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AT&T Claims to Have the Most Reliable 4G LTE Network in the Country

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Any follower of the mobile industry knows that all of the major US carriers like to brag about their network being the best at this or the fastest at that. AT&T has long had the reputation for dropping calls and having a somewhat unreliable service, but today, Big Blue announced that according to an independent third-party surveyor, it has the most reliable 4G LTE network in the country. 

In a press release given out by AT&T today, it points to multiple tests of their LTE network to show that it is the most reliable in terms of providing download speeds. They have also been rated highly for having strong call and text performance in multiple cities across the country, as well. AT&T’s LTE stretches to 315 markets as of right now, which still has a ways to go in order to match Verizon’s number of 500. T-Mobile is currently ranked third in number of LTE markets with 116.

We will have to watch and see if AT&T can keep up this reliability as they continue their rollout to more of the country. Who do you think has the most reliable network? We should do a DL poll. There is nothing more official than that.

Via: AT&T

  • Dakota

    Just thought I would add to the discussion. I live in the small town (~30,000) of Richmond, IN. At my house I have about 3 bars of Verizon LTE, and I get a consistent 15-20 down and 3-5 up. When at Walmart, with a full 5 bars of Verizon LTE, I consistently get at least 45 down and 10 up. ATT does not have LTE in our area, just HSPA+, so I don’t know about that.

    Thought i would add my 2 cents,


  • Daniel Martinez

    i pulled down 31 on tmobiles LTE and i live in LA

  • Andrewb1017

    I easily get 10-15 on Att hspa+ in central Jersey

  • Redsun

    Please warn me before such headlines if I’m having my morning coffee.

    cough, cough.

  • Gerald Guerrero

    I have apple ipad and it has LTE but we have no LTE network so I pay 14.99 a month and use WIFI mostly and use when we have no WIFI But it 4g in name only and it pretty slow or does not exist . hope for improvement soon but it took years to get 3g here Pueblo CO

    • Michael C

      T-mobile has LTE in Pueblo Co and its pretty fast through out the entire city

  • coba

    I don’t personally care who is gonna be the most fastest or reliable. As long as they still implement data cap (both verizon and att), all the goodness of your data plan become totally useless. For example, I can finish my 2 GB data plan within 30 minutes and I have to pay for overage or wait until the rest of the month without data. I know, it sucks, don’t you agree?

  • Kizaru Hiruko

    I’m not sure of the validity of their claim. I’m aware that location plays a major role in whether a carrier works or not, but Verizon has the most reliable network in my area. T-Mobile is absolutely unusable and Sprint’s 3G data speeds are atrocious, with no WiMAX or LTE available. AT&T is second to Verizon, but their phones usually fall back from LTE to HSPA+ when trying to use data. Their LTE speeds are great, but inconsistent: one minute, you’ll get 27 Mbps, then you’ll suddenly drop to 0.27 Mbps. On Verizon, you’ll get 15-20 Mbps consistently.

    Again, all based on location. For me, it’s Verizon or nothing.

    Sidenote: What good is having the fastest network when you don’t have unlimited data? Even if you have an LTE device on AT&T and a grandfathered unlimited data plan, they throttle your speeds to 384 Kbps (or so, I’m not sure) after 5GB of use. While I haven’t seen this in action, I’d love to know if they do indeed throttle your speeds.

  • James Friedman

    This is like Comcast or Time Warner saying they have faster internet speeds than FIOS. Reliability means I’m covered wherever I go and I don’t think any of the LTE services are very reliable right now…

  • paul_cus

    Overall, it’s been a much better experience for me on AT&T than when I was on Verizon. I can’t speak for anywhere outside of Chicago, though.

