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Latest tests show all four major wireless carriers are strong

Matt Hamblen | Feb. 19, 2016
Despite claims by the four biggest U.S. wireless carriers that each one has the best nationwide network, the latest performance data gathered by testing firm RootMetrics shows that are all good and getting better.

About those national TV ads with the balls running down a track: Verizon hit first with an ad in December that started with the words: "A better network as explained by colorful balls."

In January, T-Mobile hit back with its own ad and a strongly worded press release that said Verizon had ignored how T-Mobile's LTE network growth had doubled in the last year. Sprint followed with its own ad touting its faster download speeds on the Sprint Plus network.

The data from RootMetrics cited in the first ad from Verizon was actually from the first half of 2015, not the second half, Dey said. In both halves of 2015, Verizon did well, however.

RootMetrics is not paid by any carrier to perform its tests but does provide syndicated reports to any carrier or business that requests them, Dey said. In addition, RootMetrics will sell licensing rights to any business wishing to refer in promotions to its findings. Verizon paid a licensing fee to RootMetrics for the first ad with balls rolling down a track, Dey said.

The latest ads have elicited some humor, but to some extent have left consumers confused about which carrier is really the best for any particular customer. That determination is a hard one to make, especially when one customer may live and work in a city where all the carriers are pretty much tied.

"We try and help clarify the noise" from the advertising, Dey said. "The race is so competitive now."


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