The new data reveals Sprint closed out the second half of 2014 on a high note with significant improvements in network speed, reliability and call performance. While it continues to trail market leaders Verizon and AT&T, Sprint's network enhancements were enough for it to surpass T-Mobile in the United States and on a state-by-state level during the final six months of the year.
While the network still trails the leaders in every category, Sprint made tremendous strides—particularly in reliability—in the second half of the year. In fact, Sprint improved its tally of reliability index wins by 25 (all shared) compared to what we saw in the first half. Also consider that in the first half of 2014, Sprint recorded a download success rate below 97% in 108 out of the 125 markets that we tested; in this round of testing, that market count had dropped down to 52.Despite ranking last in the United States and on a state-by-state level, T-Mobile continued to make improvements in large metro areas, with fewer dropped calls, blocked calls and failed downloads. RootMetrics predicts T-Mobile could place even more pressure on leading carriers Verizon and AT&T if it continues to make improvements in these regions, such as New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Houston, Seattle and Las Vegas.
Overall, Verizon and AT&T continue to offer the best network coverage and reliability nationwide, but T-Mobile and Sprint are stepping up the competition with continued improvements. The full RootMetrics report provides a comprehensive look at all four major carriers in the United States.