The days of Verizon as the unequivocal top mobile network are over.
The wireless carrier once known its superior wireless network can’t really claim that advantage anymore. According to the 2017 State of Mobile Networks report from OpenSignal, which tracks the speed and availability of the United States’ mobile carriers, T-Mobile is now just as good as Verizon.
“In no report has the clash between the two operators been so heated. Either Verizon or T-Mobile won or shared every single national award in our report,” the report said.
T-Mobile and Verizon tied as the best carriers for overall network speed, at 16.65 megabits per second on a 4G LTE connection. AT&T came next, followed by Sprint a trend throughout much of the report.
T-Mobile held the advantage last year in LTE speed, but even that category was a tie between T-Mobile and Verizon this year.
Verizon does still has an advantage in availability. Verizon customers have a 4G signal available to them 88.17 percent of the time, compared to second-place T-Mobile with 86.6 percent.
Superiority in that category is behind Verizon’s famous “can you hear me now?” campaign, but, hey, even that guy went to Sprint. T-Mobile is the closest it’s ever been to closing that gap, the report said.
Beyond the Verizon/T-Mobile rivalry, every wireless carrier upped its LTE reach. Sprint especially made big strides to catch up with the top three competitors.
To measure the success of each carrier, OpenSignal sorted through 4.6 billion measurements from 169,683 smartphone users during the fourth quarter of 2016. This report is OpenSignal’s third on mobile carriers in the United States.
And even as Verizon and T-Mobile battle it out here, the United States is still trailing behind mobile service in other parts of the world. All four major networks fell short of the global LTE download average. Carriers in Europe, East Asia and Canada are all ahead of U.S. providers, OpenSignal said.