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America’s Carrier Speeds Benchmarked, AT&T Beats Out Verizon While Sprint Struggles to Perform

verizon 4g lte

A report out of TechHive has put America’s top four carriers against each other in a 3G/4G data speed shootout. With all four carriers now offering 4G LTE in select markets, it will be interesting to see where consumers will want to place their money. While Verizon has had the build out advantage, now reaching nearly 300 million subscribers since its launch, AT&T promptly rolled out service to 200 million Americans, while also maintaining very fast data speeds. 

In their tests, they use a Galaxy Note 2 from Samsung to test out 4G LTE, while they use an iPhone 4S to test 3G speeds. Each of those devices are sold on the four networks, so making sure there was a fair playing field is key.

3G 4G

During the 3G tests, it was found that T-Mobile shows pretty strong downloads and uploads, averaging a 3.13 mbps download and 1.04 mbps upload time. Compare that to Sprint’s 3G, which does quite little at 0.4mbps down and just 0.31 mbps up. Verizon also didn’t score too well on the 3G, averaging a lowly 0.8 mbps down and 0.52 mbps up. AT&T came in second place for 3G testing at 2.97 mbps on the download and 0.96 mbps on the upload.

As for 4G, T-Mobile and Verizon showed similar numbers on download, averaging around 9 mbps, while Verizon beat out T-Mobile on the upload with 5.47 mbps compared to 2.65 mbps. AT&T crushed the competition with an average download speed of 13.15 mbps and an upload speed of 6.45 mbps, basically three times that of Sprint’s capabilities in both download and upload.

While anyone can benchmark carriers and see who might be the fastest in a variety of areas, each user’s need will differ greatly, so make sure you live in a good coverage area before jumping from carrier to carrier.

Any of these results surprising?

Via: TechHive

  • Justin

    This report makes no sense, doesn’t speed pretty much solely depend on location? Unless they were standing directly underneath a tower from each carrier when they ran the tests, this report has absolutely zero validity!

  • Shawn Maloney

    I get between 20- 30 as well on Verizon consistently in Atlanta and high speeds, higher than what they stated when travel for work around the USA, not sure what the hell or where they were testing. Probably at an ATT&T office after they got paid from them

  • Tom Z

    I consistently get 20 – 30 on Verizon in Chicago on the download. I’m surprised my numbers haven’t dropped with all the new LTE phones out, but they still seem to be holding onto fast numbers.

  • Jared

    Verizon gets great speed in my location(SE Kansas). Average 20+ down 15+ up and most days i get close to 30 down. Plus AT&T doesn’t have 4g in my area yet so Verizon is the way to go. Even when im up in Kansas city i get around 15 down.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    AT&T subscribers still sound like they’re in a barrel when you talk to them on the phone.

  • Steve

    My neighbor and I both have the S4, I have VZW, he has AT&T. We both ran the SpeedTest app at the same time with the phones in the same spot, and had nearly the same speed for upload and download, around 20-24mbps download in the northern Philly suburbs. I took my S4 to my parents in the Catskills region of NY and got 39.9mbps this weekend, with typical speeds in the 20’s during busier periods. I typically see anywhere in the 9-20 range at home with random spikes like the time I compared with my neighbor.

  • Danny

    VZW has always dominated no matter what, and will continue to do so.

  • master94

    VZW AWS spectrum will make it faster than At&T if it ever gets around to turning that on.

  • ITGURU

    This is a stupid article. 3G is designed for webbrowsing and email. You dont need more than 500Kbps for that. HD Video streaming needs 2Mbps. For 99% of current mobile applications and features, you dont need anything above 5Mbps and 2Mbps on the upload

  • twatmonster

    y’know, I’m on Sprint’s network (Ting), and my speeds are consistently 20kbps down. Yes that’s Kbps… as in I get about half the speed of dial-up. But for a phone bill that’s under $20 a month, I guess I really can’t complain.

    Had t-mobile prepaid a few months ago and their speeds were great.

  • S2556

    wow verizon LTE sucks. they might have good coverage but 9 down is terrible.
    I get faster hspa+ speeds (13mbps) and when I am in LTE I get 23mbps easily. I live in vancouver so I am on completely different carriers but If my carrier was giving me those speeds I would leave in a heart beat if I had similar coverage on a competing network.

