Verizon Named 2018’s Fastest Mobile Network in PCMag’s Annual Carrier Showdown

Verizon Wireless was awarded the title of the fastest nationwide mobile network in PCMag‘s annual mobile network comparison, the results of which were released this morning.

For its test, PCMag analysts drove within and between 30 cities in the United States to test mobile network speeds using four Samsung Galaxy S9 phones. More than a dozen locations in each city were tested, with the site gathering more than 124,000 data points to reach its conclusion. Scores were calculated taking into account metrics like download speed, upload speed, latency, reliability, and consistency.


Verizon was named the overall fastest network after it won or tied in 19 of the 36 cities that were tested across the United States, marking Verizon’s 5th annual victory.

Verizon won out in almost every region (Northeast, North Central, South Central, Northwest, and Southwest), with the exception of the Southeast, where T-Mobile was determined to be the fastest network. T-Mobile was also named the second fastest network overall, followed by AT&T and then Sprint.

PCMag says that compared to its 2017 results, it saw faster, more consistent LTE connections across all four major U.S. carriers in the 2018 test. In the future, we should see some interesting results as mobile networks are upgraded to 5G. AT&T and Verizon are both aiming for higher speeds in smaller areas, while T-Mobile is aiming for nationwide 5G coverage but at slower speeds.

In addition to determining the fastest mobile carrier in 2018, PCMag also took a look at Speedtest Intelligence results pulled from Ookla to determine the fastest download speeds on modern Samsung and Apple devices.


Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, equipped with Gigabit LTE and 4×4 MIMO, beat out the iPhone X, which does not have 4×4 MIMO. Of Apple’s iPhones, though, the iPhone X saw the fastest upload and download speeds thanks to its adoption of 256QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), which boosts signal to allow for more data to be transferred at one time.


The full results of PCMag‘s 2018 mobile carrier speed testing can be found over on the PCMag website.

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Verizon Wireless was awarded the title of the fastest nationwide mobile network in PCMag's annual mobile network comparison, the results of which were released this morning.

For its test, PCMag analysts drove within and between 30 cities in the United States to test mobile network speeds using four Samsung Galaxy S9 phones. More than a dozen locations in each city were tested, with the site gathering more than 124,000 data points to reach its conclusion. Scores were calculated taking into account metrics like download speed, upload speed, latency, reliability, and consistency.


Verizon was named the overall fastest network after it won or tied in 19 of the 36 cities that were tested across the United States, marking Verizon's 5th annual victory.

Verizon won out in almost every region (Northeast, North Central, South Central, Northwest, and Southwest), with the exception of the Southeast, where T-Mobile was determined to be the fastest network. T-Mobile was also named the second fastest network overall, followed by AT&T and then Sprint.

PCMag says that compared to its 2017 results, it saw faster, more consistent LTE connections across all four major U.S. carriers in the 2018 test. In the future, we should see some interesting results as mobile networks are upgraded to 5G. AT&T and Verizon are both aiming for higher speeds in smaller areas, while T-Mobile is aiming for nationwide 5G coverage but at slower speeds.

In addition to determining the fastest mobile carrier in 2018, PCMag also took a look at Speedtest Intelligence results pulled from Ookla to determine the fastest download speeds on modern Samsung and Apple devices.


Samsung's flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, equipped with Gigabit LTE and 4x4 MIMO, beat out the iPhone X, which does not have 4x4 MIMO. Of Apple's iPhones, though, the iPhone X saw the fastest upload and download speeds thanks to its adoption of 256QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), which boosts signal to allow for more data to be transferred at one time.


The full results of PCMag's 2018 mobile carrier speed testing can be found over on the PCMag website.


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US DOJ to Consult With MVNOs on T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

As part of its antitrust examination into the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, the US Department of Justice is looking at how the two firms combining would affect smaller wireless carriers that frequently buy network access on larger networks to resell to “pre-paid or price-conscious consumers” according to a report from Reuters.


There are concerns, the report claims, that because Sprint and T-Mobile are more popular for smaller mobile virtual network operator or MVNO carriers looking to resell cellular service to users, a combined firm may result in higher costs for those MVNOs and their customers because of decreased competition.

