Verizon Leads for Download Speeds, but Ties With T-Mobile for Best Mobile Experience in the US

Verizon and T-Mobile offered the best mobile experience to their customers, according to Tutela’s new 2020 State of Mobile Experience report in the United States, which was released today. Both operators had 83.4% of tests meet or exceed the needs of popular highly demanding applications including 1080p video streaming, real-time mobile gaming, and HD video calling, which Tutela measures with its composite metric, Excellent Consistent Quality.

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Verizon also had the fastest median download speed and took out top spot for best coverage in the United States. 

However, there was strong competition from the likes of AT&T taking out first place for highest Core Consistent Quality, Tutela’s measure of mobile experience for more day-to-day uses such as SD video streaming, social media sharing and web browsing.  95.8% of tests from AT&T subscribers were good enough for these uses.  The operator also tied with T-Mobile for best one-way latency result, whilst T-Mobile had the fastest median upload speed.

Tutela has analyzed over 54 billion total records taken from real-world smartphone users, including more than 185 million speed and latency tests, taken between March 1st and August 31st 2020. 

Key findings from this report include:
  • Verizon remains the operator to beat in the US, thanks to a substantial lead in coverage, a clear first-place result for download throughput, and a first-place tie with T-Mobile for Excellent Consistent Quality. However, T-Mobile and AT&T are both making up ground in other categories, and the race at the top is tighter than ever. 

  • T-Mobile tied with Verizon for Excellent Consistent Quality, and took home undisputed first-place results for upload throughput and latency. As T-Mobile continues to integrate the Sprint network, and take advantage of Sprint’s vast spectrum holdings for widespread 5G deployment, there is a realistic possibility that it will be able to challenge Verizon’s speed crown. Additionally, the improvement in coverage from the New T-Mobile network (as well as 600 MHz deployment) shows that T-Mobile has addressed a significant historical weakness when it comes to coverage. 

  • AT&T provides the best Core Consistent Quality at a nationwide level, and is dominant as the provider of a core mobile experience, winning the vast majority of states. Although Verizon still has the upper hand for coverage, the additional push to deploy more low-band coverage nationwide, including the FirstNet spectrum, could provide an avenue to challenge Verizon’s dominance in that arena, especially in the 5G era. 

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Tom Luke, VP Sales & Partnerships, said: “Despite the big shake-ups in the US telecom market this year, with the likes of the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile and the continued focus to adopt 5G, the big four operators continue to impress us with their results. Tutela has recently added new metrics to its reporting to get a better picture of what mobile subscribers of each brand are experiencing in the US, and it shows some strong competition, especially with T-Mobile tying with Verizon for highest Excellent Consistent Quality and tying with AT&T for best latency. Mobile users in the US can still get strong, reliable connections from their chosen operator”. 

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