Before Changing Phone Carriers, Check OpenSignal’s Mobile Broadband Report 

Screenshot: OpenSignal

Picking “the best” phone carrier has never been easy, since you never really know what kind of service you’re going to get until you’re already stuck with a new carrier (and/or phone). Thankfully, mobile broadband industry analyst OpenSignal has a few more data points to play with—more than 3 billion per day, in fact—and they’ve released a new report that compares coverage, download and upload speeds, and latency for the “big four” wireless carriers.

Here’s a spoiler: If you’re shopping for new service, you might want to go Big Red. Verizon wins almost every category in OpenSignal’s overall report, which it built using more than 10 billion different measurements taken from more than one million individual devices over a three-month period in late 2018.

OpenSignal releases its wireless reports twice each year, covering countries like the U.S., U.K., India, Australia, and Brazil. The best thing about them is that they aren’t limited to broad, sweeping statements: You can look at charts based on data from different regional areas to see if there’s any difference in OpenSignal’s recommendation based on how well the carriers serve your particular area. And these are absolutely worth looking at, because the best provider does vary city-to-city.

In addition to the reports, you can also use OpenSignal’s mobile broadband toolkit app (iOS, Android) to get crowd-sourced data about wireless coverage in your area. It lets you compare mobile services in your area, shows coverage maps by phone provider, and features a number of handy tools you can use to optimize your service, including a cell tower finder and an internet speedtest.

A live data reading from Brooklyn.
Screenshot: OpenSignal

Though the app (and this company) thrives on collecting data from its users, I give them credit on being open and honest about it: The app clearly lays out how it will use the data it collects and asks you to opt in or out when you open it for the first time. You can use the app without sharing data for testing, though you do need to give it location data access for the coverage maps and tests to function properly.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram