T-Mobile US top on overall performance, but Verizon wins in 5G

T-Mobile US is once again claiming bragging rights over its main competitors, having come out on top in a new mobile experience survey.

But it is not having everything its own way when it comes to 5G. While T-Mobile was leader of the pack on a couple of key 5G metrics in a separate report, Verizon took home wins in more 5G categories.

The data comes from mobile analytics company Opensignal, which simultaneously published its Mobile Network Experience and 5G Experience reports for the US this week. Naturally, T-Mobile US jumped right on it, and issued a release of its own talking up its performance across both reports. But it’s worth looking more closely at the data to get a truer picture of the market, particularly in 5G.

Verizon picked up five Opensignal awards in 5G to T-Mobile’s two and zero for AT&T.

Most noteworthy for Verizon was that fact that it pulled ahead of T-Mobile on 5G upload speed, having been behind its rival in the previous Opensignal report, published at the start of this year. The data for this new version was collected between mid-March and mid-June, incidentally.

“This time around, due to an impressive increase in its score of 2.4 Mbps (14.9%), Verizon wins gold for 5G Upload Speed with a score of 18.5 Mbps — 0.3Mbps ahead of the previous winner, breaking T-Mobile’s streak of seven consecutive wins,” Opensignal said. Verizon also picked up four awards covering video, live video, gaming and voice app experience.

T-Mobile though held onto the fastest 5G download speed award, its 195.5 Mbps coming in twice as fast as Verizon and 2.4 times as fast as AT&T. However, Opensignal points out that all three carriers increased their speeds compared with last year, which has to be good news for the broader industry. T-Mobile also won on 5G availability, so all in all, it had good reason to be upbeat.

It lost no time in reminding the industry that its 5G network covers 326 million across 2 million square miles, which it says is more than AT&T and Verizon put together; its ultra-capacity 5G – that’s on mid- and high-band spectrum – covers 275 million people and it aims to grow that to 300 million by the end of the year.

But while it cannot claim real 5G leadership, based on Opensignal’s data at least, it certainly swept the board when it came to the broader mobile experience report.

T-Mobile won six of the eight categories in that report – AT&T and Verizon picking up one each (see chart) – including both download and upload speed experience. Further, it increased its winning margins over both rivals in both awards, clocking up a gain of more than 22% in download speed to 57 Mbps and widening its lead over AT&T.

“The new reports from Opensignal show why T-Mobile is THE overall network and technology leader in wireless, and it’s only going to get better for our customers as we continue delivering new innovations and capabilities,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, President of Technology at T-Mobile US, as the telco shared details of its triumph.

As usual, there’s a lot of marketing spin going on here. But you can’t argue with the facts, and T-Mobile US customers are still getting plenty of bang for their buck


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