New report names best wireless network for video streaming


Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to watch your favorite TV show on your smartphone and the video stream breaks up?

Americans are increasingly using their fancy iPhone and Android devices to watch TV through streaming services like DirecTV Now, Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.

RELATED: How I lowered my cell phone bill to $12 per month

Video streaming performance: AT&T vs. Verizon vs. T-Mobile vs. Sprint 

So which of the major wireless providers gives you the best mobile video experience? A new study from Global Wireless Solutions Inc. found that AT&T performed the best overall, taking three of four category wins.

Although T-Mobile had one category win, it placed third overall — behind Verizon but ahead of Sprint.

According to the report, 98% of videos streamed over AT&T’s network were successfully completed and videos tested on AT&T only froze 0.82% of the time while having a higher quality playback compared to the other networks.

T-Mobile placed first for load time, with an average loading time of 3.2 seconds, which was 0.2 seconds quicker than AT&T.

To give you some context, the study found that 8.5% of the videos streamed on Sprint failed, 2% of the time they froze and loading time averaged 3.9 seconds.

Verizon had a “respectable showing” by successfully completing just under 98% of the videos streamed on its network.

OneScore Ranking for Overall Best Video Performance Reliability of Video Stream Quickest Time to Load Lowest % of Picture Freezing Highest Video Quality
AT&T  1  1  2  1  1
Sprint  4  4  4  4  4
T-Mobile  3  3  1  2  2
Verizon  2  2  3  3  3

Source: Global Wireless Solutions Inc.


Global Wireless Solutions Inc. carried out real-world testing across the U.S. to compile the results, driving about 400,000 miles while conducting close to half a million video tests in 2017.

Paul Carter, CEO of Global Wireless Solutions Inc., said this about the findings:

“Our comprehensive video testing has revealed gaps between those operators that are meeting customer expectations vs. those that are struggling. Considering that mobile networks are underpinning a revolution in how consumers watch TV and video, this gap should be watched closely.”

If you’re not happy with your wireless provider’s mobile video performance, you may want to consider your options. Check out Clark’s guide to the best cell phone plans and deals for 2018.

  • Show Comments Hide Comments