Indianapolis, IN, Richmond, VA, and Cleveland, OH, ranked as the top three metro areas for overall mobile performance in the second half of 2016, according to RootMetrics. Meanwhile, the two largest metro areas, New York and Los Angeles, finished near the bottom.
RootMetrics examined the top 125 most populated metro areas in the country and ranked them in six categories: Overall performance, network reliability, network speed, data performance, call performance and text performance. Those metropolitan areas with the worst mobile performance included Santa Rosa, CA, Worcester, MA, and Omaha, NE.
The company compared the results to what it found in the first half of 2016, uncovering some shortcomings for formerly leading metropolitan areas. For example, though Chicago and Atlanta both finished in the top five in the first half of 2016, in the second half of the year they dropped to the #8 and #23, respectively.
As more employees and businesses rely on mobile technology, mobile performance and reliability become more important. While big cities may appear to offer the best mobile services, the RootMetrics study found, in fact, that high population doesn’t always equate to strong network performance.
The leaders in mobile network technology were more often mid-sized metro areas, where carriers may find it easier to stay on top of maintenance and repairs, among other things.
One particularly strong performer in RootMetric’s latest survey was Houston, TX, which moved up to #18 overall from #51 in the previous survey. According to RootMetrics, Houston’s rise is "due in part to all four carriers recording superb rates of getting connected and staying connected to the network during data reliability testing." It also helps that Houston was preparing to host Super Bowl LI, adding an extra incentive to guarantee strong mobile performance.