Las Vegas Valley sees faster mobile speeds, report says

For Las Vegas Valley locals who yell at their cellphones over songs slow to download and photos slow to post online — just be glad it’s not 2017.

With room for improvement, the Las Vegas area has posted better results year over year in the latest mobile performance report from network services provider Ookla.

North Las Vegas, the worst performer in the valley, ranked seventh slowest among 100 measured cities for download speeds in this year’s report with average speeds of 22.23 megabits per second.

The city had ranked slowest in 2017’s report, with download speeds 44 percent slower than this year.

Henderson has the best average download and upload speeds in the area, with 25.2 megabits per second and 9.07 megabits per second, respectively.

Network investment

This year, North Las Vegas ranked just slower than Oklahoma City and just faster than El Paso, Texas.

Nikki Asay, marketing coordinator for Ookla, said factors that can affect faster speed include more investment by the cellphone carriers.

“Given the complexity of networks, the answer is usually a combination of things rather than just the one,” she said.

AT&T’s investments to boost speed in the valley have included adding more cell sites and boosting network capacity, spokesman Scott Huscher said.

“These investments help provide customers faster speeds and better network connectivity while streaming videos, sharing on social media or texting family and friends,” Huscher said.

Cell phone speeds
CLICK TO ENLARGE

Ookla ranked AT&T the top carrier in the state, a rarity given T-Mobile’s dominance in 31 other states. T-Mobile ranked the top carrier in Henderson and Las Vegas. Sprint ranked best in North Las Vegas.

It’s normal for cellphone carrier rankings to vary city to city and between urban and rural areas, Asay said. Population density, geographic interferences and network congestion can also affect cellphone transfers.

In a statement Wednesday, T-Mobile said the rankings are important given how often people seek wireless connections when at home, at work and even when traveling.

Sprint has upgraded hundreds of sites in the market, including in-building systems at Treasure Island, Circus Circus and Paris Las Vegas, to improve speeds.

“Sprint significantly improved its downloads speeds in this latest report and is by far the most improved carrier year-over-year,” spokeswoman Roni Singleton said. “We are closing the gap on AT&T.”

A Verizon spokeswoman said one test doesn’t represent the total experience of its customers.

“Across a wide range of tests and surveys by credible independent third parties, Verizon’s network is consistently recognized as the best in the industry for reliability, coverage, speed and video streaming,” Jeannine Brew said.

By the numbers

For uploading data, North Las Vegas posted average speeds of 7.86 megabits per second, a 10 percent increase over last year.

That places North Las Vegas just slower than Denver’s speed and just faster than that of Fresno, California.

Las Vegas ranked 17th slowest this year for downloads with 24.49 megabits per second, about the same as Lincoln, Nebraska, and Hialeah, Florida.

That’s a 37 percent improvement over the average speed posted in 2017. Ookla ranked Las Vegas the third-slowest city last year for download speeds.

For uploading data, Las Vegas posted an average speed of 9.18 megabits per second, a 13 percent increase over last year.

This year’s upload speed puts Las Vegas at about the same ranking as Glendale, Arizona, and Wichita, Kansas.

Henderson, faster than Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, improved its download speed by 21 percent.

Henderson is just faster than Fort Worth but slower than Lexington, Kentucky. Henderson’s upload speed increased by 7 percent. Henderson tied with Columbus, Ohio, just bested Fort Worth, Texas, and was just slower than Houston.

Contact Wade Tyler Millward at 702-383-4602 or wmillward@reviewjournal.com. Follow @wademillward on Twitter.

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