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RootMetrics Releases 1st Half 2016 US Mobile Network Performance Review: Verizon Makes Clean Sweep of RootScore Awards at National Level, Other Carriers Show Improvements at State and Metro Levels

  • At national level: Verizon takes 1st place outright in every category
  • AT &T shows solid performance at the national level
  • Sprint continues to improve LTE coverage at the metro level
  • T-Mobile consistently provides fast speeds and strong reliability in many metro markets



BELLEVUE, Wash., Aug. 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, RootMetrics®, the standard for independent mobile performance information, is out with its latest results from its 1st half 2016 review of Mobile Network Performance in the US, a summary of the country's most comprehensive of mobile network performance measurement. As mobile devices and the way consumers utilize them continue to change, RootMetrics, an IHS Markit (NASDAQ:INFO) company, releases its sixth edition of this report which includes insights and comparisons of network performance provided across all the spaces of a consumer's mobile life. The latest report summarizes results from RootMetrics' comprehensive scientific testing in order to provide the most unbiased picture of mobile network performance across three complementary levels: the entire United States, each of the 50 states, and the 125 largest metro areas in the country.

During the 1st half of 2016, RootMetrics scouters drove 265,386 miles, visited 4,249 indoor locations, and conducted about 3.7 million tests across all 50 states and 125 metro areas using the same phones consumers can buy from the carriers' stores, statistically reflecting performance across 100% of the US population.

Performance at the National Level
The latest RootMetrics report revealed that Verizon is still leading the way when it comes to mobile performance at the national level. Across the United States, Verizon took first-place awards outright in every aspect of RootMetrics mobile network performance testing. In fact, Verizon went from earning second place in Text Performance in the 1st half of 2015 to tying AT &T for first place in the 2nd half of 2015, to now taking first place outright in the category during the latest round of testing. The 1st half of 2016 also marks the sixth consecutive period in which Verizon has received the United States Overall Performance RootScore Award.

AT &T trailed Verizon in a majority of categories at the national level. AT &T took second place in five of six categories at the national level, including key mobile aspects such as Overall Performance, Network Reliability, Network Speed, and Data and Text Performance. AT &T continues to be a consistent performer and strong competitor for Verizon at the national level.

Sprint remains in the third-place spot when it comes to Overall Performance in the United States. Although Sprint didn't earn any first-place awards, the carrier continued to show improvements in the 1st half of 2016, edging past AT &T to take second place in the Call Performance category. The network held onto its third place rankings in Network Reliability and Text Performance.

T-Mobile continues to land in fourth place for Overall Performance at the national level; however, the carrier is continuing to make gains in Data Performance and Network Speed, taking a close third place in each category.

"Today, it's no longer about whether you're using a smartphone, but how you're using it. These devices have become a lifeline and we expect strong reliability and high performance regardless of where we are or what we're doing," said Julie Dey, VP of RootMetrics. "At RootMetrics, we are on a mission to provide unbiased, scientific information on mobile performance that can help consumers make the best possible decisions based on how they use their mobile phones. It's not enough just to get a signal anymore; consumer demand has evolved, becoming more heavily focused on data reliability and speeds as we shift from solely making calls and sending texts to uploading pictures to social media and streaming TV shows and movies. As a result, competition between the networks continues to intensify, with the different carriers expanding their LTE footprints and implementing new technologies to provide the best possible mobile experience for consumers across the nation."

In addition to the Overall Performance category, the 1st half 2016 review of Mobile Network Performance in the US revealed which networks provide the strongest performance in Network Reliability and Network Speed, as well as each network's performance when it comes to data, call and text.

US National RootScore Overall Performance rankings:
1 – Verizon (93.9)
2 – AT &T (89.9)
3 – Sprint (85.5)
4 – T-Mobile (82.5)

Overall Performance scoring is broken down in two ways. First, RootMetrics offers two holistic categories that give consumers a clear view of each network's performance in the key areas of Network Reliability and Network Speed. Network Reliability is based on how reliably calls could be made and texts delivered, as well as how often RootMetrics could make a data network connection and then stay connected throughout testing of all performance categories. Network Speed includes how quickly a network can download and upload files, send email, and perform typical web and app-related tasks.

