Rural 4G: Verizon Better Availability, AT&T Better Download Speeds, Latency
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | Comments

Opensignal performed an analysis of 4G network speeds in rural areas of the United States, which cover 97% of the U.S. land area. The study looked at measures of mobile network experience across three different types of rural America in order of “remoteness” — fringe, distant and remote — using the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) definitions of rural U.S.

The study found that Opensignal users on Verizon’s network experienced the highest 4G availability across the rural U.S. Verizon users on average connected to 4G more than 80% of the time in all types of rural locales from fringe to remote.

Opensignal’s users on AT&T and T-Mobile's networks enjoyed a faster download speed experience across the rural U.S. than users on other carriers, including Verizon. In the distant and remote rural areas, AT&T users experienced average download speeds of 15 Megabits per second (Mbps) and 14.6 Mbps respectively compared with 13.8 Mbps and 12.3 Mbps for users on Verizon.

The company’s users on Verizon’s network saw the fastest upload speed experience across all types of rural locales compared with users connecting with AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint. Verizon users experienced speeds of 5.4 Mbps, 3.7 Mbps and 3.7 Mbps in fringe, distant and remote rural areas.

Across all of the rural U.S. Opensignal’s AT&T users on average experienced lower latencies than their peers on other networks. Even small latency differences affect the experience of real-time applications. For example, Verizon rural users experienced latencies between 3.7 and 4.5 milliseconds slower compared with users on AT&T in rural locales, while T-Mobile users’ latencies were between 4.9 and 8.8 milliseconds slower.

The full analysis is here.

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