Verizon Has Fastest LTE Network in the West, While T-Mobile Tops the East in Latest Study

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Verizon has the fastest LTE network in western regions of the United States, while its up-and-coming rival T-Mobile has the top speeds throughout the east coast, according to a recent study by OpenSignal, which crowdsourced signal data from nearly 170,000 smartphone users who downloaded the OpenSignal app.

opensignal regions
OpenSignal divided the United States into five regions—the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and West—and found that Verizon had the fastest LTE speeds in the West and Midwest, while T-Mobile was tops in the Northeast and Southeast. Verizon and T-Mobile had a statistical tie in the Southwest.

Verizon had an average download speed of 20 Mbps in the Midwest, for example, compared to 18.4 Mbps for T-Mobile. Meanwhile, in the Northeast, T-Mobile's average download speed was 18.6 Mbps versus 17 Mbps for Verizon. OpenSignal's testing was completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.

opensignal lte speeds by region
LTE speeds among all "Big Four" carriers in the United States, namely AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, were fastest in the Midwest overall, while lowest in the Southwest, said OpenSignal.

The geographical breakdown is a follow-up to OpenSignal's latest State of Mobile Networks report published last week. The original report, which included a city-by-city breakdown, found Verizon had the faster network in a number of major cities, including Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Top Rated Comments

I7guy Avatar
51 months ago
I'm more interested in coverage in remote locations, like the Grand Canyon, than a minute difference in speed in populated areas.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AlliFlowers Avatar
51 months ago

I'm more interested in coverage in remote locations, like the Grand Canyon, than a minute difference in speed in populated areas.

I was thinking similarly. When I last had T-Mo, I had very little coverage on my most traveled routes. I want coverage.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BaccoE Avatar
51 months ago

I was thinking similarly. When I last had T-Mo, I had very little coverage on my most traveled routes. I want coverage.

I used to think that way. But since I live in NYC, I decided to not let the tail wag the dog and left ATT for T-Mobile and haven't regretted it at all.

However, for those that travel often in remote areas or live there, I totally understand.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ehrens Avatar
51 months ago
The posts about availability are spot-on. T-Mobile is spotty at best (at least outside of this urban core), LTE or no, and Verizon LTE seems to be everywhere. I would rather put up with a slower speed around my home if it means 4G is broadly available when I travel.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shamino Avatar
51 months ago

As for availability, I went camping with a bunch of friends a while ago and was a little bummed when everyone with Verizon still had coverage and I did not with T-Mobile. Then I realized that I was camping! The whole point was to get away from everything and "disconnect" for a while. I admit that it was difficult to not have service but in the end I am glad.

That's all well and good when you're sitting around the campfire swapping stories.

Now what about when the weekend is over and you'd like to use Google Maps to figure out how to get home again? Or if you got lost hiking and would like to use your phone to find your way back to the campsite?

There are plenty of reasons why you want signal even in the wilderness that do not include people wanting 24/7 access to their social media feeds.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
btrach144 Avatar
51 months ago
The difference in speed of T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T is just 2-4 Mbps. You likely wouldn't notice a difference. The takeaway here is that Sprint is much slower and we should continue avoiding Sprint.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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