Verizon scoops up the best US carrier network title, followed by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile

Verizon scoops up the best US carrier network title, followed by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile
Verizon's speed and coverage have been deemed "best" for a record ninth time in a row by RootMetrics, the testing company that Big Red uses to gauge the "state of the networks." Another probe, this time a customer survey by J.D. Power, reached the same conclusion a little while before that, too.

RootMetrics is a network testing subsidiary of IHS, the big research shop, and they conduct millions of measurement points on off-the-shelf carrier smartphones, with hundreds of thousands of miles walked and driven across the US to gauge performance in and out of metropolitan areas.

For the second half of last year, Verizon took the cake in almost all categories, like speed or reliability, save for texting, which went for AT&T. The kicker, however, is that in nearly all of the brackets, the difference between the carriers - Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile - can't be considered huge by any means, or one that would preclude you from getting a phone from any of these carriers based on the RootMetrics sampling.

When it comes to coverage, though - well, that's a totally different story, but if you intend to hang downtown only, it seems that any of them would do the trick, while the occasional highway or boondocks travel may leave you wishing you were with the top two. Here's the RootMetrics overall ranking of all four major US carriers:

Verizon scoops up the best US carrier network title, followed by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile

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25 Comments

1. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

VZW is the best without a doubt, but T-Mobile works great wherever I need it. Hard to justify the additional cost.

2. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

not much of a difference in cost these days

3. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I pay $230 and change for 3 smartphones, a feature phone and a tablet. Maybe they've some recent changes that I'm not aware of but the last time I checked the website it wasn't even close. But I'll check again.

4. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

4 lines unlimited everything is $200 + $20 to add a tablet =$220 +tax I would estimate the tax to be $25 so $230 at t-mobile vs $245 at Verizon is not much of a difference

10. applesnapple93

Posts: 294; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

I pay $230 after tax for 5 smartphones, unlimited data verizon

19. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Got it and because hotspot is included you could use your tablet in WIFI mode tethering off your cell phone and save the $20 a month making the Verizon plan cheaper. Say $225 including taxes. Like i said not much of a difference these days.

6. torr310

Posts: 1619; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

On T-Mobile, I paid $140 (no additional taxes and fees) for 4 lines with unlimited data with data cap around 32GB/month. That's a big difference!

17. andynaija

Posts: 1247; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

T-Mobile doesn't have data caps, unless you're on an older plan...

9. rebretz

Posts: 103; Member since: Dec 26, 2011

I think it depends on when you signed up. I was paying around $150 for two smartphones with Verizon on the grandfathered unlimited plan. I switched to T-Mobile last year and I have 3 smartphones, unlimited data on all, no restrictions, plus tethering and I only pay $100 a month.

11. Acdc1a

Posts: 465; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

I'm locked in at $150 all in for 4 voice lines and 2 tablets. I can't come close anywhere else.

16. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I was comparing whats currently available, but the Verizon go unlimited is $160 + tax and that 4 unlimited smartphone lines and unlimited wifi hotspot for your tablet or whatever included with each line

5. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

AT&T has always worked best for me. T-Mobile has always been the weakest, especially indoors.

7. drazwy

Posts: 347; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

I moved out to a Rural area and had to switch to Verizon away from Tmobile, but Verizon sucks too. Don't be fooled by their full red map. It's a joke. I'm anxiously awaiting my V30+ from Tmobile today as they turned up 600Mhz in my area. We'll see how that goes.

8. bambamboogy02

Posts: 832; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

You usage will vary. Especially since you are out in a rural area. Can't bash them nationwide based on your single location.Obviously they were better than the others when you, as you put it, "had to switch to Verizon". This is comparing nationwide, across all metrics. It's not news that VZW is top again, for the 9th time. You one person can say what you want, but the millions of data results say other wise...

18. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Just curious what city & state?

12. smileogeo1013

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 07, 2018

I have 4 smartphones lines and 1 wearable line all for $170 a month, tax included, unlimited everything and Netflix on T-Mobile

20. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

So they are very close Verizon go unlimited is $160 + a wearable is $10 = $170. However with tax included the VZW plan is an estimated $187 still not much of a difference.

21. ShadowHammer

Posts: 197; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

I find it a little humorous that your earlier posts claimed $200+ for 4 lines of unlimited with Verizon and T-Mobile, but after you apparently looked the plans up, you changed your numbers to what is actually available. Don't get me wrong, your premise that the two companies offer similarly priced plans is still correct, but it still looks funny while reading through. Also, in an earlier post you said that Verizon came with hotspot, so you could save $20 by not adding on a tablet plan. The thing is, so does T-Mobile, so that point is moot.

24. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I understand what your saying here is why I mentioned 2 price points Verizon offers a $160 for 4 lines called go unlimited and a $200 for 4 lines called beyond unlimited both include a unlimited hotspot. T-mobile is currently $160 per month for 4 lines without a hotspot add $10 per line for a hotspot so thats $200 for 4 lines with a hotspot.. Both companies tablets are $20 and wearables are $10. So I agree with you the price difference comes down to the fact that with Verizon you pay tax with t-mobile you don't

13. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2118; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

I think the real value is with Xfinity Mobile...They represent the best value as they are essentially a piggyback of Verizon's network.

14. Jrod99

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Never again will I do business with them and discourage my family from doing so to.

15. Tipus

Posts: 785; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Might be the best network, but for sure has worst customer service. Had to switch to another carrier because of those morons.

22. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

Ive had T-Mobile for a couple of years and I like what they're doing. I would like to see them have a more consistent way of billing customers, but to have video and music streaming apps not count against your data is a big plus for me

23. jonathanfiuwx

Posts: 178; Member since: Mar 10, 2017

none of you can beat my SERO-P plan

25. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Wow thats a blast from the past, $50 for 500min unlimited text and unlimited data is a good deal. And i remembering that calls to mobile phones on any carrier don't count against the included 500 min

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