For his test, PCMag analysts drove in and between 30 cities in the United States to test the mobile network speeds with four Samsung Galaxy S8 phones. More than a dozen locations in each city have been tested and the site has collected more than 124,000 data points to complete. The results were calculated taking into account metrics such as download speed, upload speed, latency, reliability, and consistency.
Verizon was named the fastest overall network after winning or hitching in 19 of the 36 cities tested in the US, marking Verizon's 5th annual victory.
Verizon prevailed in almost every region (northeast, north, south, north and southwest), with the exception of the southeast, where T-Mobile was the fastest network. T-Mobile also became the second fastest network, followed by AT & T and Sprint.
PCMag says it has seen faster, more consistent LTE connections across all four major US carriers compared to its 2017 results in the 2018 test. In the future, we should see some interesting results when mobile networks are upgraded to 5G. Both AT & T and Verizon are striving for higher speeds in smaller areas, while T-Mobile is targeting nationwide 5G coverage, but at lower speeds.
PCMag in addition to identifying the fastest mobile operator in 2018, also examined Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence results to determine the fastest download speeds on modern Samsung and Apple devices.
Samsung's flagship, the Galaxy S9, equipped with Gigabit LTE and 4×4 MIMO, beats the iPhone X, which does not have a 4×4 MIMO. However, from the Apple iPhones, the iPhone X saw the fastest upload and download speeds thanks to the introduction of 256QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), which amplifies the signal to transmit more data simultaneously.
Full results of PCMag 's 2018 Mobile Carrier Speed Testing can be found opposite the PCMag website
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