The big wireless carriers have another data point to use in their battle for bragging rights over which one has the best mobile network. And this time, T-Mobile came out on top.
It had the fastest network overall in the fourth quarter, according to OpenSignal, which measures mobile data speeds via an app test used by tens of thousands of ordinary consumers. Nationally, T-Mobile customers who used the test had an average download speed of 19.4 megabits per second on 4G connections, followed by Verizon at 17.8 Mbps, AT&T at 13.3 Mbps and Sprint at 12 Mbps.
Verizon and AT&T’s data speeds took a bit of a hit when they first started offering unlimited data plans, we previously reported, though their speeds now seem to be recovering — even if only slightly. According to the report, T-Mobile has established itself as the fastest and most responsive mobile network around in the meantime. In fact, T-Mobile took all of OpenSignal’s awards except for one — 4G latency, which was won by AT&T, though T-Mobile came in a close second. T-Mobile even managed to set a personal record in the fourth quarter of 2017, hitting an average download high of 19.4 Mbps. (And we picked T-Mob’s “One Unlimited Plan” as the best-unlimited data plan.)
T-Mobile’s the fastest 4G LTE network in the U.S. for now, but that doesn’t mean Verizon and the rest of the gang can’t catch up. If there’s any single takeaway from reports like this, it’s that networks need to keep improving their network infrastructure to better handle more bandwidth and users. Everyone’s investing in 5G infrastructure, but it won’t be for a few more years until we saw it up and activated for your phones — T-Mobile’s already bragging that its 5G network is ready to leapfrog everyone in 2020 — and not just in your home. For now, T-Mobile can bask in victory. Its efforts as the “uncarrier” have finally paid off. It beat Big Red.