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AT&T Boasts “Fastest 4G LTE Speeds” of Any Major Carrier

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Hearing the phrase, “fastest 4G speeds” is nothing new from the commercials we hear out of Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. It is interesting however, to see that AT&T went so far as to put that statement in a press release. Citing research done by RootMetrics, a company that surveys the major carriers’ coverage across the country, AT&T said that they have the “fastest mobile Internet speeds on their smartphones.”

Not to say that AT&T doesn’t have good coverage and download speeds and not to hate on RootMetrics, but a quick trip over to their site shows that most of their coverage maps only cover as far as a car can reach in a city. Large swaths of cities and towns remain untested because people don’t want to stray from their car seats.

It’s also worth noting that AT&T only had LTE presence in 47 out of the top 77 markets that were surveyed. Verizon has the larger network hands down, but AT&T is claiming the fastest. All nit-picking aside, this is nothing that we haven’t heard from either side of this race towards LTE.

Which would you rather have, larger coverage network or faster speeds in less places?

AT&T’s Network has Fastest 4G LTE Speeds

Independent research firm RootMetrics finds AT&T’s network delivers fastest 4G LTE speed of any major wireless carrier

AT&T* wireless customers in the carrier’s 4G LTE markets** have access to the fastest mobile Internet speeds on their smartphones.

How fast? RootMetrics®, an independent mobile analytics firm, has reported an average download speed of 18.6 Mbps and an average upload speed of 9.0 Mbps, based on recent testing. That means ultra-fast song downloads, faster photo sharing and app downloads, faster mobile Internet access—virtually everything you do with a smartphone, just easier and faster.

In their LTE Performance Review released today, RootMetrics called AT&T’s network “blazing-fast.” According to the RootMetrics study, “AT&T easily offered the fastest pure LTE download speed of any carrier.”

The RootMetrics LTE March 11, 2013, Performance Review is based on more than 725,000 4G and 4G LTE data samples gathered from the top 77 U.S. markets during the second half of 2012. AT&T had officially deployed 4G LTE technology in 47 of those markets at the time they were tested.

“There are more reasons than ever to choose AT&T,” said John Donovan, senior vice president-AT&T Technology and Network Operations. “Nationwide, we are continuing to expand 4G LTE and expect our deployment will cover 300 million people by year-end 2014.”

Over the past five years, AT&T invested nearly $98 billion into operations, more than any other public company in the U.S.

Via: AT&T

  • ww

    Once you’re past 10 Mbps, you really get diminishing returns. Yes the extra speed is nice, but I would almost guarantee you that if two Galaxy S3s were compared (one Verizon and one AT&T) in terms of streaming and browsing speed, and assuming equal signal levels, it would be difficult to tell one phone from the other.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000574116236 Tim Smith

    I bought the iPad 4 128gb, AT&T is not the fastest, can’t even get 3G in my area, its either slow 4G (no LTE) or E (2G), I’d rather have the Verizon 3G in more areas than 2G that does nothing!

  • booked

    i get faster than what att claims above all the time.

  • johnk179988

    Why cant you Verizon people get over the fact that AT&T is FASTER plain and simple. Stop saying that there is no one on the AT&T network yes there is a good amount already since the beginning of 2012 AT&T has been adding thousands to its LTE network. Another thing AT&T has real 4g LTE, its HSPA+ 4g(for marketing terms) is still fast though I get 8 mbps down on it. Verizon has the coverage, AT&T has the speed but I prefer the speed because your coverage can always expand but your speed cant always get faster.

    • Shilamar

      AT&T HSPA+ is COMPARABLE to Verizon, not better. No point in having speed if you don’t have a connection, which is the point you’re missing completely. Att has a bad rep, honestly, only problem with Verizon is they’re expensive and they throw their weight around…. But no one EVER said their service was shi**y. Can ATT say the same?

  • http://twitter.com/SaturnXIII Saturn XIII

    Having been in cellular sales for the last several years, I can honestly say most people prefer larger coverage. Most technophiles are able to determine what constitutes a “fast” connection. To the average/first-time smartphone user, it’s never fast enough. They have no frame of reference. To the average user, network speeds are subjective. They will always assume it should be faster than it is, regardless of the numbers supporting it’s the fastest.

