Verizon Named 2018's Fastest Mobile Network in PCMag's Annual Carrier Showdown

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Verizon Wireless was awarded the title of the fastest nationwide mobile network in PCMag's annual mobile network comparison, the results of which were released this morning.

    For its test, PCMag analysts drove within and between 30 cities in the United States to test mobile network speeds using four Samsung Galaxy S9 phones. More than a dozen locations in each city were tested, with the site gathering more than 124,000 data points to reach its conclusion. Scores were calculated taking into account metrics like download speed, upload speed, latency, reliability, and consistency.


    Verizon was named the overall fastest network after it won or tied in 19 of the 36 cities that were tested across the United States, marking Verizon's 5th annual victory.

    Verizon won out in almost every region (Northeast, North Central, South Central, Northwest, and Southwest), with the exception of the Southeast, where T-Mobile was determined to be the fastest network. T-Mobile was also named the second fastest network overall, followed by AT&T and then Sprint.

    PCMag says that compared to its 2017 results, it saw faster, more consistent LTE connections across all four major U.S. carriers in the 2018 test. In the future, we should see some interesting results as mobile networks are upgraded to 5G. AT&T and Verizon are both aiming for higher speeds in smaller areas, while T-Mobile is aiming for nationwide 5G coverage but at slower speeds.

    In addition to determining the fastest mobile carrier in 2018, PCMag also took a look at Speedtest Intelligence results pulled from Ookla to determine the fastest download speeds on modern Samsung and Apple devices.


    Samsung's flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, equipped with Gigabit LTE and 4x4 MIMO, beat out the iPhone X, which does not have 4x4 MIMO. Of Apple's iPhones, though, the iPhone X saw the fastest upload and download speeds thanks to its adoption of 256QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), which boosts signal to allow for more data to be transferred at one time.


    The full results of PCMag's 2018 mobile carrier speed testing can be found over on the PCMag website.

    Article Link: Verizon Named 2018's Fastest Mobile Network in PCMag's Annual Carrier Showdown
  2. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    And here I am completely satisfied with my 4g LTE AT&T 3rd place speeds lol
  3. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2016
    Verizon prices are too high. T-Mobile would be my choice, but with Sprint prices I may move over there & "see how it goes"
  4. AppleFan78 macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2014
    Definitely not what I experience with Verizon's Go Unlimited plan. Speeds are severely bad, much worse than I had with Sprint. It's just a way for Verizon to suck more money out of you, almost forcing you to upgrade to the more expensive plan.
  5. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    How do we compare to carriers in other countries?
  6. citysnaps macrumors 601

    Oct 10, 2011
    San Francisco
    I dunno... For my mobile phone needs (not talking about tethering to a computer), any of the above rates are more than adequate for normal communications/browsing.

    I would give other metrics more weight when choosing a carrier.
  7. snowboarder macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2007
    I setup my European phone number. I pay $6 (six) per month for unlimited internet/unlimited calls and texts anywhere in Europe. I regularly get 150 MBps download speed on LTE. Pretty incredible how far behind we are...

    In the US we pay $120/month for two lines, grandfathered AT&T unlimited iPhone accounts.
  8. zubikov macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2014
    Another reminder that Sprint is terrible. If you find yourself asking "is Sprint really that bad?", the answer is "Yes". I constantly find myself scrambling for coverage in very densely populated areas. Looking into switching to either Verizon or Tmobile in a few months.

    Let's face it, T-mobile and Verizon are neck in neck. As long as you have coverage in all of your traveled locations and have actual LTE, according to these results you're going to have a good experience with either of the top two carriers.
  9. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Speed is just one component of consideration for me
    The most important is coverage and availability
    AT&T has been good for me overall and I don't have any speed issues
  10. KPandian1, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018

    KPandian1 macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2013
    Must upgrade from 5S just for this, if the next SE has 600MHz.
  11. SumYoungGai macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2013
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Yep. They phased out the 'new' unlimited plan in favor for two unlimited plans that we have now but you can still ask for it on chat if I recall correctly. I'm grandfathered in and it's $100 for UDP + $20/line which is a steal for 4+ lines when you look at $50/line for Beyond.
  12. slimtastic Suspended


    May 17, 2018
    Your Mother's Bedroom
  13. Dormammu macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2013
    A mysterious location in the middle of nowhere
    I’m waiting for all the t mobile haters!
    Jk :)
  14. Craiger macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2007
    Damn, that website is a hot mess.

