Competition for customers among the top four wireless providers remains intense – and close – with Verizon nosing past AT&T for the top spot nationally as calculated by independent testing firm RootMetrics. But in North Carolina, the two companies share the top spot.

Meanwhile, Sprint is catching up.

“The improvements we’ve seen in speed and reliability don’t just impact which network earns bragging rights; these upgrades have a direct impact on how, when, and where you can use your smartphone,” RootMetrics pointed out.

Three of the top four posted better scores than the previous rounds of tests for speed, call performance, reliability and data.

Verizon scored a 94.5 on the last six-month rankings as compiled through extensive testing across the country. AT&T was right behind at 91.8 followed by Sprint (87.5) and T-Mobile (82). RootMetrics awarded Verizon a score of 93.9 with AT&T second at 91.7, Sprint third at 86.6 and T-Mobile fourth at 84 in the previous tests.

Verizon has now topped the national report four consecutive times.

In the individual categories for reliability, speed, data and call performance, Verizon claimed first.

AT&T won for text performance.

The sharing of first place in North Carolina reflects the closeness of the competition nationally and in local metro markets with Verizon and AT&T battling back and forth.

“Verizon’s performance across our testing of the United States was excellent,” reported RootMetrics’ Dave Andersen/

But he added the battles are close.

“Verizon’s margin of victory in five of the six categories, however, was relatively small. AT&T finished a strong second in the majority of categories, Sprint narrowed the gap in call performance, and T-Mobile made strides in our data and speed categories.”

In North Carolina, RootMetrics Vice President Julie Dey noted the tie for first.

“Our North Carolina RootScore Report looked at data, call and text performance across all network technologies, including 4G LTE in North Carolina. We look at performance from a consumer’s point of view, and AT&T offered a very strong overall network performance for those in North Carolina during our tests,” she said in a statement.

Extensive testing

RootMetrics’ data is based on extensive testing across the country.

Says the survey: “To determine which network is leading the performance race in the first half of 2015, we drove over 237,000 miles while testing performance on highways and in big cities, small towns, and rural areas across the US. To put that in perspective, consider that the distance from New York City to Los Angeles is approximately 2,800 miles, the circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles, and the moon is about 239,000 miles away. While collecting samples for this national report, our professional testers could have driven from NYC to LA about 85 times, circled the earth nearly 10 times, or made it all almost all the way to the moon. All told, we collected approximately 6.1 million samples while testing performance during driving, at stationary outdoor locations, and at more than 7,300 indoor locations.”

Read the full report at: