The big four US carriers (possibly soon to be the big three) are always arguing about who has the best network, but that's usually just marketing spin. Numbers don't lie, though, and both Ookla (owner of Speedtest) and OpenSignal have new reports that point to T-Mobile as the fastest, but Verizon is right on its tail.
Here are the average download speeds for both reports.
- T-Mobile: 27.86 Mbps
- Verizon: 26.02 Mbps
- AT&T: 22.17 Mbps
- Sprint: 20.38 Mbps
- T-Mobile: 21.57 Mbps
- Verizon: 20.56 Mbps
- AT&T: 15.08 Mbps
- Sprint: 14.46 Mbps
Download speed isn't the only metric that matters, of course, but it's the one you'll see carriers throw around the most. T-Mobile used to trail the competition, but it's really improved both speed and coverage. According to OpenSignal, both Verizon and T-Mobile provided an LTE connection to 93.7% of users during the test. Verizon does still offer LTE in more places compared to T-Mobile.
If you're looking for the fastest mobile data, Speedtest says that's the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area. Verizon is the fastest carrier in those markets by a small margin. Wyoming had the slowest average data speeds. Unsurprisingly, both reports say that LTE is still substantially slower and less available in rural areas. Feel free to peruse the full reports to find out how your local area measures up.