  • http://www.naskaras.com/ Thanassi Karageorgiou

    VZW 4G Download speeds in NYC are getting worse every month. When I first got the GNex, I was spoiled with 14-18mb/s down. Now I’m lucky if I average 2.

    • Higher_Ground

      same in SC… when I first got my Gnex I could get ~10 Mbps, now it’s 1-2..

  • http://www.facebook.com/colin.yapp Colin Yapp

    I am currently with Sprint in Houston and their service is quite good. There are a few spots that have issues but I also have a Verizon and AT&T phone and in terms of consistency it is as follows : Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. Yes, AT&T has faster speeds but that it can be very inconsistent and, at times, it just disconnects and takes a while to resync. I have been thinking about T-mobile but I spent some time this weekend travelling with a friend that had them and he had at least 4 drop calls on one trip. I am getting the same information from other T-mobile users. I am four days from my contract renewal date and I will give Sprint another go. Verizon is very good but their prices and lack of flexibility is just too much for me to bear. Finally, Sprint has really stepped up their game as far as customer service.

  • LionStone

    My speeds on my DNA are still pretty much what I was getting in the beginning on the TB.
    The first 2 are in Pacifica, Ca. The 2nd set Ukiah, Ca and the last 4 are in Raleigh and Wake Forest, NC. The only way I’ll know if at&t or tmo can compete with my results on VZW, on both sides, is by test driving on each network, which I’ll soon be doing. These charts don’t work for me, I need real world testing.

  • Kindroid

    Just checked my 4g speeds on my Razr Maxx here in Maryland. Ping 50ms, Dl 21.3, UL 5.7. Can’t complain.

  • jnt

    Basically, in a year (or less!) it’ll be like it was 2 years ago, only on LTE. AT&T will be faster, but Verizon will be everywhere and more reliable. The only difference is that Tmobile could sneak up to become a solid contender as well.

  • RoadsterHD1

    I’m on a grandfathered in unlimited plan I pay 87.00 on a share plan. 87.00 includes full coverage on my phones, and visual voice mail. I use over 30 gigs a month easy sometimes more because of downloads and my speeds hit 40Mbps at home and 8Mbps at work. I get 4g almost everywhere I go and the transition from 4g to 3g is seamless. I a happy camper. My Bionic rocks with JB-4.12

  • Bobby

    I like how they use a crowd sourced model verses a professional company. People have different apps loaded on their phones and going between 3G and 4G when the test was taken gives false readings. There is no qaulity control if the app used to take the reading was acurate plus the Open Source people could have suggested this article to promote their own website. I looked at their site and it shows no coverage where I know I have coverage in my home town so the website made me question this article….All that being said….I have Sprint and the LTE coverage is getting better everyday and when I have LTE I have never gotten below 6Mbps…ever….mine ranges from 9Mbps to 23Mbps plus unlimited data so I can watch all the netflix, youtube, and Hulu plus I can handle.

    • DoctorJB

      Yeah, I have gotten radically different results from different speed test websites/apps running the tests back to back standing in the same place.

  • SRodriguez

    I gave up Unlimited data on Verizon when contracted ended earlier this year and switched to Sprint. While the speeds aren’t great here in the LA area 4g lte is decent and call quality is great. Being able to root my Note 2 and unlock the bootloader flawlessly in minutes makes it all worth it to me. The development is strong and flashing kernels and roms couldn’t be easier. Happy Sprint user who doesn’t miss all of Verizon’s BS!

    • impulse630

      I’m in the same boat (except in Chicago). Plus, my bill has gone down about $40 per month. Totally worth the change of carriers!

      • SRodriguez

        Nice! Speeds are only going to improve as Sprint is making upgrades all over the country so things are looking good….

        • impulse630

          We switched to Sprint for work over a year ago. Initially, users were unhappy with speed and dropped calls. Things stabilized by the end of the summer, and i felt comfortable enough making the switch on my personal line the week the Note 2 came out. Since the upgrades picked up speed in Chicago, i haven’t heard any more complaints at work… and i work with a bunch of whiners!

