Fan Mobile Reception: Which carrier gets it done?

Apparently, it’s Verizon. That’s the ready conclusion from a series of tests by RootMetrics, which conducted a series of in-game tests at four NBA arenas earlier this year (see stats below).

In each of the four NBA arenas (Heat, Bucks, Bulls and Lakers), RootMetrics tested for reception, reliability, and speed. Verizon swept the podium. Here are the numbers*, as reported by (note: DAS stands for Distributed Antenna System):

American Airlines Arena – Miami Heat (no Wi-Fi, just DAS):

  • Reception (scale of 1-100): Verizon (98.4), T-Mobile (89.5), AT&T (84.2), Sprint (65.4).
  • Reliability: Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T were all above 94. Sprint was at 67.6.  
  • Speed: Verizon (96.0), T-Mobile (77.0), AT&T and Sprint (in the 60s)

BMO Harris Bradley Center – Milwaukee Bucks (no Wi-Fi, just DAS):

  • Reception: Verizon (95.9), AT&T (83.6), Sprint (81.1), T-Mobile (68.6)
  • Reliability: Verizon (100.0), AT&T (96.4), Sprint (92.9), T-Mobile (79.5).
  • Speed: Verizon (just below 90.0), AT&T and Sprint in the 60s, T-Mobile just over 50)

United Center – Chicago Bulls (both DAS and Wi-Fi):

  • Reception: Verizon (95.5), Sprint (76.6), AT&T (67.2), T-Mobile (61.0).
  • Reliability: Verizon (100.0), AT&T (67.7), T-Mobile (66.6).
  • Speed: Verizon (88.7), AT&T (66.6), Sprint (61.1), T-Mobile (52.6).

Staples Center – LA Lakers (both DAS and Wi-Fi):

  • Reception: Verizon (69.9), Sprint (60.4), AT&T (48.5) and T-Mobile (37.2).
  • Reliability: Verizon (67.3), Sprint (58.1), AT&T (48.2), T-Mobile (35.7).
  • Speed: Under 74.0 for all four carriers.

*Said the article: “It’s worth noting that the only clear advantage of Wi-Fi compared to the mobile networks was for median upload speeds found at Staples Center.”


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