Mar 06 AT 8:23 AM Sean Riley 4 Comments

RootMetrics crowns Verizon top US carrier following nationwide testing


I’m usually the first to criticize Verizon’s pricing, but one thing I really can’t fault it on is its coverage. Time and again we see it come away with top honors in network quality and reliability studies, and a new national study by RootMetrics is no exception. In it, Verizon emerged victorious in four of the five categories tested.

The study was carried out over the second half of 2013 and targeted reliability, speed, call quality, data performance and text messaging. RootMetrics drove nearly 220,000 miles and tested in over 6,300 indoor locations. In the end, Verizon posted an overall score of 89.7 out of 100, while AT&T was a close second with 86.2 points. Sprint and T-Mobile were close to one another but far behind the front runners, with scores of 68.2 and 64.3, respectively.

The lone category that AT&T managed to wrest from Verizon was speed. That was by the narrowest margin of any category, though, with AT&T scoring an 88.7 compared to Verizon’s 88.5. Sprint and T-Mobile fans are not likely to be pleased with the results of this study, as text messaging and call performance were the only two categories that didn’t have them lagging by double digits. In the case of data performance, they were over 30 points behind Verizon or AT&T.

Unsurprisingly, T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to Twitter with his opinion on the results.


Those aren’t completely unfounded complaints, as T-Mobile’s network has made a number strides over the last year. Still, we’re only a couple months into 2014 and the study took place during the final 6 months of 2013, so it’s difficult to imagine that there would be a monumental shift in the results if the study had ended today. RootMetrics will be performing the study all over again during the first half of 2014, so we’ll have to check back sometime around September to see if Legere is vindicated.

If you are interested in reading more about RootMetrics’ test methods and findings, I recommend taking a look at its website. I had some fun playing around with its coverage map, which gives a much more granular view of things and, depending on how much you travel, that could be a lot more meaningful than how the carriers performed nationwide.

Via: Bloomberg

Source: RootMetrics

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • ndub21

    I recently switched to T-Mobile from AT&T and have to say I was very disappointed with their service on a recent road trip from Texas to Kentucky. I only had data service when going through MAJOR cities whereas my sister had LTE probably 90% of the drive on AT&T. I’m not surprised at the RootMetrics results because that’s what I’ve seen as well. T-Mobile has great LTE service all over Houston, but whenever I venture out I know I’ll be disappointed. When I traveled to Billings, MT recently I found out that T-Mobile has zero towers in or around that town (which is a good sized town). I had to roam on AT&T the whole time and ran out of data the first day I was there. I was not too pleased about not having data for the next week. I like T-Mobile as a company and what they’re doing to the industry which is why I’m with them. I’m also saving $$ too though which is always nice, but they have a LONG way to go to reach AT&T.

    • phor

      I experience the same with T-mo’s coverage, HOWEVER, since 99% of my time is spent inside a decent coverage area, I feel I’m getting pretty exceptional service for the measly $30 a month I’m paying them.

      Obviously if you travel a lot then maybe the extra coverage is worth paying (nearly double in most cases) more for. But for my specific use-case, I am VERY happy with T-mo.

  • Mark

    So I have a Sprint phone from my company and my girlfriend has a Sprint phone personally, same model though, I helped her sign up for, and as a joke, I put “Root Metrics” as the company name under her name when she signed up. And I swear, her phone, same model/location/time, almost always gets way data performance than mine, even a better signal. I think they prioritized her IMEI, lucky.

  • donger

    Go Tmobile!