New OpenSignal report shows close 4G LTE competition between T-Mobile and Verizon

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Earlier this year, T-Mobile came out on top in an OpenSignal report on U.S. mobile networks, but Verizon wasn’t far behind in second. Now OpenSignal has decided to take a closer look the competition.

In the latest OpenSignal report, T-Mobile and Verizon duked it out for 4G LTE availability and speeds. T-Mo managed to beat or tie Verizon when it comes to 4G speed in all five regions of the U.S. — the West, the Southwest, the Midwest, the Northeast, and the Southeast — while tying Verizon or coming in second with regard to 4G availability in all five regions.

Looking closer at the numbers, we can see that T-Mo posted the fastest average LTE download speed in all regions but the West. There it was beat by Verizon by just 0.4Mbps, 17.6Mbps vs 18Mbps, which is close enough for OpenSignal to consider it to be a statistical tie.

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OpenSignal also notes that while Verizon has recovered from the LTE speed hit it took when it introduced unlimited data plans last year, T-Mobile has steadily increased its speeds and put itself in a lead over Verizon.

This report is good news for Neville Ray and Co., who have been working to build out T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network in recent years. That network will continue to improve for a while to come as T-Mo does things like roll out mid-band upgrades to cell sites and help broadcasters to repack 600MHz spectrum more quickly.

You can check out OpenSignal’s full report at the link below.

Source: OpenSignal

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  • The Borg

    The problem isn’t head to head speed, it’s the gaps in coverage. Verizon is still way a head in that regard. Close that up and T Mobile will truely take the lead.

    • (J²)

      T-Mobile doesn’t have many gaps anymore. The issue is primarily signal penetration issues. This is due to them having a lot of high frequency spectrum which is intended best suited for speed not reliability, penetration and range.

      This will soon change. Also keep and mind, some phones are not compatible with the newer frequencies that are shown on the coverage map.

      • James Smith

        Excuses and more excuses. I heard this same story about 700 and nothing has changed. They still have service gaps in the Central Florida area that are even covered by native Sprint Service. There is a still a T-Mobile dead zone on a major state road in 2018.

        • (J²)

          They do not have many when compared to other carriers. If you look at the coverage map, you can see obviously there are gaps as advertised.

          Once T-Mobile deploys more low frequency spectrum, the signal will travel further closing those gaps.

          Also, T-Mobile has spectrum in my city and has for years that they can’t use due to it not being cleared for use in the region and this is separate from the incentive auction.

    • Sharti24

      Love that non existent tmobile coverage. Even sprint has excellent service here.

      19852 Ohio 664, Logan, OH 43138

      Wasn’t it recently that tmobile just started covering Charleston WV? They had no native signal and finally got towers put up. A city of 50k was roaming…what a joke

      • Sean sorlie

        Again, you will find Verizon has the same dead spots, just somewhere else.

        • James Smith

          This is true but there are waaaay more dead spots on T-Mobile than there are on Verizon. Keep drinking that T-Mobile kool-aid people.

  • Zach Mauch

    After the 600MHz LTE roll out T-Mobile should be solidly in the #1 position. I expect that to be mostly evident by the end of 2019 as all the frequency is freed up. By the end of 2020 it won’t even be close. T-Mobile will be the dominate network in LTE while likely going toe to toe with any other network in 5G.

    • Jason Caprio

      While that may be true, I highly doubt that Verizon is just going to sit back and watch. Do you really think that Verizon has absolutely no plans on upgrading their network between now and 2020?

      A couple things I do know is that Verizon has a huge portfolio of High-Band spectrum covering the entire country from coast to coast. This will be key in 5G rollout. I also know that they will fully de-commission their legacy CDMA network by the end of 2019, which means their 850MHz CDMA will become Band 5 LTE which they have PLENTY of. I’m sure Band 5 850MHz will be very useful in a 5G rollout.

      T-Mobile and Verizon are both upgrading their networks, but only T-Mobile brags about their upgrade BEFORE the fact. It’s always a waiting game with T-Mobile. Verizon will usually stay quiet as they upgrade, and once the upgrade is rolled out nationwide, THEN they tell us about it.

      Bottom line, I’m happy T-Mobile is giving Verizon serious competition. It makes both companies strive for quality. Over the past 6 months, my signal and performance have been steadily improving with my work-provided Verizon service.

      • Tony Chen

        t mobile is trying to partner up with tv stastions and move them off 600 mhz spectrum, t mobile will be the first to deploy full 600 mhz spectrum nationwidfe, will be the first to deploy 5g network.

      • Tony Chen

        also for every 600 mhz spectrum tower t mobile put up wil have 5g ready spectrum ready, all they need to do is flip it on when its time for nationwide 5g network.

      • Zach Mauch

        I never said that Verizon won’t be upgrading their network two. First, if you read my comment I specifically say that T-Mobile will have the best LTE meaning 4G. For 5G I say “while likely going toe to toe with any other network”.

        Second, Considering the pace at which T-Mobile has caught up this makes complete sense that they would continue and pass them. You said Verizon has been getting better, but that hasn’t kept T-Mobile from catching them. I’ll turn your question around on you and say why would things suddenly change and Verizon match or exceed T-Mobile’s pace?

      • (J²)

        Verizon Wireless and AT&T are number one and two respectively and have been so for a decade in that order and even longer exchanging spots with one another. They don’t need to brag or convince customers that their networks are superior, all they need to do is ensure customers do not leave to bold T-Mobile and Sprint promotions.

        Besides, both Verizon Wireless and AT&T are so big because of their corporate-business users. Businesses are not looking for the best or the cheapest, they are looking for reliability and consistency which isn’t in jeopardy.

        • Jason Caprio

          You make an excellent point. My company which is in the energy business supplies all it’s employees with Verizon smartphones. My previous job which was an IT company, supplies people with AT&T. If T-Mobile can earn a solid reputation of reliability and consistency, more businesses will switch and drive up their subscriber numbers.

        • Sean sorlie

          In customers they are number one but thats it…

      • James Smith

        Absolutely true. You know what Verizon has been doing to continue improving their network like T-Mobile? The exact same things as T-Mobile (256 QAM, 4×4 mimo, Carrier Aggregation, small cells and other forms of densification). Verizon doesn’t need to make a giant marketing campaign about it because their stuff just works.

    • Sharti24

      Yes I agree. blanket cover the US with 600mhz and replace old edge to LTE antennas with the latest and greatest techonlogy would put tmobile on par with V. Also they need to decommission all 3G HSPA by 2020

      • justin l

        3G will be around til 2025 at least

    • Jason

      The company’s future is very bright. Nobody deploys a network like Neville

    • James Smith

      Yeah we heard that about 700 and their network is still crappy indoors and in rural areas.

  • mavricxx

    T-Mobile has improved greatly BUT their indoor reception is horrible! At work I don’t get any signal inside, I have to step out to check my email and messages constantly. I just wish they improved this so although they may catch Verizon, they cannot beat Verizon’s indoor reception

    • Sean sorlie

      You will find the same experience from Verizon customers in another building. Its just bad luck for you. Expect it to change once 600 reaches you.

      • justin l

        It’s possible your employer also has a copper mesh within the building or a band inside. I’ve been to restaurants that do that. As soon as you walk in the signal goes from excellent to non existent. You employer maybe trying to reduce the amount of cell usage in the building