If you’re looking at the three US carriers and wondering which of them will provide you with the fastest internet on your smartphone, the answer is very clear: T-Mobile. The magenta carrier’s dominance over Verizon and AT&T in speed tests is actually quite ridiculous, according to Ookla’s new trimestrial report that covers the July to September period (the third quarter of the year).
Ookla, if you don’t know, is the maker of the SpeedTest.net website and eponymous mobile app, and its findings come from the tests that were run through its service – which is the most popular speed testing one out there. So there’s definitely validity to the data on offer here.
Now, if you’re wondering why we’ve used words like « annihilate » and « dominate » when it comes to T-Mobile, here’s why. The median download speed on the magenta carrier is 163.59 Mbps. The next best is Verizon with 75.68 Mbps. That’s less than half! AT&T takes third place (this will quickly become a theme) with 72.64 Mbps. If we’re only looking at 5G downloads, the median there is 221.57 Mbps for T-Mobile, 153.79 Mbps for Verizon, and 101.55 Mbps for AT&T.
Median upload speed? 11.31 Mbps on T-Mobile, 8.66 Mbps on Verizon, 7 Mbps on AT&T. Median multi-server latency? 53 ms for T-Mobile, 59 ms for Verizon, 66 ms for AT&T. 5G median multi-server latency? T-Mobile scores 50 ms, Verizon is close at 53 ms, AT&T is far behind at 64 ms. Consistency? T-Mobile wins with 85.2%, Verizon follows with 80.8%, AT&T trails both with 78.4%. 5G consistency? T-Mobile is ahead by a hair with 74.9%, followed by Verizon with 74.7%, and AT&T with 66.4%. This is the closest any other carrier has gotten to TMo on any metric.
So the picture this report paints is pretty clear. T-Mobile is very obviously number one for both speed and network consistency, Verizon in second, and AT&T… Why would anyone want to be an AT&T customer?
Illinois is the state with the fastest median download speed, followed by Minnesota and DC. Glendale, Arizona is the city with the fastest median download speed, followed by Plano, Texas, and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Of the top 10 fastest states, in all but one (North Dakota, where Verizon won) the fastest carrier was T-Mobile. Of the top 10 fastest cities, again, T-Mobile was the fastest in all but one – Arlington, Texas, where a winner couldn’t be statistically verified.
If you were wondering which smartphones scored the best speeds, the iPhone 15 Pro Max leads with a median download speed across speed tests of 251.37 Mbps and a median upload speed of 16.68 Mbps, followed by the iPhone 15 Pro with 227.41 Mbps and 14.59 Mbps, respectively. Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra is next and feels like Verizon compared to T-Mobile, as it only manages a median download of 159.15 Mbps and a median upload of 13.81 Mbps. The Galaxy Z Fold4 isn’t far behind with 145.76 Mbps median download and 11.20 Mbps median upload, and rounding up the top five is Google’s Pixel 7 Pro, which managed to do 139.47 Mbps down and 13.19 Mbps up.
Interestingly, though, if we go by manufacturer, Samsung takes the cake with median download of 98.14 Mbps and upload of 9.75 Mbps, while Apple only manages 82.70 Mbps and 8.06 Mbps, respectively. Those older iPhones sure weren’t as capable of reaching high speeds as the new ones.