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Still the Best Network: Verizon Stays Ahead of the Pack, According to a New Report

siliconreview Still the Best Network: Verizon Stays Ahead of the Pack, According to a New Report

Verizon has long boasted as having the most reliable and robust wireless network. Despite inroads made by rivals, it can still make that claim, USA Today reported.

That’s according to the independent testing firm RootMetrics, which declared Verizon the “undisputed leader in terms of coverage and network reliability.”

Nationally, Verizon took top honours in all six test categories for the second-straight testing period: overall performance, network reliability, network speed, data performance, call performance, and text performance, the newspaper added.

Runner-up AT&T earned second place finishes in five of the six.

Verizon Wireless Chief Network Officer Nicki Palmer insists Verizon has widened its lead. “The big story to me is with all these (competitive) claims out there, it’s not even a parity discussion. We have gotten better over the course of the year, so the difference is bigger than it used to be,” she said in an interview.

How the tests are done – RootMetrics is arguably the most “scientific” of all the network tests we see each year. To conduct its testing, RootMetrics goes and buys the same model of Android phone from each network, puts them in the back of a car or straps them to a tester’s body, and then conducts millions of speed tests in carefully selected locations all around the country.

‘Drive-testing’, as the technique is known, has a number of advantages that make it good for making apples-to-apples comparisons. The networks are being tested on the same device, at the same time, in exactly the same location. The testing is also consistent and repeatable, which means that a year-to-year change in the results is more likely to indicate a real-world change in the network, rather than reflect a change in the testing process.

But drive-testing isn’t the only way to test a network, and other techniques aren’t quite as favourable to Verizon. OpenSignal and Ookla are two companies that use millions of crowd-sourced speed tests to compare average speeds on different networks, and their reports have tended to show that T-Mobile users see the fastest average speed, with Verizon distinctly middle-of-the-pack.

T-Mobile argues that drive-testing is only ever going to be an approximation of the real-world customer experience, and the only way to truly compare networks is to look at the real-world customer data. Verizon, of course, puts more emphasis on the “scientific, apples-to-apples” results from drive-testing, which favour its network, BGR reported.