for network speed.

Reliability Index rankings:
1 – Verizon (99.5)
1 – T-Mobile (98.8)
3 – AT&T (97.9)
4 – Sprint (96.0)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – Verizon (93.8)
1 – T-Mobile (93.4)
3 – AT&T (86.6)
4 – Sprint (83.0)

“In our latest round of testing in Baltimore, we’re seeing very positive results when it comes to network reliability,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “All four carriers scored above 96 on our network reliability index, and we’re also seeing improved data speeds. When it comes to choosing a carrier that’s both reliable and fast, consumers in Baltimore have multiple options.”

Data Performance: Verizon has the Fastest Data Speeds in Baltimore
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 webpages or apps. Verizon won the RootScore Award for data performance outright in Baltimore with a score of 97.9. Verizon recorded the fastest median download speed at 22.8 Mbps, while Big Red and T-Mobile had the fastest median upload speeds, with statistically comparable speeds of approximately 13.7 Mbps. Also notable, Sprint’s data speeds were significantly faster than the speeds found in April: Sprint’s median download speed increased from 4.2 Mbps to 9.9 Mbps, and Sprint’s median upload speed increased from 1.1 Mbps to 3.8 Mbps.

Median download and upload speeds by network
Verizon: 22.84 Mbps download/13.67 Mbps upload
T-Mobile: 15.19 Mbps download/13.76 upload
AT&T: 9.87 Mbps download/4.34 Mbps upload
Sprint: 9.86 Mbps download/3.78 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 Baltimore should be a positive experience on any of the four networks. Verizon and T-Mobile shared the RootScore Award for call performance with scores of 99.1 and 97.7. AT&T ranked third with a score of 95.9, and Sprint ranked fourth with a score of 94.4.

Text me
T-Mobile won the RootScore Award for text performance outright with a score of 97.2. With Text RootScores above 95 for all four networks, texting in Baltimore should be a smooth experience.

More than 25,000 tests in Baltimore
To evaluate the mobile experience in Baltimore, RootMetrics conducted 25,286 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 15 through September 21, 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 31 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 1,185 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 Baltimore.

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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