Houston: There's No Problem for Verizon
Verizon and T-Mobile had a Lone Star State showdown, but in the end, Big Red finished on top in Houston, thanks to better LTE download speeds.
Verizon posted the best average download speed of 55.4 Mbps, well ahead of the other carriers. AT&T and Sprint both posted 19.5 Mbps averages, while T-Mobile was just behind at 19.2 Mbps. It was in average upload speed where T-Mobile emerged from the crowd, posting a 22.8 Mbps result that topped all other carriers in Houston.
But when it came time to download Discord, Verizon once again asserted itself, pulling off the task in an average of 12 seconds. That's 22 seconds better than T-Mobile's average time.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Average Download Speed, Houston||Average Upload Speed, Houston||Average App Download Time (Min:Sec)|
|Verizon||55.4 Mbps||16.5 Mbps||0:12|
|AT&T||19.5 Mbps||20.8 Mbps||0:37|
|Sprint||19.5 Mbps||2.4 Mbps||0:32|
|T-Mobile||19.2 Mbps||22.8 Mbps||0:34|
|Boost||12.1 Mbps||1.6 Mbps||1:01|
|Straight Talk||11.4 Mbps||15.5 Mbps||0:32|
|Cricket||7.3 Mbps||7.3 Mbps||1:24|
|Metro||3.8 Mbps||6.5 Mbps||3:38|
Cricket once again had the slowest average download speeds, while Sprint and Boost struggled with upload speeds. But Metro by T-Mobile's performance also raised eyebrows, as it was unable to benefit from the fast speeds of its parent network. Metro struggled with our app download test in Space City, where it couldn't complete the download in less than 5 minutes in four of our six test sites.
Our results reflect an average of five Speedtest.net tests conducted at six sites around Houston. At each test site, we also downloaded the 40MB Discord app from the Google Play store onto Galaxy S9 phones tied to each carrier.
Verizon may have won narrowly in Houston, but it enjoyed a much bigger margin nationwide. Big Red captured the fastest wireless network title, topping both AT&T and T-Mobile. Check out our full national results.
Looking Ahead to 5G: While our speed testing focuses entirely on LTE, the reality is that carriers are beginning to launch 5G service in some markets. Houston now has 5G service from Sprint. We have yet to do any 5G testing in Houston, though we did try out Sprint's faster network in nearby Dallas.
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.