All four major wireless carriers in america are constantly flinging claims at you-they’re the fastest, the biggest, the friendliest, the very best. So a decade ago, we made a decision to put those claims to the test. Each year since then, using the carriers’ cooperation, we strap phones right into a group of cars and send them in the united states with our workers behind the wheels, scooping up data for a number of weeks to view who gets the fastest & most reliable smartphone data network. Verizon had an excellent run for days gone by five years using its nationwide LTE network, but AT&T has rocketed in to the top spot this season. The particular carrier calls 5G Evolution may possibly not be 5G, but it’s definitely a stride toward it. Our Fastest Mobile Networks tests tend to be more comprehensive than you will discover in other publications, and much more transparent compared to the consulting firms the carriers use for a number of their ads.
We’re beholden for you, never to them. This season, we drove through 30 cities and 25 states, running 60,000 speed tests to look for the fastest mobile network nationwide. Using Samsung Galaxy S10 phones, we ran tests every 2 minutes and summarized the outcomes across six different categories. You can view more relating to this inside our Testing Methodology section. Our awards balance speed and reliability, and then for a decade, the winner has flipped between AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile spent a couple of years getting really fast, but never quite harmonized to Verizon on coverage and reliability. Although it certainly is been strong in a few places (mostly the Southeast), AT&T appears to have backed from being truly a smartphone-focused carrier within the last couple of years. Its phone subscriptions have already been flat or slightly declining since 2015, while its amount of connected non-phone subscribers, with gadgets like smart cars, has skyrocketed, as you can plainly see inside the charts below from Statista.
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But AT&T needs 5G, for a number of reasons. Also it turns out a key step toward 5G requires improving your 4G network. AT&T’s initial 5G network uses short-distance millimeter wave airwaves, so to avoid its 5G customers from feeling like they’re falling off a cliff where there is no 5G service, it had a need to turn up the grade of its 4G. Therefore it did. AT&T in addition has secretly been helped by improvements in smartphone modems within the last 2 yrs. Wireless spectrum forms the lanes which all smartphone traffic travels, and AT&T has more LTE spectrum than T-Mobile or Verizon, in accordance with Fierce Wireless. But AT&T’s spectrum is normally highly fragmented, to arrive many small pieces rather than few large chunks. New modems are better in a position to aggregate plenty of small channels into one fast connection, that is attempting to AT&T’s advantage. It is possible to experience AT&T’s best-in-class network by way of a few different companies, and our readers like many of them a lot more than the mainline AT&T brand.
It’s that AT&T improved a lot more than the others.
Our Readers’ Choice awards rate wireless carriers predicated on a survey of what readers consider factors including price, phone selection, and customer support. Consumer Cellular, which uses AT&T’s network, ranked at the very top this season, with spectacular ratings for low prices and customer support. Cricket, that is owned by AT&T and uses AT&T’s network, also ranked greater than its parent company. It is possible to explore what our readers think about their carriers here. We have been testing wireless networks for a decade, plus they keep improving. AT&T’s win doesn’t imply that T-Mobile or Verizon have worse networks than last year-all four major networks improved on both speed and reliability. It’s that AT&T improved a lot more than the others. This is our last 4G-only test, since 5G isn’t quite ready for testing (or for widespread usage) this season. Each one of the four carriers has announced not a lot of coverage in several cities.
But almost all people will undoubtedly be using 4G for quite some time ahead. Only 14 million Americans could have 5G by the finish of 2020-that’s weighed against 400 million wireless connections in america in 2017. So although 5G gets plenty of buzz, and it’s really fun to share with you, 4G is how you are going to be getting the mobile internet for a long time ahead. For the very first time in five years, AT&T may be the nation’s fastest mobile network. AT&T won or tied in 15 of your 30 cities, alongside winning or tying atlanta divorce attorneys rural region. The carrier has always had great coverage, but its 5G Evolution upgrades this season helped it vault upward with regards to download speeds, breaking through especially within the western US. Verizon, the prior longtime winner, stayed strong within the Northeast, winning or tying 12 cities or regions.