Ookla: Verizon and T-Mobile in a dead heat when it comes to LTE download data speed

Ookla: Verizon and T-Mobile in a dead heat when it comes to LTE download data speed
On Thursday, we told you about the results of Open Signal's most recent 6-month report on wireless service. For the first half of 2016, T-Mobile edged out Verizon for the highest average LTE download data speed, 16.28 Mbps to 15.94 Mbps. Verizon did have the highest reliability with a LTE signal available 86% of the time.

The day before, Ookla released its report for the first half of 2016. Never heard of Ookla? If you've downloaded Speedtest.net on your iOS or Android phone, you have dealt with Ookla. According to the report, Verizon and T-Mobile were neck and neck in LTE download speed. T-Mobile's 22.11 Mbps edged out the 21.32 Mbps tallied by Verizon. The small percentage between the two carrier's average LTE download speeds has Ookla calling this a dead head between Verizon and T-Mobile.

Average LTE upload speed was a different story. T-Mobile's average upload speed of 11.59 Mbps topped Verizon's 8.22 Mbps. Overall, after T-Mobile and Verizon, AT&T was third (18.91 Mbps down, 6.77 Mbps up) with Sprint (15.4 Mbps down, 4,7Mbps up) finishing fourth.

The report shows that during the first half of 2016, 98% of Verizon's calls using a 4G LTE enabled phone went through the carrier's LTE network. 95% of T-Mobile's calls placed on a 4G LTE handset connected with the carrier's LTE pipeline. In the same scenario, both AT&T and Sprint had 93% of its calls go through its 4G LTE networks.

source: Speedtest



1. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

They need to add in pricing also, so we can get a clear pictures of these companies. Network and Pricing

2. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Also need to see how many are on the service at that given time. I have a feeling T-Mobile has far less on there towers allowing it to be higher. Load the towers up and see where we are at. Also coverage area is very important

4. TerryTerius unregistered

I'm not really sure what that would prove. That would give you a relevant comparison if they had a smilar customer base, but they don't. By the time they do (if that happens), who knows what the landscape will look like.

7. bambamboogy02

Posts: 842; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

The amount of resources being used on each network at the time of a test. If 200 devices were connected pusing 21Mbps for VZW, while there are 100 for Tmobile, that's a huge difference in network efficiency and stress. T-mobile has roughly half the customer base of VZW. Being able to deal a deck of cards to 4 people in 15 seconds, isn't the same as dealing it to 8 people in the same time frame.

8. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It's not, but if T-Mo had half the customer base, then that's half the connections is what to expect at any given time. It's a fair comparison.

32. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

True, but your scenario is a hypothetical one. If you were to switch from Verizon to Tmobile then you would see an improvement in network speeds. If everyone did, then Verizon would speed up and Tmobile would slow down, but only because Verizon now has 100 people VS Tmobile's 200. But it's unrealistic to expect that anytime soon. I have heard reports that by the end of the year, Tmobile would in fact, match Verizon in terms of 4G cell coverage. It's blatantly obvious someone's doing the best they can to improve their customer's user experience.

3. erikhdz36

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

Yeah they both suck..Verizon 3g. And t-mobile fake LTE...

5. TerryTerius unregistered


6. andynaija

Posts: 1264; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

And you're very foolish, thanks have a great day! :D

9. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

3g and fake LTE, and yet they're still faster than anyone else? That's pretty impressive.

10. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1582; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Got an S7 on Tmobile and a Note 5 on Verizon in MN, I travel a bit around the state and into ND. Tmobile is faster than Verizon in a few areas, and close in most, however in some areas where Verizon is faster it's by a landslide. No where have I seen Tmobile above 30mbps but Verizon has exceeded 60mbps. Also I've encountered spots where Tmobile has no coverage but Verizon does, and haven't found a single place Verizon has no service but Tmobile does. Dollar for dollar Tmobile is the better deal no doubt, but Big Red is still king, especially in large buildings, basements, and rural areas.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You've got good areas. I've never seen Verizon above 10mbps in my area, usually 8mbps or less. Don't know T-Mobile's speed here.

12. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

T-Mobil in my state is non existent unfortunately, vzn and att both are king. I too travel alot for work and as it stands T-Mobile will have to do better if they want to steal customers. With that being said I hope they do better with coverage so I can jump

15. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

What city and state do you live in? Screenshot or it didn't happen.

30. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I agree. I too have a VZW device and my daily driver is on Thursday. With T I get speeds between 8-15mbps. On VZW it's usually the same during daytime. But at nice I get sole speeds twice as fast. I never hit 60 thought. 25ish at the most. But I agree with other too. TMOBILE has roughly half the subscribers as VZW. I would expect T to be faster, not equal.

31. nnjerzy

Posts: 126; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

I get 85 down in T-Mobile LTE so I don't know what your talking about

13. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

If your LTE speeds are below 50mbps that is not LTE, its something else.

16. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Ugh. You do understand network congestion can show down the back end connection while still using a faster technology like LTE right? Sigh, I feel stupider just talking to you....

19. DigitalRules

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 09, 2016

As little as 5 mbps download can considered LTE. That is enough to stream HD video with decent ping.

14. syed_itsa

Posts: 50; Member since: Feb 05, 2015

Still in most areas of US we dont have full bar coverage. If we dont have full bars Speed is null. I am living where I tried all four but ATT and T-mobile gave me Cellspot and Microcell. Now a day We are going Wireless. If I am stuck in the middle of road with no coverage .....????--- We have WiFi all over now. So Checking email or paying bill is not a big issue. Yes for Internet / game crazy lazy it is good to have unlimited data .. For Travelers They need coverage to minimum their cost to call home or for their business

17. sachouba

Posts: 267; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

It's so sad to see such speeds for LTE in the USA. Where I live, the bandwidth I get with 3G is about 17 Mbps... And I not talking about LTE. :)

20. hurrycanger

Posts: 1771; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Yeah it's kinda sad. Four years ago I was on Tmobile 3g and my speed most of the time was 20 to 25 mbps. When I first got an LTE phone, it was fast. Most of the time around 40-70 mbps. Now I'm on LTE and the speed is just around 18-25mbps most of the time, not any better than the hspa+ I used to have. The thing I like about it though is that upload speed is freakin 30mbps. XD

18. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Where are they running these reports? Honestly everytime my friend does a speed test (even while in a moving vehicle) he gets around 60 mbps and up on Verizon. That is in southern california though..is every city out there that bad?

21. Pabliell

Posts: 186; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

In a small country in Europe, where LTE coverage suck balls I have average of 40Mbps. Good job America, good job xD

22. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Mexico lte is faster than US and were your at , Telcel Mexico Lte is 45+ average.

27. Acdc1a

Posts: 475; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

Much less ground to cover in your small European country.

23. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Tmobile problems is...all together, coverage and reliability; case and point, my friend just called me from NYC, I had to fill the gap between words. Certainly, I could not make out what the hell he was trying to say, by the way I'm in CT. By the way, those coverage maps are all full of "caca". According to Tmobile and Sprint, my house is under the best coverage possible, yet neither one works. Never mind data, I'm talking voice here. Only Verizon and AT&T offer service to this vortex/ Bermuda Triangle house of mine.

25. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

you are right about those maps, One thing they don't show is congestion

24. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

They coming for that number one spot

26. emcdonald75

Posts: 166; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

How does Sprint's calls go through its LTE network? Sprint does not have VoLTE. Am I wrong?

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