CTIA: T-Mobile's 4G/LTE Snaps at Verizon's Heels
LAS VEGAS -- CTIA -- T-Mobile USA's 4G LTE network in Las Vegas is offering average downloads of 12.5 Mbit/s with drastically better uploads than its HSPA+ network, almost keeping pace with Verizon Wireless, according to the team at RootMetrics.
The mobile speed-watching company reports that T-Mobile has average downloads of 12.5 Mbit/s, average uploads of 7.1 Mbit/s and maximum downloads of 29 Mbit/s.
By comparison, RootMetrics found that AT&T Inc.'s LTE service achieved average downloads of 18.7 Mbit/s and a maximum observed download of 59 Mbit/s.
Verizon Wireless has average downloads of 13.9 Mbit/s and a maximum of 52.9 Mbit/s.
"T-Mobile's 12.5 Mbps LTE-only average download speed ran almost neck-and-neck with Verizon's Las Vegas LTE network," writes Patrick Linder, communications manager at RootMetrics, in a special report. "In other words, the nation’s youngest LTE network performed nearly as well as the nation's most mature LTE network in our Las Vegas average download speed tests."
T-Mobile is using LTE Release 10, the technology that will eventually be upgradable to LTE-Advanced in a 2x5MHz channel in Las Vegas. AT&T and Verizon deploy LTE in 2x10MHz channels.
One noticeable difference between T-Mobile and its larger rivals is that RootMetrics found LTE coverage of more than 60 percent in Las Vegas when testing the network. Linder describes this as a "great opening act," but notes that the more established networks of AT&T and Verizon are at, or approaching, 99 percent coverage in the Nevada city.
"In our Las Vegas tests at least, AT&T and Verizon transformed the promise of widespread LTE access into reality," writes Linder.
Julie Dey, VP of marketing at RootMetrics, says the major carriers appear to have been layering in more LTE coverage in Las Vegas. RootMetrics will be testing speeds and coverage as the CTIA show goes on.
"We have a data collector walking around the conference with a whole set of phones," she says.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile
Full disclosure: I've also been checking T-Mobile LTE speeds using the RootMetrics smartphone app. I've been seeing download speeds of just over 16 Mbit/s and uploads of over 8 Mbit/s around the Trump Towers hotel.