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RootMetrics Report: T-Mobile and Verizon are Top-Ranked Mobile Networks in Kansas City

BELLEVUE, Wash., Nov. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a new report released today, T-Mobile and Verizon remain locked in a tie for the title of top-performing overall mobile network in Kansas City for the second consecutive time. The two carriers also ranked first for both network reliability and network speed. Since the previous round of RootMetrics testing in May, Verizon deployed its Advanced Wireless Services spectrum (AWS) in the area, and Verizon's median download and upload speeds improved compared to results found in May. T-Mobile, meanwhile, edged past AT &T on the Network Reliability Index to share the top rank for reliability with Verizon. That's according to independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics®, which measures mobile performance of the four major national carriers with tests designed to replicate real-world consumer behavior.

The Overall performance category includes results across data, call, and text testing; the top-performing network(s) is awarded the Overall RootScore Award. A good Overall RootScore means strong overall coverage and a good consumer experience.

The final RootMetrics Overall Performance RootScore rankings for Kansas City:

1 – T-Mobile (98.3)
1 – Verizon (97.7)
3 – AT &T (95.9)
4 – Sprint (94.6)

Network Reliability and Speed

RootMetrics measures network reliability and speed to give consumers a clear and holistic view of each network's performance in these key areas of mobile usage. The Reliability Index is based on a combination of results from data, call, and text tests, while the Speed Index includes data and text results. Looking at the network reliability and speed indices in conjunction with Overall RootScores offers the most comprehensive look at a typical experience in Kansas City.

T-Mobile and Verizon shared the #1 position in network reliability with scores of 99.6 and 99.1, respectively. During the previous two visits to Kansas City, Verizon and AT &T ranked highest in network reliability. T-Mobile and Verizon also ranked highest on the Network Speed Index.

Reliability Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (99.6)
1 – Verizon (99.1)
3 – AT &T (98.7)
4 – Sprint (97.8)

Speed Index rankings:

1 – T-Mobile (93.2)
1 – Verizon (92.3)
3 – AT &T (85.9)
4 – Sprint (82.7)

"In Kansas City, we're seeing intense competition between the carriers in terms of network reliability, with strong results across the board," said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO. "Verizon and T-Mobile currently share distinction as the most reliable networks in the area, but AT &T and Sprint are close behind. The competition is tight, and that's great news for consumers."

Data Performance: Verizon and T-Mobile Deliver Fastest Data Speeds in Kansas City

Data Performance RootScores factor in each network's reliability and speed when downloading and uploading data, performing email tasks, and downloading files that approximate using typical webpages or apps. Verizon won the RootScore Award for data performance in Kansas City with a score of 98.0. Big Red recorded the fastest median download speed at 20.7 Mbps. T-Mobile recorded the fastest median upload speed at 12.7 Mbps.

There's also good news for Sprint customers: Since the previous round of testing in May, Sprint's percentage of download and upload tests on LTE increased from approximately 55 percent to approximately 91 percent. What's more, Sprint's median download speed increased from 2.5 Mbps to 9.5 Mbps since May, and Sprint's median upload speed increased from 0.9 Mbps to 4.6 Mbps.

T-Mobile's median upload speed increased from 8.2 Mbps to 12.7 Mbps. Verizon's median download speed increased from 16.0 Mbps to 20.7 Mbps, and Verizon's median upload speed increased from 8.1 Mbps to 10.6 Mbps.

Median download and upload speeds by network
Verizon: 20.67 Mbps download/10.59 upload
T-Mobile: 17.84 Mbps download/12.70 upload
AT &T: 9.66 Mbps download/4.01 upload
Sprint: 9.48 Mbps download/4.62 upload

Data speeds impact how quickly consumers can perform various tasks online. For example, in an ideal situation, uploading medium-sized pictures (1 MB) to Facebook or other online albums typically takes 25 seconds to 45 seconds on average at speeds below 3.0 Mbps. At speeds above 6.0 Mbps, uploading a similar picture generally takes less than 1 second.

Making the call

Making calls in Kansas City should be a positive experience on any of the four networks. T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT &T shared the RootScore Award for call performance. Their scores were 99.5 (T-Mobile), 98.2 (Verizon), and 97.9 (AT &T). Sprint followed closely with a score of 97.6.

Text me

T-Mobile won the RootScore Award for text performance for the first time since 2011, with a score of 97.0. With Text RootScores above 93.7 for all four networks, texting in Kansas City should be a smooth experience.

More than 26,000 tests in Kansas City

To evaluate the mobile experience in Kansas City, RootMetrics conducted 26,021 call, data, and text tests on the networks of AT &T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon during all hours of the day and night from October 21 through October 28, 2014. The tests were conducted using the RootMetrics RootScout app running on Android-based, consumer smartphones purchased off-the-shelf from carrier stores. Tests were performed indoors (at 34 locations), outdoors, and during drive tests (covering 1,330 miles). For details about RootMetrics testing, see the methodology section of the RootMetrics website. Mobile performance varies depending on where people live, work, or otherwise spend time. Because a variety of factors can influence performance, examples that list what data speeds mean while performing various mobile activities are a general look at data speeds for illustrative purposes and aren't specific to Kansas City.

About RootMetrics®

RootMetrics® is an independent mobile analytics firm that offers insights into the consumer mobile experience. RootMetrics provides data on mobile network performance to help people make more informed mobile decisions. The company offers its RootScore Report series for the nation, metropolitan markets, and airports, as well as its downloadable CoverageMap app. To ensure that RootMetrics testing reflects real-world mobile usage, testing is conducted based on where, when, and how consumers use their devices most often.

CONTACT: Ann Marie Ricard Curator PR for RootMetrics (206.683.0552)Source: RootMetrics