T-Mobile cracks the 30Mbps LTE speeds barrier vs Verizon, AT&T and Sprint in Q3


T-Mobile was early in the unlimited data game, at the time when it sacrificed profit for market expansion, and the average LTE speeds of its network have been simply rising steadily, as it poured more resources into its network, plus it has fewer subscribers to put a dent on its towers. 

There were some hiccups when unlimited plans took over at Verizon, though, as it's the largest carrier with the most users to weigh on its network during congestion times. Verizon, however, reversed the dip quickly and ended last year with actually faster overall LTE speeds than it started it. What about this latest quarter, though?

Well, the latest crowd-sourced reports from the creators of the Speedtest (Ookla) come to show that average speeds have grown drastically since the first half of the year, and T-Mobile has even cracked the 30 Mbps barrier now. Verizon isn't far behind in download speeds, at 29.6 Mbps, and its record is even more impressive considering how many more subscribers it carries. 

The average network speeds of these two carriers are almost tied at the top, but AT&T isn't much farther down the totem pole, too, with 27.9 Mbps, and it has coverage that is just shy of Verizon's giant US footprint. Sprint's humble network clocked in 25 Mbps on average, but, overall, LTE speeds are no longer a problem for either of the top US carriers now, it seems. 

We'd have to open a bracket here and note that, according to Verizon, such crowdsourced testing isn't really indicative of real-world performance. It (understandably) doesn't get reports from blind spots, and Speedtest metrics tend to congregate in the cities. Verizon cites its own reports by RootMetrics which actually go and test the networks by driving around the country, but when it comes to Ookla's quarterly reports, it's usually T-Mobile that knows it will do well, and its CEO John Legere doesn't hesitate to boast each time it scores a predictable win.

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21 Comments

1. JCASS889

Posts: 630; Member since: May 18, 2018

just ran a test on t mobile, got 210 up, 56 down. not bad at all.

2. strbckboy

Posts: 21; Member since: Jul 13, 2016

My guess is that you got that backwards...210 down and 56 up.

3. BL4NKF4CE

Posts: 153; Member since: Aug 06, 2017

Why backwards? Here in Canada I get 300some up and 100some down on Bell.

4. JCASS889

Posts: 630; Member since: May 18, 2018

u are correct sir, my mistake.

5. Metalspy8

Posts: 148; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

What device?

7. JCASS889

Posts: 630; Member since: May 18, 2018

im using an s9+

6. applesnapple93

Posts: 339; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

Friend was trying to convince me tmobile gets good service now. After arriving to our destination, asks me 5 minutes in if I can setup a hotspot on my verizon phone so he can connect to it so he can text his girlfriend that he arrived. Rather have 2 less mbps everywhere then 2 more mbps in a handful of locations.

8. jaywill386

Posts: 24; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

I think I will only be impressed when TMobile has as many users on its network as Verizon or ATT. But TMobile is making a dint in the armor of the giants.

9. JMartin22

Posts: 2391; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

The question is, if T-Mobile had the same subscriber load that Verizon does, would they still be getting these speeds?

10. JCASS889

Posts: 630; Member since: May 18, 2018

does it matter? when and if they grow to that size then judge.

14. tuminatr

Posts: 1169; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Here is the thing that people need to actually read this report and understand what its saying. I could not find 3rd quarter on the net but I did find the first half of 2018 results on speedtest's website and surprisingly in the urban areas Verizon was actually faster than T-Mobile. Where t-mobile did better than Verizon was rural speed probably because they have much fewer rural subscribers.

15. tuminatr

Posts: 1169; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

11. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I got 112mbs in the BX NY on Sprint...... NOTE 9. TMOBILE may have fast speeds but my Tmobile phone doesn't work in places that my Sprint and Verizon phones work So I am dropping Tmobile.... Just saying and I can give screen shots for fanboy haters if necessary.

12. DeejayReact

Posts: 40; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Can you guys talk and use the internet at the same time yet without wifi? Not throwing shots. This is a real question.

13. tuminatr

Posts: 1169; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

who talks on their phone these days

16. andynaija

Posts: 1265; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Not yet, but VoLTE is being tested an lightly launched in some markets.

18. tuminatr

Posts: 1169; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Because they use CDMA for voice and LTE for data they actually can talk and use the internet at the same time.

21. andynaija

Posts: 1265; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Not really how it works, because both radios do not operate at the same time. CDMA is active for the call, and when the call ends it connect to LTE. With VoLTE which Sprint is finally launching after so many years, the call will go through the LTE network instead of switching to CDMA, which means that NOW they can finally talk and use data simultaneously.

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