Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The time we not only take a look at smartphone shipment numbers in key markets, worldwide and broken down by various manufacturing companies, but also see T-Mobile top Nielsen’s annual carrier customer service surveys, AT&T hit back with a J.D. Power award, and now T-Mo and Verizon practically share gold in the latest US OpenSignal “State of Mobile Networks” research.
Based on 4.6 billion (with a b) measurements collected by nearly 170,000 smartphone users in Q4 2016, Verizon still covers more 4G LTE ground than its three major rivals while improving to a statistical tie in the overall download speed department.
But the nation-leading “Un-Carrier” claims this as an outright win, purportedly “cleaning up” in OpenSignal reports, which isn’t entirely accurate. That’s not to say T-Mo stood completely still as Big Red showed incremental progress these past six months, considerably closing the gap in network availability.
All in all, Verizon takes home a pair of outright trophies, and so does T-Mobile, with two important battles tied, and no top honors, not even shared ones, for Sprint or AT&T. But the “Now Network” reported a massive jump of its own in 4G reach, with Ma Bell flaunting a solid 1 Mbps boost in average speeds.
At the end of the day, it’s certainly nice to see progress across the board, though US operators have a long way to go until matching the 4G availability heights of their Japanese and Korean counterparts, not to mention the performance routinely achieved in East Asia, Europe and, yes, even Canada.