  • Rambocombo

    At&t has build a great LTE network and improved their hspa
    + network to the point where I normally get anywhere between 5mp-8 in LA when
    im out of an LTE area. ATT has the long
    term advantage and will prob continute to be the fastest and here is why: Verizon runs an LTE and CDMA network and it
    must stay that way because VOLTE is not widely used yet plus Verizon still has
    rougly 43% of customers still using 3G cdma only devices. They will continute to support the CDMA network
    until 2018 or so… Verizon will get extra capacity by deploying the Nationwide
    AWS spectrum they purchased and when you
    add LTE advance in and carrier aggregation you have pretty wide channels and
    fast speeds. Here is where ATT has the
    advantage: AT& T runs a GSM/HSPA + / LTE network. ATT only has 12% of customers on their nationwide
    EDGE (2G) network and they have begun to shut it down. They are going to refarm that 850/ 1900 mhz
    spectrum for LTE. The beauty of HSPA+ is
    that voice and Data are sent in the same packets so ATT can continute to
    support their 3G/4G hspa plus networks with decent speeds for a long time
    coming while refarming 850/1900. If you don’t
    believe that they plan to do this just look at the iPhone 5 Specs and the HTC
    One specs . ATT requires that all of their LTE phones support band 1,2,4,5,17. They are only using band 4 and 17 for LTE
    right now. In the Future ATT will run
    LTE on 850/700mhz A/B block ..700 MHZ
    D/E block ( nationwide spectrum they acquired from Qualcomm ( Mediaflo) , AWS
    *( they just acquired more aws spectrum with the purchase of Leap, and PCS (
    1900 mhz ) spectrum. We also need to
    mention that they just acquired WCS spectrum nationwide and intend to deploy
    LTE there also. With LTE advanced and
    carrier aggregation ATT will have wide wide chanels and the speeds will be unbelievable. To grade how good their LTE deployment is
    just look at cities like LA, MIAMI, and CHICAGO those are markets where Verizon
    outbide ATT in the 2008 auction and it forced them to deploy LTE on 5×5 chanels
    instead of 10×10 and in 3rd party speed test ATT perfomed well with
    half of the spectrum. Also keep in mind
    that Verizon had to sale ATT these airwaves in order to purchase the AWS
    spectrum ( it was a requirement by the FCC) and they have not deployed it
    yet. So cities like LA , Miami, and Chicago ATT will now run
    10×10 blocks. In conjested LA I get
    40-50mbs down still and that’s on 5×5 chanels.
    Sprint may have a chance with their TD LTE but sprints deployment is not
    years off. It wont be 2015 before sprint
    is a true competitor.

  • Eric marentes

    I just went to Disneyland Monday I have the GS4 on Verizon my friend had the iPhone 5 on AT&T and he had no service most of the day while I was on full 4g all day

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      Verizon has exclusive rights to install a network on the premises of both Land and World parks in the US. All others set up their towers outside the park and hope for the best. Even still, Verizon’s data in those places is pathetic.

      • Mike

        Actually, Disney is an ATT business…as was Universal. Verizon just has better coverage.

        • BulletTooth_Tony

          Actually, no, it’s an ABC business and in 2008 they signed an exclusive agreement with Verizon to use the Disney-owned on-site tower infrastructure that was built originally for Nextel. And Universal is an NBC business.

          • d-rock

            Mike = Owned

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            Not even trying to be mean, but that was just the craziest comment ever. Reception in crowded places sucks on most every carrier without DAS access… Just in this case Verizon sucks less cuz of that agreement – and the nature of the crowds can reverse that as well on any given day. *shrug*

          • dsass600

            Dude you’re a monster. I’m going through the comments and left and right you’re shutting idiots down like you get paid to do it.

          • Sean Plantz

            lol shut em DDOOOWWWNN

  • LionStone

    Surprised nobody has busted out with, “Go home AT&T, you’re drunk!” 🙂

  • D.B.Evans

    For speed, I agree, AT&T is superior and consistently faster – if you can get a signal. That’s the main limitation for me.

