New York: Verizon Takes Manhattan
When it comes to LTE speed tests, it was a clean sweep for Verizon in the City That Never Sleeps. Big Red had the best average download and upload speeds when we tested eight carriers at different locations around New York. It also shared the fastest time for downloading the Discord app.
How complete was Verizon's New York City domination? The second-best download and upload averages were posted by Straight Talk in our testing. And the Straight Talk-supplied Galaxy S9 we used in our testing was using a Verizon-tied SIM card. (Straight Talk gives you a choice of which carrier's network to piggyback on.)
Verizon's average download speed was 84.6 Mbps across six test sites in New York. That's well ahead of the 54.8 Mbps Straight Talk posted. Sprint was the next fastest carrier at 42.6 Mbps, and its Boost subsidiary wasn't far behind at 42.1.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Average Download Speed, New York||Average Upload Speed, New York||Average App Download Time (Min:Sec)|
|Verizon||84.6 Mbps||25.4 Mbps||0:16|
|Straight Talk||54.8 Mbps||24.5 Mbps||0:29|
|Sprint||42.6 Mbps||6.2 Mbps||0:22|
|Boost||42.1 Mbps||5.5 Mbps||0:21|
|AT&T||32 Mbps||8.3 Mbps||0:16|
|T-Mobile||25.8 Mbps||14.3 Mbps||1:23|
|Metro||22.5 Mbps||11.4 Mbps||1:30|
|Cricket||7.4 Mbps||7.6 Mbps||0:43|
For upload speeds, Verizon's 25.4 Mbps average was just ahead of Straight Talk's 24.5 Mbps result. T-Mobile came in third with a 14.3 Mbps upload speed.
AT&T joined Verizon in the winner's circle for the fastest app download time, as both carriers completed a Discord download in 16 seconds. Boost and Sprint were right behind at 21 and 22 seconds, respectively.
New York residents looking to avoid slow data speeds should probably skip Cricket. The AT&T-owned carrier had the worst download average, thanks to the 8 Mbps cap it places on download speeds, and its upload average topped only Sprint and Boost. At least Cricket was able to download Discord in 43 seconds on average, which was faster than the minute-plus times T-Mobile and its Metro subsidiary posted.
Our results reflect an average of five Speedtest.net tests conducted at six sites around New York City. At each test site, we also downloaded the 40MB Discord app from the Google Play store onto Galaxy S9 phones tied to each carrier.
In addition to finishing on top in New York City, Verizon also captured our overall ranking for the fastest wireless network, topping AT&T and T-Mobile. Check out our full national results.
So speed tests are interesting, but I'm really more interested in consistent good performance in the most places, not rockin' fast performance in spots. Based on my experience, that's how these two measure up.
Despite that, I'm eyeing the day I can switch to T-Mobile. Sadly some places I currently need coverage (remote rural) T-Mobile simply has no signal whatsoever.