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Another Study Shows AT&T LTE the Fastest
Verizon the Most Reliable, T-Mobile Gaining Momentum
by Karl Bode 10:55AM Tuesday Jun 18 2013
We've now seen two different studies that have shown that AT&T's LTE network is the fastest, even though Verizon's tends to have broader coverage and be more reliable. That's effectively what PC Magazine's new analysis of the fastest wireless networks found, the company working with Sensorly to collect data in thirty cities. "In our first truly fair fight between LTE networks, AT&T came through with faster upload and download speeds overall than Verizon Wireless, although Verizon offered better reliability and greater rural coverage than its competitor." Another trend we're seeing in these studies: T-Mobile's LTE (where available) is faster than Verizon, while Sprint's average LTE speeds fail to impress. It will be interesting to see if these numbers change as both AT&T and T-Mobile see greater user loads on their LTE networks.

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wkm001

join:2009-12-14

WTH Verizon!

I pay more for service, can no longer expect privacy, AND now I don't even have bragging rights. This may be the straw that broke the camels back...

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..

Re: WTH Verizon!

You do get to brag though about your reliability and coverage. A connection is useless if it's not able to stay up when you need it most, speed aside. All things considered, the towers out my way are terrible as is (I can test 100kbps down, 700kbps up at night), but I'm still able to get 12Mbps/12Mbps out of them in most cases with a strong signal. I guess that's what happens when your entire network starts to shift from 3G to LTE. It slows down, and people are less likely to move to (sometimes slower) Wi-Fi until their data plan starts to run low on leftover allowance.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: WTH Verizon!

They haven't been doing very well at that either lately. Between cells that are spaced too far apart and have crappy in-building as a result, and horribly overloaded LTE, Verizon's network isn't the ultra-reliable one they advertise. AT&T still has rough spots as well, but while Verizon is sliding back, AT&T is forging ahead.

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..

1 edit

Re: WTH Verizon!

said by BiggA:

They haven't been doing very well at that either lately. Between cells that are spaced too far apart and have crappy in-building as a result, and horribly overloaded LTE, Verizon's network isn't the ultra-reliable one they advertise. AT&T still has rough spots as well, but while Verizon is sliding back, AT&T is forging ahead.

Right. That could be down to your particular location though. I've not had issues with Verizon's Wireless service in this area. LTE, I still give them a bit of leeway since I am in a more rural area where even 3G won't work half the time on any provider. Here at home, I can do 5Mbps/1.5Mbps on LTE, with LTE getting 200kbps/100kbps at 9PM because the towers are terrible out here, but that's also because the tower is literally at the edge of the next nearest town. They were fed by T1s up until the LTE gear was installed.

Earlier today while I was in Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs, every location where I had cell service gave LTE service with -70 to -50dBm signal strength on LTE according to a logging and battery saving app I run on an Android phone. Transfer speeds ran around 12-14Mbps down with upload speeds being slightly lower. It was reasonably consistent as well, but yes there was the dependency between 6Mbps one moment and 12Mbps the next. Although at launch, the same LTE network which could get 70Mbps down, 40Mbps up would bomb to 4Mbps/1Mbps at times.

I don't know about AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile, but they all have LTE in this area as well. For the most part, they match each other in speed, with AT&T having the edge on LTE but yes, also due to the fact that their spectrum isn't being clobbered by as many devices on it. Sprint? Don't know anyone who uses them at the moment with an LTE smartphone.

As is the beast of Wireless though. It sounds just like half of the Wi-Fi networks I see these days. Broke, weak, or overall slow.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

1 recommendation

Re: WTH Verizon!

That's a generalization across the US, since we know Verizon has fewer towers and a lot of tower spacing issues in many markets. It's not true everywhere. NYC, for example, is a Verizon-dominated market, and while AT&T went from awful to decent there, Verizon is still way ahead in coverage and reliability, even if AT&T can now beat them in speedtests. In Boston, however, like most other places, AT&T has a much denser network and better in-building as a result.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
These studys I am sick of them and they are STUPID. Wake the f*** up people, the reason why AT&T and now TMO have fast networks is because NOBODY or relatively few is on them. Verizon LTE is mature and now has been operating like 2+ years and over 50% (meaning 50+ million phones) are working on them.. If you track the big 30 cities, of course those networks were designed for the future and duh if they have 3% of the users on them (TMO) they are going to fly. When I first got my thunderbolt I was getting those types of speeds too.

