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Press Release -- February 18th, 2016
Source: Sprint Nextel

Sprint Continues to Close the Gap in Overall Network Performance

In RootMetrics’ second half 2015 special report “Mobile Network Performance in the US” Sprint increases its tally of state and metro awards, offers strong reliability, and improves its median download speeds in metro area testing

By Dr. John Saw, CTO, Sprint

RootMetrics® has just released its comprehensive 2H 2015 US Mobile Network Performance Report, and we continue to hold our third place nationwide ranking in overall network performance, as well as reliability and text. As for call performance, we’re pleased to have edged out AT&T for second place nationally.

RootMetrics’ bi-annual report offers a thorough, objective look at network performance in the U.S. The company is one of several independent sources that we rely on to monitor performance, and we’re encouraged to see that our network has continued to improve. Despite being outspent 2:1 by our top competitors, we see that we’re significantly closing the gap in network performance.

Sprint Increases Its Award Tally – Now No. 2 in U.S. Call Network Performance – Better than AT&T  

  • Nationally, Sprint finished third in overall performance, reliability, and text. Eighteen months ago, we ranked last in overall performance.
  • Sprint now ranks second nationally in call network performance, beating out AT&T for the first time ever (previously, Sprint and AT&T were tied for second).
  • Sprint achieved a total of 212 first place (outright or shared) RootScore® Awards for overall, reliability, speed, data, call, or text network performance in metro markets measured in the second half of 2015. Eighteen months ago, we received 27.
  • In 2H 2015, Sprint finished third in total number of first place metro awards (outright or tied) for overall, reliability, speed, data, call, or text network performance, but our improvement in number of RootScore Awards only trailed Verizon. Meanwhile AT&T and T-Mobile both declined since the previous report.
  • As for State RootScore Awards, we increased from 25 first place (outright or shared) Reliability, Call or Text RootScore® Awards to 36 first place shared Call or Text RootScore Awards in the past six months.

Sprint Improves Speed and Data Performance

  • The RootMetrics report shows we’ve made good progress on our median download speeds in metro area testing, even taking leadership in some markets.
  • Prior to the second half of 2015, Sprint hadn’t recorded a median download speed faster than 16.8 Mbps in any market tested by RootMetrics. In this test period, however, we recorded median download speeds of 20 Mbps or better in 14 markets. This is a significant improvement, and our 14 total markets in the 20+ Mbps speed interval surpassed AT&T’s total of 10 markets in the same speed interval.
  • In the second half of this year RootMetrics also found that Sprint had the fastest median download speed in 16 LTE Plus cities, including places such as Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Phoenix.
  • Carrier aggregation, as well as more time on LTE, helped drive our faster speeds. In RootMetrics’ previous test period, they connected to Sprint LTE during download testing over 90% of the time in 77 markets. But in this test period, that figure jumped to 103 markets.

We also remain proud of the fact that an analysis of Nielsen Mobile Performance data shows we actually deliver faster LTE download speeds than Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.1 Nielsen data matters because it looks at how real customers are actually experiencing the network based on a panel of volunteers representing more than 270 million consumers. There are many types of network tests within the industry, and all of them are useful for evaluating various aspects of a network. You can learn more here about different types of network tests, for example, those that measure performance capability versus the actual customer experience.

Sprint Offers “Excellent” Reliability

  • We spend a lot of time listening to customers, and they consistently tell us that reliability (the ability to get connected and stay connected) is what they care about most, so we’re particularly pleased to have RootMetrics note that our call reliability results in metro area testing were “outstanding.”
  • In 2H15 Sprint achieved RootMetrics’ threshold of excellence for both blocked and dropped call reliability across all 125 metro areas tested. Notably, this marks the second consecutive test period that we’ve reached the threshold of excellence for blocked call reliability in all 125 markets.
  • As for data reliability, we reached RootMetrics’ threshold of excellence for getting connected in 102 out of 125 markets, up from 77 markets one year ago. In 2H15 we also achieved an Excellent rating for staying connected in 121 out of 125 markets tested.
“As Sprint continues to expand its LTE footprint, deliver faster speeds and strong reliability, the network’s story of improvement could be a prelude to even stronger results to come.” – RootMetrics

We made good progress in 2015, but you haven’t seen anything yet. We’re working hard to extend the capabilities of our super-fast LTE Plus Network, available today in more than 150 markets. And we’re leveraging the broad adoption of Band 41 (2.5 GHz TDD-LTE). Band 41 now comprises one of the largest global LTE ecosystems covering the three biggest economies in the world (U.S., Japan and China), with a smartphone penetration that has grown from zero to nearly 300 million since 2011. With our densification and optimization strategy you’ll see us make the most of our deep 2.5GHz spectrum asset to deliver the excellent reliability, coverage, and speed that our customers need, both now and well into the future.

RootMetrics award rankings and findings based on RootMetrics 2H 2015 Mobile Network Performance in the US  Report (published February 17, 2016), as tested on best commercially available plans and devices on 4 national mobile networks across all available network types. The RootMetrics award is not an endorsement of Sprint. Your results may vary. See for details.
1Claim based on Sprint’s analysis of average LTE download speeds using Nielsen NMP data (Oct. thru Dec. 2015). NMP data captures real consumer usage and performance for downloads of all file sizes greater than 150kb.  Actual download speeds may vary by location and device capability.

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