Open Signal: T-Mobile has the fastest U.S. LTE network

T-MobileNetworkImage

We often hear T-Mobile claiming that it has the fastest network in the U.S. And, while it’s all well and good declaring it of yourself, it’s always nice to get confirmation from a third party. Our favorite carrier regularly points to Ookla speed test results to bolster its claims, and today, Open Signal has chimed in with some research results of its own.

According to the network analysts at Open Signal, T-Mobile has the fastest LTE network in the States. With an average download speed of 9.98Mbps overall, it’s some 3.44Mbps faster than Verizon, 3.48Mbps faster than AT&T and more than double the speed of Sprint.

As an overall picture of the U.S. though it could be much be better. None of the carriers managed to fit in to the “good coverage and fast” quadrant. All managed to fit in to “good coverage and slow” (except Sprint which has poor coverage and slow speeds). To be classed as “fast” any carrier has to have an average speed of 15Mbps or more.

OSStudyLTE1-600x313

Interestingly, Open Signal also monitored how much time customers spend on 4G LTE networks across the globe. In the States, the average was 77%. T-Mobile in customers in particular spend 76% of their time on an LTE connection, similar to AT&T customer who spend 78% of their time on LTE. Verizon customers seemingly spend more time hooked to their cellular 4G network while Sprint customers like to avoid it.

OSStudyLTE2-600x415

On the global scale, US falls behind the likes of South Korea, Japan, Kuwait, Hong Kong and the Netherlands when it comes to time spend on LTE.

On a national scale, it’s hard to come up with anything better to describe T-Mobile’s dominance on the speed scale than that written by Nate Swanner of SlashGear: “…T-Mobile is absolutely schooling their competition.”

Yes. Yes they are.

Source: Open Signal

Tags: , , ,

  • Richard Roma

    I would think that speedtest by ookla is probably a more reliable source, with significantly more data.

    • Mike

      Hard to say. So many things to consider when it comes to speed. Location, weather conditions, device, etc.

    • MKashi

      If the connection is so bad that Speedtest fails while in a test cycle, I don’t think that gets reported. Same with if the test doesn’t run at all while it waits indefinitely for “Finding Server”

  • Zack Morris

    Goodluck finding a signal on T-Maybe especially in a lot of suburb areas here in the midwest states.

    • dtam

      but I’m sure the signal is great at Bayside High!

    • Screech

      It’ll get better soon, so hang on to that brick phone.

    • Mike

      Depends on where you are in the midwest. I dont live in a suburban area and still get speeds over 70 Mbps down and 17Mbps up. I live in a rural area along the WI/IL Border.

    • JB45

      for instance?

    • I didn’t stay in a suburb, but a very rural area that most people I mentioned, never knew or heard of, called Indiana, Pennsylvania. It’s very bare, they don’t even have a Tmobile store there, and if I’m not mistaken I had full 4G/LTE signal on my HTC One M7 and I got speeds of about 13-20Mbps and about 10Mbps upload.

      • ChristianMcC

        Right next to Home

    • guidomus_maximus

      Sad to be u

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      T-Maybe… Must be an AT&T shill

  • Zacamandapio

    *hear

  • eAbyss

    “We often here T-Mobile claiming that it has the fastest network in the U.S.”

    *hear*

  • TK – Indy

    Well, that should get to be 100% on LTE soon, as they are turning off everything else.

    • Joe

      There not turning anything off they are just adding LTE to all edge towers and HSPA, HSPA+ towers.

      • TK – Indy

        According to posts on another site, HSPA is going away in some areas at least.

        • Joe

          I have a hard time believing this because they still need something besides LTE on towers cuz there are still allot of phones that do not have VOLTE.

        • Mike

          If you have an LTE phone, it will only use HSPA, HSPA +, or EDGE for phone calls. VoLTE would not matter at this point. By the end of 2015 the entire network will be EDGE/LTE or HSPA/LTE.

        • Joe

          Yes that is true and I was saying that they cant get rid of HSPA, without replacing it with HSPA+, so you can make phone calls on a non VoLTE phone.

        • Mike

          Sure they can. TK was right. In areas where spectrum is tight, they will dump HSPA and use EDGE for calls so they can have a large enough LTE channel to keep it fast.

        • Joe

          I was about to say than y don’t they get rid of EDGE and use the HSPA for calls. But than I just realized that there is already EDGE on all towers. Sorry derp moment.

