T-Mobile comes in a close second in Fastest Mobile Networks 2017 report


Another report on the state of US mobile networks came out today, and while T-Mobile didn’t come out on top, it came pretty darn close.

The folks at PCMag today published the 2017 edition of Fastest Mobile Networks, the annual test in which it measures the performance of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon’s networks in a number of cities across the country. For 2017, four Galaxy S8 phones were used in 30 cities as well as suburban and rural areas. The testing took place between May 1st and May 23rd, 2017.

When it comes to the overall scores, T-Mobile finished just one point behind Verizon. Looking at the different variables that form the final score, it looks like T-Mo beat out Verizon for average and maximum upload speeds, but finished slightly behind for average and maximum download speeds as well as average ping and reliability.


In its summary of T-Mobile, this year’s Fastest Mobile Networks report says that T-Mo is the number two network in the US, “no question about it.” The report adds that T-Mobile has improved dramatically in recent years, first in speed and then in coverage, and that T-Mo coverage will continue to improve thanks to its 600MHz spectrum acquisitions.

T-Mobile regularly touts that it’s network performance is on par with Verizon, so it’s good to see a real world test from a third-party party also talk up T-Mo’s network. The entire PCMag report is worth a look, and you can check it all out for yourself at the link below.

Source: PCMag

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  • zankoo koozan

    Maybe Sprint should be giving its customers a 25% discount as we only receive 75 % of the speed the other carriers customers receive

    • meh…

      And a terrible shortage of freedom for devices, because you’re on CDMA, where the rest of the world, uses GSM. While I’m a US customer myself, I picked T-Mobile because it’s a GSM carrier. If I want to travel abroad, I can change SIM cards and get some kind of service, or even roam with my T-Mobile SIM. With CDMA, you’re probably just screwed if you go into Europe.

  • samsung freud

    Those are some interesting results.
    I was in houston for a week starting on march 25th and had some results
    from 5.94/3.56 to 34.03/8.64
    Austin in april was pretty much the same.
    This was on a zte axon 7.

    • bkat11

      ZTE Axon 7 doesn’t have MIMO, 256 QAM and sports the Snapdragon 820 with the older modem…all in all its apples to oranges as far as connectivity

  • Raiterio Patterson

    Hey Marcelo Claure, who’s ghetto now?

    • Tony Chen

      hahahah o shit why does t mobile need sprint again? lol

    • Tony Chen

      heck if you switch to sprint now youll get one year of sprint service lol. sprint is getting desperate

  • gmo8492

    Jeez, Sprint’s network management is terrible.

  • vinnyjr

    Live in suburb of Boston, T-MOBILE is by far the much faster Network. Not even close.

  • meh…

    Shows how much improved a network T-Mobile has become. It’s great to see a network like T-Mobile improve that much and actually disrupt the world of mobile telecommunications in such a way to get rid of those horrible fees, contracts, etc, in addition to the fact that they’re a GSM carrier. No CDMA bullshit for this guy!

  • GoodFriend

    Been with T-Mobile for years. Great service and reception. Would never change. Had tried others and they can kiss my ass. There customer service was awful.

  • Paul Holstein

    Because I travel the US extensively in an RV, I’ve got all three for my family. Verizon for my wife, T-mobile for my daughter and AT&T for myself. For me, speed is a secondary issue. The primary issue is coverage. In that regard, my experience is that T-mobile has a long, long way to go. They’ve recently purchased spectrum that will help them tremendously, but it won’t be fully online for a couple of years.

    In terms of coverage, I’d put it at Verizon, AT&T a close second and T-Mobile a distant third.

    • bkat11

      True story! But it depends on where you are traveling…

      • Paul Holstein

        Me mostly stay in campgrounds far from towns and heavily populated areas.

    • dtam

      you’d be better off having a family plan tbh. just get a prepaid sim if you’re that worried about not getting coverage somewhere.

      • Paul Holstein

        Yes, the family plan would certainly be more affordable, but I wouldn’t get it with T-Mobile. Their service is notably inferior in or around our national parks out west. We mostly stay at campgrounds and they tend not to be in highly populated areas where T-Mobile serves.

        The problem with pre-paid sim chips is that you end up with a different phone number than your personal phone number. It’s important for me to be able to be contacted while on the road.

        I will say this, however. I love, T-Mobile’s data rates and policies on unlimited data and I really appreciate their international calling features. We are currently in Europe for a couple of months and it’s awesome not worrying about international calling charges. I love T-Mobile. They are the company to watch.

