RootMetrics Report: Verizon Still Leading The Pack In Mobile Performance

And The Winner Is …

RootMetrics, a business unit of IHS Markit, each year conducts two nationwide wireless performance tests to see how the largest carriers are serving consumers and business users. The firm evaluates each carrier in five categories, including reliability, speed, data connections, calling and texting, and then also crowns a winner on overall mobile performance.

Here's how the country's largest wireless providers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, are performing across the country.

The Survey

RootMetrics conducts its wireless tests via surveyors driving and walking throughout the country. At the end of 2018, the surveyors drove more than 230,000 miles and conducted 3.9 million tests using off-the-shelf Galaxy S8 and S9 smartphones purchased from carrier stores. The surveyors also tested nearly 8,000 indoor locations.

RootMetrics ranked the four leading carriers in six categories in 125 identified metropolitan areas. Overall, wireless provider Verizon took home the most awards with a total score of 667, followed by AT&T with 349, T-Mobile with 323 and Sprint with 80.


According to RootMetrics, Verizon is the best mobile network carrier for overall quality for the 11th consecutive test. The country's largest wireless company placed first overall with wins in all six of the report's categories—save for one tie—during the second half of 2018.

In addition to ranking No. 1 in network quality overall, the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based carrier also won first place in reliability, speed, data connections and calling. Similar to the second half of 2017, Verizon tied for first place with competitor AT&T in the texting performance category.


AT&T, the second-largest carrier in the country, also remained a "strong No. 2" service provider once again.

The Dallas-based carrier took home a silver medal in five of the six performance categories, including reliability, speed, data connections, calling, and overall network performance. AT&T tied Verizon for first place in texting.


T-Mobile, which had been in fourth place in overall mobile performance during the first half of 2018, beat out Sprint to take third place overall.

But other than that change-up, the Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier has kept the same rankings in the remaining five categories for nine consecutive test periods. The carrier came in third for reliability and data, and fourth for calling and texting. It also ranked in third place for speed but gave second-place finisher AT&T a run for its money. T-Mobile, the surveyors found, continued to perform very well indoors compared to its competitors.


Sprint stayed consistent in 2018 by remaining in third or fourth place in every category and finished in fourth place for overall performance.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based wireless provider fell from third place earlier in the year to fourth place for network reliability at the end of 2018. Sprint finished third in texting performance, but it was just slightly behind Verizon and AT&T tied in first place. The carrier landed in third place for calling, and fourth for speed.