T-Mobile batters rivals in US performance ranking

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T-Mobile US is crowing about being the leading mobile provider in the country and for once there’s more to its message than pure hype and marketing spin.

It’s no exaggeration to say that T-Mobile wiped the floor with the competition in the latest iteration of Ookla’s quarterly market report that looks at mobile network speed, availability, performance and the like.

The data shows that T-Mobile US comes out ahead of major rivals AT&T and Verizon in most categories in the Q1 2023 study, including upload and download speed and overall latency across its networks, as well as consistency. Its median download speed, for example, came in at 165.22 Mbps, almost 14 Mbps ahead of its Q4 2022 result, and way ahead of the other two; Verizon clocked in at 75.4 Mbps and AT&T at 68.2 Mbps.

T-Mobile is justifiably upbeat about its state-by-state performance too, being named the fastest provider in 46 of the 50 US states, plus the District of Colombia; again, that’s measured on median mobile download speed. Alaska-based GCI was the fastest provider in its home state, while in the other three the results were too close to call, Ookla said. Little wonder then that T-Mobile is talking about “turning even more of the US magenta.” It also topped the speed charts in 88 of the 100 most populous US cities.

T-Mobile also remains the strongest performer on 5G, with a median download speed of 220.7 Mbps, up from 216.6 Mbps the previous quarter, while Verizon slightly upped its speed to 132.7 Mbps and AT&T is still some way off the 100 Mbps mark at 86.5 Mbps.

In terms of mobile 5G multi-server latency Verizon came out slightly ahead, but only by 1% with both companies rounding up to 53 milliseconds. It was also a tight race in 5G consistency; T-Mobile appears to have come out on top, but Ookla declares no clear statistical winner.

However, in 5G availability the gap between T-Mobile at the top and Verizon at the bottom was vast. The availability metric shows the percentage of users on 5G-capable devices that spend the majority of their time on 5G, both roaming and on-network. T-Mobile scored 71.1% availability in Q1, followed by AT&T with 68.7%, while Ookla describes Verizon as “a distant third” with 37.6%.

There was little joy to be had for AT&T and Verizon in the mobile report, and the fixed side wasn’t great either. Neither ranked particularly highly in terms of download speed, but fared better in upload and latency. However, the likes of Charter’s Spectrum and Comcast-owned Xfinity turned in better performances overall.

But rather than dwell on the woes of the US incumbents, on this occasion, we’ll let T-Mobile have the last word.

“We’ve gone from being the leading 5G network to establishing ourselves as the overall network leader in an incredibly short amount of time,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, President of Technology at T-Mobile US. “We’ve taken our network to the top while also providing customers with unbeatable value, without making any compromises, and we still have more up our sleeve.”

And that’s pretty much what you would have expected him to say.

Ookla 2023 Q1 US performance


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