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VOL. 127 | NO. 81 | Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Report: Verizon is Best Carrier In Memphis

By Andy Meek

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In the pitched battle among the big carriers for mobile phone customers in the Memphis area, mobile testing firm RootMetrics is calling this round for Verizon.

In a report released Tuesday, April 24, Bellevue, Wash.-based RootMetrics described how it conducted thousands of calls, measured data usage and sent text messages throughout Memphis to determine which carrier had the fastest text service, the fastest and most reliable data network and which carrier had the fewest dropped and blocked calls.

The firm picked winners for each of the categories it measured, and it tallied the scores to get an overall winner for Memphis. RootMetrics found Verizon as having the best data performance, but it found that call performance and text performance in Memphis was too close to call among the major carriers.

RootMetrics picked Verizon as the combined winner for Memphis.

“In Memphis, Verizon has an established LTE network, and they offered the best overall combined performance in our RootScore Report,” RootMetrics CEO Bill Moore told The Daily News. “We chose to test in Memphis as it’s an important metropolitan area in the U.S., and we are working to create as thorough a map of the entire U.S. as possible.”

The company compiles data in major metropolitan areas to create its RootScore Reports. Memphis is among more than 60 markets so far that have been analyzed.

To evaluate the area, RootMetrics performed 9,247 call, data and text tests during a period of five straight days (March 24-March 28) and covered different hours of the day and night. Tests were conducted on Android-based smartphones bought from carrier stores.

The firm says it used the most advanced off-the-shelf smartphones available to the public for testing purposes. In the Memphis market, the tests were conducted using the HTC Amaze, the HTC Rezound, Samsung Epic, Samsung Galaxy Indulge and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket.

To measure call performance, testers placed a call from each carrier’s phone and attempted to hold that call open for two minutes. To study texting performance, testers measured how long it takes each carrier to send a text or receive a text from a phone within its own network and phones in other carriers’ networks.

For data performance, testers measured the data transfer rate to determine average and max speeds.

The results of call performance:

RootMetrics was unable to call a winner in that category. The report found “call performance was comparable across all of our call measures, with each carrier delivering a strong performance. Neither Cricket nor Sprint recorded any blocked calls during our Memphis tests. AT&T did not record any dropped calls.”

The results of the data performance:

From the report, “Verizon’s LTE network swept the category, offering the fastest average and maximum speeds for both downloading and uploading data. Verizon’s average download and upload speeds, in fact, were faster than any other carrier’s maximum download and upload speeds. AT&T offered the second fastest average download speeds in the Memphis market.”

Regarding data success and network accessibility, the report found AT&T and Verizon tied as the most reliable carriers in Memphis for actual data delivery.

The results of text performance:

“Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T delivered equally strong performances during our text testing, and we were unable to declare a clear victor.”

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