    I live in an AT&T “dead spot” … go a couple miles in any direction and there’s a decent signal; but when friends with AT&T visit, they’re lucky to get just one bar – usually they have no signal at all. My office is also weak for AT&T signal; but in their favor, my employer is working with them to wire the building to get an AT&T signal while indoors – once that’s done later this year, the office signal should be great (no idea though if we’re getting wired for 3G or 4G).

    Verizon has the slower 4G service – but the signal strength is decent for me both at home and at the office. T-mobile also has decent signal strength and 4G available for me at home and at work, but drops out at some of the places we go for weekend get-a-ways or vacations. I don’t know about Sprint’s current signal quality near me – just that it was poor several years back, no idea if it has improved.

  • reliable LTE does NOT equal fewer dropped calls.

    • d-rock

      But when all your data usage is rolling to LTE, it lightens the load on HSPA to handle calls better. I was on AT&T 2 years ago and dropped calls were horrible. I’m back on AT&T and dropped calls aren’t bad at all.

    • dsass600

      Never had one before.

  • flosserelli

    I wouldn’t doubt their claim. Lately my VZW LTE is just marginally faster than 3G. AT&Ts new LTE network will suffer the same fate as more customers hog bandwidth.

    • d-rock

      But with data caps, that won’t happen as much. AT&T is winning the war in data capping.

  • cardi dark

    Verizon and at&t are greedy and greed will kill them in the long run. Even on there new phone planes where u pay instalments for the phones u still pay the regular subsidiary charges so u paying for the phone twice. Watch when t mobile gets all of metro on there network and get that extra spectrum and there in the hunt to buy anothet company that happens to run cricket. Remember almost all prepaid used verizon towers now they switched to t mobile and at&t or being brought by t mobile ala metro. When at&t catches verizon they will have mad 4glte coverage and if you dont get 4glte your speeds will still be decent with hspa+ unlike verizon where u have slow 3g for back up. Cdma is dying slowly

  • cardi dark

    T mobile just started 4glte like and already got 116 markets there 4g lte can’t be that bad i got a htc one s with only hspa+ and avg 7 – 11 down 2 – 5 up. Which matched my speeds when i had the droid razr running verizon 4g lte. Sprint might as well hang it up they mocking t mobile now with no contract plans i seen a comercial for sprint and they slipped it in real fast at the end. When that sprint clear wire deal folded it fucked sprint up. And purchasing nextel and trying to run both of em as seperate company’s did as well. If t mobile can get rid of all that edge areas and replace them with hspa+ at&t better watch out.

  • Armus

    Everyone’s network is super reliable when you cut off unlimited plans, raise prices and encourage wifi

    • michael arazan

      Just think if there were wifi networks everywhere you go, you wouldn’t need to be a slave to the carriers.

  • Adamania

    I beg to differ. My wife and I have AT&T. Although I have a Nexus 4 and don’t get to use it, my wife has the i5 and her LTE speeds are lackluster at best. Even our HSPA+ is lucky to be more than 3mb/sec.

  • All of this is so moot. All anyone cares about is their home city and coverage area. In mine, VZ LTE is the only way to go, so all these national averages are really meaningless.
    (unless you’re a national traveler on a regular basis).

  • AnotherAndroidKid

    ATT is a lot like Duff-Man. They both say a lot of things.

    • Jonathan Williams

      Duff-Man is thrusting in your direction!!!!

  • Sean Plantz

    They need to cover the country like verizon does before any of that becomes relevant. I would love to go back to ATT (for the whole gsm phone selection alone) but the coverage in upstate NY is a joke. A bad one at that.

    • matt

      where are abouts in upstate ny? I never had a problem. Only dropped one call and it was with an htc surround.

      • Sean Plantz

        I am between Rochester and Syracuse. And even now my buddy who is still on ATT only gets edge. I guess its not an issue if you live in the citys, but I don’t. Verizon on the other hand has 4g lte everywhere I go.

