RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – AT&T offers the best overall wireless performance in the Triangle, but if you want the fastest downloads the choice is Sprint, says a new series of tests.

So says PCMag in its 10th annual review of wireless performance nationwide.

The overall winner is not a surprise, says report author Sascha Segan in the annual report issued Thursday.

“AT&T has owned the Carolinas pretty much since we started this project,” Segan writes. “I can’t think of any other combination of carrier and locale with such enduring dominance. AT&T won both of our North Carolina metro areas [Charlotte is the other], as it always does.”

However, Sprint dominated in download performance with an average performance of 103.9 megabits per second. Its peak hit a whopping 358.6 in tests.

AT&T dominates Charlotte in wireless performance tests

That average is well above AT&T’s 87.2 and more than triple that of Verizon as well as T-Mobile.

Overall, AT&T scored 93 out of 100 on the PCMag scale followed by Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Here’s a chart with all the data:

PCMag graphic

Tracking Tringle wireless performance. PCMag graphic

“There’s a twist this year: Sprint had the best download speeds in the Raleigh-Durham area, and surprisingly it was pretty reliable, too,” PCMag reports.

“In fact, Sprint leapt ahead of T-Mobile to take second place.”

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There’s a caveat, however.

“But Sprint’s very asymmetrical network caused it to lose points on uploads and latency. If those things don’t matter to you, by all means go with Sprint.”

PCMag calls Verizon’s performance “thoroughly uninspiring.”

This is the last survey based on analysis of 4G data as 5G – which offers the promise of true wireless broadband – begins to emerge, PCMag says. PCMag notes 5G is available to select users from AT&T in the Triangle.

Read more online.

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