  • JoeTi

    You can almost hear consumer advocate group attorneys prepping their lawsuits…..

  • TC Infantino

    I don’t know about other locations, but sitting in my office in Harrisburg I am routinely getting over 30 Mbps d/load and above 10 Mbps upload speeds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Pomacat David Poma

    It’s all about coverage for me

  • DC_Guy

    But since I enjoy the ability to make a phone call without it being dropped, I’ll stick with Verizon.

  • thedonxr

    Not as hot as it used to be…

  • frankandsimple

    I will die rather than give ATT my business.

    • Diablo81588

      I don’t know about die, but i feel the same way lol..

  • wm snyder

    it will slow down as soon as more customers get on board

  • S9779

    In my area verizon has always been slow. My 3g service was horrible 300 – 500. Now my lte is around 5-9 mbs. Not amazing at all.

  • nightscout13

    Wait till you have saturation AT&T, then speak.

  • LionStone

    I travel a bunch, so, being covered on VZW is way more important to me than having the fastest speeds. Recently, laid over in Detroit, I watched a woman cuss out AT&T while trying to get a connection to make hotel reservations. I think she ended up borrowing someones phone :)

  • Tom Z

    I guess it depends on where you are located… I regularly get 25 to 30 Mbps in Chicago.

  • T4rd

    I like how AT&T boasts the “Nations Largest 4G Network” in their commercials. HSPA+ is more like 3.5G, I never understood how they got away with that. Here soon enough, Verizon will have a larger LTE footprint than AT&Ts HSPA+ anyways, then they won’t even be able to claim that, lol.

    • Tim242

      While I agree that HSPA+ is not 4G, I get why they started calling it that. At its slowest, it is 3-6 times faster than 3G.

      • T4rd

        I guess it depends on where you’re at. I was with my friend the other day who has an S3 on AT&T and we’re in a HSPA+ area and we did some speed tests on our phones. I was pulling around 20 Mb/s up and down on my Verizon Note 2 and he was getting 7-8 Mb/s up and down on his S3 (we both pretty much has full signal too). He didn’t know the difference between AT&T’s “4G” and “4G LTE”, so that’s how I showed him. HSPA+ speeds are definitely decent enough, esp for a phone, but it’s not anywhere close to LTE in my area.

      • Diablo81588

        Not if you live in a populated area. My friend gets no more than 2mbps on HSPA+ with att. I frequently get faster Verizon 3g speeds than he does on HSPA+.

  • http://www.theandroidsite.com benmarvin

    So Verizon has the coverage, AT&T has the speeds and Sprint has real unlimited data.

    • Austin Warren

      Real unlimited crap data*

      • http://www.theandroidsite.com benmarvin

        Yeah, I’ll keep my T-Mobile HSPA+ unlimited data over Sprint any day.

        • enigmaco

          How I miss t-mobile

    • http://AndroidTaskForce.com Timmy

      Coverage > Speed in my eyes.

    • Tom Z

      I have real unlimited data on Verizon :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.piegnet Andrew Piegnet

    T-Mobile has the largest 4G network in America ;)

    • Tim242

      Haha with coast to coast coverage!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

    It could be cause not many people on att LTE network, we were grtting way better than that on verizon when it first started coming on, when not much phones uses LTE

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10602828 Mike Hilal

    It’s easy to have a fast network with nobody on it. When VZW first launched LTE, I was seeing speeds in the 75mbps range. Now 26-35. 3G was the same way, 3.1mb down was not a rarity…now 1.8 is a struggle.

    • Tim242

      Only 11% of Verizon’s customers are using LTE phones. At&t sold a $hit ton of LTE iPhone 5’s. I’m sure their network is getting as crowded.

      • http://twitter.com/Rkahla Rob Kahla

        Keep posting that about 11%, on like, every reply, still doesn’t make it even CLOSE to right

        • Tim242

          Really? So when Verizon stated that in their quarterly earnings, they weren’t even CLOSE to right???

      • Diablo81588

        Just because they sold LTE phones doesn’t mean the people that bought them are in LTE coverage.. Att LTE is extremely spotty at best.

