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Speed ​​test results push back to AT & T's fastest network 5G E requirements



Last week, AT & T prided itself as "the nation's fastest wireless network" powered by Ookla speed tests and its misleading name 5G E – ie. LTE network. But there is only one problem: As ookla has taken the time to point out in a blog post, AT & T's claim is almost not so resounding to a victory that the company has declared.

Now, it is true that AT & T had the fastest overall average mobile broadband speeds in America in Q1

2019 But overall for the quarter, AT & T's average download rate was 34.65 Mbps – only marginally better than T-Mobile's average speeds of 34.11 Mbps or Verizon's 33.07 Mbps.

It is part of a growing trend for AT & T, which has been using the last year with dramatically slower speeds than its competitors T-Mobile and Verizon, for a very simple reason: The company was much slower to adopt the newer LTE technologies (things like MIMO – more antenna arrays – and carrier aggregation) than the competitors were. When AT & T's network was captured, it also did its relative speed tests to the point where things are again neck and neck, as seen in the Ochlas chart.


Compares it to chart AT & T released last week but charts weekly speeds during Q1 2019. For most of the quarter, things are still neck and neck, but last week AT & T & # 39; 39's speeds up. Was AT & T's network suddenly dramatically faster than the competition? As Ookla explains, no.


AT & T's diagram lacks an X axis, but there are apparent weekly tracking speeds through Q1 2019
Image: AT & T (via Engadget )

Instead notes the company that "Last week in Q1, we also observed an increase in faster tests taken at AT & T's network. After the survey, we discovered that this correlated with the release of iOS 12.2 and the rollout of AT & T's 5G E icon. "And, as Ookla told The Verge last week, the increased number of speed tests came specifically after release of iOS 12.2 (which added AT&T & # 39; s 5G E icon) and specifically from the iPhone XR, XS Max, XS, X, 8 and 8 Plus devices (the phones now showing 5G E service at AT&T).

In other words, the iPhone customers got the AT&T update, saw the new icon, made speed tests to see what speeds they got, and it added a whole lot of new faster test data that gave AT&T & # 39 ; s figures for the last week in the first quarter. And who also makes Notes, as 70 percent of AT & T's customers are iPhone users – compared to 49 percent on T-Mobile and 62 percent on Verizon – who come across iOS users trying to figure out if 5G E was actually faster than LTE-de, they had the day before (spoiler: it's not) was even more significant.

So yes, AT & T's network has improved and is a bit faster as a whole now than its competitors. But it is not as dramatic for an increase as AT & T's message will suggest, and presumably, when numbers begin to normalize again, things will continue to look a little further ahead. And no amount of 5G E marketing hype could change it.


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