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T-Mobile and Sprint win the US speed test

racing horses starting a race

The latest report from Opensignal has suggested T-Mobile and Sprint are outperforming rivals Verizon and AT&T when it comes to data speeds.

The quarter has been a positive one for Verizon and AT&T, both seemingly showing some signs of recovery in the face of T-Mobile competition, but it would appear the pressure of unlimited data plans is starting to show on the network.

It’s a tricky situation for operators as the consumers insatiable appetite for data has the potential to cause some serious problems in terms of network strain. Both Verizon and AT&T managed to put some distance between themselves and unlimited data plans in recent quarters, only to be dragged back by T-Mobile’s Uncarrier offers which lured customers away by the thousands. According to Opensignal’s report, this trend is now having some pretty negative effects.

Six months after reintroducing unlimited plans, Verizon and AT&T experienced a marked decline in 4G speeds. Verizon average speeds were at 14.9 Mbps over the last six months, demonstrating a decline of 2 Mbps, while AT&T was down to 12.9 Mbps. On the other hand, both T-Mobile and Sprint demonstrated increased speeds over the same period, with John Legere’s magenta army at the top of the rankings with 17.5 Mbps download speeds and overall speeds of 16.1 Mbps.

But while T-Mobile dominates nationwide performance, looking specifically at the cities, Verizon put up more of a fight. In all of the 32 markets which were tested, one of the two operators either won outright or tied for 4G speeds. This should be viewed as a positive sign for Verizon, however it is a bad sign for rural consumers. If both of these are becoming increasingly engaged in a city-battle, attention on the rural communities is naturally going to decrease. Sorry guys, the IoT cow will have to wait.

Staying with the city-battle, Verizon has upped the ante with the announced acquisition of fibre-optic network assets serving the Chicago market for $225 million. The deal includes a $50 million investment for the seller, WideOpenWest, to finish of the network.

“Following our recent agreements with Corning, Prysmian and Straight Path, today’s announcement is another example of Verizon’s commitment to invest in multi-use fibre to provide customers with next-generation broadband services, such as smart cities and 5G,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon President of Network and Technology. “This acquisition will also help us create comprehensive digital solutions for small- and medium-business and enterprise customers.”

This is one area where Chicago was already the outright leader for both 4G and 3G speeds in the report, but bolstering a claim to one of US’ most well-known cities is certainly not a bad thing.


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