Blah blah blah, nobody talks about paying over $100 for the privileged.

Wait until the networks start getting loaded like VZW and then the speeds will be the same (or better) because we all know that Verizon runs superior networks. Do you notice that these studies NEVER EVER EVER say how many people are on these networks when they are testing? They can't because the carriers aren't going to say, and the little white lie is that is the reason. Its like saying that on a 4 ways highway with 3 cars I can take my Bugatti to 200, while if there are 2000 cars on said highway, the driver can only go 100. It's still the same highway...

There are no magic genies here, but maybe AT&T/TMO since it deployed later has newer software drops for marginal benefit or loading.

Both ATT and VZW have juicy 700Mhz, whist the "little guys" get the scraps in the PCS/AWS spectrum, so they will still have those coverage issues unless they slap up mad towers.. In rural areas this is an obvious problem....
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: WTH Verizon!

Holy crap... calm down.

You're also contradicting yourself... as you said, these studies NEVER EVER EVER say how many people are on these networks... then how do YOU know?

You're spouting off opinion, that same as what you're sick of. Unless you're an authority on this subject and have knowledge on the subject then you're no different than the other.

In the end, however, what does it matter? ... are you a stock holder? are you the CEO? are you somehow vested in the company other than a subscriber? ... and if you are just a subscriber, are you satisfied and does the service work to your expectation? ... then spare the headache and slwo your roll.

Both network are pretty comparable overall... who cares who's best... the fact is that no matter how many studies come out, people will always have varied opinions on service based on their own experience. I can live in the BEST city for service for BOTH providers, yet live in a small pocket of poor service and if I were common in my thinking, I'd tell everyone how much AT&T sucked and that you should use Verizon... people will always base their opinion on their own experience, plain and simple.

FYI, my comcast HSI is rock solid.. Comcast Rocks!! ... I should convince everyone they are... perhaps those who live on that one node with a bad line extender of the same, even though they have intermittent issues taking forever to get fixed. See?

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
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Verizon has better reception

I've had both AT&T and Verizon and while Verizon used to be real spotty around here (which is why I switched to then Cingular now AT&T), I think Verizon now has better reception.

No matter the network, it is only good if its usable. Signal strength is my deciding factor when I shop for a carrier. And even if you can get a signal, if its overloaded then you won't be able to make a call (which was a problem with AT&T).
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
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Reviews:
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Re: Verizon has better reception

said by IowaCowboy:

Signal strength is my deciding factor when I shop for a carrier.

T-Mobile works in the only two places where I care that it works; work and home.

The day this stops being true, I will shop around.

For now, I'm happy with my TMo $30 prepaid plan.
evo7

join:2009-01-03
Audubon, NJ

Re: Verizon has better reception

This is how I see T-Mobile as well, it works everywhere I go on a daily basis and 95% of those places I am on LTE if not it's HSPA+ 42Mbps which is nearly as good.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
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said by Network Guy:

said by IowaCowboy:

Signal strength is my deciding factor when I shop for a carrier.

T-Mobile works in the only two places where I care that it works; work and home.

The day this stops being true, I will shop around.

For now, I'm happy with my TMo $30 prepaid plan.

I also want my cell phones to work wherever I go. That includes Holyoke Mall, Eastfield Mall, Enfield Square, Boston, Biddeford (ME), Maine Mall, Old Orchard Beach (ME), among other places.

Verizon seems to have the strongest signal. In my opinion. VZ seems to have fewer dead spots. I'm waiting in a medical office right now for my mother in an appointment and I have full bars on my iPad on VZ. This same building had spotty coverage on AT&T a few years ago.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE
·Comcast

Re: Verizon has better reception

I guess some of us like being unreachable. That being said, if I paid the insane amount that Verizon wants for even the lowest tier of service I would demand it work everywhere.

For my $30 T-Mobile plan, I'm okay with it as long as it works where I regularly need it to work.
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by IowaCowboy:

I also want my cell phones to work wherever I go.

Everybody does.

