What you need to know
- Ookla's Q2 2021 mobile report finds T-Mobile to have the fastest mobile network, leading AT&T in second and Verizon in third.
- T-Mobile has the highest consistency score, with 84.9% of tests achieving at least 5Mbps down.
- Verizon has the highest 5G consistency score with 79.5% of results over 25Mbps down.
Ookla, creator of the popular Speedtest app for testing your internet speed, found in its Q2 2021 report that T-Mobile has the fastest overall network speed. T-Mobile had a median download speed of 54.13Mbps. AT&T came in second with 47.96Mbps, and Verizon came in third with 40.02Mbps. All three carriers tied in latency with 33ms, which is 1ms slower than Q1.
T-Mobile also had the highest consistency score, with 84.9% of its tests achieving at least 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up. All three carriers did well in the category, with AT&T close behind at 81.3% and Verizon at 79.7%. Web browsing and streaming should work smoothly at this speed, allowing people to use their phones normally.
When it comes to 5G, T-Mobile is the clear winner with 69% availability. AT&T comes second with 38.4%, and Verizon takes third with 35.3%. AT&T took second place from Verizon compared to Q1 with this result with Verizon actually losing a bit. This demonstrates T-Mobile and AT&T's continued push for 5G coverage. Still, when it comes to 5G consistency, Verizon took the lead with 79.5% of results achieving 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. T-Mobile is in second with 78.6%, and Verizon is in third with 77.1%.
When it comes to devices, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G had the fastest median download speed at 73.19Mbps, followed closely by the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Galaxy Note 20 5G with 69.94Mbps and 69.80Mbps, respectively. Unsurprisingly, the devices using the Snapdragon 888 5G chipset were the fastest overall, which are some of the best Android phones you can buy.
RootMetrics recently released its own report, which showed Verizon to have the best network overall and AT&T turning in the fastest speeds. There are a few key differences in the way RootMetrics and Ookla get their results. RootMetrics tests all three carriers equally in 125 different metropolitan areas across the country, putting the carriers on an even playing field. Ookla, on the other hand, can gather many more points of data thanks to users running speed tests and network coverage reports from those that have allowed it.
It's also worth noting that RootMetrics' report covers the entire first half of 2021 compared to Ookla focusing on just the second quarter. RootMetrics uses a more scientific approach to the study but won't have the same volume of data as Ookla. Ookla is also able to gather data from outside of RootMetrics' testing area. Ookla can also gather data from a greater number of devices so it can determine which phones and chipsets are getting the fastest speeds.
When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.
I'm finding that Ookla speedtest shows MUCH higher speeds for my T-Mobile Home Internet than speedof me or google speed test. Interestingly, nperf shows similar speeds to Ookla despite choosing a server over 1000 miles away from the server that Ookla chooses. I suspect that these speed tests are greatly dependent upon which server is used based upon where/how the cellular connection pops up on the "internet grid". In fact, when I choose either of two servers on nperf that are both within 50 miles of me, I get half the download and 1/3 of the upload speed that I do with a server about 1000 miles away.
Conversely, my Verizon Cellular connection tends to show much more similar speeds across all 4 speed test sites that I try.
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