Verizon has always ranked among the top carriers for Denver, even if its speeds are slower than in the company’s fastest cities.
But Verizon also recently announced what it calls LTE Advanced technology to “bring 50 percent faster peak wireless data speeds” to customers in Colorado.
T-Mobile said Denver was one of 319 cities where it now offers multiple-input, multiple-output technology, or MIMO, which essentially adds extra antennas at each end — the cell tower and the phone.
MIMO creates two paths for data to get to a phone or tower, in case a big rig on the highway blocks off a wireless signal. But to get the maximum benefit, T-Mobile subscribers also must have a MIMO phone — T-Mobile offers only the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
Denver’s mobile networks are also battling other forces, like geography and population explosion.
Last year, Denver grew faster than the nation’s 50 most populous cities and was the second-fastest growing city between 2010 to 2015.
“Population growth can certainly have an impact on mobile network performance, since more users mean more stress on a network,” Hamilton said. It’s just the number of people coming into Denver,” said Suzanne Trantow, an AT&T spokeswoman for the Denver area.
But the more bandwidth, the more a person — or multiple people standing near the same cell tower — can do on a smartphone.
The company recently added 10 new cell towers in the area, with the newest offering quadruple the capacity to handle more users.
“We are very focused on Denver and Colorado as a whole,” Trantow said.
Others have been tweaking their technology too, with positive results.
Back in 2012, Sprint was the worst mobile service provider in Denver. “We saw big impacts when calls and data wouldn’t hand off between the old and new network equipment,” said John Votava, a Sprint spokesman for the Denver area.