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AT&T Has The Fastest LTE Network
Average Downstream Speeds of 18.6 Mbps
by Karl Bode 09:39AM Tuesday Mar 12 2013
A new report from RootMetrics notes that AT&T's LTE network consistently offers the fastest speeds of all current deployments, but Verizon's network continues to dwarf all other LTE deployments in size and scope. AT&T's LTE network provided an average of 18.6 Mbps downstream and 9 Mbps upstream with a maximum speed of 57.7 Mbps across 149 live LTE markets.

Click for full size
In contrast, Verizon's LTE network delivered average speeds of 14.3 Mbps downstream and 8.5 Mbps upstream with top speeds of 49.3 Mbps across 470 active LTE markets. However, Rootmetrics says they found Verizon's network connectivity more consistent.

"Within AT&T’s LTE-enabled markets, we connected to LTE 81.7% of the time during our download tests. This rate of connection, while impressive, still trails what we found with Verizon."

The findings match previous studies that show that while AT&T may have had some hiccups along the way the last few years, they're doing LTE correctly, seeing spikes in both speed and customer satisfaction over their LTE network.

Meanwhile Sprint, which has only deployed LTE in 77 markets, saw average downstream speeds of 10.3 Mbps, average upstream speeds of 4.4 Mbps, and maximum speeds of 32.7 Mbps. Given the early portion of Sprint's LTE deployment (and the fact that even "launched" markets have significant gaps currently), RootMetrics states they could only connect to Sprint's network in 50.2% of download tests.

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Seeky

join:2001-06-10
Chicago, IL

.

How about price, and cap?
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: .

Yeah, Tmob averaged 7Mbps and Sprint averaged 10Mbps and peaked at 32, which sounds about right but they are unlimited. Obviously they won't have the coverage until rollout is complete.

A smartphone only needs a few Mbps, latency matters more after a few Mbps. I use 6-9GB/month so would rather have a few Mbps unlimited than 100Mbps or even 1Gbps with a 5GB limit.

And speedqueen bloggers need to focus on latency, not Mbps.
en103

join:2011-05-02

Re: .

If you're on AT&T LTE in the Los Angeles are, you won't get either.
I think Chicago is similar... starved on the 700MHz spectrum band (5x5 vs. 10x10), and not a complete buildout = slower than HSPA+ speeds, with spotty coverage.

anondownload

@comcast.net

does it really matter?

not very many people really care about to highest speeds, what they do care about is how slow things get when it slows down.

does anyone do slowest speed comparisons?

i would like to see a comparison chart that shows which networks get down to the slowest speedtest results during congestion and how often they are below certain speeds.

that would show numbers that have real world relevance to cell phone users.

the only app i can think of for these kind of speeds is tethering which is either not allowed or the cap is too small to make useful/affordable.
nfotiu

join:2009-01-25

Re: does it really matter?

That's pretty much it exactly. I don't care or even notice when my phone is getting 10 mbps vs 20. It is how often it dips below 2 or 3 or data drops altogether. I'll take a rock solid 14 over an inconsitent 18 average.
patt2k

join:2009-01-16
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

VZW

Click for full size
fastest I ever hit on Verizon LTE was 62 mbps that was about 1 year ago when I had my galaxy nexus this is what I get now , more then enough for all my needs streaming spotify/pandora/sirius xm/stream google music.

I left AT&T because I had no service at my house but when I simply went outside of my apartament I had full service.. oh well

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: VZW

How do you have the stylized verizon logo on your iPhone?
m3nphls

join:2012-10-02
Brooklyn, NY

Re: VZW

jailbreak
patt2k

join:2009-01-16
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by fifty nine:

How do you have the stylized verizon logo on your iPhone?

Jailbroken iPhone 5 with / Zeppelin (Verizon Logo)

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

Ho hum

So a carefully orchestrated designed benchmark Makes news. This will not buy you a cup of coffee. Connection rate of 99 % should be the news to publish. What is the sustained speeds over time? It doesn't matter how fast the system is if you can't connect nd stay connected. It doesn't matter how well the tests perform if the service isn't available to you in the real world. If it bankrupts you to actually use a service then oh well, guess you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out another way to dupe the public into thinking you are selling something of value.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

All useless drivel for the masses

1) Who gives a rats ass if you can hit 23Mbps if you may render a web page or at the least stream a 2-3Mbps video? Granted there is marginal battery life to stronger signal.
2) Do any of these vendors have magic LTE genies that give them wizardry of technology to make it better than the other, NO. Frequency matters for cell penetration....
3) What does speed have to do if you are speed testing next to the tower? Try driving around and answering that question. AT&T in the NorthEast SUCKS compared to Verizon, and Sprint is an F-. What were the speeds at the fringe, and what is the fringe?
4) When I first got my HTC-- kill the batter --beta Thunderbolt, the Verizon LTE network was a little ol babe of 1 month. Download an upload speeds were amazing (over 20 Mbps). Guess what put some load on it, now we are talking 7 Mbps--still FAST ENOUGH.

AT&T just launched LTE in my town like two months ago, so do you think it is at the saturation of Verizon LTE network that was launched 2 years ago here? STUPID...... BTW I can get LTE signal almost everywhere for Verizon now, AT&T not. My colleagues all have iphone 5 (AT&T) and try driving around Boston or NYC and keep a phone call going, or get consistent speeds, unless you are lucky to hit a hotspot.... One threw theirs last week, and now has a iphone 5 on Verizon. He is happy. I will say it depends HIGHLY upon where you live the experience of your cell vendor...

