Sprint Passes T-Mobile in U.S. Network Quality, Report Says

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Sprint Corp., which this month reported its first subscriber additions in 12 quarters, is showing enough improvement in wireless-network quality to top T-Mobile US Inc. for third place in a national study, according to Rootmetrics.

Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. maintained their overall positions in the twice-a-year study, securing first and second place, Rootmetrics said Tuesday. Verizon, which has the most monthly subscribers among U.S. carriers, posted a top rating in five of six categories, including network reliability, speed and data performance. AT&T, the second-largest wireless company, was No. 1 in text messaging.

Sprint Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure is attempting to reverse customer losses as the third-biggest U.S. carrier tries to catch up with peers on network improvements. The Overland Park, Kansas-based company’s improved call performance, in addition to better network reliability, helped it surpass T-Mobile, according to the study.

T-Mobile, the No. 4 U.S. carrier, is also in a race to expand advanced technology throughout its network. The company made improvements in speeds and metropolitan coverage, Rootmetrics said. The study was conducted in the second half of 2014.

T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray said the progress the company made last year in the top 30 cities will be more pronounced this year.

“Network studies are beginning to see this in metro markets today, but we anticipate it will take them a while to keep up as we plan to cover 300 million Americans with 4G LTE by the end of 2015,” Ray said in an e-mailed statement.

Rootmetrics President Bill Moore said his top conclusion from the report is that every network is getting better.

“We saw improvements across the board in data speeds and call quality. T-Mobile and Sprint are the biggest improvement stories,” Moore said in an interview before the report was released.