Giving a smartphone? Networks tested for speed, reliability

No doubt, smartphones and other digital devices will be at the top of many holiday gift lists. We thought it would be a good idea to see which provider in metro Atlanta comes out on top when it comes to network reliability, speed and other performance measures consumers consider.

phonecomboWe turned to RootMetrics, which keeps track of such performance measures. targeting major metro Atlanta providers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.

The companies received “RootScores” based on independent, consumer-focused tests during thousands of miles of driving and visits to various locations around metro Atlanta. The higher the score the better the performance.

In RootMetrics’ 2nd half 2014 report, Verizon led in overall performance with a score of 98.1. Verizon improved its score from the first half of the year, while AT&T, which had tied with Verizon for first place previously, saw its overall score drop slightly from the previous report.

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Researchers said they covered 4,904 miles and visited 131 locations in metro Atlanta to test the networks.

Verizon led outright in overall performance for the first since February 2012.

Network performances, however, varied in specific categories:

* Sprint and Verizon tied for No. 1 in reliability

* T-Mobile and Verizon tied for No. 1 in speed

* Verizon was No. 1 in mobile Internet performance

* Sprint and Verizon tied for No. 1 in call performance

* T-Mobile and AT&T tied for No. 1 in text performance

Both Sprint and T-Mobile gained ground compared with their performances during the first half of the year, when their RootScores relegated them to third and fourth places.

AT&T led in reliability, text performance and tied with Verizon in call performance in the previous report, which came out in February.

RootMetrics tested the competing networks between July 25 and August 2. Researchers said they covered 4,904 miles, visited 131 locations and conducted a total of 102,300 tests to come up with scores.

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