The Justice Department, which is evaluating T-Mobile’s $26 billion deal to buy Sprint, has been speaking with small wireless operators that buy access to the major wireless networks at wholesale rates, and is seeking their opinions about the merger.

There’s no indication yet that this part of the antitrust investigation could cause any issues for the merger, but it does illustrate how complicated these large telecom mergers can be and how many different issues they can affect.

Back in April, Sprint and T-Mobile — the third- and fourth-largest mobile carriers in the US – agreed to combine into a giant carrier with more customers than AT&T. The companies hope to complete the merger by the first half of next year, but have to get approval from antitrust regulators first.

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As part of its antitrust examination into the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, the US Department of Justice is looking at how the two firms combining would affect smaller wireless carriers that frequently buy network access on larger networks to resell to "pre-paid or price-conscious consumers" according to a report from Reuters.


There are concerns, the report claims, that because Sprint and T-Mobile are more popular for smaller mobile virtual network operator or MVNO carriers looking to resell cellular service to users, a combined firm may result in higher costs for those MVNOs and their customers because of decreased competition.
The Justice Department, which is evaluating T-Mobile’s $26 billion deal to buy Sprint, has been speaking with small wireless operators that buy access to the major wireless networks at wholesale rates, and is seeking their opinions about the merger.
There's no indication yet that this part of the antitrust investigation could cause any issues for the merger, but it does illustrate how complicated these large telecom mergers can be and how many different issues they can affect.

Back in April, Sprint and T-Mobile — the third- and fourth-largest mobile carriers in the US - agreed to combine into a giant carrier with more customers than AT&T. The companies hope to complete the merger by the first half of next year, but have to get approval from antitrust regulators first.


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Unprotected T-Mobile API Let Anyone Get Customer Data With Just a Phone Number

A security vulnerability in T-Mobile’s website let anyone gain access to the personal details of any T-Mobile customer using just a phone number, reports ZDNet.

An internal T-Mobile employee tool, promotool.t-mobile.com, had a hidden API that provided T-Mobile customer data when a customer’s cell phone number was added to the end of the web address. Data that was available included full name, address, billing account number, and for some customers, tax identification numbers.


Account data, such as service status and billing status was also included, but it does not appear that credit card numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information was compromised. ZDNet says that there were “references to account PINs used by customers as a security question” which could be used to hijack T-Mobile accounts.

The API was used by T-Mobile staff to look up customer data, but it was accessible to the public and not protected by a password. T-Mobile rectified the issue in early April after it was disclosed by security researcher Ryan Stevenson, who ultimately earned $1,000.

In a statement provided to ZDNet, T-Mobile says that it does not appear customer data was accessed using the API, but research suggests the API had been exposed since at least October 2017.

A T-Mobile spokesperson said: “The bug bounty program exists so that researchers can alert us to vulnerabilities, which is what happened here, and we support this type of responsible and coordinated disclosure.” “The bug was patched as soon as possible and we have no evidence that any customer information was accessed,” the spokesperson added.

This is not the first unprotected API issue that T-Mobile has faced. Last year, a similar bug also exposed customer data to hackers.

T-Mobile has more than 74 million customers, and had this most recent bug been exploited, a simple script could have provided hackers with access to data on millions of people.

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A security vulnerability in T-Mobile's website let anyone gain access to the personal details of any T-Mobile customer using just a phone number, reports ZDNet.

An internal T-Mobile employee tool, promotool.t-mobile.com, had a hidden API that provided T-Mobile customer data when a customer's cell phone number was added to the end of the web address. Data that was available included full name, address, billing account number, and for some customers, tax identification numbers.


Account data, such as service status and billing status was also included, but it does not appear that credit card numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information was compromised. ZDNet says that there were "references to account PINs used by customers as a security question" which could be used to hijack T-Mobile accounts.

The API was used by T-Mobile staff to look up customer data, but it was accessible to the public and not protected by a password. T-Mobile rectified the issue in early April after it was disclosed by security researcher Ryan Stevenson, who ultimately earned $1,000.

