Choose your storyline: "Sprint and T-Mobile US improving fast," or "Verizon and AT&T way in front." Both would be accurate ways of summarizing the latest Rootmetrics study of network performance.
Sprint and T-Mobile US gained significant ground on AT&T and Verizon in Rootmetrics studies of metro market performance in the areas of network reliability and network speed, across mobile data, voice and text messaging products in the second half of 2014.
While Sprint and T-Mobile US still trail Verizon and AT&T, both Sprint and T-Mobile either gained awards or held steady in every category in the second half of 2014.
Sprint and T-Mobile increased their award tally by 140 compared to what the two networks earned at the metro level in the first half of 2014, according to Rootmetrics.
One might note that the results are shaped by the lead AT&T and Verizon have, and therefore the room for improvement possible for Sprint and T-Mobile US.
That said, all the networks improved in the second half, compared to the first half.
Verizon either won or tied for first in our “overall” scores in 113 of the 125 markets tested. AT&T had 51 such scores. Verizon won or tied for first in 117 of the 125 markets. AT&T had 78 first-place wins or ties.
But T-Mobile US “in particular continues to show very fast speeds in many of the metro areas we test and, as we note below, even recorded the fastest median upload speed we saw from any network in the second half of 2014,” says Rootmetrics.
Also, T-Mobile’s 27 “overall” RootScore Awards in the second half of 2014 also represents “the most we have ever recorded for the network,” Rootmetrics says.
Sprint has also “made tremendous strides in our measurements,” says Rootmetrics. “With much better reliability than what we saw in the first half of 2014, Sprint won significantly more RootScore Awards in our call, text, and reliability measures this time around.”
“Sprint even pulled ahead of T-Mobile in both our call and reliability categories at the metro level,” Rootmetrics said.
On the other hand, “while Sprint was the biggest net gainer in RootScore Awards (improving by 108 awards compared to the first half of 2014), its tally of 135 trailed those of the other three networks.”