Verizon’s wireless network dominated the competition in RootMetrics’ nationwide tests for the first half of 2016.
The testing service said Verizon won all six testing categories outright: overall performance, network reliability and network speed, as well as data, voice and call performance. No ties.
AT&T finished “a strong second,” according to RootMetrics’ report. It won second in five of the six categories. Sprint earned a second place finish in the call category.
Sprint finished third overall, still ahead of T-Mobile US in the four-carrier competition. As before, RootMetrics noted T-Mobile’s network performed well in metropolitan areas but not as well in rural markets.
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Verizon, the largest carrier by customer counts, also won 41 statewide tests outright, no ties. No. 2 AT&T won two states outright, No. 3 T-Mobile tied for first in one state. Fourth-largest Sprint had no firsts in the statewide testing.
Such tests, and their disparate results, have become fodder for the companies’ marketing campaigns.
Sprint’s marketing says that its network is within 1 percent of Verizon’s for reliability. The claim is based on Sprint’s analysis of testing results from Nielsen, which does not release reports on its own.
Verizon has begun its own Nielsen-analysis-based ads starring Jamie Foxx and a “double” — who looks nothing like Foxx — to represent Sprint.
OpenSignal said earlier this month that Sprint’s 4G LTE network service lagged the other three national carriers and that T-Mobile nearly matched Verizon in that testing.
PC Magazine said in June that Verizon won its network speed tests but also called Sprint’s resurgence “the story” in putting the Overland Park-based subscriber counts back into the competition.
RootMetrics offered a nod to Sprint’s improving coverage with faster LTE data service and its potential for further gains.
“If Sprint can continue its LTE expansion efforts beyond metro areas, Sprint could close the gap with the other networks in multiple categories at the United States level,” RootMetrics said.
Despite landing fourth overall, T-Mobile’s data scores were strong, with RootMetrics reporting that it “narrowly trailed AT&T for third place in both our Data RootScore category and our Network Speed RootScore category.”
Locally, RootMetrics had declared Verizon the winner in its Kansas City testing, with Sprint and T-Mobile in a tie for second and AT&T fourth.