Cell phone carriers in the United States are giving stiff competition to each other as they want to attract as many customers as possible to their network. T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are the four major carriers who are competing against each other in the country. A test was conducted recently to determine the fastest cell phone network in the United States, which would end all doubts in customers’ minds.

PCMag conducted the research across the country to determine which of the so-called big four provides the fastest data speeds. The tests revealed that Verizon Wireless had the fastest network, while T-Mobile came in at a close second.

AT&T was also relatively close to the top two contenders and was third. However, Sprint’s network speeds lagged behind the rest and it was ranked at distant fourth.

Fastest mobile network of 2017

PCMag conducted the network speed test using four different Samsung Galaxy S8. The test used the Galaxy S8 as the handset features the first gigabit LTE support in the country. Since its release however the Moto Z2 Force and HTC U11 devices have also hit the shelves, which to support the same bandwidth speeds.

Each of the four Galaxy S8 devices used for testing was locked to one of the four carriers. These phones were taken to 36 cities along with other suburban and rural areas across the United States, to check the signal strength and internet speeds in each of them.

The testing took place between May 7 and May 23 this year.

The people who conducted the research concluded that this year’s contest was perhaps the closest yet. The final results also reflect how close it was between the number one and number two ranked carriers. However, Verizon has not only set up LTE technology across the country, but it also possesses the fastest and most reliable 4G network in the United States.

Comparison between the four major U.S. carriers

It was seen that Verizon reached an average maximum download speed of 215.7 Mbps across the nation, whereas T-Mobile reached just 199.9 Mbps. In fact, in this aspect, AT&T's network provided higher speeds of 202 Mbps. Sprint’s network could only manage up to 195 Mbps.

Several other aspects of the data speeds were also compared.

Lastly, the researchers compiled the results on how reliable each of the carriers was. It was revealed that Sprint had a reliability rating of 94 percent, whereas AT&T and T-Mobile scored 97 percent and 96 percent, respectively. Verizon scored a massive 99 percent in the reliability test.

Thus the overall test scores were shown to be 97 for Verizon, followed by 96 for T-Mobile, and 93 for AT&T. However, Sprint scored a distant 74 in the tests in comparison to the other three.