Last month, we told you that PCMag had just kicked off the 2014 edition of its Fastest Mobile Networks project, which aims to determine exactly which U.S. carrier offers the best service. Fast-forward to today and all of the results have been tabulated, giving us a winner.
According to PCMag and Ziff Davis’s Fastest Mobile Networks 2014 project, Verizon Wireless is the top national carrier thanks to its XLTE coverage, earning a total of 90 points out of 100 on the Mobile Speed Index. Verizon averaged a download speed of 19.6Mbps and a max download speed of 84.3Mbps. Average upload speed was 9.3Mbps and max upload was 44.3Mbps.
T-Mobile came in a close second in the race, scoring 85 out of 100 points and finished with average download and upload speeds of 16.8Mbps and 9.7Mbps, respectively. Overall, T-Mobile actually ended up winning out in 15 of the 30 test cities. PCMag says that to improve its score, T-Mo needs to expand its LTE coverage into more areas to take care of the EDGE-only locals that still exist.
AT&T finished third in Fastest Mobile Networks 2014 with 73 out of 100 points, an average download speed of 11.9Mbps and an average upload speed of 6.3Mbps. The results showed that AT&T’s speeds had dropped significantly from last year’s testing, but it’s worth noting that AT&T is planning to improve its service with carrier aggregation and 2.3GHz spectrum.
Finally, Sprint finished fourth in this year’s Fastest Mobile Networks test with 49 out of 100 points. Sprint managed an average download speed of 6.8Mbps and an average upload speed of 3.3Mbps. Sprint’s tri-band Spark LTE service didn’t seem to help the carrier as much as one might’ve expected, with only 289 of 29,000 tests resulting in download speeds of more than 50Mbps.
In case you’re curious, the Fastest Mobile Networks 2014 test was conducted using the LG G2, save for one LG Vortex that was used to test Verizon’s 3G CDMA service. The phones ran Sensorly’s speed test software several times every three minutes, running upload and download tests that included loading a 1MB web page. In all, the project included around 90,000 tests in 30 different cities.
Verizon has always highlighted its network as one of its best assets, and while its plain ol’ LTE network seems to have gotten a bit congested lately, it looks like the recently-launched XLTE coverage has taken care of that issue. Overall these are pretty interesting results, and I’m betting that T-Mobile is pretty pleased to have finished in second place, especially since it launched its LTE network only a little over a year ago.
Which carrier are you currently on? Does your operator’s recent service reflect the results shown by Fastest Mobile Networks 2014?