Test and Measurement: T-Mo is tops again in 5G speed and availability, Rootmetrics says

AT&T and Verizon both sees some improvement, but not enough to top Rootmetrics’ rankings

Another round of Rootmetrics’ analysis of 125 metro markets in the U.S. confirms that T-Mo continues to lead in 5G reach and speed, while Verizon landed its third consecutive win in 5G reliability.

While the testing firm says that AT&T and Verizon’s access to midband spectrum in the C-Band “could ultimately level the 5G playing field in the U.S.”, right now there is a decisive leader in 5G and availability, and that is T-Mobile US.

T-Mobile US earned top 5G availability in 100 markets, followed by AT&T with 39 and Verizon with a mere three. “T-Mobile improved its 5G availability in nearly every city tested” in the first half, Rootmetrics said in a blog post on the results.

In terms of 5G download speed, T-Mo was the clear winner in 75 markets and Verizon in 11, while AT&T didn’t have any markets where it provided the fastest speeds of the three national carriers.

Verizon had the best 5G network reliability in 95 markets, followed by AT&T with 70 markets. “Verizon’s C-Band spectrum has already helped the carrier boost its 5G speeds, and as the carrier integrates more C-Band into its network, Verizon’s results should only improve going forward,” the benchmarking firm said.

Rootmetrics also said that AT&T’s speed is likely to improve as it activates more C-Band spectrum over the next couple of years. “Our tests showed AT&T using its C-Band spectrum in relatively limited amounts in 23 markets, and the carrier showed minor increases to its 5G median download speeds in 13 of those cities. As AT&T integrates more C-band into its network, users will likely see much faster speeds moving forward,” the company said.

However, T-Mo is running far ahead, particularly on speed, as it leverages its 2.5 GHz midband spectrum. Rootmetrics found that T-Mobile US’ median 5G download speeds improved — and not just by a little — in more than 100 out of the 125 markets since the same time last year. T-Mo boosted its speed by at least 100 Mbps in 32 of those cities. The carrier registered median (median!) download speeds of greater than 100 Mbps in 95 markets, and its median speeds were above 200 Mbps in 59 cities and above 300 Mbps in 16 cities.

In one city—lucky Fayetteville, NC—T-Mo’s median 5G download speed was a whopping 410 Mbps.

Read more detail from Rootmetrics here.

In other test news:

-The global wireless testing market is expected to reach $20.3 billion by 2028, reflecting a growth rate of 11.4%, according to a new report from KBV Research. Market drivers include the development of 5G and increasing use of other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth, but the firm also noted that “Expanding technological advancements in areas like AI and IoT are anticipated to create a number of market possibilities for wireless testing.”

Viavi Solutions released a new update to its Observer network performance monitoring and diagnostics platform. The Observer 18.8 version includes the new features of automated End-User Experience (EUE) scoring and problem domain isolation, Viavi said. The testing company noted that its previously announced Observer “3D monitoring” effort “introduced active testing for [software-as-a-service] applications and now the primary components of the Observer platform have been optimized for fast, efficient cloud deployments.”

-The 5G+AI Work Group of the IMT-2020 Promotion Group has launched a new competition for research on “requirements, theories and technologies of deep integration of 5G and AI” and standardization thereof. The global competition has two tracks: One focused on the use of AI to take a small amount of device information and estimate characteristics of the radio channel so the base station can build the most efficient RF link, plus integrating feedback information for channel optimization; and a second one on AI-based high-precision positioning.

The two tracks are organized by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei and device manufacturers Oppo and Vivo.

Spirent Communications reported record orders during the first half of the year and growth across all segments of its business. More details on its results here.

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