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VOL. 128 | NO. 197 | Wednesday, October 09, 2013

RootMetrics: AT&T Top Memphis Mobile Provider

By Andy Meek

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Mobile phone carriers are scrapping earnestly among themselves to offer the flashiest phones to consumers, with offerings that cater to all manner of tastes and price points, but when it comes to actual mobile performance, a new study has found a clear winner in Memphis.

Washington-based RootMetrics conducted tests of mobile carriers in the Memphis area, and its resulting survey gives AT&T top marks across major categories, including network reliability and network speed.

Washington-based RootMetrics conducted almost 19,600 tests – including phone calls, texts and mobile data usage – for a week last month, and its resulting survey gives AT&T top marks across three major ranking categories except for one, which AT&T shares with Verizon.

In its just-released survey, RootMetrics cited AT&T as having the best data and text performance. AT&T and Verizon together share top marks for best call performance among the major carriers in Memphis, which also include Sprint and T-Mobile.

RootMetrics picked AT&T as the combined winner for Memphis. Its report also noted that all carriers in Memphis now offer LTE service, referring to much faster connectivity and mobile service.

“All four major carriers now offer LTE service in Memphis, which is good news for consumers who are looking for the most advanced network technology,” RootMetrics CEO Bill Moore said. “AT&T especially stood out in Memphis, ranking highest on both our reliability index and speed index. This combination of reliability and speed offers mobile users in Memphis the best of both worlds, allowing them to do what they want with their phones and get it done fast.”

To arrive at its conclusions, RootMetrics’ test calls, texts and data usage sought to determine which carrier had the fastest text service, the fastest and most reliable data network and the fewest dropped calls.

The company compiles data in major metropolitan areas to create its reports. To evaluate the local area, RootMetrics’ tests were conducted indoors and outdoors at all hours to capture as much variance among potential customer behavior as possible.

The tests were conducted from Sept. 7 through Sept. 12. Among the survey’s findings:

“AT&T especially stood out in Memphis, ranking highest on both our reliability index and speed index. This combination of reliability and speed offers mobile users in Memphis the best of both worlds, allowing them to do what they want with their phones and get it done fast.”

– Bill Moore, CEO, RootMetrics

In terms of reliability, which RootMetrics describes as “doing what you want to do, when you want to do it, without interruption or failure,” AT&T ranked highest in network reliability and network speed. Additionally, the survey found strong call performance among all four carriers in Memphis and that all carriers had statistically comparable average call-failure rates of 0.6 percent or less.

“To put this in perspective, about three in 500 calls would fail (drop or block) at this rate on average,” according to the survey, which added that AT&T and Verizon didn’t drop any calls during testing.

Regarding text performance, all four carriers delivered texts in less than 10 seconds at least 95 percent of the time. And RootMetrics gave the edge there to AT&T, which it said had zero send failures, giving it the most reliable texting performance.

When it comes to data, the RootMetrics testers found that AT&T was the fastest in downloading a test batch of 10 emails (taking an average of two seconds). The testers also looked at how fast each carrier could load elements of a web page or app, and AT&T also took the shortest time for that (less than half a second).

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