As Carriers Prep for a 5G Future, Atlanta is Home to Blazing-Fast Download Speeds


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While Verizon dominated the mobile performance awards in Atlanta for the second straight testing period, the real story might be the data speed improvements seen across the metro area. Network upgrades put in place by the carriers in advance of the recent Super Bowl seem to have had a continued positive impact on performance. According to a new report from RootMetrics by IHS Markit, the standard for mobile performance benchmarking, for the first time ever in the Atlanta area, all four carriers recorded a median download speed above 30 Mbps.

However, even with impressive speeds recorded across the board, Verizon continues to show separation from the other carriers. Indeed, the First Half 2019 Atlanta Metro RootScore Report reveals that Verizon is the only carrier to provide a median download speed above 40 Mbps, recording 44.2 Mbps in recent testing. At this speed, a subscriber could download a high-definition TV show in only two minutes. When it comes to testing in congested areas during high-traffic periods, Verizon also rises to the occasion to support smartphone users’ data needs, recording lightning-fast median download and upload speeds of 99.0 Mbps and 52.5 Mbps, respectively. 

“Atlanta is showing more promise than ever,” said Francis Sideco, vice president, technology at IHS Markit. “With all four carriers showcasing fast download speeds in the metro area – even in the most congested areas of the city – Atlanta residents can expect strong performance now with the potential for even better speeds to come as the 5G story unfolds.”

This is the sixteenth time IHS Markit has tested the mobile networks in Atlanta and issued findings for the metro area. RootScore Reports provide a scientific, independent, consumer-focused assessment of mobile network performance.

Mobile Performance You Can Depend on

Verizon earns the Network Reliability RootScore Award outright for the fourth report in a row, edging ahead of AT&T in the latest testing. Thanks in part to a marked jump in median download speed, Verizon also holds the network speed award outright, which it previously shared with T-Mobile. Reliability and speed are crucial to a consistently good mobile experience. The network reliability category is a combination of results from data, call and text tests, while the network speed category examines results across testing of data transfers and web/app tasks.

Data Performance

Verizon takes the Data Performance RootScore Award outright for the second report in a row, while recording the fastest median download speed at 44.2 Mbps. T-Mobile, however, records the fastest median upload speed at 19.3 Mbps. During outdoor walking tests in the urban core of Atlanta, Verizon records the fastest median download and upload speeds at 99.0 Mbps and 52.5 Mbps, respectively. These speeds suggest that Verizon thrives when it comes to network bandwidth – allowing for top data speeds even with more users on a network. The data performance category reflects how well networks perform at downloading and uploading data and downloading files that approximate loading typical webpages or apps.

Call and Text Performance 

Verizon earns the award for call performance outright for the second consecutive report, while all four carriers share the Text Performance RootScore Award. Call performance testing is based on how reliably each network can place and maintain calls, while text performance testing measures how reliably and quickly consumers can send and receive text messages. 

Comprehensive Testing

To evaluate the mobile experience in Atlanta, IHS Markit conducted tests across all hours of the day and night from March 25 through April 6. Using smartphones purchased off the shelf at carrier stores, tests were conducted indoors at 241 locations and while driving 4,811 miles. For details about IHS Markit testing, see the methodology section of the RootMetrics by IHS Markit website.

About RootMetrics by IHS Markit

RootMetrics by IHS Markit is mobile analytics that measure mobile network performance and offers insights into the consumer mobile experience. IHS Markit provides data on mobile network performance to help the networks improve and give consumers an end-to-end look at mobile performance. To ensure that RootMetrics reflects real-world mobile usage, testing is conducted based on where, when and how consumers use their smartphones most often.

About IHS Markit

IHS Markit is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.

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