All four major wireless carriers in the US are constantly flinging claims at you—they're the fastest, the largest, the friendliest, the best. So 10 years ago, we decided to put those claims to the test. Every year since then, with the carriers' cooperation, we strap phones into a set of cars and send them across the country with our staff members behind the wheels, scooping up data for several weeks to see who has the fastest and most reliable smartphone data network.
Verizon had a good run for the past five years with its nationwide LTE network, but AT&T has rocketed into the top spot this year. What the carrier calls 5G Evolution may not be 5G, but it's definitely a stride toward it. The big push to improve its 4G LTE network in preparation for 5G pays off big time for AT&T; it's America's fastest mobile network in 2019.
Our Fastest Mobile Networks tests are more comprehensive than you'll find in other publications, and more transparent than the consulting firms the carriers use for a lot of their ads. We're beholden to you, not to them. This year, we drove through 30 cities and 25 states, running 60,000 speed tests to determine the fastest mobile network nationwide. Using Samsung Galaxy S10 phones, we ran tests every two minutes and summarized the results across six different categories. You can see more about this in our Testing Methodology section.