Sprint’s wireless network has moved ahead of rival T-Mobile’s in overall performance rankings by RootMetrics.
The two carriers each trail their large rivals Verizon, which ranked first, and AT&T, which ranked second, in testing by Seattle-area-based RootMetrics.
“Sprint has made important upgrades that appear to point toward better performance for consumers,” RootMetric’s report said.
But it also said the Overland Park-based carrier’s gains were limited and it continues to trail the three other carriers in data speed tests.
“Sprint continues to trail the leaders nationally and is not yet on the same playing field as Verizon and AT&T. Sprint particularly trails in our speed index results compared to the other networks.”
In an emailed statement, Sprint welcomed the report and acknowledged its efforts to improve performance continue.
“While this report is just one source of measurement, it does confirm our own internal metrics that the network is getting better every day,” Sprint said. “We still have a lot of work to do, particularly to improve data performance and speed, but these results affirm we’re moving in the right direction.”
Reports for individual markets showed T-Mobile grabbing more wins than Sprint. Sprint’s network ranked second in the firm’s Chicago market tests. Sprint ranked fourth in its hometown market of Kansas City.
In Kansas City, the scores behind the rankings were fairly close, with Verizon at 98.3 points and T-Mobile at 97.7 points declared the winners. AT&T had 95.9 points and Sprint 94.6.
Chicago’s competition was even tighter, with only two points separating Verizon in first at 98.3 and T-Mobile in fourth at 96.3.
RootMetric’s national scores for the carriers showed a greater distance between the networks. Verizion scored 93.9 and AT&T 91.7, while Sprint scored 86.6 and T-Mobile 84.0.
T-Mobile fell to fourth in the overall ranking but remained ahead of Sprint in the speed tests and data performance categories nationally, RootMetrics said. T-Mobile’s overall ranking declined from “a slip in call performance,” the report said.
The report pegged Sprint’s improvement as clear to see and coming “at a rapid pace.” It particularly noted gains in Sprint’s call performance and network reliability generally.
Sprint had said that its network upgrade, which it completed last year and often described as a rip-and-replace effort, had been disrupting call service but that better performance would follow. The company also is adding resources to boost its handling of data, which cellphones use to stream video, download apps and perform other popular features.