Carrier Battle: Fight for coverage becomes race for speed


Mobile carriers’ commercials used to feature big bright maps showing how many regions were covered by that carrier’s cell towers. Cheesy spokesmen would show the maps side by side, making it easy to see that their respective company covered the most area in the country. Verizon was the clear winner of that battle, but as time went on, there was only so much room to improve, and the fight is almost evening out. It’s almost over.

However, the carriers have something new to argue over. Who’s network is the fastest?

Expect T-Mobile to be making that case very soon. The company is about to kill global data roaming rates in over 100 countries, and it’s currently seeing speeds between 6Mbps and 20Mbps on its LTE network.

This information led CEO John Legere to tell the media at a recent NYC event that its network is currently faster than AT&T’s. But is it the fastest?

In an interview with AllThingsD, Legere said, “I’m not announcing we’re the fastest,” Legere said.  “I’m announcing we will be announcing that.”

Expect it to come soon, as T-Mobile will try to make a huge push for holiday sales. Showing potential customers that it’s time to switch is only step one.

Source: FierceWireless

About the Author: Harrison Kaminsky

Harrison is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh completing a major in communication and a minor in economics. Aside from writing for TalkAndroid, he is the managing editor at The Pitt News, a digital marketing intern at Buzzhoney in Pittsburgh, founder and owner of He's currently using an HTC One (M8) and Nexus 7 (2013). Harrison is excited for the next release of Android, and for whatever the future holds for the tech world. Tweet him at @Harry_Kaminsky.

  • Oli72

    Let’s go T-Mobile.

  • Kary

    Coverage still matters. Speed doesn’t matter if there is no coverage. I’d have T-Mobile now if they had decent coverage.

  • M42

    Speed is measured in one’s overall market and in my travels all over the East coast T-Horrible is still mostly EDGE with HSPA 4G and some LTE in the bigger cities. AT&T has LTE and HSPA 4G everywhere, even in small rural areas and they wipe the floor with T-Horrible. And yes, I’m speaking from experience as a former T-Horrible user who saw the light and jumped off that Titanic.

  • It makes sense for TMO to emphasize speed because they darn sure aren’t going to be winning on coverage. I was a TMO customer for almost 10 years until this past March, speed, even on the HSPA+ FauxG network they had then was great, where you could get a signal. The problem was there were plenty of places, including where I live in Suburban Los Angeles where you would count yourself luck if you got and EDGE signal.

    I’m still rooting for T-Mobile and will definitely be taking another look at them when my contract with AT&T is up in ~18 months but coverage is critical to me.

    • RTWright

      I had T-Mobile, then AT&T, now I’m on Sprint ( I regret this one ). When I was on T-Mobile, it didn’t take long for me to travel very far to be out of coverage. AT&T was by far the best I’ve had, but that’s another story to itself. Sprint promised a lot of improvements, but I’ve still after almost 4 years with them cannot get even 3G signal at my own home. AT&T gave me that, I regret not being able to stick with them. T-Mobile if they want to be taken seriously, needs to shoot for at least AT&T Coverage then start marching towards Verizon. T-Mobile’s biggest problem is their weakest link, Coverage!

  • JPB

    After a certain point, speed becomes a diminishing returns game.

    Once I can get to a point where I can view 1080p video without buffering, there really isn’t much more I can get out of speed on my mobile device.