Although 5G deployments and adoption have been the focus for wireless operators over the last 12 months, 4G networks still dominate real-world subscriber experience in 2020. As of the time of writing, there’s still no 5G-compatible iPhone, and true standalone 5G networks are still in their infancy.
Luckily for wireless subscribers, innovation and improvement in 4G networks has continued apace. AT&T’s nationwide rollout of the new 700 MHz LTE spectrum band (as part of the FirstNet agreement) is mostly complete according to the operator, Verizon continues to add capacity with deployments such as mid-band CBRS, and of course, the T-Mobile/Sprint merger has already led to widescale network changes to prepare for the New T-Mobile.
With the nationwide carrier landscape shifted much more towards three operators relatively equal in scale, the importance of customers’ Quality of Experience as a differentiating factor between operators will only increase. To measure how subscribers’ mobile experience compares between operators, Tutela has analyzed over 54 billion total records taken from real-world smartphone users, including more than 185 million speed and latency tests, taken between March 1st and August 31st 2020.