The results are out, and it has been determined that T-Mobile has the greatest network speed when it comes to LTE data connections. The Un-carrier topped the ranking in a recent list of major US network carriers based on the cellular data speed published by Ookla for the first half of the year. While T-Mobile's speeds are quite satisfactory for most users, the primary reason why T-Mobile managed to top the ranking was due to the immense load that Verizon and AT&T networks have sustained since introducing Unlimited Data plans.

Did data plans affect network speeds?

When the unlimited data plans were first introduced by Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, they did not account for the increase in internet activity that they would witness. The companies believed that the load would not be that high, which would cause the entire network's speeds to drop. However, they were proven wrong in their assertions.

According to Opanga Network analysts, the data consumption has nearly doubled since the companies introduced the unlimited data plans. People have subscribed to these plans and have been using the internet very freely. However, doing so has created an additional burden on networks such as AT&T and Verizon. These two carriers have the most number of subscribers in the US, which has resulted in a decrease in speed.

Opanga also reported that the most of the effect was visible on Verizon's network, where internet speed fell by almost 2 Mbps in the six months between the introduction of the plan and now. The average speed on Verizon's LTE network is around 14.9 Mbps. Seeing such a decline, the carrier decided to take some steps in reducing internet usage.

What did the carriers do to reduce internet activity?

In August, Verizon announced three new plans for unlimited data. These new plans imposed a stricter limit on data consumption for unlimited subscribers than the previous unlimited plans did. When the plans were first announced, many customers criticized the carrier, but from Verizon's perspective, it did not have a choice.

However, if the introduction of such throttled unlimited plans helped increase Verizon's internet speeds is something that only future will tell. T-Mobile also increased the prices of its unlimited plans, so that the bandwidth usage is limited and does not create a huge burden on its entire network.

The carriers are looking forward to the introduction of 5G networks, which is believed to be the only solution to the data usage problem. With super-fast speeds offered by 5G, the data plans will also become cheaper with each passing day. However, there is no word when carriers will finally adopt the technology.