Scoring is further broken down into Call, Data, and Text RootScores. Looking at all the RootScore categories together offers the most comprehensive look at a typical mobile experience; since not everyone uses their phones in the same way, RootMetrics also offers the ability for consumers to slice the data in the way that helps them most.

Verizon again earned top honors in the US in both Network Reliability, Network Speed and Data Performance.

Network Reliability rankings:
1 – Verizon (95.7)
2 – AT &T (92.4)
3 – Sprint (90.1)
4 – T-Mobile (84.0)

Network Speed rankings:
1 – Verizon (91.0)
2 – AT &T (86.1)
3 – T-Mobile (85.8)
4 – Sprint (72.2)

Data Performance rankings:
1 – Verizon (95.6)
2 – AT &T (92.8)
3 – T-Mobile (89.9)
4 – Sprint (84.3)

Call Performance rankings:
1 – Verizon (91.2)
2 – Sprint (86.2)
3 – AT &T (85.2)
4 – T-Mobile (71.3)

Text Performance rankings:

1 – Verizon (96.9)
2 – AT &T (95.6)
3 – Sprint (94.1)
4 – T-Mobile (90.8)

State Performance Summarized
At the state level in the 1st half of 2016, Verizon led the rankings, earning 274 awards (out of 300) – outright or shared – across the six award categories. This is a slight increase from the 272 awards the carrier earned in the last round of testing. Furthermore, Verizon earned nearly three times as many awards as the runner-up at the state level, AT &T, which won 82 awards.

Meanwhile, Sprint lagged in RootMetrics testing at the state level, earning a total of 11 awards, a significant decrease from its 36 awards during the last round of testing. Sprint's biggest drops were in the Call and Text Performance categories; however, the carrier showed improvements in speed, earning its first-ever State Network Speed RootScore Award with an outright win in Nevada.

Looking at T-Mobile's performance at the state level year-over-year, the carrier continues to make notable strides. After earning zero awards in the 1st half of 2015, the network jumped to taking nine in the 2nd half of 2015. During the most recent testing period, T-Mobile took 20 first place awards, shooting past Sprint's performance at the state level for the first time in RootMetrics testing history. Furthermore, the carrier took its first-ever State Overall RootScore Award in New Jersey, for which the carrier tied with Verizon.

Metro Performance Summarized
Mobile performance at the metro level is likely to have the greatest impact on a consumer's daily life. Likewise, it is where the race is most competitive for the carriers. When it came to network performance across the metros, RootMetrics latest testing revealed that competition between all four mobile carriers is heating up. Although Verizon's total number of awards slightly decreased from 597 to 563 during this round of testing, the carrier continued to lead the pack at the metro level.

The next runner-up was AT &T, which trailed Verizon with a total of 409 wins and ties in the metros. Notably, this is also a slight decrease for the carrier's performance in the 2nd half of 2015 where it earned 424 awards.

When it came to Overall RootScore Awards at the metro level, Sprint earned six awards – outright and shared – which is identical to its standings in the 2nd half of 2015. The main difference in these results is that Sprint previously tied for all of its overall mobile performance awards; but this time around, Sprint earned an outright award in Las Vegas. In the end, Sprint earned a total of 166 awards at the metro level, slightly lower than its 212 total awards during the last round of testing.

The biggest shifts and gains in mobile performance at the metro level can be seen on T-Mobile's network. T-Mobile earned a total of 360 RootScore Awards at the metro level in the first half of 2016, revealing significant gains in the Overall Performance category. While the carrier earned 17 outright awards during the last round of testing, this most recent report has T-Mobile winning or sharing 40 Overall RootScore Awards. Ultimately, the most recent test period reveals that T-Mobile is catching up to runner-up AT &T, which earned 51 Metro Area Overall RootScore Awards.

For details on the RootMetrics testing methodology, visit: http://www.rootmetrics.com/en-US/methodology.

About RootMetrics®
RootMetrics® is an independent mobile analytics firm that measures mobile network performance and offers insights into the consumer mobile experience. RootMetrics provides data on mobile network performance to help the networks improve and give consumers an end-to-end look at mobile performance. RootMetrics offers its series of RootScore® Reports that show how the networks perform across all the spaces of a consumer's mobile life, 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 smartphones most often.

About IHS Markit
IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world's leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2016 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.

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CONTACT:Lori Niquette for RootMetrics rootmetrics@shiftcomm.com 617-779-1800Source: RootMetrics