In a statement provided to ZDNet, T-Mobile says that it does not appear customer data was accessed using the API, but research suggests the API had been exposed since at least October 2017.
A T-Mobile spokesperson said: "The bug bounty program exists so that researchers can alert us to vulnerabilities, which is what happened here, and we support this type of responsible and coordinated disclosure." "The bug was patched as soon as possible and we have no evidence that any customer information was accessed," the spokesperson added.
This is not the first unprotected API issue that T-Mobile has faced. Last year, a similar bug also exposed customer data to hackers.

T-Mobile has more than 74 million customers, and had this most recent bug been exploited, a simple script could have provided hackers with access to data on millions of people.


Discuss this article in our forums

Sprint and T-Mobile Reach Merger Agreement, Plan for ‘World’s Best’ 5G Network

Sprint and T-Mobile have finally reached a merger agreement, which means if approved by regulators, two of the four major carriers in the United States will combine into one entity in an all-stock deal worth billions.

The new combined company will be named T-Mobile and current T-Mobile CEO John Legere will serve as the Chief Executive Officer. Sprint and T-Mobile say the company will be a “force for positive change” in the U.S. wireless, video, and broadband industries, supercharging T-Mobile’s Un-carrier strategy and allowing the new company to “lead in the 5G era.”

The New T-Mobile will have the network capacity to rapidly create a nationwide 5G network with the breadth and depth needed to enable U.S. firms and entrepreneurs to continue to lead the world in the coming 5G era, as U.S. companies did in 4G. The new company will be able to light up a broad and deep 5G network faster than either company could separately.

T-Mobile deployed nationwide LTE twice as fast as Verizon and three times faster than AT&T, and the combined company is positioned to do the same in 5G with deep spectrum assets and network capacity.

According to the terms of the deal, T-Mobile plans to exchange 9.75 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share. Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent company, will own 42 percent of the combined company and SoftBank, Sprint’s parent company, will own 27 percent. Deutsche Telekom will have voting rights over 69 percent of the new company and will appoint nine of its 14 directors, while Sprint will appoint four.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that the combined company will “create a fierce competitor” that’s able to “deliver more for consumers and businesses in the form of lower prices, more innovation, and a second-to-none network experience,” while current Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who will serve on the board of the new company, said that the merger will make the U.S. a “hotbed for innovation.”

“We intend to bring this same competitive disruption as we look to build the world’s best 5G network that will make the U.S. a hotbed for innovation and will redefine the way consumers live and work across the U.S., including in rural America. As we do this, we will force our competitors to follow suit, as they always do, which will benefit the entire country. I am confident this combination will spur job creation and ensure opportunities for Sprint employees as part of a larger, stronger combined organization, and I am thrilled that Kansas City will be a second headquarters for the merged company.”

Along with the faster rollout of 5G technology, Sprint and T-Mobile say the merger will lead to job creation, lower prices for consumers, improved coverage, and “unprecedented network capacity.”

The deal between Sprint and T-Mobile still needs to be approved by antitrust regulators in the United States, but if it goes through, the U.S. will have three major carriers rather four. The combined Sprint and T-Mobile company will have nearly 100 million customers, putting it second only to Verizon.

Sprint and T-Mobile are aiming to close the deal “no later” than first half of 2019. More information about the merger can be found in the press release and in a new “All for 5G” website the two companies have created.

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Sprint and T-Mobile have finally reached a merger agreement, which means if approved by regulators, two of the four major carriers in the United States will combine into one entity in an all-stock deal worth billions.

The new combined company will be named T-Mobile and current T-Mobile CEO John Legere will serve as the Chief Executive Officer. Sprint and T-Mobile say the company will be a "force for positive change" in the U.S. wireless, video, and broadband industries, supercharging T-Mobile's Un-carrier strategy and allowing the new company to "lead in the 5G era."

The New T-Mobile will have the network capacity to rapidly create a nationwide 5G network with the breadth and depth needed to enable U.S. firms and entrepreneurs to continue to lead the world in the coming 5G era, as U.S. companies did in 4G. The new company will be able to light up a broad and deep 5G network faster than either company could separately.

