US LTE speeds on the rise - Mobile World Live

US LTE speeds on the rise

19 JUL 2018

T-Mobile US clocked the top speeds in reports from two different network testing companies, which also showed overall 4G rates in the country had risen substantially in the year to end-June.

During the first half of 2018, Ookla found the mean 4G mobile download speed in the US increased by 20.4 per cent year-on-year to 27.33Mb/s. Upload speeds also ticked up slightly, increasing 1.4 per cent to 8.63Mb/s.

Those figures placed the US as the world’s number 43 in download speeds and 73 in uploads, Ookla noted.

T-Mobile posted the fastest speeds in 31 of the country’s 50 states and earned Ookla’s top speed score, a metric which incorporates both download and upload rates to rank network speed performance. The operator scored 27.86, ahead of Verizon (26.02), AT&T (22.17) and Sprint (20.38).

While T-Mobile was the fastest, Ookla said Sprint’s speeds were the most improved as the operator hoisted itself within striking distance of larger rival AT&T.

OpenSignal findings
In a separate report examining results from 16 March to 13 June 2018, OpenSignal similarly recorded an increase in operator speeds across the board, noting both T-Mobile and Verizon crossed a threshold with average download speeds above 20Mb/s.

Specifically, OpenSignal said T-Mobile’s average download speed increased 24 per cent to 21.6Mb/s relative to measurements taken between 1 April and 30 June 2017. Verizon’s figure jumped 38 per cent to 20.6 Mb/s. AT&T made the least progress, with a 17 per cent increase to 15.1Mb/s, while Sprint was again judged to have made the most headway, with speeds up 48 per cent to 14.5Mb/s.

OpenSignal said the gains are particularly notable in light of all four operators reintroducing unlimited plans in late 2016 and early 2017.

“What we’re seeing in these trends is definitive evidence of increased 4G capacity and LTE-Advanced upgrades across all four operators’ networks. Data consumption certainly isn’t going down, nor is the number of 4G users dropping, so this can only mean network improvements.”

The wireless testing company added its regional results “suggest this may only be the beginning of a larger growth spurt in speed”.


Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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