          • SRodriguez

            Note 2 is pretty awesome isn’t it? Getting it for $99 on Amazon Wireless made my decision really easy. As long as your on one of the newest system updates MA7 or MC2 and updating your PRL/Profle the call quality is perfect with no dropped calls and just as good as when I had Verizon.

    • Jason Bittner

      Not gonna take up for VZW at all, they suck, but I had my note 2 rooted and bootloader unlocked within 10 minutes of receiving the phone.

    • whitjm5

      I just pulled down 9.47mpbs on Sprint 4G. Coverage isn’t as good as Verizon, but I, too, like saving money. Plus, having the HTC One makes me happy, happy, happy.

  • Rickerbilly

    (yawn)

  • Jonbo298

    When 4G lte went live here in Des Moines and I had just gotten the Bionic, I was pulling some insane speeds. Obviously because there wasn’t as many 4g phones yet to saturate the network. So it’s no surprise at&t’s lte has faster speeds. They don’t have the same level of saturation Verizon has done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1620845237 Raul Zeballos

    I find that T-mobile has something that no other carrier will have once the LTE rolls out for T-mobile. A back up that is near LTE speeds. HSPA+ will be the back up to 4GLTE and that alone will blow away the competition. I was on a Verizon business plan and moved to T-mobile with my business account, and I love the service, love the price, and I am very happy with the signal. Wifi calling is very cool, I can log into hotel wifi systems when I travel and call like I am calling from my phone logged into the Tmo’s network without a roaming fee in other countries. From a happy defector of VZW to TMO. I am very happy with T-mobile.

    • Bryce

      That HSPA+ fallback is incorrect as the deployment of LTE on T-Mobile will only Kat h their current HSPA+ footprint. You will essentially be on LTE or on Edge in a T-Mobile LTE Market upon completion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/5FT5Gentleman Prince Mann Campbell III

    I could care less what this chart says cause Verizon is working fine for me down here in Louisville.

  • Tim242

    I tested at&t last month. I got about the same speeds most of the time. A few times, at&t was slightly faster. But, you won’t be able to tell the difference. Fast is fast

  • yankeesusa

    I think what matters is what works in your area. In my area verizon was the king, now its att lte but that’s because not many people have it. But in the end to me its what the average speed is not the max. So in reality in my area tmobile wins because no matter where you go, time of day or any other reasons their speeds are a consistent 4-8mbps and thats on hspa+.

  • yankeesusa

    Definitely not surprising. I have tried both sprint and verizon lte and sprint once in a while will get me between 12mbps and 22. But on average, their lte speeds in my area are around 4-6mpbs which is the same speed that tmobile hspa+ gets here regularly. As for att being faster than verizon part of the reason might be the amount of people on it but I have heard from many people saying that no matter where the att lte is at the speeds area always high. For verizon they fluctuate, in fact I compared my sprint lte with my friends verizon lte and they were both atrocious. I hope sprint continues their expansion and speed improvements because at end of year tmobile will have a new customer.

  • KOBALT

    Look at coverage though. ATT and TMobile have nothing in my area like VZW. I’m about 20 miles outside of downtown Cleveland. This test is BS.

  • Patrick Crumpler

    Another reason to ditch VZW. That and their sorry ass current line-up.

    • http://twitter.com/Ike_Farmer Chris Franzen

      stupid logic. AT&T is faster because their market is smaller. Once it’s the same size as Verizon, their speeds will be slower. I remember when Verizons market was right around where AT&T is at now, I was getting 14+ mbps down.

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        Their market is smaller, yet they have nearly the same number of LTE users (15 vs 17 million), so more chance of congestion…. hmmm…

        • pappy53

          Where do you get those numbers?

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            Earnings calls. One company has X% of total phone users on smart phones. Y% of those smart phones then use LTE connections.

    • LionStone

      You mean you’re not diggin the new blue RAZR!? :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/alberto.hamade Alberto Hamade

    I get around 60 Mbps down In Butler, NJ on Verizon 4G LTE and 30 Mbps down in Jersey City, NJ.