  • Tim O. Towers

    It seems that T-mobile has really caught on here in Orange County, Ca. A little over a year ago, I was getting 73 Mbps down at any given moment. Now, I only get about half that much very early in the morning.

    • Christian

      OC here also Laguna Beach.

      Does not really affect me still have a great coverage though

    • Android_God

      Visited OC this past December and was disappointed with the speeds I was getting all over Orange County. Thought it would be better versus Atlanta.

    • Gregg

      Same here. I get amazing speeds-like up to 85 mbps, but only around 1:00 am to 6:00am. Most other times it is barely usable. Like .15 Mbps. I’m in Garden Grove

  • eAbyss

    Unfortunately the results from T-Mobile will always be skewed towards the lower end due to throttled users (users over their 4g data limit) thanks to the FCC.

    • MKashi

      Can’t imagine too many limited plan users rocking the Opensignal app though.

      • ChristianMcC

        One could use rootmetrics without any negative impact to their data usage.

  • TEA

    I refer to our very own beloved blog: http://www.tmonews.com/2015/02/sprint-ceo-not-phased-by-t-mobiles-momentum/
    Not to toot anyone’s horn but when does Legere point his finger and laugh on twitter/instagram?

  • Christian

    Paul, where are you?

    • MKashi

      Last heard he was banned. Between that and disappearing comments, moderation has become rather draconian past few weeks. I’ve seen him active on other blogs though.

      • Mike

        I have had nothing but good conversation with Mr Paul myself, but he did call some folks some nasty things.

        • jacky

          mr paul thinks he knows about network then neville ray.

        • Hector Arteaga

          He is OK most of the time, but I also saw him get bad with some people. He was OK when he didn’t do that.

        • Fabian Cortez

          A lot of his “facts” made and make no sense at all.

          There’s a plethora of hard evidence out there to dispute his false sense of reality.

      • thepanttherlady

        Due to the multitude of complaints about him, he was put on a “time out”. I don’t think I’ve seen as many complaints regarding a poster since Robert (I forget the user name he used to use).

        With regard to “disappearing” comments, sometimes Disqus has its own temper tantrums which are out of the blogs controls. Comments frequently disappear and reappear depending on its mood. Some comments will be removed if they’re outright rude or disgusting towards another commenter. Examples:
        “Are you illiterate too? Damn, get hooked on phonics”
        “Do you not know how to read?”
        “Phuck you retards are dumb as a bowl of rocks.”

        That’s just a very small sample of what I’ve read and deleted. If your comments are respectful, regardless of your point of view, they’ll remain as far as I’m concerned. I don’t work for this site or Phone Dog so if they go in and delete something for another reason, I’m not privvy to that and will not overwrite what they’ve done.

        • Android_God

          Thanks you!!!!!

        • MKashi

          typically when you remove a comment you leave a reason why it was removed. Some were gone with no reason, and you weren’t active those days, I’m pretty sure it was phonedog then. They weren’t disrespectful, just critical of the article author and his analysis.

  • Android_God

    Looks like T-Mobile was the WINNER in terms of PAYING the most to win this award!!!!!

    • Mike

      For a company just returning to profitability, I doubt it.

      • Android_God

        Bags and bags of money and BOOM this rating was BOUGHT AND PAID FOR!!!!!

        • Mike

          So they bought their speed rating, they bought their ethics award, they bought their customer service award? I believe what T-Mobile is doing speaks for itself. They dont need to buy a thing.

        • MKashi

          I don’t think JL would pay for the ethics award.

        • Mike

          He wouldnt. He is honest. Too honest. Blunt even. Just look at what he says on Twitter.

        • Android_God

          Except when they lose and you idiots are all over this forum claiming that it was fixed, the award was bought by Verizon or ATT, yadda, yadda, yadda,

        • jacky

          when your a winner you dont need to s[end money for ratings, lol why would they spend moeny on rating they are raising capital for the upcoming 600 mhz auction. t mobile doesnt waste money like sprint.

        • Nexus Ninj0r

          by your mom

    • gmo8492

      Are you sad that they didn’t pay you the imaginary money you’re talking about?

    • Paul Garrison

      I guess you were paid to say that, but no award for you.

  • MKashi

    Since this has nothing to do with ethics like the other Ethispehere award, I’m guessing JL will be all over this soon.

