T-Mobile once again took the checkered flag as the fastest wireless carrier in America, according to Ookla.
From a download speed perspective, it wasn’t close. T-Mobile posted a media download speed of 188.96 Mbps, more than double the 91.6 Mbps from Verizon and 90.8 Mbps from AT&T, according to Ookla’s report of performance in the fourth quarter. The gap is narrower on the upload side, with T-Mobile’s 12.2 Mbps just beating Verizon’s 9.98 Mbps and AT&T’s 8.06 Mbps.
The results help explain why T-Mobile continues to lead its rivals when it comes to subscriber growth. The superior performance also speaks to the advantage that T-Mobile has when it comes to spectrum, which it has used effectively to bolster its coverage around the nation.
“In just a few short years, T-Mobile has gone from network underdog to emerging as America’s connectivity champion,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, president of technology at T-Mobile. “We still have so much more up our sleeve, and Ookla’s report starts the year off with a bang.”
T-Mobile benefits from the wealth of so-called mid-band spectrum it obtained from its acquisition of Sprint that has given it a head start when it comes to building out its 5G network. Verizon and AT&T just last year began deploying its own mid-band spectrum that it obtained through a Federal Communications Commission auction.
The result has been faster service all around. All three carriers saw speeds rise significantly from the third quarter, with those results slightly better than the second quarter.
Ookla is just one benchmark for wireless performance, and critics note that its results aren’t scientific or consistent because they rely on users running the company’s Speedtest app. Other firms like Root Metrics use methods like spot testing in areas with all three carriers at the same time.