Ask Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T about their wireless networks in America, and of course they will tell you time after time that they have the “most reliable coverage” or the “fastest speeds.” Needless to say, that can’t be true for all three, and Ookla’s Q2 Internet Report appears to have declared a winner: T-Mobile.
The firm’s Speedtest Intelligence stated that T-Mobile “was the fastest and most consistent mobile operator in the United States during Q2 2021, achieving a median download speed of 54.13 Mbps and a Consistency Score of 84.8%.” Additionally, the report found that T-Mobile had the fastest median 5G download speed (99.84 Mbps) and the best 5G availability.
However, the speed story blurs with RootMetrics indicating Verizon’s network has the best performance and overall reliability for the 16th consecutive time. Moreover, as pointed out by 9to5Mac, in many of the country’s biggest cities, T-Mobile did not offer the fastest speeds in the Ookla test. In New York, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, Verizon came out on top, whereas in Boston, Tampa, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh, AT&T was number one.
Geographical advantages are nothing new, but wireless customers would do well to evaluate which of the carriers in their region has the best service before subscribing. With the smartphone having become central in most people’s lives, network speed and consistency are increasingly important (when not on WiFi), and mobile usage for high-bandwidth activities like streaming video has been on the rise.
According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, 44% of T-Mobile customers in the US prefer to use their smartphone as the primary device on which to consume video entertainment. Additionally, T-Mobile customers, like subscribers to other carriers, are avid users of streaming services, especially Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. T-Mobile’s customer base lags slightly behind AT&T’s in this regard but is ahead of Verizon’s. All three big wireless carriers are spending tens of billions of dollars to win the 5G race. Video incentives for subscribers are likely to play a major role in customer acquisition.