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Which carrier provides the best mobile network in Tampa Bay?

Not Sprint.
Verizon won or tied in three out of four categories ranking the top mobile carriers, according to OpenSignal’s latest report. Pictured is the Verizion building in Tampa in 2010.
Published Jan. 25

The quality of a mobile network in Tampa Bay is directly tied to which carrier is providing it. That's according to a newly-released "Mobile Network Experience Report" by OpenSignal, which pegs Verizon as the clear front-runner.

"In OpenSignal's seventh in-depth look at the U.S. mobile industry, we found a country that has reached a high level of maturity in 4G, (which is) apt as operators are looking ahead this year to their first 5G networks," the ranking said.

Four major carriers — Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint — were ranked on their performance in 4G network availability, upload and download speeds and latency, both nationally and by region.

Around Tampa Bay, Verizon had the best 4G availability, with that service available in just over 97 percent of the region. T-Mobile was a close second at just less than 95 percent, followed by AT&T (92 percent) and Sprint (91 percent).

Verizon also led the way in upload speed experience, averaging 8.6 megabits per second, followed by T-Mobile (6.6 megabits per second) and AT&T (4.6 megabits per second). Sprint trailed at just 2 megabits per second.

OpenSignal, a wireless coverage mapping company, gave Verizon and T-Mobile a tie for download speeds where Verizon's 23.3 megabits per second inched out T-Mobile's 22.8 megabits per second, followed by AT&T (17.2 megabits per second) and Sprint (13.9 megabits per second).

The only category Verizon did not lead was service lag time. AT&T had the least latency with response times of 50.2 milliseconds, followed by Verizon (54.5 milliseconds), T-Mobile (61.5 milliseconds) and Sprint (72 milliseconds).

The results directly mirrored the carrier's national rankings for the study.

"Verizon has either caught up to or surpassed T-Mobile in nearly every one of our primary metrics" after T-Mobile's two-year run as No. 1, the ranking said.

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.

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