RootMetrics results show huge T-Mobile speed jump, but still behind Verizon/AT&T in Dallas, TX

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Dallas, Texas has been something of a popular talking point among T-Mobile watchers over the past couple of months. It’s one of the first places in the States to show signs of the faster 20+20 LTE network lighting up. RootMetrics has published its most recent results from the area, and it’s generally good news.

Since the test in March earlier this year, T-Mobile’s average speed has increased dramatically. Downloads have gone up from 8.0Mbps to 15.7Mbps and uploads are up to 7.6Mbps from 1.8Mbps.  In real life use, that’s seen an average email download drop from 6.6 seconds to just 2.8 seconds. And, with some users reporting speeds over 70Mbps on Category 4 devices, that’s almost certain to go up further between now and the next set of reports.


With that said, first place in the combined RootScore aware went to AT&T. Combining network reliability and speed gave “Big Blue” a points score of 98.6 out of 100. Verizon finished 2nd with 96.7, with Tmo only a few points behind in 3rd, with 93.7.


One thing that this test has made absolutely clear is something we already know. T-Mobile needs to improve the consistency of its coverage, and expand it to cover more areas. Tmo performed fantastically well in the data speed tests, but didn’t fare so well in the voice call test. It finished in 4th place behind Sprint, and was the only one to have over 1% of calls fail. AT&T and Verizon had 0.2% and 0.3% failures respectively.

Of course, this is only one area in the States – albeit a fairly large one – and it is showing major signs of improvement over the past 6 months. T-Mobile may have some way to go before it matches the big two, but if the Dallas results are anything to go by, it won’t be long before it gets there.

Via: Rootmetrics

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  • Paul

    I’m not sure where these were taken.
    I’ve had a speed test before with an AT&T iPhone and got consistent faster speeds then they did. It also depends on the traffic at that time of day.
    Regardless, Sprint looks sad.

    • fsured

      I ask this as an honest question and not to start a flame war. With the money Softbank poured into Sprint and their current push to fix their networks fragmented signals, does anyone think they could actual bounce back and put a hurting on T-Mobile with regards to their respective network abilities?

      I was under the impression they have far more spectrum than T-Mobile but it was split up with the Nextel network, the WiMax network, and their own 3g network. They are going through the process T-Mobile did with re farming the signal to make HSPA+ better and open up room for LTE. T-Mobile holds an advantage over them now but I’d be worried over the monster Sprint could become. Look at the beast our magenta evolved into when everyone considered it done.

      • kalel33

        Sprint could do some damage if their fix their network.

      • donnybee

        That’s a good point. I guess the takeaway is that T-Mobile can’t let off the gas. Keep improving brand image, but have all the guns to back it up. Make sure you have a plan for all the 2G out there that needs to desperately shrink and increase the range of your LTE networks. Open up Wi-Fi calling on as many handsets as possible. Put more value in the GSM architecture for everyday consumers. I would love to see another layout such as 2013 with different phases to look forward to throughout the year.

      • Alex Zapata

        Not just more spectrum than TMO, but more than Verizon, AT&T, and TMO combined last I checked.

      • SouthernBlackNerd

        I do. TMUS is doing an amazing job, but Sprint has the spectrum portfolio to make every carrier( even ATT/Vz) tremble. They have lower band spectrum( it is only 14Mhz, but that is still enough for one 5×5 and one voice channel) plus a ton of higher band spectrum( In their lab tests, they got speeds of 1.3Gbps. Also I just read that they were mentioning speeds of 130+Mbps real world once spark is done)

        I do not even think that would be the major problem. IMO, the major problem that Sprint is going to cause is that TMUS has said they planned to wait for 600Mhz before building LTE to their 2G network, but the 600Mhz has been pushed back into 2015. Sprint has stated they will be 100% complete with their LTE network on PCS covering their entire network by middle of next year. And Sprint has lower band spectrum, which would put their network on par with T/Vz in terms of building penetration.

    • pips78

      I’m not trying to be a jerk but unless i’m reading your comment wrong, or missing the sarcasm, it took place in Dallas. It’s on each chart, in the article and in the headline. Did you mean where EXACTLY in Dallas? Like the address or something? >.>

      • Paul

        I’m not reading it as being a jerk. I mean what part of Dallas, a general area. South Dallas? East, West, North, etc.? I’m in North Dallas and I get pretty damn good speeds.

  • MacRat

    The 2nd graph is a bit misleading as it starts at 80 instead of 0.

    Makes the speed gap look very large when it is really only a small percentage.

    • Chris

      How is it misleading? It’s still the same graph for their RootScore. The graph is just zoomed in. They would still be graph at the same point even if it starts at 0…

      • Samuel

        It is misleading in the visual way. The gap LOOKS way bigger then if the graphs were from 0-100. It will affect most brains, and that is why they say that you can lie a lot with statistics.

        • pips78

          Misleading is that ridiculous VZW commercial with the LTE maps of the U.S.. Verizon pretty much painted in the entire map. Above is misleading if you lack basic math skills. It clearly says T-mobile needs to improve in the article. So the issue here is people not readin articles and looking at the pretty colors. Not the graph above

        • kalel33

          They painted pretty much the entire map because they actually do have LTE coverage in all those areas. Not misleading at all.

    • kev2684

      they are labeled properly. how is that misleading?

  • Reedacus25

    Also worth pointing out, these tests were collected over the term of October 25 through November 1. So any type of performance increases gained from 20 MHz wide LTE channels would likely not show up here, which is a shame. What we are seeing here is performance of 10 MHz wide channels averaged together. Still impressive nonetheless.

