Philly’s Fastest Mobile Network? It’s Not Who You Think

A national speed test just revealed the city’s most reliable mobile carrier. The network ranked high for its upload and download speeds.

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Philly Verizon customers are about to get a serious case of “the grass is greener” after learning the results of a new study from PCMag. For the ninth year in a row, the personal computing publication ran its annual mobile network speed tests to reveal the fastest and most reliable mobile carriers across select areas. Analysts tested the country’s top four carriers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon — in 30 major cities and six rural areas this year.

Though Verizon came out on top overall, Philadelphia’s best mobile carrier is…T-Mobile! Sprint even bested Verizon, ranking second for its Philly service. Verizon rounded out the top three locally.

According to the report, T-Mobile leads in Philadelphia because it offered the most holistic network. “T-Mobile crushed the competition on uploads and latency, both of which are critical elements in our Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat world,” analysts wrote.

As for Sprint, Philly is one of five cities where the carrier led on downloads. Sprint offered consistently high download speeds all over the city.

Analysts drove around Philly in May 2018 with Samsung Galaxy S9 phones and ran the speed tests using a customized version of Ookla’s software. The team then balanced downloads, uploads, latency and reliability to create speed scores for each carrier, which can be viewed in the chart below:

Courtesy of PCMag.

Verizon is the country’s overall winner for the fifth consecutive year, for winning or for being tied in 19 of 36 cities tested and in every U.S. region besides the Southeast.

PCMag says consumers should keep the following three takeaways from the study in mind before making decisions about carriers:

  1. Compared with 2017, LTE connections are faster and more consistent across all four major U.S. wireless networks.
  2. When choosing your wireless carrier, keep in mind that Verizon and T-Mobile are the clear network leaders for smartphone users, with T-Mobile’s strength coming in uploads, for the social-media, content-creator crowd.
  3. 5G is on its way and the four big carriers are taking different approaches. AT&T and Verizon are going for much higher speeds over smaller areas and T-Mobile is looking to blanket the nation, but at slower speeds, according to the report.