        • dtam

          I was suggesting a family plan with the service that is best for your areas. Prepaid could also work with call forwarding. Just some things to consider.

        • Paul Holstein

          Those are good suggestions. I should probably learn more about forwarding the number so that it is seamless for my contacts.

  • rocks911

    Coverage is the only thing that matters to me. I dont know how T-Mobile is these days but a number of years ago when I abandoned them they had pretty crappy coverage. I went skiing with friends and the whole trip I had to borrow their phones. I quit T-Mobile the day I got back from the trip. Is it any better now?

    • Dylan Wentworth

      As of now, June 2017, It is a lot better however there are still entire states without native coverage where you would be roaming on another network or have no signal. In my findings though, T-mobile coverage is better for the places I go most often in rural mountainous areas than Verizon and I have devices on both networks to compare. More often than not, I have a usable (if not barely usable) tmo signal even if I have to stand on the roof of my truck to make a garbled call where verizon I get nothing.
      I used to see a lot more roaming and edge/2g is gone. I haven’t see that in a while.
      I don’t have a device on AT&T but typically when there is an AT&T signal but not roaming agreement, it’ll say “Emergency calls only” so I’m pretty sure that most places there is no TMO service, there isn’t any service. Mountainous areas are always going to be iffy.

      • Tmobile covers 49 out of 50 states go look on their maps. Maybe your stating opinions……

        • Dylan Wentworth

          I looked at their maps.
          Perhaps you just need to ZOOM IN

        • Maybe perhaps you need to zoom in. I’m speaking facts

        • Dylan Wentworth

          Look at the desktop version of the website and coverage map.
          Check out Wyoming and West Virginia to name but two. click on the state and it will say “Partner”.
          That means roaming. That also means no LTE and sometimes no tethering.
          Also look closely at basically any state in the west or in Virginia on the east coast. They are mostly white and not shaded in magenta. That means no coverage at all not even roaming.

        • Acdc1a

          WV has native coverage. Check out Huntington. You’ve just lost all credibility.

        • Dylan Wentworth

          That’s 0.0025% of the state.
          So much for your credibility!

        • Acdc1a

          You said no native coverage, not me. I was just there…and the AT&T roaming was sufficient in Charleston.

        • You too are staing tmobike has absolutely no coverage in some states which is a lie they have coverage in 49 out of 50 states meaning native coverage not partner coverage I know how read and write etc just like you so don’t play like I can’t read fool

        • Dylan Wentworth

          Coverage but not very much coverage perhaps.

        • Oh now you own up to it. Check mate

        • bk_89

          T-Mobile does have coverage in the Panhandles, Williamson, Huntngton, Elkins, and an area on I-64. even on sensorly it shows LTE coverage in Princeton and on I-77. plus I’ve seen a few new antenna arrays that was installed about 11 miles NW of I-64 in the month or so.

        • I have 20/20 vision but maybe you need to call comission for the blind because your stating lies.

    • Ally Perez Castillo

      That’s weird, I had full bars on top of a mountain in Brighton, UT. With T-Mobile. I was able to text my mom pictures right away.

      • Dylan Wentworth

        Mountain tops are usually good places to get a signal. It’s when you’re not on top of the mountain that’s the problem or if you’re boxed in by other mountains.

  • Gracie

    Speed, schmeed! Coverage, coverage, coverage! Verizon’s got it, T-Mobile doesn’t, but they do seem to be improving. Traveled in Colorado, they cover most of the state at dial up rates, you can make a phone call, but that is all.

    • Seth Rogers

      Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been with TMobile for 3 years now, and I drop 10x more calls then I ever did with Verizon.

    • gmo8492

      I have coverage with T-Mobile, Verizon can go kick rocks for all I care.

  • Robert Wilkens

    For those talking coverage.. I stuck with tmobile last 10 years or so.. Along I-95 NY to FL used to have a lot of either dead zones or 2g/3g/no-data zones…Now it’s mostly full 4g LTE coverage all the way from NY to FL when we drive down.. Definitely better tmobile coverage in the last year or two.

    • bkat11

      Agreed…and they are damn close to covering all of FL…I used to travel 95 up and down now its full wideband LTE…turnpike used to be horrible now its full 3xCA. Tampa is leaps and bounds above the rest of the state where I live

  • F4LL0U7

    My personal phone is T-Mobile and my work phone is Verizon. I carry both with me on a regular basis, and I’m always surprised to see how much faster my T-Mobile phone is than the Verizon phone, and the majority of time I have more bars on T-Mobile as well. Maybe it’s just where I live (southeastern PA), but when I travel I see similar results as well.

