AT&T and Verizon proved to be the best networks for US travellers on the road in a recent study of highway performance conducted by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS).

The network benchmarking company’s report, released as more than 40 million US residents prepare to hit the highway for the Thanksgiving holiday on 23 November, indicated Sprint and T-Mobile US struggled to keep up with their rivals in terms of data and voice performance.

The results
GWS’ research showed AT&T clocked the quickest in-transit download speed of the four tier-1 US carriers with a reading of 6.9Mb/s, nearly 33 per cent faster than its closest competitor, Verizon. AT&T and Verizon tied for upload speed and data reliability, with both networks completing more than 99 per cent of data tasks initiated on the road.

T-Mobile ranked in third place on data speeds and reliability, but Sprint struggled in fourth: the operator managed to complete 85 per cent of data tasks successfully and delivered download speeds “closer to that of AT&T’s 3G network” than its rivals’ LTE networks, GWS stated.

However, Sprint came out ahead of T-Mobile in GWS’ call completion tests. T-Mobile achieved a call completion rate of 89 per cent, well behind the 97 per cent of Verizon and AT&T.

GWS also reported LTE-Advanced network features – including 256QAM, 4×4 MIMO and carrier aggregation – were notably active on US operator networks. In particular, the company indicated carrier aggregation was available nearly 31 per cent of the time on AT&T’s network and 30 per cent on Verizon’s network during highway testing.

GWS said its results were based on nearly 703,000 voice and data tests conducted on major US roadways between March and July. A total of 52,000 miles were driven during testing across the contiguous US and Alaska. Data collection and evaluation was conducted using Rohde & Schwarz Diversity Benchmarker II test equipment, Samsung Galaxy mobile devices, and GWS’s Mobistat data evaluation and reporting platform.