  • d-rock

    Well #1, when you’re talking LTE, dropped calls don’t apply, since calls aren’t made over LTE, so we’re just talking data. How do you judge reliability? Speed? Sure.

    Let’s talk speed then. LTE technology is generally the same across carriers, the big difference is their backbone of data at cell sites. I would say that AT&T might have an advantage here since they have a bigger nationwide backbone of data.

    Also people talk about AT&T LTE being less congested, you don’t have the facts on that? I don’t think it’s fair to say that unless you do.

    AT&T has been impressive in their roll out and they have provided the data backbone to support it. Verizon needs to upgrade their backbone.

    Having more customers on LTE isn’t an excuse for it being slower. If you have more people paying for it, you should invest to upgrade your backbone.

    • Geoff Johnson

      Exactly. I’ve also found (since I currently have both Verizon and AT&T LTE phones), that with AT&T I have a much higher likelyhood of actually being able to use that data. With Verizon, if I have 1-2 bars of LTE there are several instances where I can’t even load a webpage without it falling back on 3G, if it even does fall back.

      • Jared

        Not to come in and defend Verizon (I gripe and complain about them often, daily at least), but I think that they are working to strengthen their backbone with their AWS spectrum that should go live in the (near?) future. That said, there are instances that 2 bars of VZW LTE are not very reliable, and thus your point is very valid.

        • Tim

          so some of the cases that this happens to me…it isn’t because of the type of phone I have (Gnex)? so all this time I was cussing at my phone might not actually be the problem correct? I guess now I’m in question as to do I really need to get a new phone sooner than later to try and correct this issue.

          • d-rock

            Sounds like it’s the network :/

          • antinorm

            The GNex’s radio hardware is…uh, not exactly known for being the best out there.

        • d-rock

          AWS won’t fix the problem they have. You need pure bandwidth at your tower. Think of it like this. You can have a Wireless N 100Mb Wifi Router, but if you only have a 1MB DSL line, you’re still only going to get 1Mb.

          • Jared

            I see, I just thought it might offset some of the bandwidth that is occupied by users. Thanks for the info.

          • d-rock

            And not to discredit what you said, the AWS will help relieve stress off their primary bands, so just like AT&T and TMO have multiple bands for their network, this front capacity, but you still have to have the backbone data too

            and To be honest, I don’t know why VZ’s data is slow. It could be overwhelmed towers or overwhelmed backbone data.

          • Jared

            Ah, that makes perfect sense. I guess I just wasn’t thinking of it in that sense. Thanks for clarifying that. I’m stuck on Verizon for now, so I’ll just have to gripe about it being slow. 🙂 Cheers.

          • slappy

            Virtually all vzw towers use fiber as backhaul. No dsl there. Aws will open the bandwidth to 20 mhz up and down. No one is even close.

      • michael arazan

        Just an FYI, LTE tower only have a true range of 4 miles, once you are outside of that four miles your connection weakens exponentially the further away you get.

        I am between 5-6 miles of 2 different lte towers and get 2-3 bars, when within the four mile range of the lte towers i get 4 bars and faster speeds.

  • Geoff Johnson

    Coverage aside, AT&T’s LTE network is definitely the best. Verizon WAS the best, but they’ve activated so many devices without making the appropriate upgrades to the network that speeds are often times in the single digits even with full LTE signal, only occasionally at certain sites do people see good speeds. Sprint is a joke, and T-Mobile isn’t much faster than their 4G. With AT&T even in the busy ares like downtown Boston I can easily pull 30-50Mbps+.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      The point is Coverage. You can’t put coverage aside. That is the sole reason. If it’s one carrier that’s had backbone issues it’s ATT. Once they have have a full rollout you’ll see the difference.

      • Geoff Johnson

        I really don’t see how that’s true, yes Verizon has the most, AT&T has the second, with Sprint and T-Mobile following. If that’s the case then one could say Sprint and T-Mobile should have the fastest speeds since they have the least number of users on their network.

