T-Mobile is the fastest provider, Galaxy S22 Ultra is the phone with the fastest downloads

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T-Mobile is the fastest provider, Galaxy S22 Ultra is the phone with the fastest downloads

T-Mobile was the fastest and most consistent US carrier last quarter, reports Ookla, the company behind the Speedtest carrier benchmarking app. They examined the app’s reports and it turns out that T-Mobile has gained an edge over the other big two in both 4G and 5G download speeds.
Ookla also revealed which was the phone that achieved the fastest download speeds and which was the fastest iPhone when it came to bits and bytes beamed onto their cellular modem by a cellular provider.

America’s fastest airline

Big Magenta achieved an average download speed of 117.83 Mbps, which is quite a big increase from Q4 results when it was again the fastest. Second place this time is taken by Verizon with 62.62 Mbps, reflecting its C-band switch, while AT&T scored 56.1 Mbps. Here are the key US carrier benchmark results from the Speedtest Intelligence report for Q1:

  • Verizon was the fastest fixed-line broadband provider in the United States in Q1 2022, surpassing XFINITY to XFINITY’s 179.12 Mbps with an average download speed of 184.36 Mbps.
  • T-Mobile ranked as the fastest and most consistent wireless carrier in the US for Q1 2022, achieving a median download speed of 117.83 Mbps and a consistency score of 88.3% — both increases from Q4 2021.
  • Looking at the tests conducted only with 5G, T-Mobile achieved the fastest average 5G download speed in the first quarter of 2022 with 191.12 Mbit/s. Verizon also saw a notable increase in 5G download speeds in Q1 2022 over Q4 2021, driven by the activation of new C-band spectrum in January.
  • The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was the fastest popular device in the US in the first quarter of 2022 with 116.33 Mbit/s.

Needless to say, the Speedtest Intelligence report on “Millions of consumer-initiated tests run with Speedtest every day‘, so it’s somewhat skewed toward inner-city and more populated areas, where T-Mobile has denser coverage, on average, than the rural areas that Verizon or AT&T cover.

Still, T-Mobile showed a commendable increase in performance, almost doubling the 62.35 Mbps it achieved in Q3 2021, and its faster and more complex 5G network rollout plays a big part in the current situation. The resilience of T-Mobile’s network was demonstrated by the highest consistency percentage it also achieved in the study, maintaining download speeds of at least 5 Mbps 88% of the time, more than Verizon or AT&T.

The phone with the fastest download speeds is owned by Samsung

Samsung has three of the top 5 phones with the fastest download speeds, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3 occupy the top two spots with median download speeds of 116.33 Mbps and 100.83 Mbps, respectively.

The fastest download speeds achieved by an Apple iPhone go to the flagship iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro models, while Samsung’s 2021 flagship, the Galaxy S21 Ultra rounds out the top five in the category.

Those are pretty explainable numbers as the S22 Ultra features Qualcomm’s latest X65 5G modem, given its ability to take full advantage of the carrier aggregation options on offer to it. In fact, T-Mobile recently boasted about the tweaks that phones with this modem can enjoy on its network:

  • T-Mobile will be able to leverage the Qualcomm X65’s three-carrier 5G aggregation in a number of ways. The carrier has more than 100MHz mid-band 5G spectrum in many locations and in those locations it needs 3xCA to operate two 100MHz mid-band channels plus one low-band channel for uplink/better range. There are also some cities (like New York) where the middle band allocation is split in half and can be used like two separate bands. So X65 phones (like the Galaxy S22) should bring significant performance improvements in T-Mobile’s mid-band.
  • The 3.45-3.55GHz spectrum currently being auctioned should become free in some locations by the end of 2022. This means that AT&T and all other buyers of this spectrum may see a significant boost in C-band performance, especially when used with these X65 modems over the next year, beyond the initial C-band launches.

Fastest 5G network speeds

When it comes to 5G, nothing beats T-Mobile anymore. The Un carrier managed to get an average download speed of 191 Mbps over its 5G network, while the second Verizon offered 107 Mbps and AT&T took third place with 68 Mbps. T-Mobile also showed the highest 5G network availability at 65%, suggesting that its layered pie strategy and the mid-bands it scored from its merger with Sprint were the right moves at the time.

With the introduction of the C-band spectrum that Verizon and AT&T have been buying en masse, the ranking of 5G networks in the US could change, but for now, T-Mobile clearly has one in its next-generation coverage expansion and band mix Advantage network.