        • Tim242

          At&t has all major cities covered, plus most mid-sized cities. Even here in AR, it’s in all of our metros.

          • Diablo81588

            They are not fully covered I assure you, regardless of what they say.

          • Tim242

            Everywhere here in AR that shows coverage, has coverage. I have been doing extensive testing.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10602828 Mike Hilal

        It’s not even worth arguing with you, because of your delusional state of reality and inability to grasp concepts. Go over to the other page and stay there. Kthxbai.

  • baconslayer09

    I’ve gotten as high as 24 Mbps on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. 18 Mbps for LTE is not fast.

    • Tim242

      And your latency was 800?

      • baconslayer09

        No, it’s usually around 60-100 ms.

        • Diablo81588

          No it isn’t lol..

          • baconslayer09

            I got 87 ms just now…I’ve gotten as low as 65. I did once get a figure in the 600s, but that only happened to me once out of 20-30 times I’ve run speedtest, so that’s most likely an outlier.

            proof: http://oi48.tinypic.com/1zxxe12.jpg

  • ImmaDroid

    AT&T can take that whack ass average and shove it.

    • ImmaDroid

      VZW

      • Tim242

        Very uncommon. You must be the only one on your tower.

        • Austin Warren

          Can’t face those facts, can ya

          • Dain Laguna

            i’ve seen people on at&t post similar. would you like those screenshots?

          • Austin Warren

            Come back when AT&T has a legitimate number of 4G LTE customers.

          • Dain Laguna

            where would you like me to come back to? lte is lte, and both networks are gonna slow down. but you’re acting like at&t cant reach those same highs.

            need i point out how huge of a discrepancy there is between his numbers? on minute he’s at 50, the other he’s at mid 20’s…both fast, but it can be wildly inconsistent.

            oh…and here is your atnt lte screenshot.

          • ImmaDroid

            that was while driving about 30 miles. so I was picking up different towers along the way. Its still very consistent. I never get below the 20’s on dl

          • Dain Laguna

            its consistently wacky. you are talking a fluctuation of almost 20mbps. i wouldnt be complaining…just know that its not indicative of everyone’s performance on lte. same thing goes for my screenshot

          • Tim242

            Just about every single person on this site that uses Verizon has stated many times that their speeds have dropped dramatically. Not that it matters much anyway. Once you get over 10, you aren’t going to see a difference anyway.

          • ImmaDroid

            In bigger cities I’m sure its not as fast as 2011. But pretty much anywhere i go, its normally 20’s & 30’s down, 10-20 mbps up. Look at this average from 3 days ago, Not slowing down. In Myrtle Beach, SC. Bust area

          • enigmaco

            Of course its going to drop more people are moving to lte phones, my 3G speeds have actually picked up recently on verizon thanks to that though.

          • Big_EZ

            Except for large file downloads. I haven’t ever seen more than 12 mbps, and 5 mbps upload.

          • JoeTi

            Hyperbole much?

        • Dain Laguna

          totally agreed. the more people going to verizon, the worse thats gonna get.

        • ImmaDroid

          I have a ton of 40’s and 50’s from all over, different towns and states, pretty common I guess

        • EFFFFFF

          I get 40+ pretty frequently in Houston

  • TheCheapGamer

    Lol, LTE Fail.
    I’ve pulled 16Mbps on TMo’s network. (GS3, no LTE)

    • Diablo81588

      The original article had TMobile tested as well. They averaged less than half of Verizon and att’s LTE speeds.

  • hackthis02

    I just got 26/13 on the subway in Chicago. When did cellular get faster then cable?

  • mplacido9

    I’d rather have no contract. I get over 18mbs on HSPA+ anyway.

  • enigmaco

    I feel hoodwinked every time I hear the term 4G knowing that it is not true 4G grrr, not mad about droid-life using for it is the carriers “claiming” that they have 4G when they don’t

    • Tim242

      It is the 4th gen of tech. Period.

