Another month, another coverage test result for one of the carriers to celebrate.
In their report, Ookla speculates that T-Mobile's ability to pull ahead of the pack speed-wise has to do with both the spectrum crunch competitors AT&T and Verizon have experienced as a result of their introduction of unlimited plans and T-Mobile's own network innovations. Also, fewer subscribers on T-Mobile's network.
"The combination of a tightly-spaced cell site grid and a smaller subscriber base than Verizon and AT&T could be the keys to T-Mobile’s success in the U.S. market and to their ability to support the exponential growth in mobile data consumption," reads the report. "Leveraging 700MHz spectrum, T-Mobile has been expanding its LTE footprint into new markets. Additionally, T-Mobile has been aggressively refarming their spectrum."
It should be noted here that Ookla isn't exactly known as the beacon of objective reliability. The company gathers its metrics from users via speedtest.com, and sometimes uses narrow criteria in declaring one provider or another "the fastest."
Earlier this year, the National Advertising Review Board upheld a 2016 recommendation that Comcast cease its "fastest internet" claims, deeming the Ookla-sourced data behind it both insufficient and unreliable.
With respect to the carrier test, as Fierce Wireless aptly noted, most of the results gathered in rural areas were from Verizon, with T-Mobile only accounting for around 11% of the data. Which is to say: when it comes to overall breadth of coverage in the United States, T-Mobile has a ways to go.
Still, the results are encouraging for T-Mobile, and the carrier seems to be doing something right in the urban and suburban areas of the U.S.