  • beng8686

    I think they need to factor in coverage… ATT blows in more “remote” areas but Verizon does both.

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    AT&T LTE is amazingly fast. I consistently pull between 30 and 50 mbps down on my Galaxy S4. I know those speeds will come back down to Earth once more people get on the network and start bogging it down, but I’m damn sure going to enjoy it while it lasts!!

  • Nw_adventure

    Big ATT supporter here- 4G LTE just rocking- I know some folks here are in love with Verizon, but man just so overated- I travel quite a bit in remote areas, the whole omg verizon has a much bigger footprint argue does not really hold true in the NW, Mountain West, Cali, Nevada, Colorado. Killing peoples unlimited data, tiny selection of high end phones, etc. Not sure why more people arent leaving big red ?

    • Stephen Freeman

      Not in love with them, but they sure do kill me with kindness and good deals when I even think about leaving.

    • King of Nynex

      I think many of us on this site live in NYC with friends/family upstate. When out and about upstate, I’d have 4G while my friends with ATT would be on EDGE.

      • Chris VanAnden

        This describes me pretty well haha. I’ve debated on switching numerous times because around here all of the major networks work great, but when I go upstate only VZW really offers me a good signal.

  • King of Nynex

    Remember when VZW forced us early LTE adopters to pay super expensive prices on LTE phones? Where’s our reward for that?

    • Justin Winker

      What? I recall the initial batch of LTE phones to be the high-end phones (and I shudder at the thought of the Thunderbolt being high-end), so they charged more for them as they would otherwise…

      • King of Nynex

        They were asking for 299 for LTE phones over 3G phones. Now everything is 199.

        • Andrew Roth

          You consider $100 to be “super expensive” for a smart phone owner?

        • LionStone

          I only remember the Samsung Charge being $300. I paid $200. for my TB.

        • Justin Winker

          It was a premium feature… And it worked really well. I can’t speak for the pricing since I bought my first 4G LTE phone (Bionic) at full price since I was mid-contract, but I don’t see that as a bad thing considering other carriers had phones at $299 at that point as well.

  • fakekellex

    When LTE first came to my area, I had 14mbs+ and now its 3-5mbs. Still ok, but its much slower than when hardly anybody had 4G phones. Now everybody has a 4G android or a iphone 5 with LTE.

  • Jeff

    Totally depends where you are. Verizon rocks in the San Francisco and Oakland. But I’ve also benchmarked 34mbps down on Sprint 4G in Petaluma. Sprint is wretched in SF though, only marginally better than MetroPCS.

    • zionlion02

      I would actually disagree with this – IN San Francisco at least (not your experience, but in the sense of my personal experience of course, you might have gotten awesome speeds). I live in the city, have a GNex (maybe that’s the issue) and I honestly get TERRIBLE speeds unless I’m somewhere like the top of Union St on the hill. It’s maddening. Downtown, waiting for the bus, I’m lucky if I can update a black jack app in 4 minutes. Inside my office (smack downtown) I barely get any coverage. At home (Russian Hill) I rarely get 4G. It’s kind of mind boggling. But I figure it’s because everyone and their sister in this city has an iPhone, or LTE Android. The network must be SO stressed here. This fall, I’ll be doing a T-Mo 30.00 per month prepaid test. I can no longer justify paying 80 a month when I’m not getting that mystical performance. When I first got my GNex, it blew my mind. Now, just frustrates me.

      • LionStone

        Yea, let’s revise the “depends where you live” with what phone you’re using too :-)

  • DanWazz

    Cool to see T-mobile keep up with AT&T and VZW while not having LTE. Makes thinking about switching much easier.

    • yankeesusa

      Definitely good to see. Cool thing is most of the time its hspa+ that competes with att and verizon lte. So imagine the speeds once their lte starts expanding.

  • satsmine2k4

    Verizon’s 3g is truely poor…

    • Eric

      Go with Sprint and you’ll know the true meaning of poor data service.

  • Finire

    Yes, that’s fine and all… But did AT&T ever fix that problem with dropping soooooo many calls?

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      Uhhh.. years ago. Lower dropped call rate than Verizon. Rootmetrics is your friend.

