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Study: T-Mobile LTE Network Has Lowest Latency
by Karl Bode 06:21PM Wednesday Nov 06 2013
There has been a lot of focus lately on the top speeds achieved by LTE networks, with AT&T and T-Mobile generally taking top honors when it comes to speed, but Verizon often taking the nod on connection reliability. As with all these kinds of studies, your mileage probably will vary due to geographical inconsistencies.

Click for full size
For a little something different, a new study by OpenSignal has found that T-Mobile alone can lay claim to having the lowest latency on their LTE network for the month of October, even if the results are close enough to probably be imperceptible in real-world usage.

The tests used data from 1 million volunteers to find that T-Mobile's mean latency of 89 ms topped that of 94ms for Verizon, 96ms for AT&T, and 107ms for Sprint. Sprint's last place showing mirrors their last place showing in most LTE speed tests. The graph to the left offers up the results, though they appear to have gotten their brand colors confused.

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swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS

Location..

It always comes down to location. I see latency of about 80 ms or less on Sprint LTE up here. eHRPD about 98 or so unless the cell site has not had the backhaul upgraded then its about 130.
--
Usenet Block Accounts | Unlimited Accounts

Loc Latency

@comcast.net

Re: Location..

Yes. AT&T latency not bad here.
»www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/629047430
theboz1419

join:2003-02-12
Elgin, IL
said by swintec:

It always comes down to location. I see latency of about 80 ms or less on Sprint LTE up here. eHRPD about 98 or so unless the cell site has not had the backhaul upgraded then its about 130.

I was going to say the same for sprint, I was using hotspot and did a speed test on my computer today and got 80ms and about 4700 down
criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom
I see latency around 40 ms usually on my Sprint LTE. And it is remarkable how little correlation there is between my pings, which are excellent, and my speed, which is atrocious. Here's a good example, from today:




By the way, I'm in an officially lit up Sprint LTE area and there's no excuse for these kinds of speeds now; I've even been told that the upgrades on my local towers are complete; so clearly something is very wrong.

Also, are we getting close to that time of the decade to add another Wireless/Mobile forum? Seems to me adding T-Mobile would make a lot of sense.

rwong48

join:2002-11-10
San Jose, CA

Re: Location..

said by criggs:

By the way, I'm in an officially lit up Sprint LTE area and there's no excuse for these kinds of speeds now; I've even been told that the upgrades on my local towers are complete; so clearly something is very wrong.

Because Sprint. Seriously. I don't know what it is. I left after years of following S4GRU and Network Vision and all the excuses for the slow rollout (contractors are slow, permits are hard, blah blah blah) and somehow NV Complete towers are still slow.

I'm much happier on T-Mobile and only wish I left 1 year earlier. GSM flexibility, Nexus devices, and the plan that fits me the most (100 minutes, 5GB data $30/mo). I was actually really happy with HSPA, and it was only 3 months before they surprised our city being in the first group to launch LTE.

I do miss Google Voice integration, truly unlimited (not quite.. and also slow) data, and nerding out over the few towers that got upgraded every week. But ain't nobody got time for that.. T-Mobile is just fast and good everywhere (for me).

ATT Latency

@comcast.net

My AT&T latency wasn't too bad

»www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/629047430
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

I agree with the survey...

...except T-Mobile's latency is actually a LOT lower in some places than they're talking about.

Around here, I'm consistently around, or even under, 30ms to Dallas or Houston. The lowest I've gotten on Sprint is 32ms to Fort Worth...when I was in Fort Worth.

Not to say that Sprint or Verizon are unusably latent around here. 50-70ms to Dallas is not too bad. But T-Mobile just blows the others away here at the moment.

djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4

Re: I agree with the survey...

I get about 30-60ms in san diego. Speeds are getting much better too!
»www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/641131186
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24
T-Mobile just dumps traffic onto the internet at their MSC. With Sprint you have a larger network with vastly different routing. Sprint builds MSCs with high capacity in central locations so your traffic has to go a bit further before it gets to the internet. For example, If you're in Cleveland, Ohio it's probably best to do a speed test to Pittsburgh, PA. Sprint's MSC for Cleveland is located in Akron, Ohio (There's no test server in Akron, Ohio).
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: I agree with the survey...