T-Mobile deployed nationwide LTE twice as fast as Verizon and three times faster than AT&T, and the combined company is positioned to do the same in 5G with deep spectrum assets and network capacity.
According to the terms of the deal, T-Mobile plans to exchange 9.75 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share. Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, will own 42 percent of the combined company and SoftBank, Sprint's parent company, will own 27 percent. Deutsche Telekom will have voting rights over 69 percent of the new company and will appoint nine of its 14 directors, while Sprint will appoint four.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that the combined company will "create a fierce competitor" that's able to "deliver more for consumers and businesses in the form of lower prices, more innovation, and a second-to-none network experience," while current Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who will serve on the board of the new company, said that the merger will make the U.S. a "hotbed for innovation."
"We intend to bring this same competitive disruption as we look to build the world's best 5G network that will make the U.S. a hotbed for innovation and will redefine the way consumers live and work across the U.S., including in rural America. As we do this, we will force our competitors to follow suit, as they always do, which will benefit the entire country. I am confident this combination will spur job creation and ensure opportunities for Sprint employees as part of a larger, stronger combined organization, and I am thrilled that Kansas City will be a second headquarters for the merged company."
Along with the faster rollout of 5G technology, Sprint and T-Mobile say the merger will lead to job creation, lower prices for consumers, improved coverage, and "unprecedented network capacity."

The deal between Sprint and T-Mobile still needs to be approved by antitrust regulators in the United States, but if it goes through, the U.S. will have three major carriers rather four. The combined Sprint and T-Mobile company will have nearly 100 million customers, putting it second only to Verizon.

Sprint and T-Mobile are aiming to close the deal "no later" than first half of 2019. More information about the merger can be found in the press release and in a new "All for 5G" website the two companies have created.


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Sprint and T-Mobile Aiming to Reach Merger Deal Next Week

Earlier this month, reports suggested Sprint and T-Mobile had once again resumed merger talks, and now it appears the two U.S. carriers may be close to inking a deal.

According to Reuters, Sprint and T-Mobile have “made progress” negotiating merger …

Earlier this month, reports suggested Sprint and T-Mobile had once again resumed merger talks, and now it appears the two U.S. carriers may be close to inking a deal.

According to Reuters, Sprint and T-Mobile have "made progress" negotiating merger terms and are aiming to complete deal talks as soon as next week.


T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom and Sprint parent company SoftBank are said to be discussing an agreement that would "dictate how they exercise voting control over the combined company."
This could allow Deutsche Telekom to consolidate the combined company on its books, even if it does not have a majority stake in the combined company, one of the sources added. Deutsche Telekom owns more than 63 percent of T-mobile, while SoftBank owns 84.7 percent of Sprint.
Previous merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile failed after the two companies were unable to reach "mutually agreeable terms." Sprint parent company SoftBank was said to be unsatisfied with the deal because of ownership terms, with SoftBank concerned about losing control of the combined company after Deutsche Telekom requested a controlling stake.

If T-Mobile and Sprint are able to establish a satisfactory deal, the combined company would have more than 100 million customers.

Sources that spoke to Reuters said there is "no certainty" a deal will be reached, given the dissolution of the previous merger talks.


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T-Mobile to Pay $40 Million Fine for Faking Outgoing Calls to Rural Areas

T-Mobile will pay $40 million to the U.S. Treasury for failing to correct ongoing issues with call delivery to rural areas and fooling customers with false ringtones, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced today.

The FCC decided that T-Mobile violated the Communications Act following an investigation launched after T-Mobile subscribers were unable to reach customers served by three rural carriers in Wisconsin. T-Mobile claimed it had fixed the issue, but the FCC continued to get numerous complaints from T-Mobile callers attempting to reach at least 10 rural areas. From FCC chairman Ajit Pai:

“It is a basic tenet of the nation’s phone system that calls be completed to the called party, without a reduction in the call quality–even when the calls pass through intermediate providers. The FCC is committed to ensuring that phone calls to all Americans, including rural Americans, go through.”

According to the FCC, T-Mobile injected false ringtones into “hundreds of millions of calls” to rural areas to trick T-Mobile callers into thinking the phone was ringing on the other end of the line when it was not. False ringtones can cause a caller to hang up thinking no one is available, and it can also “create a misleading impression” that a caller’s service provider is not responsible for the failed call, says the FCC.

The FCC also said that rural call completion problems have “significant and immediate public interest ramifications,” leading to lost revenue for rural businesses, impediments for medical professionals unable to reach patients in rural areas, families who can’t reach relatives, and “dangerous delays” in public safety communications.

