RootMetrics Report: Verizon is Best Overall Mobile Network in St. Louis

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In a new report released today, Verizon pulled away from the competition and earned sole claim to the title of top-performing mobile network in St. Louis.

In a new report released today, Verizon pulled away from the competition and earned sole claim to the title of top-performing mobile network in St. Louis. During RootMetrics testing conducted in April 2014, Verizon shared the honors with AT&T and T-Mobile. Since April, Sprint officially launched its Spark™ network in the area and, subsequently, Sprint’s median download and upload speeds have increased more than twofold. Meanwhile, Verizon ranked first in network reliability, and T-Mobile ranked first in network spee. 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 St. Louis:

1 – Verizon (98.1)
2 – T-Mobile (96.2)
2 – AT&T (95.8)
4 – Sprint (94.6)

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 St. Louis.

Verizon ranked highest in network reliability with a score of 99.8. T-Mobile earned the top spot in network speed for the second consecutive time in St. Louis, with a score of 93.9.

Reliability Index rankings:
1 – Verizon (99.8)
2 – Sprint (98.5)
2 – AT&T (98.3)
4 – T-Mobile (97.1)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (93.9)
2 – Verizon (92.0)
3 – AT&T (87.5)
4 – Sprint (81.1)

“Our recent testing in St. Louis shows that the carriers are focused on providing their customers a reliable experience,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. “Verizon edged out Sprint and AT&T for the highest rank on our network reliability index, but with scores above 97 for all four networks, reliability in St. Louis was outstanding. We also found impressive data speeds, but speed doesn’t mean much if you can’t reliably connect to your network. In this respect, consumers in St. Louis have multiple options for choosing a carrier with both reliability and speed.”

Data Performance: T-Mobile is the Fastest Mobile Network in St. Louis
Data Performance RootScores factor in each network’s reliability and speed when downloading and uploading data, performing email tasks, and handling files that approximate using typical webpages or apps. Verizon and T-Mobile shared the RootScore Award for data performance in St. Louis. T-Mobile recorded the fastest median download and upload speeds at 20.2 Mbps and 11.6 Mbps, respectively. Also notable, Sprint’s data speeds were significantly faster than the speeds found in April: Sprint’s median download speed increased from 3.0 Mbps to 7.2 Mbps, and Sprint’s median upload speed increased from 0.9 Mbps to 3.7 Mbps.

Median download and upload speeds by network
T-Mobile: 20.24 Mbps download/11.56 upload
Verizon: 14.04 Mbps download/8.29 Mbps upload
AT&T: 10.09 Mbps download/5.36 Mbps upload
Sprint: 7.23 Mbps download/3.70 Mbps upload

Data speeds impact 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 St. Louis should be a positive experience on any of the four networks. Verizon won the RootScore Award for call performance outright for the first time in St. Louis. Sprint and AT&T shared the #2 spot, with scores of 97.6 and 97.0, respectively. T-Mobile ranked fourth with a score of 95.1.

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 St. Louis should be a smooth experience.

More than 50,000 tests in St. Louis
To evaluate the mobile experience in St. Louis, RootMetrics conducted 52,818 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 72 locations) and outdoors during drive tests (covering 2,516 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 St. Louis.

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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