Ookla: T-Mo sees ‘strong increase’ in Q4 speeds, Verizon and AT&T are ‘distant runners up’

T-Mobile US continues to ratchet up its network speeds, with modern chipsets able to achieve a median download speed of 188.96 Mbps during the fourth quarter of 2023, up from 163.59 Mbps during the third quarter and a “strong increase”, according to new analysis from Ookla.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T also both saw speed increases, but remain “distant runners up”, the company added. Verizon’s median download speed for Q4 2023 came in at 91.62 Mbps, with AT&T at 90.82 Mbps.

The gap was less on upload speeds, with T-Mo’s average median upload speed at 12.19 Mbps, Verizon at 9.98 Mbps and AT&T at 8.06 Mbps, by Ookla’s reckoning.

Network consistency—as Ookla defines it, the percentage of test results where users had at least 5 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload speeds—was also closer, with T-Mobile US at 87.3% with Verizon just a few percentage points behind 83.7% and AT&T at 81.3%.

The above testing looked across network technologies, but Ookla also examined some 5G-specific metrics. When looking at video performance, T-Mobile US earned a higher score on video performance across technologies, but only narrowly edged out Verizon on 5G video performance by less than two points of difference.

T-Mo put up even stronger 5G-only speed tests, with blazing median download speeds of 238.87 Mbps during the fourth quarter of last year. Verizon’s 5G median speed jumped from 153.79 Mbps in the third quarter to 196.43 Mbps, while AT&T also showed significant improvements in just a few months, from 101.55 Mbps in the third quarter to 125.73 Mbps.

On 5G consistency, T-Mobile US and Verizon were neck-and-neck with no statistical difference between the two, Ookla said.

The testing and analysis firm also looked at difference in device performance across the most popular 5G phones. Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max achieved the fastest median speeds on U.S. networks, at more than 213 Mbps, followed by the iPhone 15 Pro at around 189 Mbps, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold4 at nearly 185 Mbps, the Galaxy S23 Ultra at about 181 Mbps and the base-level iPhone 15 at about 172 Mbps.

Additional details on latency and more from Ookla in this blog post.

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