    Also, on a personal note, they didn't test Nashville?
  15. democracyrules macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2016
    T-Mobile area coverage between states is poor compared to Verizon. As a traveler, Verizon is the best. T-Mobile strength is in the Metro areas which are somehow limited. The signal strength inside buildings is poor compared to Verizon. However, choose whatever fits with your budget and purchasing power. Pick T-Mobile, be ready for all baggages coming along with their lower price. You get what you pay for.
  16. Dormammu macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2013
    A mysterious location in the middle of nowhere
    Funny you mention the building penetration thing. I’ve noticed the same with T-Mobile as well. What could this be due to? I assume that ATT, Verizon, and T-Mobile are broadcasting over the same “signals?”
  17. blucable macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2012
    I do not believe those numbers. It may be the fastest network in some busy areas. Anyways, I put an iPhone 6 with AT&T besides 2 iPhone 6S plus with t-mobile and verizon. The AT&T phone had 2 bars and the other 2 phones had full bars. The AT&T phone had a 18Mbps download while the other 2 phones had barely 7Mbps...

    Been using AT&T for 11 years now, I am happy with it...
  18. TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    I own a SE, so I get no love on this test.

    My bandwidth interest lies on cellular tethering of my MBPr using my iPhone when at remote or locked-down, firewalled sites.

    This is why I pay special attention to both DOWN[consume] and UP[produce] bandwidth off the tether.

    And these results, paying attention to the ratio between DOWN and UP bandwidth for each device, show the following:
    1. X::= 31.18[DOWN] 9.88[UP] 32%[%UP/DOWN]
    2. 7::= 28.05[DOWN] 8.04[UP] 29%[%UP/DOWN]
    3. 6S::= 25.43[DOWN] 7.74[UP] 30%[%UP/DOWN]
    4. 6::= 19.02[DOWN] 8.14[UP] 43%[%UP/DOWN]
    They all hover around 8M[UP].
    So no real gains when "producing" bandwidth among the four.
    And definitely I could live with 20M[DOWN] bandwidth on these remote sites.
  19. Princejb134 macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2012
    Interesting because my T-Mobile phone is faster than my Verizon work phone
  20. tzm41 macrumors regular


    Jul 11, 2014
    Different bands penetrate buildings differently. T-Mobile has hardly deployed their acquired lower frequency bands yet, yielding a poorer indoor experience.
  21. PowerGala macrumors regular


    Aug 26, 2016
    It also depends on your location. For me, Sprint is the best because they’re the only one who has service at my house. Living in a rural location kind of sucks for conectivity, but at least I can have horses.

    T-Mobile? AT&T? Verizon? No connection.
    Sprint? 2-3 bars LTE.
  22. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    I had Sprint before and I promised to myself to never go back to them.
    And I know about other horror stories about their terrible customer support and intimidation tactics.
    I'm in the SouthEast, very happy with T-Mobile service. I also have an iPad with a grandfathered LTE plan ($30.00/month), which is very useful in some areas where T-Mobile signal may be weak.
  23. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I think we’re at the point that speed doesn’t matter as much anymore. Ever since I jumped to LTE years ago I haven’t had an issue with speed.

    Is the US getting raked over the coals on price vs Europe. Yep, but we all know it. Talking about it won’t change that.
  24. Stewie macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2004
    Mostly true. It is when you start getting speeds under 3 Mbps or so that you can start to have issues doing things. Which is why I didn't switch to T-Mobile. At my office the speeds were under that. Everywhere else they were acceptable Not as fast as AT&T or Verizon in my area, but acceptable.
  25. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2016
    For me 3 lines would cost $170 without phones added in.
    Every other carrier is lower. At this price I am not sure it is worth it.

    What is the baggage that comes with T-Mobile ?

    Thats good to here.

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