Verizon vs AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint best 2018 network tests usher a red wave
Verizon's network download speeds and coverage have been deemed "best" many times by RootMetrics, the testing company that Big Red uses to gauge the "state of the networks," and the first half of 2018 is no exception, for the 10th time in a row. 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 or driven across the US to gauge performance in and out of metropolitan areas.
Verizon took the cake in all categories this time, like speed or reliability, but even texting, which went to AT&T previously. 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 solely on the RootMetrics sampling.
T-Mobile's 61.6 Mbps in Flint, MI was the fastest median download speed recorded
T-Mobile, for instance, clocked the fastest network speed measure with 60+ Mbps in Flint, Michigan, but on average its speeds were on par with Verizon or AT&T, while with texting the situation was as follows:
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.
Still, Verizon took the metro areas award, too, for consistent speed and reliability, followed by a greatly improved T-Mobile tally, all at the expense of AT&T's performance there. Here's the RootMetrics overall ranking of all four major US carriers for the January-June period of 2018: