Houston: There's No Problem for Sprint in This City

Sprint has seriously invested to upgrade its network performance, and we saw those results first-hand in Houston. The carrier averaged a download speed of 34.4 Mbps deep in the heart of Texas. And while that wasn't the fastest speed we saw in Houston, Sprint finished second to Virgin (36.2 Mbps), a Sprint-owned subsidiary that relies on its parent company's network.

More good news for Sprint: the third-fastest average download speed we recorded belonged to Sprint's Boost subsidiary.

MORE: The Best and Worst Phone Carriers: Where Sprint Ranks

That's a far cry from the last time we tested in Houston, when Sprint's download and upload speeds trailed all of its Big Four carrier rivals.

That's not to say other carriers didn't shine in Houston. T-Mobile had the fastest average upload speed at 20.2 Mbps. And the Uncarrier also came close to dethroning Verizon in our app download test. While Verizon posted the best average time of 1 minute and 8 seconds in Houston, we were able to download Pokémon Go in 1:18 on T-Mobile.

MORE: Get to Know T-Mobile's Unlimited Phone Plan

One other noteworthy thing about Houston: It's the rare city where nearly every carrier performed better at indoor test sites than at the outdoor ones. And the few exceptions — like Virgin — were only a few Mbps off the pace when we tested inside.

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  • danbfree
    2016? Your tests are from September of 2015 and despite not being that "old", things have changed a lot since then and again, is not from 2016. Bad clickbait headline!
  • Mike_310
    i call BS. Verizon is only 5% faster than tmobile yet the same app downloads 40% faster on Verizon?
  • chrisfo1
    You should change what speeds were actually being measured. Verizon does not have 24Megabytes per second download. That is insane cellular data speeds and is very very misleading. Those numbers are most likely Megabits* speed, not Megabytes. Mbps stands for Megabits. 1 Megabyte = 6 Megabits. When you download those speed test apps or go to websites testing your internet speed, you are testing the Megabits. So you should be seeing 144Mbps when you measure your speeds on the websites and apps. I am very certain you are not seeing such speeds via cell data lol. Not even close actually.
  • veladem
    @CHRISFO1 I easily get 50-100Mbps via Ookla on Straight Talk/AT&T. If you'd like a screen cap I can easily get you a few tested over the last half year or so.
  • taylorh_9
    In San Jose, I can safely say that T-Mobile is easily 2-3x faster than Verizon in most places (we have both.) Some places Verizon is faster or as fast. However T-Mobile's coverage kind of stinks. It's either all or nothing and you get nothing far too frequently whereas Verizon can range from slow to fast, but it always works.
    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.
  • flameout00
    Definitely depends on which part of the Country you are in. Maybe I'm just in a really great spot, but I get around 130 Mbps download and 15 upload (Sprint, Galaxy S7 Edge, Ookla speedtest app) and these results are fairly consistent
  • PReed4962
    Cricket advertises their speed at 8Mbps - it is not meant to be as fast as AT&T - its also A LOT less expensive.
  • Zuper_
    These tests are always meaningless. Verizon spends its money in cities. Sprint is hardly a national carrier, drive through flyover country with a sprint phone and you will be roaming on the verizon network most of the time.
  • Chris_442
    I'm in North jersey and since my galaxy S8 got here last week I've been averaging download speeds on sprint btwn 35mbps to 45mbps with two tests this weekend as high as 67mbps. I drive for a living and those speeds have been pretty consistent across much of the urban/suburban NY metro area. Those speeds are twice as fast as what I was getting with my S6 five days ago. Maybe the new in phone antenna is the difference. Sprint has been trying to get manufacturers to build phones with the latest antenna for a while now and Samsung finally delivered. I'm sure Verizon had something to do with delaying advancement in technology especially by a competitor.
  • williger
    FWIW I live in Palatine and my Verizon drops constantly. Visiting friends in the area experience same problem. Switching to AT&T, as I'm lucky to get one bar on Verizon. Hopefully, AT&T is better, Sprint is even worse here.
  • jdting
    Wow! Six whole cites. That makes a HUGE judgement about all the other places in this country. Click-bait for sure.