Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


T-Mobile tops speed tests among the three major US carriers - here's how

Outshining Verizon Wireless and AT&T, T-Mobile was the fastest top mobile carrier in the US last quarter, according to Ookla's Speedtest.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
Maria Korneeva/Getty Images

Are you a T-Mobile subscriber? Then you're enjoying the quickest speeds for downloads, uploads, 5G performance, and a slew of other factors. At least, that's according to the team behind Ookla's Speedtest, which revealed last quarter's mobile performance stats for the three major US carriers.

During the fourth quarter of 2023, T-Mobile scored a median download speed of 188.96 Mbps on phones with modern chipsets, a hefty boost from the 163.59 Mbps seen during the third quarter. Verizon Wireless and AT&T also witnessed increases in median download speed, though both were distant runners-up to T-Mobile. Verizon's median download speed was 91.62 Mbps, while AT&T's was 90.82 Mbps.

Also: 10 ways to speed up your internet connection today

The so-called Un-carrier also scored high marks in almost every other factor tracked by Ookla. A median upload speed of 12.19 Mbps surpassed the numbers for Verizon with 9.98 Mbps and AT&T with 8.06Mbps. T-Mobile took home the lowest score for latency, a measurement of delay or lag time. Its grade on network consistency was tops among the three as was its rating for streaming video performance.

In recent years, T-Mobile has aggressively been trying to build up its network performance, especially in the area of 5G coverage. Buoyed by its merger with Sprint, the company has promised to expand its nationwide 5G network with much more capacity and coverage for 99% of the US population.

Ookla also measured 5G connectivity for the top three US carriers. T-Mobile had the highest grade for overall 5G performance and 5G streaming video performance and the lowest for latency over a 5G network. However, T-Mobile and Verizon tied for consistency in 5G connectivity, followed by A&T in third place.

Looking at specific devices, Ookla found that Apple's iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro took first and second place, respectively, for the highest median download speeds. Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy S23 Ultra came in third and fourth, followed by the iPhone 15 in the fifth spot. Overall, Samsung inched past Apple for fastest median download and upload speeds and lowest latency.

Also: Every Samsung product announced at Unpacked 2024: Galaxy AI, S24 Ultra, more

Ookla even looked at the network performance based on location. Among the top 10 states with the fastest median mobile download speed -- Illinois, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Nevada, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Arizona, New York, and Utah -- T-Mobile was the fastest mobile provider in all but North Dakota.

Among the top ten cities with the fastest download speed -- Glendale, AZ; Plano, TX; St Paul, MN; Indianapolis, IN; Chandler, AZ; Raleigh, NC; Bakersfield, CA; Nashville, TN; Gilbert, AZ; and Scottsdale, AZ -- Mobile was the top carrier in six of them.

To conduct its mobile carrier speed tests, Ookla relies on data collected from hundreds of millions of people using Speedtest each month. The Speedtest tool is available on the web as well as on iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Google Chrome, and Apple TV.

Editorial standards