    • Jason Caprio

      From my observations, T-Mobile and AT&T will show more bars for a lesser signal than Verizon. Using apps that show the LTE RSRP strength in dBm. T-Mobile will show full bars at -100dBm or better, Verizon at -80dBm or better. When you have full bars on Verizon, you have a STRONG signal. Verizon is still usable on 1 bar, T-Mobile is unresponsive with 1 bar.

      • F4LL0U7

        I understand that the number of bars displayed can be fudged, but in my personal experience, 2 bars of LTE on my Verizon GS7 is essentially unusable, while 1 bar of LTE on my T-Mobile Nexus 5X is still fast and responsive.

      • LAGURL22

        I am in the same boat as f4llout . guess it depends on ones area. Here in los angeles verizon ,multiple phones 1-2 bars lte no data comes tru at all and most calls fail . perfect example is downtown LA during rush hours. 2 bars verizon lte no data and when it works really slow and less than 1 mbp. T-Mobile on the other hand 1 little bar of lte and everything works fast speeds up to 10 mbps on one little lte bar. And calls work perfect at HD quality and they dont drop. at&t is also like T-Mobile here i have friends on att and it works better than verizon one bar lte on att and everything works.

      • Acdc1a

        I’ve had this conversation before, but since you brought it up again… T-Mobile stomps Verizon in S. Florida and Detroit (where I spend 90% of my time). For someone like me Verizon is advertising hype and nothing more.

        • Jason Caprio

          That is great, T-Mobile stomps the competition here and there, but not everywhere. Verizon is CONSISTENT across the entire USA. T-Mobile might be absolutely amazing in many places, and in many others, completely useless. The breaking point for me was my road trip through Vermont, Hew Hampshire, and Maine where half the time I was roaming, sometimes I had usable LTE, and other times I had no signal. T-Mobile is not for me, but for you it might be amazing, and I’m fine with that. Once the 600MHz is fully rolled out, T-Mobile will hopefully give Verizon a run for their money and everybody wins!

        • bkat11

          Don’t bother with him…it’s pointless and he doesn’t know s*** you’d be better off talking to a wall. As far as coverage T-Mobile pretty much has FL covered I live in Tampa and travel the state and they have done an excellent job expanding. I was just in Milwaukee and they have small cells all over southeast WI. When I was in Detroit it was excellent as well…overall you can’t go to many places anymore without coverage

        • Jason Caprio

          Dude, I have never seen such blind loyalty to a company in my life. You act like T-Mobile is some kind of super hero fighting the evil villain, Verizon. They are both phone companies trying to make a profit and compete with each other. Don’t think for one second they have any loyalty to you. They both do what they have to do with the resources they can obtain to hold you as a customer.

          I want you to travel around Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine with your precious T-Mobile service and you will quickly change your tune when you’re roaming on AT&T and US Cellular with a UMTS connection doing less than 64kbps. Also the few times you have LTE service, it is spotty 5×5 Band 2 1900MHz with barely any bandwidth.

          Verizon works in all those areas TODAY and has been for the last few years, T-Mobile will work there with 600MHz in maybe 2 years. See the difference?

        • bkat11

          So looking at the 700mhz map and T-mobile coverage map it looks like all of New Hampshire, Mass, most of upstate NY is covered in Band 12 as well as Band 2 and 4…yeah there’s some patches along the Canadian border with no coverage so you got me there…overspend for a 100 square mile patch along the border that very few live in or go to.

          Superhero? Verizon was killing consumers on overages, basic plans and phones with ridiculous contracts all while telling their customers they didn’t need unlimited…and making comments that they charge what they charge cause they can. T-mobile changed that…everyone in the industry knows this…consumers know it…except the ignorant. I know all this because I work in telecom and its my business to know the entire industry which includes Verizon, ATT, Sprint and T-mobile.

          Making you sound stupid never gets old.

        • Jason Caprio

          It is one thing looking at a coverage map, it is another thing to actually BE somewhere and experience beyond horrible service.

          But that’s alright, I had bad service in many areas because I am stupid.

          You also got me wrong, I give T-Mobile all the credit for making the wireless industry better and more competitive, and I assume in that aspect maybe they are a hero, but that’s just business. If they do happen to become as big as Verizon and AT&T, you will see prices increase. Between 2014 when I signed up and 2016. Unlimited went from $70/month, to $80, to $85.

