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RootMetrics: T-Mobile 4G is faster than you think

A quarterly review of six U.S. carriers shows T-Mobile outperforming three, including the top-tier Sprint.

RootMetrics' T-Mobile speed graph
RootMetrics measured T-Mobile data speeds in 42 markets across the U.S. RootMetrics

NEW ORLEANS--Theoretical speeds are one thing, but the majority of smartphone owners will agree that real-life data speeds are what count.

Comprehensively charting each carriers' data network is the subject of RootMetric's quarterly report.

So far, the company scouts have systematically combed 42 urban and suburban markets to compare 3G and 4G data speeds.

Their methodology includes test calls, data downloads, and texting. Scouts record how easily they could get onto the network and perform tasks, and then run diagnostic speed tests through RootMetrics' automated software. They never use jailbroken devices.

On the LTE front, RootMetrics found that AT&T was often faster than Verizon, but Verizon topped the charts of all the carriers in terms of consistency.

The report also found that T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 network only trailed AT&T's 4G network by a small margin.

From the report:

Consider that while AT&T exceeded Upper Threshold in 18 markets, T-Mobile did so in 13 markets. This threshold was never surpassed by the remaining carriers (Cricket, MetroPCS, and Sprint).

RootMetrics' speed tests serve as an important reminder that when it comes to network strength, a carrier's fastest possible connection doesn't paint a clear picture of overall performance.

Also, Sprint's 4G LTE network had better pack some punch.

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