US 4G wireless networks continued to show overall improvement even as 5G's expansion continues to loom over the industry. In new industry rankings from wireless industry trackers IHS Markit's RootMetrics and OpenSignal, Verizon continues to be praised for its robust nationwide 4G network while AT&T was once again found to have greatly improved its speed.
The new rankings come a week after Speedtest.net owner Ookla.
There were some discrepancies between the RootMetrics and Opensignal reports, which run millions of tests evaluating the carriers on national and regional levels. Whereas T-Mobile was praised for its speed and 4G availability by OpenSignal during its second-quarter tests, the nation's third-largest carrier, while fast on speeds, ranked "third or fourth in every category at the national level" that RootMetrics tested
The firm notes that some of its rankings were due to improvements by other carriers, particularly Verizon, and that the carrier continues to perform "much better in metropolitan markets than it does at state or national levels."
RootMetrics found Sprint to have passed T-Mobile and risen to third place in network reliability, though the beleaguered fourth-largest carrier was well behind its counterparts in speed. Verizon won 263 awards from RootMetrics, breaking through prior ties to grow its lead on AT&T (113 awards), T-Mobile (18) and Sprint (10).
OpenSignal saw T-Mobile win its Mobile Experience Awards for download (23.6Mbps compared to Verizon's 22.9Mbps, AT&T's 22.5Mbps and Sprint's 19.2Mbps) and upload speed experiences, which combines speeds with 4G availability. Verizon took the crown for best video experience while edging out T-Mobile to win best 4G availability. AT&T and T-Mobile tied for best latency performance amongst the four carriers.
The stronger performance comes as US wireless carriers continue to upgrade networks in preparation for 5G, giving consumers an improved experience without needing to wait for the new networks to arrive in their cities.