T-Mobile is the big winner in Ookla’s Q3 Speedtest

T-Mobile once again scored first place in network speeds, latency and performance, according to Ookla’s Q3 Speedtest report. Although T-Mobile beat Verizon and AT&T in every category,  the two operators did see improvements in their 5G download speeds in Q3.

According to Ookla’s Q3 report, T-Mobile was in first place with median 5G download speeds of 221.57 Mbps. This is a slight increase from Q2, when T-Mobile’s median 5G download speed was 220 Mbps.

Verizon came in second place with a median 5G download speed of 153.79 Mbps but that was an increase over Q2 when Verizon recorded a 5G median download speed of 133.50 Mbps.

AT&T also saw an increase in its median 5G download speeds, moving from a 5G median download speed of 86.10 Mbps in Q2 to a 5G median download speed of 101.55 Mbps in Q3.

Besides download speeds T-Mobile also leads in 5G median latency with a latency of just 50 milliseconds. Verizon is in second place with a latency of 53 milliseconds and AT&T is in third place with a median latency of 64 milliseconds.

Verizon’s and AT&T’s increases in 5G download speeds are the result of their mid-band 5G rollouts. “Verizon and AT&T are clearly benefiting from the early clearance of C-band spectrum by satellite providers,” said Mark Giles, lead industry analyst with Ookla.

In mid-August both operators finally received access to all of their C-band spectrum licenses that they won in the 2021 auction.  At the time, Verizon told FierceWireless that the additional C-band spectrum will give it 140 MHz of contiguous spectrum and make it possible to double, and in some cases, triple, the amount of bandwidth available to customers.  AT&T also said that it now has a minimum of 100 MHz of mid-band spectrum in the U.S. and an average of 120 MHz nationwide.  AT&T is deploying 5G in 3.45 GHz spectrum as well as C-band.

Giles expects to see more improvements from Verizon and AT&T in future reports. He noted that the Q3 report used data from July and part of August so the additional C-band spectrum was not available when some of the data was collected.  “Q4 will see Verizon and AT&T continue to close the gap on T-Mobile,” Giles said, adding that the C-band deployment is a big undertaking. “While a large part of that [upgrade] will be software upgrades to existing infrastructure, the operators still need to plan and test these upgrades to ensure the rollout goes smoothly.”

T-Mobile shines across all networks

When it comes to network performance across 4G and 5G, T-Mobile was the big winner with a median download speed of 163.59 Mbps, which is more than double Verizon’s median download speed of 75.68 Mbps and AT&T’s median download speed of 72.64 Mbps. 

But T-Mobile isn’t just dominating on download speeds, it also is winning in upload speeds. According to Ookla, in Q3 T-Mobile had the fastest median upload speed of 11.31 Mbps compared to Verizon, which logged a median upload speed of 8.66 Mbps and AT&T with a median upload speed of 7 Mbps.

In terms of overall median multi-server latency, T-Mobile leads with a latency of just 53 milliseconds and Verizon is second with a latency of 59 milliseconds. AT&T was in third place with a median latency of 66 milliseconds.

T-Mobile also scored the No. 1 slot in median mobile download speeds in 77 of the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. during Q3. Ookla said that results were statistically too close to call in 21 cities. Glendale, Arizona had the fastest median mobile download speed of the top 100 most populated cities in the U.S. with speeds of 181.74 Mbps in Q3.  Reno, Nevada had the slowest median download speed of just 46.26 Mbps.