The largest 10 US cities and their 4G LTE coverage rank in 2013

The largest 10 US cities and their 4G LTE coverage rank in 2013

Summary: From New York City to San Jose, what are the average 4G download and upload speeds, and what carriers offer the best speed, reliability and coverage?


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  • How do the biggest U.S. cities fare in 4G network coverage?

    4G LTE network coverage is expanding worldwide.

    While the U.S. enjoys rapidly expanding 4G coverage -- made possible due to spectrum auctions and extensive investment in networks by carriers -- the United Kingdom has only recently had 4G LTE networks switched on. Some European areas, including Brussels, remain a black spot, but the foundations have been laid for these services in continents including Africa.

    However, finding the best cities for coverage can prove to be a difficult task. Some web and app-based firms, such as Opensignal (available on Android and iOS), allow you to find better mobile signals, nearby free W-Fi networks and test their connections, and also allow you to search 4G coverage based on location. 

    Here is a side-by-side comparison of the coverage available in the ten largest U.S. cities by population. Opensignal researchers used data compuled by speedtests actively run by the app users to compile the average download and upload speed of 4G LTE speeds, and have compared reliability, speed and coverage rankings to give you a good idea of how 4G performs in each city. 

    The speed rating used is a combination of upload, download and latencies -- with those three factors weighted equally -- coverage looks at area of a city where there is 4G readings from all 4 major networks (Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint) and seeing which have the most signals, and reliability was calculated by seeing the percentage of time a device is able to successfully access data over the 4G network.

  • 10. San Jose

    City: San Jose


    Average 4G LTE upload speed: 8.2 mbps

    Average 4G LTE download speed: 10.8 mbps

    Best speed: T-Mobile 

    Best coverage: Verizon

    Best reliability: AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile (three-way tie)

    San Jose the third-largest city in California and seat of Santa Clara County. San Jose is the capital of Silicon (Santa Clara) Valley, where many high-tech firms are based including Adobe, Apple, Facebook and eBay. The area is also one of the world's leading centers for medical treatment and research.

    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

  • 9. Dallas

    City: Dallas

    Population: 1,241,162 

    Average 4G LTE upload speed: 9.1 mbps

    Average 4G LTE download speed: 8.6 mbps

    Best speed: T-Mobile

    Best coverage: AT&T 

    Best reliability: AT&T/T-Mobile (tie)

    Dallas is the second-largest city in Texas. Aside from being a popular tourist destination and mired in the oil business, Dallas is a leading commercial, marketing, and industrial hub in the southwest. Dallas is the largest economic center in the region. According to the TechAmerica Foundation, Texas supports more than 485,000 technology jobs, many of which are in Dallas and Austin.

    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Topics: Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets, AT&T, Verizon

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  • Oh, by the way

    Africa is a continent, not a country. And people from that continent do not tend to take kindly to Europeans and Americans getting that one wrong...
    • Cradle of Humanity

      The Ameropeans fear the fear of fearing the fear of fear its self. They likely legislate this type of comment to be Treason soon.
    • Unless there's been an edit, or I can't read

      it states, "foundations have been laid for these services in CONTINENTS including Africa." (caps mine)
  • Texas cities

    Ok, we all know Houston is the largest city in Texas, and we all know journalists tend to be math challenged, but surely it is obvious that with 1.3 million people, San Antonio is larger than Dallas with 1.2 million people. I guess it is Dallas' press coverage that makes it seem larger. Grin.
    Note that I get MUCH better speeds here in Fort Worth than ANY mentioned in the lists, except at my home that is behind a hill from the tower. Would need to know how those speeds were determined to make reasonable comparisons.
    • Average Speeds

      I'm hoping they went to the busiest parts of the cities, because I certainly get, on average, faster speeds than what's listed across every carrier that has LTE, except for Sprint.
  • Canada?

    It's a shame Canada doesn't exist anywhere...
  • Sprint in Arizona

    Number 6 reported Phoenix but it listed Sprint as "Best Coverage". Sorry to report but even Sprint's coverage map doesn't show any 4G available in Arizona. They have great coverage for 3G.
    Silent Observer
  • [YAWN] - So how about the folks who REALLY need it, in remote locations?

    I mean this is just Soooo routine, it's laughable (but not really) - everyone in "big cities" can get great coverage - but why do you ignore the folks who have either chosen to, or are stuck with living in more remote areas??? Methinks THAT would a much more important topic to research & cover - big city data is so readily available it can't be much work to just repeat what it shows... Most of them not only lack choices, but also lack anything resembling reasonable service.
    Sorry Charlie - U S of A seems to have many more needs than "merry olde" seems to have....