      • enigmaco

        touche only if they would work on the data speeds and prices

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.garman Kyle Garman

    last week at a Burger King drive thru my droid razr m on Verizon got 49 down down and 13 up, I couldn’t believe my phones wireless data speeds is double that of my basic home cable Internet

  • Kevin Rees

    ehh. Im pretty happy with my LTE speeds.

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    Well, AT&T has always spoken the truth…

  • Tyler

    I think the reason its faster is because not every phone in use on AT&T uses LTE. Verizon clearly has the edge over them with a good chunk of customers using their LTE network its not going to be as fast as when it first came out.

    • Tim242

      Only 11% of Verizon’s customers are on LTE phones

      • Tyler

        So the other 89% are using 3g smartphones? I think you did your math wrong.

        • Tim242

          This number came from Verizon’s quarterly earnings, not out of my a$$

          • Tyler

            What sort of data speeds do you think those people with flip phones are getting? That number is irrelevant. My original point was that out of all the smartphones in use by AT&T and Verizon, Verizon has a significantly larger number of people using there LTE network every day. Sorry I thought that we wouldn’t be talking about flip phones/messenger phones on a smartphones website.

          • SeanBello

            well if only 40% of Verizon customers have smartphones and 11% of them have LTE, it’s very relevant. which is probably close to the case btw. it’s been almost 2 years since they started selling only LTE capable smartphones.

          • Tyler

            Statics like 40% could make it relevant but I’m speaking more generally and stating my opinion as for why AT&T’s claims are a bunch of marketing pish posh.

          • Avery Dejuan Herron

            thats a huge number when you think about how many coustomers they have.

          • A.Noid

            Even if AT&T has not had LTE all over, that hardly means they were not selling the LTE phones. they have been selling them at least since the Galaxy S2 came out, which was what, 2 years ago, or more. So the base was there as soon as the LTE was turned on. Don’t assume that there is not a large userbase of LTE on AT&T because they may have recently rolled out LTE in your area.

          • Tyler

            Verizon’s network is still more taxed by usage. Verizon once was super speedy, but has slowly decayed as its added more users to it from what ive noticed. Eventually AT&T’s network will get bogged down and Verizon (hopefully) will have had the time to optimize all the users using the network and increase speeds. Also btw, the Galaxy SII doesnt have LTE, the GSII Skyrocket however does.

        • bleeew

          No the rest are on iPhone(sadly), feature phones, or 3G smartphones.

      • zepfloyd

        It’s much much more than that. (50% of all data as of January)
        Right here on Droid Life… http://www.droid-life.com/2013/01/11/almost-50-of-verizons-data-traffic-happens-over-4g-lte/

        • Tim242

          You are misunderstanding. Verizon stated during their last quarterly earnings that 11% of their customers are using LTE phones. Those 11% are using 50% of data, since many of the other 89% are on dumb phones, or feature phones…even slow 3G phones

          • zepfloyd

            RTFA: “Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam this week announced that 23 percent of Verizon’s customer base used LTE phones at the end of the fourth quarter, up from 16 percent at the end of the third quarter. ” ….and that was 2 months ago announced for data ending in December. It’s March. Fail.

            EDIT: Even then it doesn’t matter what the phone % is…50% of traffic is enough statistic in relation to LTE saturation which was the original point.

      • Mario

        I seriously doubt that.. all my friends are on Verizon and not a single one is on 3G.. everyone is on LTE these day..

        • Tim242

          That number came from Verizon at their last quarterly earnings report.

        • http://iamandroid.co/profile/rocktoonz Rocktoonz

          keep in mind too that number likely also includes customers using normal non-smartphones with no data connection. I’m still on 3G personally, and have no issues with my speed whatsoever.

  • Nexus_FrEak

    They also say they have the most 4G and well we all know HSPA doesnt count :)

    • michael arazan

      The FCC is suppose to be doing a study of all carriers across the U.S. gathering information about their coverage, speeds and type of networks they are using and suppose to release all the information to consumers to make an informed decision about the carriers since they all claim the “fastest” title. that was about 6 months ago and would think it should be coming soon. Unless the sequester stopped it.

      • DMZMAN

        Consumer Reports does that every year. So far, they’ve repeatedly rated Verizon the best and AT&T the worst of the big 4.