      • pappy53

        Rootmetrics says that Verizon has the FEWEST dropped calls!

        http://www.rootmetrics.com/compare-carriers/united-states/detroit/detroit-february-2012/

        Google “dropped calls for AT&T vs Verizon”, and all surveys say that Verizon has the fewest.

        • BulletTooth_Tony

          That’s 1 city dude… perhaps you should spend some time and review all of them.

          • pappy53

            I didn’t cherry-pick. And your link shows the same results! Verizon wins by a long shot.

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            Maybe if you read more than the awards section and actually read the results you’ll see they’re exactly the same…

          • Danny

            Verizon is still better.

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            Not on LTE they sure aren’t. Nor in call quality. Nor in phone selection. Nor in updating their phones. Nor in price.

          • pappy53

            Verizon– .02%
            AT&T–.07%

            Exactly the same? Where did you learn math?

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            Where exactly did you learn to read charts? Margin of error matches them up perfectly. Never seen a political poll with margin of error have we? Never heard of margin of error maybe? Yeah… there’s a reason why it says “Call Performance – Draw”… because they do factor that in. Notice how almost all of these 2013 tests have Verizon plummeting and AT&T soaring? Especially in data speeds? Exactly.

          • Sorry Dude

            Lol, Verizon won in your link.

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            “Call Performance – Draw”. Read much? Or did you forget the OP was about dropping calls?

  • NorCalGuy

    I remember when there were no 4g phones on Vz and they were super fast, but now it has drastically slowed down most likely due to the massive number of lte devices. But does it really matter if your upload/ download is 3-4mbps faster or slower when you only have 1 or 2 GB on your tired data plan? Also I am more curious to see how Volte is going to effect Vz lte network, hopefully they do some kinda boost before it starts.

  • dan690

    AT&T may be faster but since you cannot pick up a signal outside any city limit it doesn’t matter.

    • brkshr

      I had a different experience on the West Coast with AT&T. Last November I drove from San Francisco, CA, through Oregon, to Seattle, WA on the 1 & 101, then back down the I-5. I had AT&T pretty much the entire time & in some spots where Verizon didn’t have any signal. I’m talking hours away from even the smallest town, in the middle of a forest. I was pleasantly surprised!
      I also live in rural central California. I get AT&T everywhere VZW gets signal, even in the Sierra Mountains around Shaver Lake.
      Just wondering where you are experiencing no at&t signal?

      • Snipedown

        I like in Oregon and drive the I-5 and 101 quite often. I find that not only does Verizon have faster downloads but has better signal in the greater Portland area. I have had many friends switch because they cannot get an AT&T signal when in the mountains.

        • brkshr

          I’m sure you have a more accurate experience there than me… I stayed one night in Beaverton (right next to Portland for non-OR’s) on the way back & didn’t have any problems. I do remember the connection being pretty slow though.

  • knicks525

    Is that t-mobile lte or hspa?

    • Eric Hare

      Both.

      “Where the LTE network is not yet available, T-Mobile 4G-device users can connect with the carrier’s HSPA 21 and 42 services, which the carrier also markets as “4G.”

      Because of the considerable speed of the HSPA 42 service, we accepted T-Mobile’s “4G” designation for the purposes of our study, and pitted the service against the LTE services of its competitors.

      T-Mobile’s two 4G services—HSPA 42 and LTE—together produced an average 4G download speed of about 9 mbps in our 20 test cities. That score put T-Mobile in a virtual tie with Verizon LTE for second place in our study.”

  • chris125

    Makes sense, Verizon having more lte and more users on it will bring speeds down

  • http://twitter.com/marsgrafx MARS GRAF-X

    speed dont mean anything if cant get a signal..

    • http://www.facebook.com/zGarrow Zach Garrow

      *doesn’t

    • zzz525

      if *you* can’t get a signal

    • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

      And this is why Verizon has most of us by the balls.

      • Cowboydroid

        Verizon’s coverage and download speeds here in Dallas feels like it’s getting worse every month…I am eager to test out T-mobile for a month and see if I get a better signal and better download speed.

        • SetNick

          I am totally with you on the lackluster coverage from Verizon lately. I live in North Dallas and it just blows. I may give AT& another try.

