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A new claim for the title of fastest U.S. wireless carrier

OK, so earlier this month we reported that T-Mobile edged out the competition to be named the fastest wireless carrier in the U.S., based on a study by OpenSignal. Well, now a new study conducted by a rival testing firm has reached different conclusions. RootMetrics has declared Verizon Wireless the fastest carrier in the United States.

The RootMetrics study separated its findings in various categories including network speed, states, metro areas, and call reliability. Verizon came out on top in all categories.

"We're not perfect, so we celebrated the clean sweep for a hot second, and now we're back to work because wireless customers want a better experience every day," a Verizon spokesman humble-bragged in a statement to CNET.

The other carriers were less pleased about the findings. These kinds of studies are crucial for carriers often competing for the same customers, and they often end up cited in advertising.

CNET explains that the two sets of rankings were based on data collected in different ways. RootMetrics conducts its studies by sending vans and professional testers around the country; OpenSignal instead relies on crowd-sourced customer data collected through mobile apps.

Verizon was named number one for overall performance, network reliability, network speed, data reliability and speed, and call reliability. AT&T tied for first on reliability and the speed of text messages. T-Mobile found itself ranked fourth in most of the categories -- a significant letdown after its strong showing in the OpenSignal report.

"I don't know what to make of it," T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert told CNET.

Some of T-Mobile's criticism of the study stems from the fact that RootMetrics shut off its voice-over-LTE feature, which the testing firm said isn't what most customers encounter with their carriers. RootMetrics said it will be included next time.

"We are taking a wait-and-see approach to what the impact may -- or may not -- be for T-Mobile," RootMetrics said in a statement.

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