Verizon and T-Mobile now have average mobile download speeds exceeding 20 Mbps nationwide, according to OpenSignal, a company focused on mobile network performance testing. The two companies essentially tied for the fastest download speed. Verizon’s average was 20.9 Mbps and T-Mobile’s was 21.1 Mbps. AT&T’s average mobile download speed was 17.8 Mbps and Sprint’s was 13.9 Mbps.

Two years ago, no U.S. operator had an average download speed above 15 Mbps, notes report author Kevin Fitchard.

Average Mobile Download Speeds
Thirteen U.S. cities are seeing particularly high average mobile download speeds from at least from one network operator, according to OpenSignal. Verizon averaged speeds above 30 Mbps in eight cities, while T-Mobile did so in four cities and AT&T did so in two.

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Source: OpenSignal Mobile Network Experience Report

Unsurprisingly, average upload speeds were considerably lower than average download speeds – and there was a large gap between the best and worst operator’s performance. Verizon had the highest average upload speed, at 7 Mbps, followed by T-Mobile at 6.7 Mbps, AT&T at 4.6 Mbps and Sprint at 2.4 Mbps.

Fitchard notes, though, that Sprint’s lower upload speed may be by design. The company’s TD-LTE network technology gives the company the ability to “take upstream capacity and allocate it to downlink connections” which allows it to “boost average 4G download speeds by sacrificing upload speeds,” he explains.

By OpenSignal’s analysis, AT&T came out on top on network latency, averaging 57.8 milliseconds (ms) nationwide.  T-Mobile came in second at 60.6 ms, followed by Verizon at 62.6 ms and Sprint at 70 ms.

From a global perspective, these are not great numbers, according to Fitchard. The report notes that in many other countries, operators are pushing LTE latencies down to the 30 ms level.

Image courtesy of flickr user Jim Makos.

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One thought on “Report: Average Mobile Download Speeds Exceed 20 Mbps for Verizon and T-Mobile

  1. These numbers are actually pretty darn sad when you consider what LTE is capable of and what was promised when it was first launched by the carriers almost 10 years ago. Ten years and this is all they have to show for it? And now we are supposed to believe their hype about the quantum leap that is supposed to be coming with 5G? I don't think so.
    Based on the carriers' past performance, I would expect more in the range of 25-30 Mbps in 5 years or so when these tests are run on the 5G networks that will be in place by then. (And when I say 5 years, they will only cover 30-40% of the country by then if you go by past experience with rolling out new generations of technology) I predict that it certainly will not be in the hundreds of Mbps the carriers are claiming will happen. There are three reasons for these claims to be wildly overstated: one, none of the carriers has the mass of spectrum necessary to do it; two, they have not even they deployed any significant part of the whole of the spectrum they currently own in order to provide the sorts of data they are predicting for LTE, let alone 5G; third, none of the carriers has the backhaul in place at each and every one of their sites that even now is necessary to put out even what LTE is capable of, let alone 5G,
    I certainly hope I am wrong with these predictions, but past experience is hard to argue with. Some carriers just got around to offering LTE service in a lot of places around the country and not all those are in isolated deserts and unpopulated mountains. There are carriers who have not yet even gone past 2G or 1x for their customers in certain areas. The carriers who are the subject of this article are guilty of these very things today. They have a LONG way to go, and these test result numbers are quite illustrative of that fact.

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