Prominent Speed Tester Ranks Cellular Data Service in Texas Cities

Ookla has released its 2018 survey of cell data speeds across the country.

by Dwight Silverman, Houston Chronicle / July 20, 2018

(TNS) — Speedtest, the popular app for checking the friskiness of a cellular or Wi-Fi Internet connection, is on a lot of smartphones. That makes it perfect for taking the pulse of the nation's LTE-based mobile data networks. Ookla, which develops the app, is out with its 2018 survey of cell speeds.

LTE continues to expand and improve in advance of the launch of 5G data services late this year or early next, and it shows in the results of speed tests done in the first and second quarters of 2018. More than 2.8 million users completed almost 12.5 million tests, allowing Ookla to gather almost 524 million data points.

The result: The mean download speed in the United States on LTE networks was 27.33 Mbps, a 20.4 percent increase over the same period in 2017. Mean upload speed was 8.63 Mbps, up only a disappointing 1.4 percent.

Nationally, T-Mobile was the fastest carrier with a speed score of 27.86. Ookla says the speed score is "a measure of each provider's download and upload speed to rank network speed performance." Verizon was in second place with 26.02, AT&T in third with 22.17, and Sprint was in last place with 20.38. However, Ookla points out that Sprint had the biggest improvement in performance compared to last year.

In Texas, Plano was the city with the fastest LTE speeds, while Laredo came in last — and was last nationally, as well. Houston was in fifth place in the state but was pretty far down in the rankings of all cities.

In Texas, T-Mobile was the fastest carrier (and the fastest in Houston, too). Overall, speeds in Texas were at 24.42 Mbps download and 8.01 Mbps upload.

The fastest city in the country was Minneapolis with a whopping 44.92 Mbps mean download speed and 14.26 Mpbs upload.

Ookla is owned by Ziff-Davis, which also owns PCMag. That venerable online computer publication also surveys cell speeds around the U.S. annually, and you can read about this year's test in Houston at

Update: The makers of the Open Signal app, which uses a different speed-testing methodology than Ookla, has its own report for U.S. LTE speeds. T-Mobile has the strongest score nationally, and ties for download speeds and availability with Verizon in Houston. T-Mobile is tops locally for upload speed, while AT&T wins here for low latency.

©2018 the Houston Chronicle Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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