  • Here in the South Texas Oil Patch,looks like they’re upgrading the Towers. Heres the odd thing. 1) T-Mobile phone = Nokia 810,No LTE.. Unlocked Nokia 820(an ATT Phone) i get LTE up to 10.5 mbps.. Bands for the 820 are LTE 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 (Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20). So how can i find out which band its connecting to? Doesnt show specific info in the “About” section. I think it’s Band 7 (2100), but i’m not sure.

    • matt

      How down south? because I live near McAllen Texas (WAY down south) and the only good carrier for coverage is Verizon ( hate to say it). At least in the rural areas.

    • What carrier are you using for each phone?The Nokia Lumia 810 is not compatible with 4G LTE, the phone doesn’t have the required hardware. It only supports the HSPA+ (3G/4G) network. The Nokia Lumia 820 is compatible with 4G LTE and has the required hardware. Try the “WinPhone Info Free” app in the windows store, it might have information about what LTE band you’re connected to. I don’t have a windows phone so I can’t test the app.

      • Att & TMobile, both are Unlocked, and the 810 gets 4g with Att,and the 820 gets 4g with T-Mobile. I’ve screen shotted it and sent a tweet to TMonews about it. Aong with the SpeedTest.Net Screen shots. Its really odd actually. The 820 gets 4G on both networks, the 810 only gets 4G on Att.

    • kgraham182

      Dial ##3282# for field test. Click on the technology that you are using GSM, WCDMA, or LTE. Check what the ARFCN (GSM 2G), UARFCN (3G WCDMA), or EARFCN (LTE 4G) number is, this is the Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number your phone is connected to. Reference a E/U/ARFCN chart to verify the band and frequency .

      I’m connected to LTE, my EARFCN # is 2325. Which means my phone is on Band 4 at the 1747.5 Mhz uplink and 2147.5 Mhz downlink frequency.

      Here’s a Frequency Calculator to tell you which band and channel is connected on. http://www.cellmapper.net/arfcn

  • Rob H.

    No surprise to see Sprint taking up the rear again for LTE speeds. And I don’t even know why cricket in on there.

    • ChristianMcC

      I would say cricket is still a major carrier, even though they are part of At&t, as they are majorly throttled compared to At&t customers and there are still a few people on cricket’s CDMA network.

  • Bradley Karas

    I’m in my hometown where last year they only had edge and now the entire area has been refarmed for LTE under band 2. Speeds aren’t like wideband in Tampa but I get about 15 down and 9 up under 5 mhz band 2, great VoLTE coverage and no gaps. I’m happy

    • ChristianMcC

      What device are you using?

      • Bradley Karas

        Note 4

        • Jay Holm

          I’m getting the S6 next month and the display is being compared to the Note 4, can you tell me, in your own experience how good the display is on the Note 4?

        • J.J.

          Best screen currently on the market, verified by eyes and as tested by scientist

        • Jay Holm

          People love talking crap about Samsung, but the Super AMOLED display is what keeps me as a customer!

        • J.J.

          yea i own a few phones with 1080p lcd displays and they just are not even in the same league as my note 4

        • Bradley Karas

          I love this phone…I used to buy the S series but I’m sticking with the Note going forward. Display is great, camera rocks, great phone

    • Naruto44

      I live in Tampa and is wired when I can get over 10Mbps

      • Bradley Karas

        Really? Wideband in Tampa I get 40-50 down and 15-20 up

        • Naruto44

          Not where I live

        • Bradley Karas

          Bummer man. My girl lives in St Pete, I live in Carrollwood, been downtown and all over Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Manatee. Orlando is even better…maybe you need a new phone

        • Naruto44

          I have a Nexus 6

        • Bradley Karas

          I see what the issue is…your phone doesn’t have band 12 or support VoLTE right now but you will soon

        • Naruto44

          That doesn’t matter for the high speed B12 is more slow speed because is just 5×5 and VoLTE is just voice, so I don’t what is your point

        • Bradley Karas

          My point is your phone may not be optimized to use wideband. Either that or you’re just full of crap cause I’ve used this phone all over Tampa Bay and my speeds are fantastic

        • Naruto44

          The stupid thing I ever heard!!!

        • Naruto44

          You stupided!!!

        • Bradley Karas

          Get it together dummy!

  • tmobile

    does at&t throttle their go phone plan like cricket

    • ChristianMcC

      Undoubtedly.

      • Unless you’re on their new unlimited plan. Of course, AT&T can’t throttle that unless they want to get their butts whipped by the FTC and FCC again.

      • Guest

        No, they don’t throttle speeds unless you go over. You get full speeds otherwise, unlike Cricket.

