Broadband speeds and feeds aren't quite as important as they once were now that some of the focus of service providers has shifted to the management of in-home Wi-Fi networks. But being recognized for delivering the fastest network speeds still counts for bragging rights that, in turn, can also fuel positive perception in the broader consumer market.
According to the results of Ookla's Q1 2022 US Market Report, Verizon came away with bragging rights for fixed broadband, and T-Mobile locked in the same with respect to mobile speeds.
Focusing first on fixed broadband, Ookla's Speedtest study found that Verizon delivered a median download speed of 184.36 Mbit/s, followed by Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T, with CenturyLink/Lumen Technologies coming in a "distant sixth."
Ookla's tests also focused on latency levels, a performance metric that's becoming increasingly important for latency-intensive apps such as online gaming. Verizon was also tops there for fixed broadband, delivering a median latency of 8 milliseconds, ahead of Cox (11ms), AT&T and Comcast (both at 14ms), CenturyLink/Lumen (15ms) and Charter (16ms).
There was no statistical winner in the fixed broadband category with respect to Ookla's "consistency score," which reflects the percentage of a service provider's data samples that meet minimum thresholds for download and upload speeds.
Comcast tallied a score of 90.6% of results showing at least 25 Mbit/s down and 3 Mbit/s up, followed by Charter (90.3%), Verizon (84.4%), Cox (84.2%), AT&T (80.4%) and CenturyLink/Lumen (57.4%).
Ookla's Q1 study deemed New Jersey the fastest state, with median download speeds of 195.2 Mbit/s, and a median upload speeds of 36.32 Mbit/s, with Verizon as the fastest fixed broadband provider studied in the region.
Flipping to mobile, T-Mobile was tops in Q1, delivering median download speeds of 117.83 Mbit/s on "modern chipsets" (defined as chips that can measure the network's full capabilities). Verizon jumped past AT&T for second place.
T-Mobile and Verizon tied for the lowest median latency, at 31ms, followed closely by AT&T (34ms).
T-Mobile also scored highest in the consistency category for mobile, posting 88.3% of results showing at least 5 Mbit/s down and 1 Mbit/s up, ahead of Verizon (84.6%) and AT&T (82.1%).
Focus on 5G
Ookla also zeroed in on 5G performance. T-Mobile led the pack with a median 5G download of 191.12 Mbit/s. Verizon, though, saw a solid increase in 5G speeds – hitting a median speed of 107.25 Mbit/s in Q1 2022, versus 78.52 in Q4 2021, which Ookla attributed to the start of Verizon's turn-on of the C-band spectrum. AT&T also started to flip on the new 5G spectrum in the first quarter of 2021, but its median download speed in the 5G category (68.43 Mbit/s) didn't change much from the prior quarter.
T-Mobile was deemed to have US 5G coverage of 65%, versus 49.4% for AT&T and 28.2% for Verizon.
Among devices, Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra delivered the fastest median download speed (116.33 Mbit/s) and median upload of 14.03 Mbit/s, followed by the Samsung Galaxy Fold3 5G (100.83 Mbit/s down by 12.74 Mbit/s up), Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (99.47 Mbit/s down by 12.50 Mbit/s up) and Apple iPhone 13 Pro (97.52 Mbit/s down by 12.29 Mbit/s up).
Ookla performs its tests using a server network that reports back key network health metrics. The organization says that it runs 10 million-plus tests daily, operates more than 14,000 servers globally and has run more than 35 billion tests to date.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
A version of this story first appeared on Light Reading.