          • Cowboydroid

            As dissatisfied as I am with Verizon, there is absolutely nothing in the world that can convince me to return to the devil’s haven known as ATT.

            I’m going to give Tmobile a shot soon.

          • SetNick

            i say ATT due to their tower proximity to my home and at my office. Sprint and T-Mobile barely work in the areas I am most in the DFW.

          • spursrchamps2007

            I just switched to Tmob about three months ago and I’m near NYC. Overall Im satisfied with it. Im not on their 4g lte just 4g and while slower than Verizon, it really isn’t noticeable with normal use. Biggest critique was the lack of coverage traveling to the in-laws who are in western, PA. I don’t understand how tmob doesnt have better coverage on major interstates. A plus, however, is wifi calling is a free included feature, so in areas where no one could make calls, I hooked up to wifi and bam.

      • michael arazan

        Remember when the definition of 4G was 100 Mb up and down, I’m so glad the carriers all agreed to change it too a marketing ploy than actual innovation.

        Kind of sad than my wifi is slightly faster than my VZW 4G

        • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

          When Verizon’s 4G LTE network was brand new and unpopulated it was absolutely mind-blowingly fast (I’m talking I could get consistant 40mb/s – 60mb/s) but ever since the network has become burdened with all the new iCraps and other devices it has slowed down A LOT! Hopefully that one article about Verizon turning on their AWS (Advanced Wireless Service) and activating it on certain existing devices comes true!

    • Hoo Dat

      You’re right, I could never get a Verizon or Sprint signal. My unlimited data on Verizon didn’t mean much when the signal was weak 90% of the time. Can you hear me now? No, I have Verizon. I am now very happy with AT&T.

    • Brandon S.

      I have no problem with my signal with ATT. But this is the reason I dont have Tmobile.

    • Redsun

      Exactly. And on AT&T, you can’t.

  • itsgonnalast

    Wow, Verizon 3G speed…

    • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

      Its CDMA. AT&T/Tmobile’s “3g” do well because HSPA is a “3G” technology. So if you are in an urban area with an HSPA+ phone you are getting nearly LTE speeds on “3g.” Of course when you leave those HSPA+ areas you drop to a meg or two.

      CDMA doesnt have an alternative (at least not in use here).

  • Ian

    Being one of the first people on VZW’s LTE I can remember the regular 20-30 mbps download speeds. Now its pretty much 3G speeds with more battery drain, maybe only marginally faster….

    • http://twitter.com/Ike_Farmer Chris Franzen

      somebody doesn’t remember how slow 3G was.

      • Ian

        I think i do. Again this is local to where I’m at. YMMV.

  • Shane Redman

    oooooooooooooooooooooo…..coverage vs. speed!!! ooooooooooooooooooooo

  • jonathon

    yeah verizon has 100 million more subcribers on their network. Might be the reason for the lag.

    • Ian

      Agreed, however, they should still fix that

      • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

        I’m on T-Mobile now. Numbers can say what they may, but on Verizon, my 3G was better than the 4G I have on T-Mobile. Not in speed, but in consistency which ended making up for the lack of speed. Now 4G LTE on Verizon was just unbelievable in Los Angeles. That being said, I got tired of paying out the ass for the privilege. I’m very happy with T-Mobile and look forward to their LTE rollout.

        • http://profiles.google.com/adclow Aaron Clow

          Moved to T-Mobile a couple months ago. At my house, when I finally switched, Verizon LTE was slower than my current T-Mobile speeds. Signal doesn’t penetrate buildings as well, and I don’t have service at my desk at work anymore, but I get around it for $100 less a month on a family plan. Pretty much loving T-Mobile on my Nexus4 so far, and putting my money on the underdog.

          • Moonbaseone EpicFansite

            I’ve heard that Tmobile didn’t penetrate building as well as verizon and ATT? I am not too familiar with all the tech specs, etc.. and I will be getting a TMO pay as you go phone soon to test the service at home and at work. if it works in the basement and in the attic, I will be leaving ATT, and saving about 45$ a month for the exact same plan. Thanks again for the comment. I am really hoping I can get a good signal indoors at home and at work.