  • Don’tgetit

    I get that fast without LTE on my Galaxy S3. So I don’t get it. Isn’t LTE supposed to be much faster than 9-10mbps? I have one of the early s3’s that does not get LTE. I was thinking about upgrading to a Note 4 or S6 and now I’m thinking why? Could someone please explain it to me? BTW, I get up to 15mbps or so and at a minimum 7 or 8.

    • Your phone is using the HSPA+ 21 or the HSPA+ 42 Network. Both are technically “3G” networks but because they are theoretically capable of 10+mbps, T-Mobile disguises it as “4G”. “4G LTE” is faster than both HSPA+ 21 and 42, however because more customers are using phones that are using the 4G LTE network, the speeds will be slower. That is why the average 4G LTE speed for T-Mobile is in the 9mbps range. Since more people are upgrading their phones that are capable of using the 4G LTE network, it relieves congestion on the HSPA+ network so it may run faster at certain times. Depending on the location and network congestion, T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network can reach 20-50+mbps.

      • Don’tgetit

        My 4G always is at least 9mbps and sometimes as high as 18 or so. I am a little concerned by what you say that perhaps I should stick with 4G rather than LTE. It looks like everything is getting too crowded.

        • eAbyss

          Don’t listen to that guy. LTE will be faster than HSPA+ except in some areas where the LTE signal is weak but the HSPA+ signal is strong. If you’re getting these speeds on HSPA+ then the LTE in your area will most likely be much faster.

          Another thing to consider is that T-Mobile’s refarming spectrum from older, less efficient, technologies (everything but LTE) to LTE as they become less congested. This means you may see your HSPA+ speeds drop instead of rise as people use it less.

        • Did I say LTE was slower than HSPA+? I meant it only when the LTE network is congested or doesn’t have a strong signal. He wanted to know why the LTE speeds in the article were “9-1pMbps”. where as his HSPA+ phone was getting about the same speeds. Obviously LTE is much much faster than HSPA+.

        • While that may be true, but T-Mobile is rapidly adding LTE in areas that currently have only 2G coverage, so it would be better to upgrade to an LTE compatible phone, and if the LTE speeds are slow where you’re located, you can always go into the phone settings and set it so it will connect to the 4G HSPA network instead if those speeds are faster. Having an LTE phone will be helpful, because you’ll never know if you end up in an area that has only 2G and LTE coverage, and your current phone would be useless, because it can’t find the 4G HSPA signal, and would instead fall back and use the 2G network, which is painfully slow.

  • maty

    Only thing left is coverage, after that take over the world with great internet speeds and even greater reception.

  • KOLIO

    Speeds are fine in my area,except during “Prime Time”, 6-11P.M., during which can crawl to Edge speeds.
    Thinking about trying out Crickets’ throttled LTE for a month. If solid, the 8mbps is plenty fast for me.

    • kevev

      In San Antonio T-Mobile is slower than sprint. GPRS speeds. They are way behind customer growth. We need more backhaul!

  • Jay J. Blanco

    awesome. My speeds are average though. 4 to 8 mbps.

  • My speeds were blazing fast on one bar of LTE in Burnettown, S.C. on Saturday. ONE bar!

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Here in Columbia data speeds are slower due to more customers. But it’s still workable More customers on 3G here then 4G anyways so LTE is stable

  • Cam Fas

    Get 65 to 70 in certain locations in Las Vegas

  • Trevnerdio

    10mbps…I honestly don’t believe I’ve ever seen a T-Mobile LTE connection that slow. I might have gotten 6 maybe once, but otherwise it’s always 15+, usually hovering around 35.

    • kgraham182

      Those speeds are believable. Here’s some speedtest results, I had today here in Miami.
      D: 8.46 U: 7.44
      D: 22.22 U: 7.44
      D: 4.81 U: 7.83
      D: 8.20 U: 7.75
      D: 26.07 U: 7.60
      D: 27.83 U: 1.98
      D: 8.07 U: 7.60
      D: 0.00 U: 16.18
      D: 0.56 U: 16.68
      D: 48.03 U: 7.08

      The 2 lowest speed test were taken near Carol City HS. If Cam allowed screenshots, happily show my speed results. I used to get 60+ regularly, but people are flocking to the data strong network. Speeds can’t stay high forever.

      • Trevnerdio

        Damn…here are 5 of my random results from the last 2 weeks.

