Yesterday we released a report into the state of LTE in the US, with a particular focus on how network performance changes over time. Mobile networks in the United States have been under particular scrutiny lately, with Verizon and T-Mobile publicly sparring over who has the best network and the way those tests were measured.
One of the specific criticisms levelled at Verizon by T-Mobile was that the data used in their adverts was out of date – and so our report is averaged over the last 3 months. What we see is that, for the US as a whole, T-Mobile have comfortably the fastest speeds with an average download speed of 11.5 Mbps. Contrasting with this, we see that Verizon have the best LTE coverage – with the average Verizon LTE user spending 83.2% of the time with access to the network. Sprint come bottom for both metrics, showing how far their network lags behind their competitors but also the extent to which they committed to the slower HSPA+ technology (which we class as a form of 3G, even though it is often marketed as 4G).
Finally the report looks at how networks are changing over time, with the overall trend being that networks are improving for LTE coverage but that their speeds are generally getting slower. This is understandable, as more users slow down the network but operators continually roll out to new areas – providing better coverage for their subscribers.