New RootMetrics by IHS Markit Report for Boston: Verizon Sweeps Mobile Performance Awards With AT&T Heating up the Competition

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A new report from RootMetrics by IHS Markit, the standard for mobile performance benchmarking, reveals Verizon and AT&T lead the way when it comes to overall mobile performance in Boston. According to the latest “1st Half 2019 Boston Metro RootScore Report,” the two carriers share awards for overall performance, network reliability and call performance. However, Verizon holds the network speed and data performance awards outright.

When it comes to data performance, AT&T recorded the fastest median download speed in the area at 48.8 Mbps, an improvement from the 32.4 Mbps the carrier recorded during the last testing period. Sprint and Verizon also made significant median download speed improvements in the first half of 2019, recording speeds of 30.2 Mbps and 46.2 Mbps, respectively.

Our latest report shows impressive mobile performance improvements across the board in Boston, said Doug King, director of business development at RootMetrics. While Verizon swept the awards for the fourth straight testing period, AT&T turned up the heat in the mobile performance race, sharing awards in four categories. The progress in data performance allows Bostonians to enjoy a more seamless smartphone experience.

This marks the 17th time RootMetrics has tested the mobile networks in Boston and issued findings for the metro area. RootScore Reports provide a scientific, independent and consumer-focused assessment of mobile network performance.

Mobile Performance You Can Depend On

Verizon and AT&T shared the Network Reliability RootScore Award, which Verizon previously held outright. Meanwhile, Verizon holds the Network Speed RootScore Award outright, which the carrier previously shared with T-Mobile. Reliability and speed are crucial to a consistently good mobile experience. RootMetrics network reliability category is a combination of results from data, call and text tests, while the network speed category examines results across testing of data transfers and web/app tasks.

Boston Shows Multiple Facets to Data Performance

Verizon earned the Data Performance RootScore Award outright in this testing period. Previously, Verizon had shared the award with T-Mobile. The data showed that T-Mobile recorded the fastest median upload speed at 16.1 Mbps, the equivalent of allowing subscribers to post a picture to social media in about two seconds. During outdoor walking tests in the dense urban core of Boston, Sprint recorded the fastest median download speed at 49.9 Mbps and T-Mobile recorded the fastest median upload speed at 31.3 Mbps. The data performance category reflects how well networks perform in downloading and uploading data, and downloading files that approximate loading typical webpages or apps.

Verizons wins in the data and speed categories show how multi-faceted network performance is. While Verizon did not offer the fastest median speeds recorded, it edged ahead in scoring thanks to greater consistency at delivering fast speeds and performing better during network latency tests. Doug King noted, Data performance is about more than just median download and upload speeds. As a rough analogy, consider a car race. Top speed alone is only part of the picture. Among other factors, you have to consider how quickly the car gets off the starting line and how consistently it can maintain high speeds.

Call and Text Performance

AT&T and Verizon shared the award for call performance, while all four carriers shared the Text Performance RootScore Award. Call performance testing is based on how reliably each network can place and maintain calls, while text performance measures how reliably and quickly consumers can send and receive text messages.

Comprehensive Testing

To evaluate the mobile experience in Boston, RootMetrics conducted tests across all hours of the day and night from February 21 through March 3. Using smartphones purchased off the shelf at carrier stores, tests were conducted indoors at 170 locations and while driving 3,699 miles. For details about RootMetrics testing, see the methodology section of the RootMetrics website.

About RootMetrics

RootMetrics by IHS Markit is mobile analytics that measures mobile network performance and offers insights into the consumer mobile experience. RootMetrics provides data on mobile network performance to help the networks improve and give consumers an end-to-end look at mobile performance. To ensure that RootMetrics results reflect real-world mobile usage, testing is conducted based on where, when and how consumers use their smartphones most often.

IHS Markit and RootMetrics are registered trademarks of IHS Markit Ltd. and/or its affiliates. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners 2019 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.

Stephanie Epstein for RootMetrics
[email protected]