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          It’s not just about coverage. It’s also about the backbone the new network is being built on. Because you have towers doesn’t mean they are as reliable as the next carrier.

      • d-rock

        AT&T’s HSPA network is larger than Verizon’s LTE network and from what I can see works just as well in most places :/

        So if you want to consider coverage, then quality of coverage needs to matter too. When your LTE quality can’t beat the previous generation in quality, coverage doesn’t matter much.

        • Diablo81588

          Their hspa is garbage. Compare it to CDMA 3g speeds.

          • Geoff Johnson

            Not at all, Verizon you’re lucky to get over 1Mbps down, with HSPA+ I typically get 3-10Mbps down.

          • d-rock

            CDMA is like old reliable… Don’t move to fast but it works. HSPA averages 3-5Mb and can get up to 20Mb and the call quality is much better.

            CDMA gets maybe 1Mb

          • Diablo81588

            You will never come close to 20mbps on hspa. Theoretical max is 21mbps. I seriously get faster 3g speeds on Verizon than my friend does on hspa with AT&T. It’s pathetic.

          • d-rock

            Well that’s not the norm, trust me, or do research, your choice. Facts are facts. On average AT&T HSPA, blows CDMA away.

          • Diablo81588

            As a technology yes, but AT&T is so congested with iPhone users there’s not enough bandwidth to go around. Go in any large city and you’ll experience the same.

          • dsass600

            Not true at all. I get 30 down LTE on my ATT device in NYC.

          • Diablo81588

            I was referring to their “4g” hspa network. Their LTE is very fast where you can get it.

          • dsass600

            I mean, they’re HSPA+ network is fairly fast as well. Definitely miles ahead of Verizon’s 3G network. The only problem is that speed tests don’t tell the whole story. HSPA+’s main problem is the ping. Otherwise it could reach extremely high speeds.

          • Diablo81588

            It definitely depends on your area, but their hspa network is far from fast in Houston.

          • Shilamar Drea Shockley

            I also live in a large city and AT&T is better as far as speeds. AT&T is not congested. Lol.

          • Diablo81588

            It’s extremely congested.. Lol

          • Shilamar Drea Shockley

            No thank you.

          • Shilamar Drea Shockley

            That’s in your area…..

          • Luigi90210

            I pulled 25 down on tmobiles HSPA42

            Explain that?

          • Diablo81588

            We’re talking about AT&T, who only supports hspa+ 21. Learn to read.

    • Ian

      Caveat: These results are conclusive of a sample size of 1.

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        Additional caveat: Rootmetrics agrees.

        • Ian

          I will be the last person to defend VZW. However, Rootmetrics measures bandwidth, and not coverage. You can bend numbers any way you want. Personally, I feel that coverage should factor into “Best”.

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            The statement is “most reliable.” Rootmetrics measures this in both terms of average speeds, data success rate, and time to first byte. All of which support their claim.

    • Stephen

      At my school in middle of nowhere PA, i’d get anywhere from 5-13 mbps download on LTE on verizon. In Central New Jersey, I still get ~30 mbps download. So there is definitely truth to this.

  • T4rd

    I like how they claim to have the “largest 4G network” in their commercials too. Notice they don’t say “largest LTE network”, lol. I’m still confused as to how they can call HSPA+ 4G. Asshats…

    • needa

      the gogt allowed tmo to call their hspa+42 netwrok 4g. at&t quickly followed suit with their hspa+21.

      • Chris Hannan

        I thought AT&T’s HSPA+ network only went up to 14.4Mbps.

        • needa

          14.4Mbps down and 5.76Mbps up

    • Geoff Johnson

      To there benefit, AT&T 4G is usually 5-10Mbps down, which is actually very similar to Verizon’s LTE speeds.

      • Diablo81588

        You will never get anywhere near 10mbps on AT&T’s heap. In the Houston area you would be lucky to get 2, and that’s on a good day. Most of the time it’s around Verizon 3g speeds.