That's the tradeoff between the consolidation model =fewer but large companies paying a premium to buy all the little guys and passing that cost on (generally more expensive)
or
zillions of little companies that may not always find it worthwhile to allow roaming with every other company, (cheaper service, inconsistent coverage) even if you find a little guy that matches your common daily usage it may be useless on your weekly, monthly, yearly, trip to X.

neither fits all sizes.

jap
Premium
join:2003-08-10
038xx
Same assessment in my usage for the last 2 years, now traveling to a new area and losing my mind. Am reluctantly shopping for MVNO which bundles VZ [heave] and others into best western MA service. Will miss T-Mo's ala carte & hands-off-my-handset approach. [sigh]

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

I've had both AT&T and Verizon and while Verizon used to be real spotty around here (which is why I switched to then Cingular now AT&T), I think Verizon now has better reception.

Verizon is still spotty here.
--
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Rethink Billable.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Re: Verizon has better reception

said by djrobx:

I've had both AT&T and Verizon and while Verizon used to be real spotty around here (which is why I switched to then Cingular now AT&T), I think Verizon now has better reception.

Verizon is still spotty here.

Verizon is the local landline provider here as well, although that does not necessarily equate to the quality of their wireless service. Verizon had excellent coverage when I lived in Iowa (Qwest/CenturyLink territory) but that was back in the days when cell phones were used mostly for voice and text messaging was in its infancy. When I moved to Mass, VZW was spotty (which is why I switched to then Cingular in 2004) but fast forward 7 years later to 2011, Verizon now has the best coverage here. And the June 1st, 2011 tornado accelerated the LTE buildout here as some of their towers were destroyed in the tornado.

I think Verizon's network is more resilient to disasters. During the October 2011 snowstorm that knocked power out to much of the northeast, Verizon's network was still strong and I was able to get online using my 4G mobile broadband card with full LTE signal. My mother was still on AT&T back then and her phone was unusable because AT&T did not have backup generators on all of their towers so it was a rare instance that I let her use my iPhone.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Sprint still the dog of the foursome

Despite Sprints much vaunted network overhaul, it still brings up the rear in every measurement. The only thing going for Sprint is their unlimited data offering. But it doesn't carry a lot of value if coverage and speeds still are worse than everyone else.
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

jhboricua
ExMod 2000-01
join:2000-06-06
Minneapolis, MN

Re: Sprint still the dog of the foursome

Which is exactly why I'm moving away from Sprint in a month or so when my ETF gets to the minimum $100 fee. Sprint is next to useless in the Twin Cities area. It may be unlimited data, but it's worse than dial-up, both performance and reliability. There's simply no point in paying for that.
--
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." - Albert Einstein
Jose A. Hernandez * System Engineer * MPLS, Minnesota, USA *

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Sprint still the dog of the foursome

said by jhboricua:

Which is exactly why I'm moving away from Sprint in a month or so when my ETF gets to the minimum $100 fee. Sprint is next to useless in the Twin Cities area. It may be unlimited data, but it's worse than dial-up, both performance and reliability. There's simply no point in paying for that.

That is why I switched to AT&T when my Sprint contract ended last month.
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Sprint still the dog of the foursome

I can get over 25Mbps on Sprint and typically get 6-12Mbps. Not as fast as ATT but I use 6-10GB/month so ATT/VZW are out.

»dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3812···teee.png

What app needs more than a few Mbps anyway. Latency matters more after a few Mbps and Sprint is getting good latency. Tech bloggers and speedqueens dont understand this. The bigger problem is they are in middle of rollout and being compared to those further along.

Tsume
Premium
join:2004-02-23
Johnson City, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Sprint still the dog of the foursome

Out here in an area where most/all of the towers around me have been upgraded to 4G, the coverage is still absolute garbage. You have to be able to see the tower and be within a mile of it to get a 4G signal due to the band sprint has deployed it on. When you do, speeds are usually around 10mbps which is fine by me. But most of the time you are stuck on their completely unusable 3G network. By unusable I mean 50kbps up and down if you can get the connection to last long enough for the speed test to run. This is with great signal strength, so it's not really an issue of signal but a lack of 3g carrier capacity. The backhaul has been upgraded for 4G, but the number of 3g carriers has not. At night around 4am you can get 500kbps down on 3g, but never during a time where people will be awake.

I honestly would be happy with a reliable 3mbps, but we are never going to see that with Sprint in my area.
--
to whoever anonymously gave me premium membership... thanks!
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Sprint still the dog of the foursome

Doesn't sound like Sprint is finished with rollout in your area. It took several months for them to complete infill sites in my area. It started with every few sites and is now more sites. And don't say never, 800Mhz is coming, will boost coverage.

