New RootMetrics Report Reveals Three-Way Tie for Overall Mobile Performance Crown in Philadelphia

Latest report shows fast speeds, strong network reliability in tight race

According to a new report from RootMetrics, the independent source for real-world mobile performance comparison, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T are in a close race to provide an excellent mobile experience to consumers in the Philadelphia metro area. Notably, the 2nd Half 2017 Philadelphia Metro RootScore Report shows T-Mobile claiming outright wins in the network speed and data performance categories, while Verizon takes outright wins in call performance and network reliability. However, all the major carriers provide excellent network reliability with RootScores of 97.1 and above. Additionally, AT&T shares the top spot with Verizon and T-Mobile in two categories, including text performance.

When it comes to data speeds in Philadelphia, T-Mobile records the fastest median download speed at 38.3 Mbps, allowing subscribers to download a high-definition TV show in just over two minutes. T-Mobile also records the fastest median upload speed at 17.5 Mbps, meaning uploading a photo to social media would take about two seconds on the network.

“There is little in the way of brotherly love in the battle for the mobile performance crown, with Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T locked in a close competition to provide consumers in Philadelphia with an excellent mobile experience,” said Annette Hamilton, RootMetrics director. “Strong reliability across the board from the carriers is critical for consumers in the metro area, many of whom rely on their phones for business, entertainment, and communication.”

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

Mobile Performance You Can Depend on
Reliability and speed are crucial to a consistently good mobile experience. RootMetrics indicates performance in these key areas with its network reliability category, a combination of results from data, call, and text tests; and its network speed category, which examines results across testing of data transfers, downloading email, and web/app tasks. Verizon takes the Network Reliability RootScore Award outright, which the carrier has won or shared during every testing period in Philadelphia. T-Mobile claims the Network Speed RootScore Award outright for the eighth consecutive testing period.

Data Performance
The data performance category reflects how well networks perform in downloading and uploading data, performing email tasks, and downloading files that approximate loading typical webpages or apps. T-Mobile earns the top spot outright in the data performance category for the sixth time in a row, recording the fastest median download and upload speeds in the metro area. Notably, Sprint improved its median download speed by over 5 Mbps.

Call and Text Performance 
Call and text capabilities are fundamental to a strong mobile experience. 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. Verizon wins the Call Performance RootScore Award outright, after sharing the award with AT&T and Sprint in the previous round of testing.

Comprehensive Testing

To evaluate the mobile experience in Philadelphia, RootMetrics conducted tests across all hours of the day and night from September 26 through October 4. Using smartphones purchased off the shelf at carrier stores, tests were conducted indoors at 180 locations and while driving 3,554 miles. For details about RootMetrics testing, see the methodology section of the RootMetrics website.