AT&T users saw the fastest median mobile download speeds on LTE in the third quarter of 2020, according to new crowd-sourced data analysis by Ookla. Verizon’s LTE speeds came in fourth, behind both T-Mobile US’ legacy network and that of the former Sprint. AT&T’s Speed Score was 41.65, compared to T-Mo’s 33.49, the Sprint network at 31.95 and Verizon narrowly behind at 31.40. The Speed Score is calculated on “modern chipsets in competitive geographies” and incorporates a calculation that is 90% attributed to download speed and 10% attributed to upload speed.
However, Verizon’s 5G blew the other operators’ 5G away by an order of magnitude, with an Ookla Speed Score of 792.52, compared to 65.22 for AT&T, 59.49 for T-Mobile US and 59.17 for the former Sprint network. (Ookla is considering Sprint’s network separately until T-Mobile US integrates the two.)
But that 5G signal on Verizon is still awfully hard to find. When considering the amount of time that 5G-capable devices actually spent on 5G, Verizon devices registered as using 5G just 0.6% of the time. Comparatively, AT&T users were able to access 5G 18.4%. T-Mobile US users were able to get onto 5G the most, 54.4% of the time, followed closely by Sprint users who can now roam onto the T-Mo network and get 5G 47.6% of the time.
On latency, T-Mobile US had the lowest median latency at 31 ms, followed by Verizon with 33 ms and AT&T with 34 ms. The Sprint network lagged behind with 46 ms. Ookla noted that for all operators except T-Mobile US’ network, latency rates saw an increase compared to the second quarter of 2020.
Of note on the 5G device side: Samsung is probably feeling pretty good about its position, as its Galaxy devices took all five spots among devices with the fastest median download speed (during the third quarter although on a combined head-to-head basis among brands, OnePlus actually edged Samsung out). We’ll see if that changes in future quarters, considering that consumers will soon be able to get their hands on the 5G-capable iPhone 12 series.
Meanwhile, devices with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets dominated the speed category, with various Snapdragon versions taking four of the top five spots and Intel’s XMM 7660 snagging one spot in the top five.
Read more of Ookla’s analysis for both mobile and fixed network providers (toggle between them in tabs at the top) here.
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