Manhattan may have the most high-powered corporations in the world, but it doesn’t even have the most powerful mobile data networks in New York City. That distinction goes to the borough on the other side of the Harlem River.
A recent round of speed and performance tests in New York from RootMetrics revealed that data speeds from mobile broadband networks averaged 13.5 Mbps, nearly 2 Mbps faster than any in any of the other four boroughs. The home of the Yankees also clocked the best upload speeds in the city, averaging 5.8 Mbps.
Manhattan actually had the lowest download speeds of the five, though it sat right in the middle in terms of upload. It’s doubtful that the big four operators are neglecting Manhattan. Rather, its lower performance is probably a reflection of its much greater density of people and smartphones along with the difficulty of finding tower space in the overbuilt borough.
When broken down by carrier, things get interesting. In all five boroughs, Root recorded the fastest average speeds on AT&T’s(s t) LTE networks. Verizon’s(s vz)(s vod) LTE came in second in all five cases, while T-Mobile and Sprint(s s) were a distant third and fourth respectively (neither carrier has LTE in NYC yet). But in Root’s overall testing of the NYC metro region – which by Root’s definition spans northern New Jersey, bits of southern New York and most of Long Island — Verizon came away with the speed prize, averaging 13.4 Mbps to AT&T’s 10.3 Mbps. While AT&T has built LTE over ever inch of NYC, that coverage seems to fall off when you leave the city.