    • A.Noid

      I don’t have T-Mobile, I have AT&T, but Tmobiles HSPA+ 42 network has similar speeds to Verizon’s LTE. I have heard of speeds up to 40 Mb. So even if technically HSPA+ is not 4g, it can still pull down speeds similar to it. In the Seattle Area, on AT&T LTE, I have gotten up to 57 Mb down, and 11 Mb up. Typical is around 20-25Mb down, and 10Mb up most of the time however, which is enough to almost rival my cable connection at home.

  • Tim242

    I’m getting ready to drop Verizon and my unlimited plan, to switch to At&t. I am tired of Verizon’s lack of phones, and release delays.

    • http://twitter.com/jamdev12 jamdev12

      Now you know they will rape you on overages. If you are on an unlimited plan with VZ and you switch, whether the lack of phones or not, you will pay dearly for using too much bandwidth.

      I know cause I have a friend who has an iphone4 with iOS 6 and she is hating being on AT&T.

      • Tim242

        I use mostly WiFi. Verizon will pull the unlimited eventually. At&t gives you 3GB for $30. Verizon gives you 1GB to share, for $50.

    • angermeans

      Lack of phones? What phones do ATT have that Verizon doesn’t I mean that are worthwhile and not called the HTC One?

      • Tyler

        The only phone i can think of is the Nexus 4 and some other random phones that aren’t popular.

      • Tim242

        They got the S II, Verizon skipped it. They got the One X, Verizon skipped it. Verizon fu**ed up the Nexus, so they got skipped on the next one. The Xperia Z/ZL are being released with At&t LTE bands. Is that enough examples for you?

        • angermeans

          I said worthwhile phones. The Galaxy Nexus was twice the phone than the GS2. Even if it didn’t get the updates it deserved it still received double to triple the updates that the Gs2 got. Come on, really? Yeah the Sony phones look ok but can you really tell me your considering one? I’m willing to bet the phone you end up going with will be a Phone Verizon also gets. You can shout out every mediocre phone you want and I can tell you double the phones Verizon got over the last couple years that AT&T didn’t. None of the phones you mentioned did well. Yeah the one x was nice Verizon got the DNA. Yeah the one I am jeleose about but Verizon is rumored to get one as well (we will see if its carrier branded or not). AT&T didn’t get the nexus 4 they just happen to have the network that supports it. In that case I would much rather have tmobile than ATt anyway. You can’t use that as an example also it isn’t LTE.

          So to answer your question: “is that enough for you?” No not even close

          • Dain Laguna

            the galaxy nexus could be had on at&t’s network, unlocked. and there was never really a competitor to the galaxy s2 on verizon. and htc’s flagships (the onex, oneX+) were better than the verizon exclusives that htc was forced to make

          • http://iamandroid.co/profile/rocktoonz Rocktoonz

            Actually, if you check Google Play, you can order a Nexus 4 with AT&T.

    • Austin Warren

      Lack of phones. They are the first carrier to have a 1080p phone. learn those “facts”

      • Tim242

        And that means nothing to me. They had the first 720p phone too…the awful rezound.

        • http://twitter.com/mxfox408 Jake Fox

          I agree, the Rezound is a good phone, the battery life sucks badly and haven’t seen a major update since since last year, Verizon sucks when it comes to allowing updates.

        • Tirionfive

          I had 2 rezounds (one for me and my brother). I had VZW support trade in both of them for something better. Never again HTC. Try something better than HTC and you might like it :)

          • Dain Laguna

            htc makes great handsets. none of them have been on verizon with the exception of the original incredible and aspects of the dna

          • Tim242

            My last HTC phone was the Thunderbolt. Gave it up in Dec. 2011. Had the Gnex for a year. Now have the Note II.

    • Anon

      Both are equally evil in one way or another. I’d honestly wait until a challenger appears.

    • Diablo81588

      Att is garbage. I would advise against it.

  • http://twitter.com/jamdev12 jamdev12

    That’s because they don’t have that many phones using 4G LTE. Let them talk about it in a year and half.

    • Austin Warren

      I remember them interviewing people on AT&T with an iPhone 4 and 4S and them saying how fast 4G was when it really wasn’t 4G.