          • Chris Hannan

            I’ve got a contract with Verizon but every now and then I’ll pay $30 for a month of service with T-Mobile. T-Mobile’s building penetration is pretty terrible. Small buildings are mostly okay, but go in a school-sized building and there’s a good chance you’ll completely lose service.

            That said, I rarely get below 5Mbps and frequently go above 10Mbps. You can either save a lot of money over other carriers if 5GB of data and 100 minutes is enough, or get unlimited data on the best network that still offers unlimited data if you switch.

      • James Heyneman

        I’m sure they will. I think the original goal was to get nearly 100% LTE coverage before beefing up everything. I still get about 18Mbps/9Mbps where I live. I was getting around 40Mbps when they launched LTE here last year.

      • MichaelFranz

        Agree with both comments. You would think that 100 million more subscribers would yield to some more speed improvements

      • Kevin

        They’re going to. That’s what they’re going to use all that AWS spectrum they bought for. Higher speed LTE and extra capacity. Just read a report that the GS4 is going to support the AWS bands with a software update.

      • neo1738

        Verizon is fixing that, AWS Spectrum will be out in a few months to 1/2 year most likely. That will double their bandwidth.

    • j

      Agreed, not very surprising. CDMA is slow, we know.
      Few more MBPS on LTE due to fewer subscribers, and fewer LTE phones. Verizon has been pushing LTE for over two years now, whereas AT&T is still pretty new.

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        Except it isn’t new for AT&T… and they only have 2 million more LTE subscribers over a larger geographical area if you’d bother to read their quarterly reports instead of spew hyperbole.

        • j

          Oh really.. LTE subscribers huh.. not active LTE connections, or % of data over LTE. Anyone with an iPhone5 is an LTE subscriber on AT&T, regardless of whether they are in an LTE coverage area.
          Verizon transfers much more data over LTE than AT&T does, and assuming similar bandwidth in overlapping markets, it’s clear why Verizon is a little slower.

          • Danny

            Thank you. Now if everyone could just thumbs up his comment it would be great.

    • http://twitter.com/Patfactorx David Pat

      VZ LTE is painfully slow in some areas of San Diego. ATT rolled out slower but they did it better it seems.

      • lembowski

        Very true. When VZW rolled out Lte it was pretty fast for the first 6 months then bam it dropped down to 6 down most of the time in my area of North Park and Mission Valley.

    • bah

      lag != speed lag == latency

  • Ian Smith

    T-Mobile’s 4G LTE speeds are surprising. Just in a different thread today someone was saying how much better Verizon’s is but it seems to be quite relative.

    Additionally, Sprint sucks ass.

    • http://dreadpirate15.com/ dreadpirate15

      The main reason Verizon is “better” than T-Mobile is coverage. Verizon has more area, so they’re great in that aspect. As far as data speeds, I don’t see much difference except in upload. Then again, I’m comparing my HSPA+ to Verizon’s LTE. Can’t wait for T-Mobile LTE in my area.

      • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

        Even then, in practice, HSPA+ paces with LTE. I have a coworker on VZW LTe and in most cases we get about the same. Its only in rare/rural conditions he can get more than 20Mb/s on LTE.

        • http://dreadpirate15.com/ dreadpirate15

          Good point! I routinely get 14-18Mb/s on HSPA+ where I work. That’s pretty darn good enough for me (especially with Unl. data from T-Mobile).

          Eventually, LTE will replace HSPA+, which is good because LTE is theoretically faster and will get much better as backhaul is upgraded.

          • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

            Yeah, I dont doubt it will be the future but its not the spectrum of today.

            I had an LTE phone and its still a “two radio” experience and you know when you are on LTE. Its like opening all 4 barrels of a carb, you can watch that battery die real-time.

          • LionStone

            Except newer phones with better/more efficient processors are like what fuel injection is to the 4 barrel carbureutor.

          • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

            Except that you missed the point with the analogy. If it were about new and old processors it would have fit but it wasn’t

      • Ian Smith

        so currently T-Mobile is HSPA+ but is rolling out LTE comparable to Verizon’s LTE? Is this all an apples to apples comparison?

