AT&T Jumps to First Place in U.S. Mobile Speeds, but Verizon Still Most Consistent

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Ookla, the company behind the popular Speedtest bandwidth measurement service, today released its 2019 Speedtest Mobile Performance Report, leveraging over 11.5 million speed tests from over 4 million unique devices to rank the network performance of the major U.S. carriers during the first half of 2019.

    Overall, Ookla found that the mean mobile download speed rose to 33.88 Mbps during the first half of the year, up 24 percent compared to the same period in 2018. That improvement allowed the U.S. to rise from 43rd to 40th in the global rankings of mobile download performance. Mean upload speeds rose 13 percent to 9.75 Mbps, which actually resulted in a drop of 21 spots to 94th in the global rankings.


    Looking at the four major U.S. carriers, AT&T came out on top in this year's survey with a Speed Score (a weighted rating of 90% download and 10% upload speeds) of 32.91, with T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint following behind. That marks a significant improvement for AT&T, which placed third in last year's survey.
    But beyond raw download and upload speeds, Ookla also looked at several other metrics including Acceptable Speed Ratio, which is the percent of samples from a given carrier that measured at least 5 Mbps. By this metric, Verizon maintained its spot atop the rankings from last year, with 87.3 percent of samples meeting the 5 Mbps standard in 2019. T-Mobile and AT&T were fairly close behind at 86.9 percent and 85.9 percent respectively, with Sprint trailing at 81.2 percent.


    Verizon also topped the rankings in 4G LTE support, with 95.9 percent of time spent on what is currently the fastest mainstream standard. T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T rounded out the rankings, with AT&T users still seeing 7.4 percent of time spent on 3G technology.


    Looking ahead toward 5G technology that's just starting to roll out, Ookla has opted not to release performance data at this point due to the very limited geographies where it's available and lack of widespread device support for now, but the company has seen speeds in excess of 2 Gbps in some real-world consumer speed tests.

    Ookla has plenty more data on its page dedicated to this year's study, including a state-by-state breakdown where you can see how the major carriers rank on a more localized basis.

    Article Link: AT&T Jumps to First Place in U.S. Mobile Speeds, but Verizon Still Most Consistent
  2. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    I’ll take consistency over top maximum speed. Obviously hyperbole, but if there was a network that only worked in Montana and Idaho but with the fastest speeds, it’s kinda useless.
  3. The.316 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2010
    25100 GR
    What are you guys' typical speeds in the States, 4G/LTE wise?
  4. ThomasJL macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    Are those speeds achieved using what AT&T deceptively calls “5GE” when in reality it’s just 4G?
  5. ersan191, Jul 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019

    ersan191 macrumors 65816

    Oct 26, 2013
    The whole testing system is flawed tbh - all the carriers have multiple tiers of prioritization and often ookla can’t tell the difference...

    For example on Verizon postpaid I’ll get like 100mbps prioritized, but prepaid or “go unlimited” will give me 2mbps, and they all are Verizon as far as ookla is concerned.
  6. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    I got 142.46 on my Xr a week ago. Had 4 bars, have only one at home. T-Mobile. Best speed I’ve ever had. In Orem, UT.
  7. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    I call complete garbage. AT&T is the worst in the area I use it. It speeds are consistently ridiculously low
  8. dlewis23 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2007
    It still really depends on where you live as to who is the fastest no one carrier is consistent across the country.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 9, 2019 ---
    Just because they are the worst in your area doesn't mean they are not fastest in others.
  9. JetTester macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2014
    My experience has been that Verizon works well almost everywhere, and AT&T has a lot of locations where you just don’t get a connection. Doesn’t matter how fast it is if you can’t make a connection.
  10. M.PaulCezanne macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2014
    I pay $80/mo for full T-Mobile One service for TWO lines ($40 per line). Verizon's equivalent plan costs at least TWICE as much, while ATT's is nearly twice. Network speeds are virtually identical. The choice is crystal clear for me.
  11. ersan191 macrumors 65816

    Oct 26, 2013
    Most people pay $120 - comparing carriers based on grandfathered promo pricing isn't very fair.

    Also Visible (owned by Verizon) is $40 per line.
  12. wayland1985 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    I’ve been with AT&T for years... I had T-Mobile maybe 15 years back, but it was spotty around here in MA.

