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Verizon Offers Best Mobile Video Performance: OpenSignal Report
Surprise: AT&T, didn't take second place, it took fourth. AT&T has been building up its content portfolio, not its back end.

Verizon is the leader for mobile video performance finds a report by mobile analytics company OpenSignal. With the aid of its new video experience metric (which considers video loading times, stalling times, top resolutions, and other factors) OpenSignal calculated how well each of the big four U.S. cellular services handles video. Verizon won with a score of 52.1. T-Mobile took second with 48.8, Sprint third with 43.3, and AT&T fourth with 42.5. Those numbers are on a 100-point scale, so OpenSignal sees plenty of room for improvement.

Why did Verizon take first (and AT&T, surprisingly, take last)? OpenSignal credits Verizon's focus on building its back-end network. AT&T, which acquired DirecTV in 2015 and launched DirecTV Now in 2016, has focused on building out its content portfolio to the detriment of actual content performance.

OpenSignal sees video throttling as a significant hurdle for all players. The report points out that unlimited data plans have grown in popularity so operators have made it a policy to downgrade hi-res streams, often in ways that are noticeable even on small screens. An OpenSignal report from September 2018 points out that dozens of countries enjoy stronger mobile video performance than the U.S.

OpenSignal's U.S. Mobile Network Experience Report is available online for free (no registration required).

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