& cplSiteName &

OpenSignal: T-Mobile's LTE Is Fastest

Sarah Thomas
4/1/2014
50%
50%

T-Mobile has stolen the crown for the fastest LTE network in the US, according to new research from OpenSignal.

The latest "State of US LTE" findings from OpenSignal, which tracks cellular signal strength data from more than 100,000 users via installed Android or iPhone apps, found that T-Mobile US Inc. is "comfortably the fastest network in the US over the last three months, with average speeds of 11.5 Mbps."

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), on the other hand, fared the worst, with average speeds around 4.3 Mbit/s, making it not only the slowest operator in the US, but also one of the slowest networks worldwide.

When it comes to how long the average customer stays on LTE -- an alternative way to measure coverage because infrequent LTE use would suggest users are handed off back to 3G -- Verizon Wireless was the winner. Its average user had access to LTE 82.3% of the time for the past three months. Sprint was again the worst at 56.5%, but T-Mobile only fared slightly better, suggesting its coverage map discrepancy with Verizon is still a real issue. (See T-Mobile Repurposes 2G to Get an LTE Edge.)

The results aren't that surprising as Verizon had an early start on LTE, Sprint is still experiencing growing pains through Network Vision, and T-Mobile's LTE network might be relatively unloaded compared to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon, which have had 4G customers longer. (See Sprint Feels the Churn Burn Before Spark, T-Mobile Plays LTE Catch Up, and Verizon Completes LTE Rollout, Turns to VoLTE.)

But T-Mobile is also working hard at accelerating its LTE network, in terms of deployment timeline and speeds. The carrier spent most of last year upgrading its major markets to the zippier 2x10 MHz LTE channels. As of the end of last year, it had completed 100 markets, including 90% of the top 25 metro areas. It's now working on 20x20 MHz LTE channels, but on a more limited deployment basis. (See T-Mobile Eyes Fatter Pipes for 4G LTE .)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(14)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/2/2014 | 4:29:17 PM
Re: U.S. Second Slowest...
Ah yes, of courses. That makes sense, although I can't imagine what 4K will look like on a screen as tiny as a smartphone.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/2/2014 | 4:28:24 PM
Re: U.S. Second Slowest...
Yes, but there are different video rates: 360p, 480, 720, 1080, and in future 4k.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/2/2014 | 4:25:33 PM
Re: U.S. Second Slowest...
That's an interesting concept (more info here: http://www.ericsson.com/news/130926-app-coverage_244129227_c), but isn't video the main app that matters? If you're coverage/throuput/speed is good enough for video streaming, it's going to be sufficient for any app or service you might want to use. You might accept less for a different function, but you'll still need streaming-capable quality at any given time anywhere you go.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/2/2014 | 4:20:15 PM
Re: U.S. Second Slowest...
Yes, that's why this notion of App Coverage* is important. If I can stream 720p video, am I unhappy? Probably not.

* An Ericsson term / other phrases also available
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/2/2014 | 4:16:08 PM
Re: U.S. Second Slowest...
Good points. Coverage and average speeds at times of high traffic are much more important than theoretical peak speeds, which most people will likely never see.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/2/2014 | 4:13:14 PM
Re: U.S. Second Slowest...
Some of those networks have very few users today, and often limited coverage.

Granted Korea and Japan are both in the top division with the US, but they are very dense networks covering dense urban markets. 

Also, people get hung up on peak rate speeds. Coverage is more important, IMO.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/2/2014 | 4:10:10 PM
Re: U.S. Second Slowest...
A lot of international carriers use 2x20 MHz whereas the early US networks were 2x10 MHz, so that's part of the explanation.

With AWS and some of the other high-bands (e.g. 2.5GHz) 2x20 MHz deployments are underway. And then Carrier Aggregation is coming on top of that, which boosts peak rates further.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/2/2014 | 2:08:08 PM
Re: U.S. Second Slowest...
I'm surprised by that too. I know we're not the fastest, but second slowest? I'm sure both prepaid and lagging operators like Sprint are bringing down the average. And, operators like SK Telecom make Asia way ahead of the pack, but I don't know why we can't close the gap on all those in between.

I was also surprised that Australia is the fastest country.  
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/2/2014 | 10:50:25 AM
U.S. Second Slowest...
This is the second time in as many months I've heard OpenSignal point out that the United States is the second slowest in terms of average LTE speeds.

Is this in large part due to a lot of slower prepaid options and Sprint's sub-5 Mbps average?
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/2/2014 | 9:26:32 AM
Re: Short-lived advantages
I agree that it's a good measure. Carriers tout their geographic regions covered, but users really care about LTE in the places they need it most, so knowing how often they're able to be connected is just as valuable.

The app also tracks WiFi signal strength, which may make it more practical for users to download, but that makes sense that they'd probably have to be pretty tech savyy (or nerdy) to download it in the first place.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
Alan Bateman, Director, Agile Transformation
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
,
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Cisco Developing 'Monica' Digital Assistant
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/22/2016
Rocket Fiber Lights Up Detroit With Gigabit
Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, 8/22/2016
'Most Wanted' Kobi Comes Home
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 8/23/2016
Arista Banned From Importing Products – Cisco
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/23/2016
How the Padres Hit an IoT Home Run
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.