RootMetrics recently published its biannual report on how the top four wireless carriers in the United States are performing within a variety of categories. As usual, Verizon is the top dog across every category, but things got a bit shook up at the bottom of the list.

In the first half of 2018, Sprint was the nation’s third-best overall wireless carrier, according to RootMetrics. However, in the second half of the year, T-Mobile rose up to take that spot away, relegating Sprint to fourth place.

It should be noted that both Sprint and T-Mobile fared the same throughout all of 2018 in four out the five RootMetrics categories. It was only in the Network Reliability category that T-Mobile pushed ahead, which caused their overall rankings to swap.

The T-Mobile logo.
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Meanwhile, AT&T came in second place in every category, although it was neck-and-neck with Verizon when it comes to texting services.

RootMetrics obtains its U.S. data by paying contractors to conduct network tests in various situations in areas all around the United States. The company uses off-the-shelf Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphones purchased from carrier stores, and tests are conducted during the day and night while users are walking and driving. It mixes this data with some crowdsourced metrics as well.

This methodology differs from that of Open Signal, which only uses crowdsourced data from unpaid volunteers using a variety of phones (including iOS devices). Interestingly, Open Signal usually shows T-Mobile as being the second best carrier in most categories, while RootMetrics’ data almost always shows AT&T as second best.

Click here to see the full 2018 report from RootMetrics.

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