T-Mobile has admitted to violating the FCC’s prohibition on inserting false ringtones and failing to correct problems affecting calls to select rural areas. In addition to the $40 million payment, T-Mobile has also agreed to implement a compliance plan to fix these issues.

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T-Mobile will pay $40 million to the U.S. Treasury for failing to correct ongoing issues with call delivery to rural areas and fooling customers with false ringtones, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced today.

The FCC decided that T-Mobile violated the Communications Act following an investigation launched after T-Mobile subscribers were unable to reach customers served by three rural carriers in Wisconsin. T-Mobile claimed it had fixed the issue, but the FCC continued to get numerous complaints from T-Mobile callers attempting to reach at least 10 rural areas. From FCC chairman Ajit Pai:
"It is a basic tenet of the nation's phone system that calls be completed to the called party, without a reduction in the call quality--even when the calls pass through intermediate providers. The FCC is committed to ensuring that phone calls to all Americans, including rural Americans, go through."
According to the FCC, T-Mobile injected false ringtones into "hundreds of millions of calls" to rural areas to trick T-Mobile callers into thinking the phone was ringing on the other end of the line when it was not. False ringtones can cause a caller to hang up thinking no one is available, and it can also "create a misleading impression" that a caller's service provider is not responsible for the failed call, says the FCC.

The FCC also said that rural call completion problems have "significant and immediate public interest ramifications," leading to lost revenue for rural businesses, impediments for medical professionals unable to reach patients in rural areas, families who can't reach relatives, and "dangerous delays" in public safety communications.

T-Mobile has admitted to violating the FCC's prohibition on inserting false ringtones and failing to correct problems affecting calls to select rural areas. In addition to the $40 million payment, T-Mobile has also agreed to implement a compliance plan to fix these issues.


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T-Mobile Introduces Support for Business Chat in Messages

T-Mobile today announced support for Business Chat in the Messages app on iOS devices, a feature Apple introduced in a beta capacity with the release of iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4.

Apple Business Chat is available for all T-Mobile customers, allowin…

T-Mobile today announced support for Business Chat in the Messages app on iOS devices, a feature Apple introduced in a beta capacity with the release of iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4.

Apple Business Chat is available for all T-Mobile customers, allowing them to interact with T-Mobile's support staff directly in the Messages app.


T-Mobile says that its customers can access Apple Business Chat by searching for T-Mobile and tapping on the "chat" or "message" icon either through the iPhone's main search window or in Apple Maps.

Business Chat can be used to change a rate plan, change an address, purchase a new smartphone, ask questions, make payments, check plan details, and more. T-Mobile says customers can also send screenshots for "quickly and easily" troubleshooting issues.

Business Chat can also be used across devices, so customer support chats can be conducted and resumed on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.

At the current time, Apple's Business Chat feature is limited to the United States. Many other companies have previously announced support for Business Chat, including Zendesk, Lowe's, Discover, Hilton, and Wells Fargo.


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Sprint and T-Mobile Revisit Merger Talks

Sprint and T-Mobile have once again entered into talks over a potential merger, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The revitalization of the discussion comes just five months after the two companies officially called off plans for a merger following a…

Sprint and T-Mobile have once again entered into talks over a potential merger, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The revitalization of the discussion comes just five months after the two companies officially called off plans for a merger following an inability to reach "mutually agreeable terms."


At the time, Sprint parent company SoftBank was not satisfied with the deal because of ownership terms, with SoftBank concerned about losing control of the combined company after T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom requested a controlling stake.

The current discussions are said to be in a preliminary stage, and it's not clear what terms the two companies are considering, nor if the current administration would allow the deal to go through. Talks between the two companies have fallen apart several times before, and the same could be true of this round of discussions.

Should T-Mobile and Sprint be able to establish a satisfactory deal, the combined company would have close to 100 million customers, putting it ahead of AT&T and just behind Verizon.

When the last deal fell through in November of 2017, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said it was best for Sprint to move forward on its own and that the company would be "accelerating significant investments" to ensure its continued growth.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that a deal between T-Mobile and Sprint would need to "result in superior long-term value for T-Mobile's shareholders," and that T-Mobile would continue to disrupt the industry.


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