PC Magazine Tests LTE Coverage Nationwide; VZW Wins, but T-Mobile in Close 2nd & More

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    [​IMG]

    We aren't sure if this qualifies as an upset, but it's darn close. PC Magazine recently preformed an in-depth speed test of all four major U.S. carriers, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. While it may not come as a surprise that Verizon ended up winning, what is surprising is that it was only by a slim margin. What's even more surprising is who was a very close second place: T-Mobile.

    Apparently T-Mobile has been aggressively upgrading their LTE network lately and are now covering the thirty major cities (and more) across the US. In fact, according to PC Magazine's tests, T-Mobile was faster than Verizon in a number of big cities including Austin, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Las Vegas, NV and many more. Ultimately, although Verizon won the contest regionally and nationally, that was only bolstered by the fact that VZW has upgraded in more rural areas than T-Mobile.

    If it weren't for those outlying areas, it might have been a dead heat, or T-Mobile could have even pulled into first place. There's another interesting thing to take away from this. T-Mobile actually stomps every other carrier by a large margin in 3G coverage, with consistently much faster 3G speeds than any of its competitors. PC Magazine had this to say, "T-Mobile provided the year's big surprise, with a powerful showing where it won half of our cities outright."

    What do you guys think? Could T-Mobile eventually rise to dominate the mobile landscape?

    Thanks for the tip, KaChow!

    Source: PC Mag
     
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  2. kodiak799

    kodiak799 Gold Member

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    It's when you go outside the "30 major cities" where VZW crushes the competition.

    Only because VZW has upgraded more rural areas?!? Was this article written by a T-Mo spokeperson?
     
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  3. liftedplane

    liftedplane Gold Member

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    I think network congestion probably plays a HUGE role in this as well.

    There are far less people on T-mobile than the other carriers right?
     
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  4. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    My article or PC Magazines? Either way... if you will read the numbers in the PC Magazine article, you will find that T-Mobile's LTE was dead even with VZW in the 30 major U.S. cities (i.e. T-Mo was faster in half of them). T-Mo has only been upgrading their LTE service in less than half the time as Verizon has over the past few years. It's unsurprising that VZW will have more coverage nationwide, but once that deficit eventually disappears, T-Mobile could actually oust VZW in the speed testing.

    You sound so butt-hurt about these results. Why take it so personally? I would think it would be good for consumes to have a solid competitor challenge AT&T and VZW...
     
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  5. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    That's a valid point, but T-Mobile has been adding a huge number of subscribers lately, so it's likely not a huge factor. Either way, it's good to see T-Mo evolving to a competitive force. They are pushing hard against AT&T with competitive pricing, and pushing hard against VZW with their network tech upgrade. Not bad for us consumers!
     
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  6. Bara65

    Bara65 Member

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    Seems like this is mainly from LTE speed test but not factoring in coverage, call quality. There is no way T-mo would come even remotely close to Verizon if coverage is included. AT&T should take close second spot then and T-mo, Sprint are distant 3~4th.
     
  7. bkdodger

    bkdodger Super Moderator
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    I agree ...great about the speeds ..but if you dropping calls and getting no connection in places where Verizon and AT&T are good like I experienced in a big city like NY..then the only speed I care about is how I cancel my service when I call customer service...lol yes I'm upset bc I really wanted T-Mobile to work ...carry on y'all :D

    M8 tap'd
     
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  8. Dusty

    Dusty Gold Member

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    I agree. This has nothing to do with call quality or not dropping a call. I mean, it's great to have blazing fast internet speeds but if you have to call your wife back 3 times to complete a 5 minute conversation it's a bucket full of weakness.

    I gotta test TMo myself. They scored it pretty high here in D.C. I might have to just pony up and buy a used TMo compatible 4G phone and see whats up. My nephew can buy it from me when I'm done.
     
  9. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    Absolutely true. This test from PC Magazine only shows speeds and doesn't take into account call quality and solid connections. However, let's not buy into the marketing myth perpetuated by the big two (VZW and AT&T), that only their service has quality service.

    While there are certainly areas of the country in which T-Mo and Sprint probably have weak service, we shouldn't assume that is the case everywhere. Dusty has the right idea. If you can afford to, you need to test out the competition for yourself instead of automatically assuming that nothing ever changes...
     
  10. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
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    I'm not in one of the major cities, could be called semi rural-rural and I switched to T-Mobile recently because their call quality, call signal, as well as data, blow away Verizon in my world.
    If you look on this forum, and other FF forums I've been very loud about my disgust for the Verizon coverage in the Richmond and tri cities area for years. A couple of years ago T-Mobile didn't exist if you got more than 5 miles away from i95. It's no longer like that here

    Sent from my LG-D801 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    I can attest to something similar, mountainbikermark. Before moving to Austin in 2012, I lived for about 10 years in Alamogordo, NM. It's a very small town and very rural (although it does have a nearby military base so it has decent infrastructure). My Sprint service was better and more reliable than my friends and family who had Verizon. They had more dropped calls, more strange text anomalies, and more technical glitches than I ever had. It was obvious because I never had any issues, but they were sometimes complaining or needing to go down to the local VZW store to get help. My calls where clearer for the most part too, although that could have been attributed to the devices we were using and not the service itself.

    It just goes to show that perception and reality don't always match up. (Of course, mine was obviously only one small example, so it definitely doesn't make for a large testing sample.)

    As additional evidence though, here in Austin, my GF, several of my friends and I have Sprint. I have clear reliable calls. The only time I have experienced issues was due to flaws in my device, not my service. (Although there was one time I lost service for a day because a tower was hit by lightning.) I am not neccessarily advocating for Sprint, just sharing my non-Verizon/AT&T experience.
     
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  12. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Senior Member

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    Definitely experienced this the other day (2 hours from the nearest metropolitan area): was trying out my daughter's new Moto G on AT&T's LTE, and the speed tests were giving me 20Mbps down. Then I tried my HTC One (VZW) and couldn't budge it past 10Mbps. "Hmmphh," I grunted to myself, "there must be a lot more people in town on Verizon's network!"

    On a distantly-related note: I was very pleasantly surprised that it was a breeze to get Straight Talk set up on the Moto G (though forget about TMo where I live -- the map and the CS reps freely admit I'd be lucky to see 2G). After set up I had my fingers crossed but it easily picked up LTE and at its best, I had download speeds on the G around 35Mbps. A big, fat, happy surprise for a $220 investment. (OK, I lied...the SIM card was $7 and the stupid ST access plan is $45/mo...NO, ACTUALLY $50 with taxes.) So yeah I'm eagerly waiting for the TMo-AT&T merger so we can hopefully move over to TMo's "unlimited" $30 plan!

    EDIT: NVM most of the rant -- apparently I can't tell the difference btwn Sprint and AT&T.

    -Matt