  • Adrayven

    Sprint is w/o question dragging compared to others.. will be interesting to see how there new initiative and cash flow will impact this over next year.. To early to see it now..

    • Andrew Finkenbinder

      Too bad T-Mobile couldn’t absorb Sprint, with Softbank’s financial backing. The network transition would be a headache, but that sure would be a lot of spectrum.

  • Jeohns

    Cam – Your title is a bit off, “T-Mobile shows huge data speed increase but still behind ATT/VZW…… Based on the chart T-mobile clearly was ahead of VZW….. How is that still behind VZW?

    • kalel33

      If he would have added ” in overall network scores” at the end of the title then you might not be as confused.

  • galaxymaniac

    Dallas is the telecom corridor, of course T-mobile’s coverage would be strong and it makes sense for them to do it in ATT’s backyard. Having the 3rd best network in Dallas is non news, it doesn’t help when its EDGE in most places. I wonder why this is an article at all…

  • ellett

    Given that T-Mobile upload +download is greater than Verizon upload+download, how could Verizon possibly get a higher overall score, especially when download should be weighted as more important than upload?

    • Andrew Finkenbinder

      Coverage and call quality were also factored into the overall score. RTFA.

  • Spanky

    Wow…Sprint is just downright pathetic.

  • lagurl563

    i dont live in dallas tx i live in los angeles ca i had tmobile 8 years ,in LA like others have mentioned in other posts lte here tops out at about 10 mbps dwn 7 up ,i had plenty phones galaxy s4 lg g2 same speed on lte. I just switched to at&t last week my first time on another carrier my boyfriend who has verizon got mad because he tought i was gonna join him on his verizon plan lol he was very surprised when i came home with an att bag , he goes by what everyone says online he reads att sucks online he assumes its tru without ever trying it, well to make long story short i let him borrow my lg g2 from att 2 days he was impressed he noticed same thing i did att lte everywhere in LA is faster than tmobile lte 20 to 25 dwn 10 to 15 up something i never saw on tmobile , also FINALLY i get service at my job in dwtwn LA tmobile was always searching i dont hve to take the elevator to the lobby just to make a call or send a txt on att . Only thing im fearing is my bill i got there new share everything plans which are pretty crappy but oh well the brightside is i get better service indoors.

    • murdoxin

      Thank you. Do you want a cookie now? ;P

      In all seriousness though, you’re right. Indoor reception is something that Tmobile needs to seriously look at. 10mb up is plenty for me, but it is annoying when you go too far away from a populated area or in a grocery store and not getting reception. For me, it’s not worth paying around $500 dollars more a year to jump to ATT.

      • lagurl563

        Yes like u said im sure im going to pay 500 more a year thats what im fearing haha also i dont have unlimited data anymore which is not good! So i gotta be careful to not use data but like i said its all worth it for better indoors reception . When i had tmobile at work we had wifi so i could of use wifi calling but places like grocery store ,macys,walmart ,home depot etc no wifi so no wifi calling ,and att u dont need wifi calling because it works deep in the stores were tmobile didnt.

    • titan

      Oh my god. I would say I couldn’t read past the first sentence without my head exploding, but you’d never know when that sentence ended.

      • Christopher_McG

        Both of these dumb broads must be the same dumb broad

    • calichick

      im in the sameboat as u la girl i also live in los angeles left tmobile last month after being w/them 9 months they just promised faster speeds with lte but its same as there hspa 5-10 mbps now im on att enjoying 20-30 mbps , and enjoying being able to make calls in places like the mall, inside elevators ,underground parking lots , lax i work at LAX and att works much better than tmobile there

    • besweeet

      Ouch… Here in San Antonio, TX, I’ve yet to lose signal when going inside of a building, except for once deep inside an office area of an outdoor outlet mall to use the rest room. I don’t think anyone else would’ve had a signal either, though.

  • ecdy

    Just got 28.33 down/11.55 up on my Nexus 5 in downtown D.C.

  • Diver Dan

    Yea! Urban areas are lightning fast! More power to the urban areas!

    Now what is T-Mobile going to do about the pitifully slow GPRS and EDGE coverage between the urban areas? It is so bad in some places that they are not even realizing full speed GPRS or EDGE. The back haul to these cell sites must be two cups connected together with a long piece of string.

  • GinaDee

    Even as a T-Mobile fan I still admit that they need to do a better job outside of urban areas especially out in the suburbs.

    Let’s get Legere to light up 100% of their sites with LTE instead of 60%.

  • i’ve been meaning to test this out in the downtown dallas area and towards Arlington. i’ll test tonight

  • AngusMightHaveABeef

    T-Mobile – please worry a little more about call quality and overall coverage and a little less about getting 20MB/s data.

    • TechHog

      What does call quality even mean? Serious question.

      • AngusMightHaveABeef

        I probably should have worded it differently, but what I was actually talking about is calls should not drop or cut in and out.

        • TechHog

          This is only a problem in areas with bad coverage, right?

        • AngusMightHaveABeef

          I’ve experienced it in areas that supposedly have good coverage. I’ve also noticed that when I go into the grocery store down the street from where I live, where Verizon had no issues, T-Mobile drops to no bars (from 2 bars or 3 bars) and I cannot keep a call going with my wife. I don’t know if it is because their towers are too far apart or possibly the frequency of their signal. I just know it was not an issue I experienced with that evil empire phone company.

        • TechHog

          That’s interesting. I’ve only ever dropped calls a couple of times, and every time it was with an AT&T customer