        • Geoff Johnson

          Depends on the area, but at my house I typically get 8-9Mbps down on a good (not great) 4G signal.

  • mtd

    Not in Montana!

    • airplane

      I was just there in MT, even Verizon LTE sucks up there.

      • Geoff Johnson

        People live in Montanta?

        • airplane

          Yes along with some Grizzly’s, Black Bears and Mountain Goats 😉

  • Kyle Cordiano

    On my Nexus 4 where I am, I’m getting 10mbps plus. I’m happy.

  • hackthis02


  • gadget_hero

    I am sure the outages Verizon had early in LTE won’t help them defend the most reliable network. But I still got to hand it to Verizon, they sure don’t cheap out on builds. Do it once, do it right. To bad they won’t expand Fios to new areas.

  • They have less people so less people sucking bandwidth?

    Makes sense

    • Geoff Johnson

      Then explain how Sprint and T-Mobile’s LTE speeds are so poor in relation to AT&T?

      • T4rd

        Probably less infrastructure behind their towers. I’d bet Verizon and AT&T towers have tons more bandwidth available on their towers than Sprint or T-Mobile. Though they’d have to since they support many more subscribers.

      • Their infrastructure isn’t as good as ATT. ATT is big enough to compete

      • Luigi90210

        On T-Mobile I pull 33 down consistently. Let’s see Verizon or art do that…

        • Skippy

          Verizon did pull those speeds. 2 years ago when they were at the phase of lte that t mobile is at now. Att and t mobile do not have nearly the amount of users on lte as Verizon and att is only marginally faster with WAY LESS COVERAGE.

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      They have nearly identical numbers of subscribers… Try again.

      • Thomas

        But not LTE subscribers.

        • BulletTooth_Tony

          Yes, LTE subscribers are nearly identical. With Q1 reports, since AT&Ts aren’t due until Tuesday – you’re looking at 15 million vs 17 million LTE subscribers. And one has a smaller LTE network. So let’s try to determine who has the higher concentration of users on their LTE networks.

          • JohnThackr

            A start, but that doesn’t completely solve the problem, because users are distributed heterogeneously across networks.

          • Chris Hannan

            What qualifies as an LTE subscriber? Someone who lives in an area with LTE, someone who connects to LTE frequently, someone who has connected to LTE before, or someone with an LTE phone?

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            I’m pretty sure it’s % of active smartphones that are LTE-capable.

      • That can’t be true, everyone says Verizon has way more subscribers

        • BulletTooth_Tony

          Verizon does have more subscribers… Marginally. After Q1, since AT&Ts Q2 numbers come out next week – VZW was 115 million rounded up, AT&T was 108. Total connected devices, not necessarily phones.

  • El_Big_CHRIS

    Like anything, it’s advertising. My friend has the sgs3 with them, I have it with Verizon, and I get lte in more places. But when he gets it, it’s a bit faster.

    • JohnThackr

      And the companies’ advertising reflects that and is generally accurate– you have to read between the lines to see what they’re not saying.

      AT&T’s LTE does have higher reliability and speed, where it exists, since a lot of their dropped call issues were due to the rush of iPhones overwhelming their towers, and only the iPhone 5 of the iPhone model has LTE. Their LTE network is by contrast underutilized.

      • needa

        att has been selling lte enabled phones since 2011. they sell a lot more iphones than verizon. usually 40% more. you also fail to take into account that there are areas where at&t flourishes a lot more than verizon. and in those areas at&t is still on top in terms of speed. im not saying that verizon does not have more lte phones out. im not saying that verizon doesnt have more lte phones out in areas that at&t has more customers. im just saying those numbers arent necessarily as far apart as you make them out to be.

  • Carlos Lopez

    I;m on At&t idk if i agree with them

  • zombiewolf115

    plz no

  • Guest

    Annnnd… Here comes the hate.