Best US carrier? This Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint coverage maps GIF tells all
The second we read that Verizon has earned third place in average LTE network speeds according to Ookla's crowd-sourced measurements, we knew what was coming from T-Mobile, and, soon enough, its CTO Neville Ray took to a blog post to comment condescendingly on the matter. After all, it topped the average speeds for a 14th quarter in a row, while Verizon slipped to a third place. T-Mobile's CTO didn't hold back, explaining how Verizon and AT&T networks "caved" under the unlimited pressure:
Isolated peak speeds from a crowd-sourced test don’t tell the whole storyNot so fast, though. The average speeds are rather close, plus a different study that doesn't involve crowd-sourced metrics, but actual driving around the US, puts Verizon slightly ahead of T-Mobile in its turn. Let's say, though, for the sake of the argument, that T-Mobile's network is now indeed 15% or so faster than Verizon's on average. Most of it can be explained by the sheer amount of subscribers that Verizon has compared to T-Mobile, but even then speed is not all there is to it. According to a rebuttal by Verizon's spokesman Howard Waterman:
That last point places a gaping hole in T-Mobile's argumentation. A recent market study showed that subscribers value most carrier network reliability and performance, then cost, and last come the unlimited data options which every carrier is offering now. While T-Mobile may have gotten the performance part right, the reliability (read: coverage) aspect is still a work in progress compared to Verizon, and T-Mo already started pumping its pricing a bit to cover the costs of its breakneck expansion. Now that Verizon's and T-Mobile's family plan offerings are practically even in terms of pricing, one only needs to look at the coverage maps GIF above that we made to see who blankets more places from coast to coast and in-between.
Granted, this is still crowd-sourced data, courtesy of OpenSignal, but so is the report that T-Mobile used to boast the other day. On the other hand, this GIF pretty much sums up why AT&T and Verizon are still the ones laughing all the way to the bank when the big four announce their quarterly profits. What's your take, speed or coverage, and why is the Nevada desert so left behind?