      • trwb

        HSPA+ shows as a 4g icon in some phones status bars on At&t, including the iphone 4s. At&t considers HSPA+ to be 4g. LTE is what the 4 & 4s don’t have. So the iphone does show “4g”.

        • SeanBello

          that’s why I love my Nexus 4. I don’t have to see that scummy, fake, cartoony “4G” icon when I’m on HSPA+

          • Bob

            But yet your still using the same fake 4G network, lol

    • Justin Barrett

      Probably some truth here. When I first got my GNex, I was downloading at 40 Mbps. Now I barely crack 20. Verizon just ain’t what they used to be.

      • Dave

        Same here, but for all intensive purposes I can live with it.

        • zwade

          Intents and purposes…

          • Dave

            Haha….35 years and I never heard that saying correctly. LoL.

          • Daniel Richardson

            bahahahaha.. that gave me a good laugh

    • DMZMAN

      That’s AT&T for ya. Constant lies and/or misleading info.

    • jose acevedo

      lol everyone wants to hate

    • jose acevedo

      did you know that at&t has the widest smartphone selection of any carrier?

  • Austin Warren

    LOL, What’s AT&T smoking. I want some of that.

    • Tim242

      Facts are facts. I know that is a foreign idea for you

      • Austin Warren

        Facts? 18mbps is terrible.

        • JetBlue

          I’d take 18 over my 2mbps on 4G hell I’d rather have the old 3G speeds since they were faster.

          • Big_EZ

            You get 3g speeds over 2 mbps? I’ve never gotten more than 900 kbps on 3g.

          • A.Noid

            I used to get 7Mb on 3g on AT&T.

          • http://twitter.com/erratiic itz

            Only if you were using HPSA. On standard 3G, AT&T states that users can expect download speeds between 0.68 megabit per second and 1.7 megabits per second.

        • Tim242

          I get about that on Verizon’s LTE. ..

        • Dain Laguna

          terrible for what? to verizons defense, you dont need 25mbps to be able to listen to music, watch youtube in hd etc. there were points on my galaxy nexus where i’d only have about 5 down…not impressive from a bragging rights perspective, but it did everything i wanted to flawlessly.

        • Big_EZ

          Best I’ve ever got from Verizon was 12 mbps, normally I get around 4-6 mbps.

        • abrego47

          I have gotten 43 megabytes download and 11 uploaded

    • hashtagtroll

      #puffpuffpass

    • trwb

      I use to be on Verizon 4g LTE and now I am on At&t LTE. My data speeds are much faster on At&t. At&t’s individual plans minus a texting plan (I use Google Voice) was much cheaper than Verizon too.

  • Kisuk3

    I wonder if AT&T customers would agree with that statement…

  • Ryan Christoper

    18.6 mps isnt really that fast, compared to verizons 20-50 mps depending area

    • Tim242

      Mine on Verizon use to get 40-50. Now, it’s less than 20.

      • Greg Morgan

        Less than 10 for me. Seattle’s speeds have decreased dramatically.

        • JetBlue

          Less than 5 here.

      • Warwick

        I use to get high 40s but the drop isnt bad in my area. still pumping in the mid 20s to mid 30s.

      • angermeans

        That is because ATT is still has a new network while Verizon has been loading up with people for 18 months longer than ATT. ATT will be right there as well only worse as they dont spend the cash that Verizon does. ATT also claims they have the largest 4G market which is a lie unless you count the HSPA+ which in that case why aren’t they averging that into the speeds of 4G. You can’t have it both ways. you cant say you have the largest 4G market and then only count the much lower LTE for speed tests.

        This should show you how ATT is as a company. They sit on spectrum, pocket cash while not putting anything into their network and cry to the FCC when T-Mo mergers and failed spectrum buys don’t go their way. They are as crooked as they come and in a market where everyone is crooked and lies that is saying a lot.

        P.S I was an ATT customer for almost a decade. The grass isn’t greener my friend trust me.

    • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

      Nowadays, I pretty consistently get get 4 Mbps down and 11 Mbps up on Verizon’s LTE. I’d say that’s very sad, compared to the HSPA+ speeds I hear about.