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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
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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.

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