In what will be last annual survey of the nation’s LTE-based mobile networks before the 5G revolution kicks in, is out with its results of testing cellular speeds in cities around the United States, and in Houston AT&T comes out on top.

In taking the top spot, AT&T dethroned T-Mobile, which wore the Houston crown for the previous two years. It was second this year, followed by Verizon and Sprint. AT&T won by a single point in PCMag’s scoring.

Mobile analyst Sascha Segan, in detailing the Houston results, said that while T-Mobile’s upload and download speeds were faster than AT&T’s, its network wasn’t as reliable.

2018 RESULTS: PCMag testing ranks cellular speeds across Houston

“T-Mobile would have won Houston except that we were seeing coverage problems and blocked connections all day,” Segan wrote. “We couldn’t nail them down to one location; we saw them in downtown Houston and Montrose, and all the way out east at NASA.”

In fact, T-Mobile came in last in reliability in the Houston tests, conducted May 9.

PCMag administers its annual survey by dispatching drivers to cruise the streets of the nation’s major cities, stopping at more than a dozen spots in each. In each vehicle are four high-end smartphones — in this case, Samsung Galaxy S10 phones — testing the signals of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. The tests look at average upload and download speeds, maximum uploads and downloads, latency and reliability.

In Texas, AT&T won in Houston and San Antonio. In Dallas, Verizon came in first by a wide margin. Austin was not among the cities where testers drove.

5G’S COMING: 5G to offer Houstonians faster speeds, more choice

Nationally, AT&T came in No. 1, followed by Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.

One of the most interesting notes from Houston: Sprint, which came in fourth, had the highest maximum and average download speeds, at 214.7 and 60.6 Mbps respectively. But very slow upload speeds — 13.7 and 4.1 Mbps — cut into its score.

Sprint was the first carrier to offer 5G service to the general public in Houston. The improvements made to its network to accommodate faster 5G speeds may account for its dramatic download speeds. However, uploads for 5G devices are still being handled by Sprint’s LTE connections.

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