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October 17, 2023
Verizon and AT&T have closed the gap on T-Mobile a little when it comes to mobile performance, but there is a lot of ground still to make up.
According to Ookla’s latest quarterly market report, T-Mobile’s median download speed weighed in at 163.59 Mbps at the end of Q3, down ever so slightly from the second quarter, when it was 164.76 Mbps.
During that same period, Verizon’s improved to 75.68 Mbps from 72.61 Mbps. AT&T made the biggest gain, its median download speed was 72.64 Mbps at the end of September, up noticeably from 66.16 Mbps at the end of June.
When it comes to 5G in particular, the download speed results present a similar picture. There is still a yawning gap between T-Mobile and the rest, but not quite as large as it was in Q2.
At the end of September, T-Mobile’s 5G network boasted an impressive median speed of 221.57 Mbps, up slightly from 220.00 Mbps. During the same three months, Verizon’s increased to 153.79 Mbps from 133.50 Mbps, while AT&T’s jumped to 101.55 Mbps from 86.01 Mbps.
As crumbs of comfort go, these are infinitesimally small for Verizon and AT&T, because as well as being way out in front when it comes to downloads, T-Mobile also continues to have the edge over its rivals on pretty much every other network metric going.
“Quarter after quarter T-Mobile’s network and its capabilities continue to lead the industry,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, T-Mobile’s president of technology, in a statement. “Others have been playing follow the leader and Ookla’s reports continue to confirm that T-Mobile is the leader.”
Indeed, measuring state-by-state, T-Mobile ranks first in 44 of them, plus the District of Columbia, while Verizon boasts the fastest network in North Dakota. As for the remaining five states – South Dakota, Montana, Vermont, Maine and Alaska – the results were too close to call.
T-Mobile also comes out on top in terms of upload speed, and its networks have the lowest latency – although the race is pretty tight when it comes to 5G latency, with T-Mobile (50 ms) only just pipping Verizon (53 ms).
Ookla also said there was no clear winner when it comes to 5G consistency, with T-Mobile scoring 74.9% compared to Verizon with 74.7%. Meanwhile, at 66.4%, AT&T ranks a somewhat distant third.
Never one to miss an opportunity to lord it over its rivals, T-Mobile said in a statement “it’s not Halloween yet, but the Un-carrier is serving up frights to AT&T and Verizon.”
Oh dear. But then again, AT&T and Verizon probably wish they were the ones making terrible Halloween jokes at the expense of their rivals.
Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.
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