Yep; I'm aware that Sprint has its own backbone, which used to the the largest in the world (it's now like #4).

But T-Mobile still has lower latency on LTE.
podstolom

join:2010-01-25
Wichita, KS

Bar Colors.....

These are all messed up. Seems to me Red should be Verizon, Cyan should be AT&T, and Magenta should be T-Mobile? Sprint appears to be yellow. Did they mislabel the graphs? Might affect the latency rankings a bit.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Latency

I have no experience with T-Mobile LTE, but the mean latency on all four networks sounds a little high. The 3G sounds about right, but the 4G doesn't.
sides14

join:2007-11-29
Glendale, AZ

It all comes down to traffic loading

I guarantee when T-Mo gets more customers on their LTE network, the latency will get worse.
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: It all comes down to traffic loading

Keep spewing that out there.... Can't be that designed it right for the moment eh ?

Im seeing 18-24 ms pings over tmo lte where as VZW and ATT were both 80 ms+ constantly. Even with good signal levels. tmo doesn't bounce a bit, even when Im in the areas that are extremely dense with tmo users.

They did it right and don't have to jump on other ILEC/CLEC circuits. They all have 10 gig fiber links on their gear and the saturation point is not even close to that. They waited a bit for better gear and now will use the better speced gear to offer better service.

Thier hspa+ Network is another story, it's not as good as it is using older technology, but it is still a solid competitor.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

KA3SGM
- -... ...- -
Premium
join:2006-01-17
West Chester, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Cricket Broadband
·Verizon FiOS

Fiber To The Antenna

T-Mobile's LTE network is unique, that it's already built with LTE Advanced ready equipment.

They use Ericsson's AIR21 platform, which means that there is no longer any coax running up the tower, no Remote Radios on top of the tower.

The LTE-A radios are actually BUILT DIRECTLY INTO THE ANTENNAS, and they are directly fed with Fiber.

Kind of like what Fios does for a home, they are doing for Cellular/Mobile Broadband.

Plus, their backhaul provider is not usually the ILEC, CLEC, or your typical fiber provider.

They're using Zayo instead: »www.zayo.com/interactive-network-map
Which means they mostly have a private leased Metro Multi-Gigabit Ethernet backbone, that feeds their cell sites, and their switching centers.

With all of that, it might just cut those ping times a little bit.....
--
ROCK 'TIL SUNSET

michieru
Premium
join:2009-07-25
Miami, FL
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..

Hmmm.

Average latency for me around the Miami, FL area is about 90ms - 170ms with random spikes of 400ms+ .

Fastest speed test is 30Mbps/1.37Mbps Kendell, FL
Slowest speed test is 3.40Mbps/0.27Mbps Aventura, FL
Nexus 7 LTE.

I use Sensorly.
criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY

Re: Hmmm.

You use Sensorly? You use that for speed tests? I just went to the Sensorly site and I don't see any link for a speed test unless I'm going blind. Where is that? Thanks.

KA3SGM
- -... ...- -
Premium
join:2006-01-17
West Chester, PA
kudos:1

Re: Hmmm.

Evidently, you don't have any clue about their Android phone app...
--
ROCK 'TIL SUNSET
criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY

Re: Hmmm.

Thank you for your so gracious reply.
boredsysadm

join:2012-01-11

NYC

Here in NYC market I get typical 40ms on Tm's LTE network - which is very helpful for Voip calls

chlen
Ethically Challenged
Premium
join:2001-01-16
Saratoga, NY

Sprint is beating tmo in alb

Click for full size
In albany which is not an announced sprint market sprint lte is spreading and has better coverage already than tmo. Speeds on tmo are a tad higher but on empty sprint towers away from downtown I get 20/12 consistently, and saturated downtown I average 7/3 indoors.

However sprint latency is never really above 50. I don't know how they do it but latency is great which in turn is great for VPN.