T-Mobile and OnePlus beat AT&T and Apple to take the latest 4G LTE and 5G speed crowns in the US

T-Mobile and OnePlus beat AT&T and Apple to take the latest 4G LTE and 5G speed crowns in the US
Mere hours after RootMetrics released an in-depth new report on the US wireless industry surprisingly ranking AT&T at the top of the 5G speed charts, T-Mobile is unsurprisingly quoting fresh data compiled by Ookla that shows the "Un-carrier" beating the competition across several key aspects of the overall mobile network experience.

Before a third analytics firm inevitably comes out with yet another research paper claiming that Verizon is actually leading the 5G race based on a different methodology, it's certainly worth taking a closer look at the latest nationwide mobile speed tests.

Conducted during the first three months of the year, these are broken down by wireless service providers, smartphone manufacturers, smartphone models, chipsets, states, and major cities... with some unexpected winners awarded in a few categories.

T-Mobile wins the most titles among the nation's top three carriers

Given Magenta's market-leading efforts to spread both the low and mid-band 5G love in the past year or so, it's definitely not shocking to see the operator hold a significant advantage over Big Red and Ma Bell in terms of the time spent by customers connected to a 5G signal.

More specifically, Ookla measured how often 5G-capable Android devices actually had access to 5G service (regardless of flavor), finding that eligible T-Mo subscribers spent a healthy 65.4 percent of their time on 5G between January and March 2021, compared to just 36.2 and 31 percent for Verizon and AT&T users respectively.

But in addition to what could well be described as this report's 5G availability trophy, T-Mobile also took home the title of best-performing 5G network in the US, as well as the overall speed and consistency gold medals.

That's right, the "Un-carrier" is faster than the traditional carriers as far as both 5G and the combination of 4G LTE and 5G services are concerned, at least according to the creators of the world's most popular Internet speed-measuring tool.

The consistency title means that T-Mobile delivered minimum 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds more often than its rivals, while AT&T and Verizon did at least manage to edge out their common enemy and share the wireless network latency crown.

That's definitely an underwhelming performance from the "duopoly", with Big Red in particular scoring disappointing speed results partially explained by its use of controversial DSS technology for a "nationwide" low-band 5G rollout providing few to no benefits over 4G LTE connectivity.

The fastest mobile device in the US is not an iPhone 12 or Galaxy S21

This is probably not an entirely fair comparison, but the OnePlus 8 managed to surpass Apple's iPhone 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini, as well as Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra, in both median download and upload speeds stateside during Q1 2021.

OnePlus impressively backed up that victory by trumping Samsung and Apple, as well as LG and Google, in the manufacturer category too, but both wins come with an important asterisk.

Clearly, Apple and Samsung have a considerably larger number of phones in use in the US, including many older models and 4G LTE-only devices dragging down the brands' average speed scores.

The OnePlus 8 is also most likely used by more 5G customers than the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21 series, which are available more widely in the US, including for people less likely to have upgraded to the latest standard in cellular connectivity to date.

What are the fastest states and cities in the US?

Before dropping some names of places where speed junkies may want to relocate, it's interesting to note that overall speed champion T-Mobile was only able to take home 11 individual state trophies, compared to 30 for AT&T, and one (!!!) for Verizon and GCI (?!?).

Magenta also dominated the speed chart in 15 of the nation's 100 most populous cities, compared to a grand total of 33 such titles for AT&T, 14 for Verizon, and 37 cities where results were too close to call a single victor.

Without further ado, the District of Columbia and the great states of Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan are the nation's regional speed leaders, with St. Paul, Minnesota, Jersey City, New Jersey, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tampa, Florida, and NYC topping the charts as far as major cities go.

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