    I keep seeing the T-Mobile ads with the prices, and keep considering a change of carrier... But I’m afraid of what kind of coverage I’ll have
  13. M.PaulCezanne macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2014
    Fair point, but a $40/mo cost difference for a negligible speed difference is significant (IMHO).
  14. harriska2 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2011
    We pay $32 per phone for Verizon 22tb/11tb hotspot per month per phone limit on the family plan. Been on it 2 years without issue. Used it in BFE Idaho, smalltown Washington, and even Eastern Oregon.
  15. jamezr macrumors G5


    Aug 7, 2011
    Was a T-Mobile customer for customer service of any carrier in my experiences. But their coverage fell off the planet in buildings or outside of big cities. Switched to verizon and love the dropped calls and i can get data service in buildings and areas outside of big cities when hiking.
  16. ovo6 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2015
    Att internet is trash lmao , can’t even go out in Miami where there is a crow and have internet
  17. rbgaynor macrumors member


    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    "AT&T Jumps to First Place in U.S. Mobile Speeds"

    I guess that massive 5GE rollout is paying off!
  18. Breaking Good macrumors 65816

    Sep 28, 2012
    My take away from this is that there is nothing here that justifies paying more for one cellular carrier over another. Go with the least expensive carrier that has coverage in the places you frequent and periodically re-evaluate your choice to see if there are better options.
  19. MarkDeMoss macrumors newbie


    May 24, 2012
    I'm on Verizon using their Beyond Unlimited Plan. It's a single phone plan so I pay $85. I'd switch to another carrier, but all four carriers cost the same for the same features (plus or minus $5).

    If a get another line, then the carriers will give us a paltry $5-10 discount. It takes 3 lines before you start seeing $30-40 discounts per line. It's so stark that 3 lines is the same price as 2 lines on some carriers.

    I recently drove from Connecticut to Tennessee and back. My friend has AT&T Unlimited. It's was good to have both carriers as we were in the mountains, some places I would get coverage and another place he had coverage. There was one point where we were on the Blue Ridge Mountain and if we would have had the same carrier we might have run out of gas.

    I switched from having AT&T two years ago to Verizon and honestly I think it's a wash. I had AT&T for 18 years prior to the switch. I thought Verizon would be better in rural parts but that's not necessarily been the case for me. I guess I thought Verizon would be SO MUCH better than AT&T and so it's disappointed me. It's not worse, may be a bit better, but it's not so big that it'd make me loyal to Verizon.

    What I like about Verizon and this is why I switched in June 2017 is because their iPhones are unlocked to all carriers. I remember trying to get a friend's Sprint iPhone unlocked by Sprint (which they say you can do), it was such a nightmare, we ended up giving up and just selling it.

    I also like the free Apple Music on Verizon. The Hulu and Netflix offerings of other carriers wouldn't work for me as I prefer the top tier Hulu and Netflix plans. The free Amazon Prime on Sprint would be a nice feature though.
  20. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    Somebody at AT&T is going to get fired for trying too hard...
  21. MoreRumors? macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2018
    Tim's eyeglass lens
    This is speed comparison among the carriers is meaningless to me and I would want to see consistent speeds across the country. All this does is give the carriers egos and a reason to raise prices. I have been in various states and the service is inconsistent and worse in small towns. As 5G is starting to roll out this year, I don't expect to see widespread service until at least 5yrs.
  22. ersan191, Jul 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019

    ersan191 macrumors 65816

    Oct 26, 2013
    I'm not sure what you mean - Visible is the same price as your grandfathered T-Mobile plan. It's not really about speed, it's about coverage.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 9, 2019 ---
    I hate to sound like a shill, but Visible has a single line unlimited plan for $40 T&F included and it's on the Verizon network, albeit deprioritized (same level as Go Unlimited).
    --- Post Merged, Jul 9, 2019 ---
    This, especially when most carriers cap video and tethering bandwidth anyway - you know, the only things you do with your phone that actually need speed. I wouldn't be surprised if they cap app store downloads next.
  23. macnchiefs macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2009
    The difference between carriers is so incredibly small in regard to both speed and consistency. It's really a geographic question that you need to answer. What network is best where you live or spend the most time. That is the carrier you should sign up for.
  24. Wide opeN macrumors 65816

    Wide opeN

    Aug 27, 2010
    ☝ This to the highest power!!!

    In Atlanta as confirmed by MYSELF and Ookla T-Mobile is king. And so I march on.
  25. Williesleg macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2014
    NY, NY
    Yeah loving T-Mobile on the east coast, lots of speed, unlimited pretty much everything, never seen any throttling ever.

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26 July 9, 2019