        • http://dreadpirate15.com/ dreadpirate15

          It’s fuzzy. When you’re talking 4G, there are two technologies that use that term. LTE (Long Term Evolution) and HSPA+. HSPA+ is really souped up 3G, whereas LTE is the next generation of cellular networks.

          T-Mobile is in the process of doing major upgrades to their network, upgrading their existing HSPA+ network to LTE. Partly due to having fewer customers, T-Mobile is able to get really great speeds off of an older technology.

          Verizon already has LTE in place, but have more customers using that LTE, slowing down speeds from their theoretical max.

          tl;dr:

          T-Mobile is getting similar speeds to Verizon using an inferior wireless technology.

          • Droidzilla

            Thank you, good sir, for informing the masses. This is one of the most succinct and accurate posts I’ve seen on the matter.

      • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

        agreed. It’s one thing to be great in some places, and another to be great everywhere. Verizon LTE is everywhere and great everywhere. T-Mobile still has a way to go in their rollout. I love T-Mobile though and am happy to have switched from Verizon. I feel like I’m getting more than my moneys worth on T-Mobile, where Verizon just bent me over every month with their prices.

        • http://dreadpirate15.com/ dreadpirate15

          Absolutely. I’m excited for T-Mobile to complete their refarm of the 1900mhz spectrum. That’s the Edge network, which will get an upgrade to HSPA+.

          Once all these upgrades are finished, T-Mobile should have a strong LTE network, with their “slower” network being HSPA+.

    • PhoenixPath

      Got my first taste of T-Mob 4G-LTE today.

      31 down and 17 up. Reached that on VZW only occasionally, though this is still just anecdotal and my personal experience. Could be completely different 10 miles away…right?

      • Droidzilla

        Or when the network gets more congested, like what happened with Verizon.

        • PhoenixPath

          Indeed. I can only hope the upgrades they make support the increased usage….unlike Verizon’s.

          …or Google could come out with their own wireless. That’d be good.

          (FYI: My post above referred to T-Mob’s LTE, not their HSPA+ which I’ve only been able to achieve ~4mbps max on in any specific location…which is acceptable to me, but yeah…faster is better.)

          • Droidzilla

            Google Wireless is the stuff of legend. I would sign up sight unseen for it.

  • overclock

    I went with my mom to the AT&T store to set her up with the S4. I did a speedtest and the store must have been under a 4G tower because the speed came back at 42. My Razr Maxx 4G came back at 14. I was floored. That’s just crazy fast. And the S4 is an awesome phone. When I was with Sprint I was lucky to get dial up speeds. Sprint is such a joke.

    • http://twitter.com/tarund TarunD

      All wireless carrier stores have signal boosters to make it seem like you’re getting great reception and of course, faster download/navigation.

      • bkosh84

        This is not true, I went to my local Sprint store awhile back to see what was going on with my slow as molasses data speeds and they attributed it too upgrades and the salesman even admitted that he has to go outside the store sometimes to activate new phones because he can’t get a strong enough signal to do it.. Needless to say we switched to AT&T the same day and haven’t looked back, lol.

        • Justin Winker

          …. It was sprint… What were you expecting?

    • impulse630

      Just did a Speed Test on my (personal) Sprint Galaxy Note 2 and my (work) Sprint iPhone 4S. Got an average of 16.16/4.40 on LTE and 1.58/.87 on 3G. I believe their results and mine (since i did them myself!). It all comes down to a) where you use your phone b) how much and where you travel and c) how fast of a connection you need to do what you do. I traveled this weekend to an area that hasn’t had Sprint’s updates and it was painfully slow, but for most of what i do, they’ve made me really happy since i get a string LTE connection at home and work. To say that Sprint is a joke b/c of how they perform in areas that aren’t yet upgraded or that Verizon is a joke b/c their numbers were slower due to a larger number of people on their network or that AT&T is a joke b/c they have a smaller LTE footprint or the T-Mobile is a joke b/c they just started rolling out LTE is all equally ridiculous. I think a year from now, we’ll have a much more level playing field and we’ll be able to compare providers based on customer service, devices, and price.

  • thecharrr

    The Later Network (TM)