Wireless providers are extremely fond of arguing and fighting with each other as to who provides the fastest and most reliable service. That’s why reliable third-party testing, like that provided by OpenSignal, is so important for helping consumers figure out which service is actually the best.
This year, in addition to releasing its overall report on mobile networks, OpenSignal released a follow-up ranking cell reliability and speeds in five different geographic regions. After all, knowing that Verizon and T-Mobile are the faster across the entire country does you little good if those services are poor in the city you live in.
At least, this is true in theory. In practice, it turns out that in terms of overall reliability, Verizon still wins in each individual region in the US. Speed is a little more split, with T-Mobile offering faster service in the Northeast and Southeast, while Verizon wins out in the Midwest and Northwest (the two tied for the Southwest).
Oh, and no matter where you live, Sprint is still the worst across the board. Sorry, Sprint customers.
OpenSignal’s methodology is particularly useful for determining reliability, as it sources data from "millions of smartphones” through its app, which tests and reports on signal strength. Although data could be skewed if the app isn’t on a representative sample of smartphones.