          You need to get over yourself. Anyway I think this is my final post in this forum. Can’t talk any sense into T-Mobile die-hard fanboys.

        • bkat11


        •  Just Me☢

          You lied. You came back.

        • Ben Roberts

          I agree with you 100%. I switched to Verizon from T-Mobile two days ago.

          I live in Chicago and had TMO for 2 years. I definitely believed in the hype and marketing behind their network. HOWEVER I had terrible consistency issues with the network. Super fast speeds in one part of the city and unusable VoLTE in other parts. I felt like I was constantly trying to defend TMO to my friends and colleagues who were on Verizon and ATT. I would go into buildings knowing that there was a high chance my phone wouldn’t work. The network is not consistent nor reliable here in Chicago.

          I waited until Band 12 and the small cell rollout in April to see if there would be improvements. Absolutely nothing. The network is always congested and certain TMO features never really worked. VM notifications never came through, Digits was super buggy, I couldn’t make a phone call on Wacker Drive at lunchtime.

          TMO likes to announce how great their network will be in 2-3 years. Ok, thats great and all, but I need a network that works NOW. With Verizon I’ve noticed just as fast speeds as TMO, but here is the thing: it works all over the city and in buildings. I rather have a network with 15 MBps everywhere than 140 MBps in one part and .02 in other parts. Consistency and reliability is what will keep a carrier at the top of the charts, not speed.

        • Jason Caprio

          What you have described is **EXACTLY** what I was dealing with in Philadelphia, PA and Trenton, NJ. In short, stability/reliability is much more important than top speed. My girlfriend is about to jump ship off T-Mobile as well. WIth her Nexus 6P she complains to me that she is not receiving MMS messages now and then (stuck on downloading status then fail). Tells me facebook/websites do not load randomly when she’s on LTE in random locations. I told her, that’s T-Mobile for ya.

        • Ben Roberts

          The biggest offense was not being able to make phone calls. If that basic phone function doesn’t work the network is useless. VoLTE calls broke up constantly or failed around the Loop.

        • Jason Caprio

          That’s pretty bad. Checked rootmetrics for Chicaco and all 4 networks are very close, but when I checked State level for Illinois, T-Mobile fails miserably in Call Performance metric.

  • Dylan Wentworth

    I haven’t found Verizon to be better than tmobile in terms of coverage or speed but what would be really nice is an actual mobile phone with more power and an external antenna. If they’re not going to build a cell site in the middle of nowhere, fine but at least give us the tools to do more with what there is.
    The fast speeds (100mbps+ where I live) are a novelty but when I’m out and about, I’m more concerned with not having garbled and dropped calls. And I hate having to drive 20 miles out of my way to make a phone call. Not that Verizon is any better in my findings.

  • Here come the 10 million recycled whinge comments about T-Mobile coverage. So original

  • Nearmsp

    T-mobile coverage has increased, not sure about the speeds though. Because I travel a lot by road, I also keep a Verizon hotspot handy, so when I do not have T-mobile coverage in rural MN, I use Wi-Fi calling through Verizon. But I still keep T-mobile phones due to stateside international calling, free 3G data while traveling outside the US etc.

  • George Salcedo

    Love Tmobile but its still super slow in Bellflower Ca 90706

  • donnybee

    How are there still people with T-Mobile that hate it? Go to Verizon already for your 1% average speed increase.

    Also, how are there people with Sprint still? That’s the real question.

    • Dylan Wentworth

      Maybe because they’re locked in to a two year contract. Excuse me, Financing agreement.

      As for sprint, $50 a month, unlimited everything is a pretty attractive deal and includes HD streaming.

      • donnybee

        Who locked them into a financing agreement? As far as I know, only adults are allowed to enter such agreements and adults should be responsible enough to do so. Don’t owe someone money and then get mad when they want you to pay them. They don’t have to get into a finance agreement, but you and I are responsible enough to know that.

        As for Sprint, sure that sounds attractive, but only about as attractive as me saying I have junk in my garage you can have for free. What my question was asking is why people are still with Sprint, not why they go there. These speeds are like living on 3G. If people want to be treated like 2nd rate wireless customers, why don’t they just go prepaid? That’s the real question..

        • Dylan Wentworth

          I was just offering a possible explanation.
          Don’t have a cow, man.

        • WittyPixel

          “but only about as attractive as me saying I have junk in my garage you can have for free.”

          This! LOL!! I had sprint twice. thru virgin and directly and it was abysmal and I live in NYC, manhattan. no excuses for that.