Gather around, carrier fandom, we've got the latest Q2 metrics on speed, availability, latency and 3G fallback for the big four US networks, courtesy of the OpenSignal's communal methodology. There are some notable changes since the info that came out before unlimited plans took over
, namely that T-Mobile took all the glory for itself, while Verizon
are still making most of the money there is to make in the industry.
Our measured average speeds on Verizon and AT&T's networks have clearly dropped, almost certainly a result of new unlimited customers ramping up their data usage. Conversely, T-Mobile and Sprint's 4G and overall speeds are steadily increasing in our measurements. Those shifting speed results were one of the main reasons T-Mobile swept our six awards categories for this reporting period. Despite T-Mobile's wins, the Un-carrier and Verizon are still engaged in a very close fight in our 4G metrics in the urban battlegrounds of the U.S.
The second quarter saw the unlimited data plan offerings of the big two carriers take a toll on their network speed and availability, leaving T-Mobile ahead in all categories, albeit by a tad in some. Bear in mind that OpenSignal's data is crowdsourced, and users are mainly hailing from well-serviced areas, where T-Mobile has good coverage for the most part. The carrier beat Verizon in network availability as the testers reported a 4G signal on T-Mobile 90.9% of the time, compared to 89.8% for Verizon users. That's not a big difference, but the average speed of Verizon'd network also fell 2 Mbps to 14.9 Mbps after it introduced unlimited data plan, which is explicable, given how many more people are on Verizon compared to T-Mobile.
Verizon and AT&T still take the cake when it comes to coverage
, especially in more rural areas, but when it comes to speed and latency, T-Mobile seems to deal with its workload better. Things get even dicier when we get down to the 32 individual markets that OpenSignal issued separate reports for. There, it is now a battle only between Verizon and T-Mobile, with either one of those being on top, or both virtually tied for dominance. It seems that you can't go wrong with either, if speed and availability are the things you look for in a carrier network