        D: 30.76 U: 15.72
        D: 34.41 U: 39.74
        D: 35.85 U: 6.87
        D: 30.29 U: 39.77
        D: 31.68 U: 17.31

        Panama City, Florida area. Perks of being a smaller city haha

        • Trevnerdio

          My fastest ever result is 75.90 here in Panama City Beach…but now SPRANNGG BREAKK is in full swing.
          0.47mbps. On full bars of LTE.

        • kgraham182

          Tell me about it, I want to South Beach on Wednesday speedtests all end in error the spring break crowd is in full effect. Using T-Mobile in a hotel building is a no go as well. I don’t need fast speeds I just need it to work and it does for the most part.

  • Moltenfyre

    i have metropcs which is tmobile owned and the fastest i can get in my area is normally under 3mbps, and on tmobile max was 5mbps =(

    EDIT:both devices were samsung, and both on LTE

    • Guest

      I got 60mbps down and 23 up. In Jersey City on metropcs

      • Moltenfyre

        IM JEALOUS!!

    • ChristianMcC

      Where do you live?

  • Joey

    I’ve gotten 60.50 down and 10.00 upload here in Chicago :)…

  • 412

    I got 60mbps down and 23 up. In NYC on metropcs

  • xealo

    Oh it’s fast alright. I just ran a few speedtests here in Meridian, ID. Got 70+ Mbps download every single time.

    • Ryan

      It’s great in Meridian and Boise. However once you leave the area its a different story. I live in Nampa and the call as well as data coverage is ridiculous.

      • Alex Rubio

        I have to disagree with you. My wifes sister had her b-day and lives there and she (wifes sister family) has att. We have tmobile and we had better coverage then them.

  • Antoine D Chandler

    I just drove from joliet,IL to southern Mississippi. My wife note edge on tmobile was on edge 80% of the time. I have a note edge also for tmo but got it unlocked so I could try out cricket for the road trip. I had 4glte 99% of the time and the other 1% was 4g. Streams slingbox and HBO just fine even with the speed caps

    • Mike

      Cricket uses AT&T towers if Cricket somehow offered unlimited LTE in the very near future T-Mobile could be in trouble. I hope T-Mobile can work a deal out with Dish to use there spectrum though I love T-Mobile service but if you travel out of town often T-Mobile becomes a headache.

      • Mark

        I just got Cricket on my 4th Tmo unlocked phone 20gigs unlimited calls sms $ 50 after tax and is a winner D: 12.20 U: 20.75 downtown Dallas Tmo is 4.5 7.8 :/

        • Mike

          I would give cricket a shot but there are data caps. Yeah I know there’s 20gb of LTE data for $60 but I stream music daily and watch a few movies and not having to worry about how much GB I have left is a plus.

        • Mark

          20 gigs for $50 after tax with auto draft no contract I’m using just for tethering becose mycrapy location and they confirmed no data caps will see :))

        • Pitahson

          thats interesting. so because of your location, you don’t have any of the data cap restrictions

        • Mark

          haed to believe they set data cap base on location ?

        • Jo rey

          I thought that cricket max lte down was 8 mbps, but congestion is getting bad in social. The max I’m seeing is approx 8 Mbps and the highest I ever saw was 70 near Disneyland.

  • Mike

    Detroit 50-70 mbps and in Toledo area 15-25 mbps

  • wilfredo

    Where i live (Springfield MA) there been poor data speeds due to some tower congestion (0.4 mbps download) but some parts in Springfield i be getting 72 mbps download … hope it gets fixed soon so its over 72 mbps download everywere here in Springfield

  • Guest

    I started working at home, by doing basic jobs which only require desktop or laptop computer and internet connection and I am happier than ever… Six months have passed since i started this and i had profit so far total of 36,000 dollars… Basicly i make about $80 every hour and work for three to four hours on daily basis.Best part to whole this thing is that you can manage time when you work and for how long as you like and the payments are weekly.—>

  • Pitahson

    totally off topic: I want to get the T-mobile S6/s6 edge when it drops. Went to a tmobile store and they said they wont sell one out right to me. I have a friend with tmobile so I can ask him for the favor. How do I go about getting the s6 under a friends account? I’ll pay for everything but he has his note 4 on jump. Will that be an issue?

    • Pitahson

      ps. I use cricket and solavei so I need a phone that supports all tmobile and at&t bands and only the t-mobile variant of the galaxies seem to have this support.

    • This guy

      He just has to be there and if he has enough EIP available you can add it to his account and break it down that way. Or you can pay full price then and just tie it to his number, he still has to be there with you though