These metrics are all crap because what matters is consistent coverage and speed to render facebook and your webpage in 1-2 seconds. Nobody ever talks about that, because America likes big engines and just big. Also, nobody ever put out a metric to say: @ 23 Mbps you will burn through your 1 GB in say 400 seconds, and if 1 GB costs $15, it is costing you over $2 a minute to use your phone. When you think about that, $2 a minute on a voice call would be considered GOUGING.... Ahh the lemmings

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

1 huge caveat

Fastest LTE for areas that actually have it. That's like saying In and Out Burger is the best burger but most people don't live within 100 miles of one. really doesn't mean anything.

Before ANY carrier starts bragging about speed A) have your LTE network fully deployed B) let me know when you have at least 80% of your customers using 4G phones. THEN tell me how fast your network is.

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

Re: 1 huge caveat

The real caveat is that verizons lte launched a year earlier. So of course verizons would be slower right now..

Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

A test a few days ago on Verizon

»www.speedtest.net/android/390061914.png

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Meanwhile here in 5X5 land

Speeds are barely better than 3G
en103

join:2011-05-02

Re: Meanwhile here in 5X5 land

I'll assume you're in SoCal or Chicago.
I've hit 14Mbps on '3g' (aka faux G) HSPA+.
I've 'tested' LTE at AT&T stores, and couldn't break 6Mbps on LTE.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Meanwhile here in 5X5 land

Yep, SoCal.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

Really

Really all that would be needed for most of the users is 5 megs down, and a good usable data cap for a price not comparable to a house payment.. Could careless if it can go 62 megs, or even 17. If you still have low caps its pointless... Sure you can walk around bragging about how freakin fast it is, but an ego is just that.. And ego.. Pretty much pointless

greg1979

@verizon.net

ATT LTE

Click for full size
ATT LTE NJ/NY area
ATT LTE NJ/NY area
Trollhawk

join:2005-05-28

1 recommendation

AT&T can do no good

It seems like AT&T can't do anything to please DSLReports members. People cried foul when AT&T called their 15Mbps HSDPA service 4G, and hailed Verizon's "true" LTE 4G as having superior speeds, even though it was unsaturated and had a fraction of the coverage of AT&T's 3G network.

Now AT&T has been aggressively building-out LTE, and they surpassed Verizon in both average and absolute speeds, and the argument changed to "Speed doesn't matter, coverage does."

I don't see why anyone is angry over this report. Competition is good. Verizon has forced AT&T to aggressively invest in their LTE rollout, which is good for all consumers.

alg
Passionately apathetic
Premium
join:2001-04-10
Houston, TX
kudos:3

Re: AT&T can do no good

I also agree. I'm a happy AT&T user that travels a quite a bit and have had only ever had problems in Manhattan. People here will always find something to fault AT&T on.
--
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

obeythelaw
Premium
join:2003-04-16
Bayonne, NJ
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

I agree...

Click for full size
AT&T no matter where I go along the east coast, get excellent LTE speeds. I don't even bother with Wi-Fi much anymore since I'm still on the grandfathered data plan.

Snuffbox
nice irl
Premium
join:2011-04-15
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:4

Re: I agree...

I'm also still on the grandfathered data plan - however they will still throttle your speed if you use significant bandwidth...

seaman
Premium
join:2000-12-08
Seattle, WA

Re: I agree...

said by Snuffbox:

I'm also still on the grandfathered data plan - however they will still throttle your speed if you use significant bandwidth...

Really? That's a bummer. I have an old plan too.
Big Dawg 23

join:2002-03-27
Northfield, MN

Las Vegas

I travel quiet often and get to test both VZW and AT&T LTE network. Last week while in Las Vegas, I was extremely disappointed in VZW LTE network. In the middle of the strip VZW network cuts in and out. Figuring it was just my MiFI spot, but it wasn't. Coworkers with iPhone 5, Razor Maxx, S3 and Galaxy 7.7 Tab experienced the same issues. Meanwhile both my iPhone 5 and Note 1 rocked solid.

In Chicago VZW does get better speeds.

greg1979

join:2013-03-12
Union, NJ

1 edit

AT&T abroad

Click for full size
3G coverage on small island in Thailand
Last year I went to Japan and Thailand. I went with my iPhone 4S and 3G data plan from AT&T. It did not disappoint me, it worked great in both countries. Speeds were great for 3G. This year I just came back from Belgium , India and Thailand again AT&T 3G/LTE worked great. Come to think of it , it saved me during my first time in Thailand. I rented a car but it had no GPS and I got lost in Bangkok at 1 am in the morning. I could not find my way back to apartment. With help of AT&T (True 3G in Thailand) and Google maps I found my way back to the apartment. My experience abroad with AT&T is A++.
n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA

AT&T LTE is good IMO

My experience with AT&T LTE has been somewhat limited, as I don't often travel to areas with it. The fastest I've had so far was 51.55/14.08 Mbps while passing through Palo Alto on Highway 101. I passed through Bakersfield a few days before it officially went live there and got 42.72/12.94. In Vegas, it was somewhere around 10-15 Mbps down, forgot how much up. HSPA+ was useless there, barely 1 Mbps down and 1000+ ms latency.

For now, where I live AT&T has HSPA+, Verizon has LTE (surprisingly got it last fall, ~15k people in my town, under 90k in the county), and T-Mobile is EDGE-only. No Sprint. Outside of the main towns in the county (Ukiah, Willits, Fort Bragg), Verizon is mostly 1xRTT, whereas all of AT&T's footprint is HSPA+. It's pretty fun getting 4-13 Mbps down in the middle of nowhere . It's definitely good that Verizon did LTE in town, EV-DO was nearly useless from all of the traffic. My work Blackberry Tour struggled to get basic emails. The only way to get any amount of data in a timely manner was with WiFi, which unfortunately my BB doesn't support.
--
KI6RIT