Sprint Finishes Third in Nationwide Survey of Wireless Quality

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In a new Rootmetrics study, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) finished third in the national “overall” measure, which includes “reliability,” “speed,” “text,” “data” and “call.” Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) proved once again that it has a quality edge in the United States over the other big four carriers, beating out AT&T Inc. (NYSE; T) and T-Mobile US Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) as well as Sprint.

The measures were from the study for the first half of 2016. Rootmetrics experts wrote:

While Sprint didn’t win any RootScore Awards at the national level, Sprint’s relative rankings in this test period remained identical to those from the second half of 2015. Sprint’s best finish came in the Call RootScore category, in which the network edged past AT&T to finish second. Sprint remained in third place in the categories of overall performance, network reliability, and text performance.

As we note below, Sprint has improved its LTE coverage in metropolitan markets, and Sprint’s results showed improvement in a number of areas in our metro area testing in the first half of 2016. If Sprint can continue its LTE expansion efforts beyond metro areas, Sprint could close the gap with the other networks in multiple categories at the United States level.

Verizon’s score was 93.9, AT&T’s 89.9, Sprint’s 85.5 and T-Mobile’s 82.5.

Methodology:

To determine which network led the performance race in the first half of 2016, we drove over 265,000 miles while testing performance on highways and in big cities, small towns, and rural areas across the US. To put that in perspective, consider that the distance from New York City to Los Angeles is approximately 2,800 miles, the circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles, and the moon is about 239,000 miles away. While collecting samples for our national report, our professional testers could have driven from NYC to LA about 95 times, circled the earth over 10 times, or made it all the way to the moon (and then some). All told, we collected approximately 3.7 million test samples while driving and at more than 4,200 indoor locations.