Tsume
Premium
join:2004-02-23
Johnson City, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Sprint still the dog of the foursome

800MHz will boost CDMA signal coverage but I don't have a problem with the signal, so that won't help. They need to increase the number of 3G carriers. Kingsport, TN is an officially launched area, and if you look at the members-only map on S4GRU you can see that nearly all the towers around me have been "upgraded". The tower nearest me a went offline for over a week after it's "upgrade" date and when it came back my 3G performance was still terrible during the day, even with great signal.

If you go get close enough to any of these towers with crap 3G performance, you can usually get 4G from it (since most have been upgraded), and that works great - so it's not a backhaul problem. It's a problem of the number of 3G carriers being too low for the number of people on 3G. The problem has existed ever since Sprint started offering the iPhone, and they have done zero things to fix it since. I can only guess that cheap unlimited data was very attractive to ETSU students and they overloaded the network. I cannot even perform a simple check in on Foursquare in most areas in the Tri-Cities unless I am lucky enough to grab a 4G signal. I wish I were exaggerating, but I am not. When I call Sprint, they always have me reprogram my phone, update the PRL, etc. When that doesn't help, they say they are putting a ticket in. I never hear back about these tickets and area network performance is still terrible, so I assume they are sent to a special machine that converts them into toilet paper.

There are zero phones that support 800MHz 4G on Sprint right now, so 4G in that spectrum even if they launch it tomorrow will be useless for another 2 years until my upgrade date rolls around.

Oh, and if you force the phone onto 1X the data works better than 3G. That's a sad, sad fact.
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to whoever anonymously gave me premium membership... thanks!

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

AT&T the fastest?

Not in Orange County, CA. 3G is about as fast as their LTE here and Sprint is significantly faster. VZW owns them both.

The claims of "fastest" depend on the market.
--
Nocchi rules.
LTE4LIFE

join:2013-02-28

Re: AT&T the fastest?



VZW HomeFusion here. And I get these and higher most everyday. I'm lucky if AT&T 4G even delivers 4-6Mbps down and 1Mbps up...
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: AT&T the fastest?

And how quickly do you use that up? I use over 6GB/month so that doesn't do any good. Would rather have a few Mbps unlimited.

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

Re: AT&T the fastest?

That is what I get with Clear. Though coverage sucks because it is WiMax, I get 8-12Mb with truly unlimited service. I'll be seriously bummed if they go under or if the new buyer guts the service.
--
Nocchi rules.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
I only see about 10Mb with VZW with my MiFi puck. Orange County, CA pretty much sucks overall for LTE. None of the providers are offering super snappy LTE.
--
Nocchi rules.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
4G? ... or 4G LTE? .. there is a difference... sounds like you're getting 4G speeds, HSPA+...

FYI, I can post a 50/12 speed test in Orlando day in and dayout.. it all depends on the tower you're on..

Not to mention.. on my smart phone, who cares if I'm getting 10 down or 50 down.. for a smart phone, that's damn good.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

Re: AT&T the fastest?

said by fiberguy:

Not to mention.. on my smart phone, who cares if I'm getting 10 down or 50 down.. for a smart phone, that's damn good.

Yeah, I would rather have 8Mb everywhere than 1Mb some places, 512kbps other places and 50Mb where I don't use it....which BTW is the reason I'll be dropping Sprint if their SoCal coverage doesn't improve.
--
Nocchi rules.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: AT&T the fastest?

Happy dropping. lol
Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1

"Oh sorry, let's try this again."

Does AT&T still drop the most calls, too?

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: "Oh sorry, let's try this again."

said by Oedipus:

Does AT&T still drop the most calls, too?

It is the smartphones that cause dropped calls more than the network:
»www.eweek.com/mobile/smartphones···consult/
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

Selenia
I love Debian
Premium
join:2006-09-22
Fort Smith, AR
kudos:2
I rarely ever drop a call on AT&T. Has been that way for quite a long time. Only bad time was when AT&T was reallocating spectrum locally to shift this area from EDGE to 3G and beyond. I did have 1 AT&T handset that would constantly drop calls. I realized it was the handset and ditched it pretty quick as all my other handsets were fine. Now, all my friends and associates on Sprint/Boost/Virgin, they constantly drop calls, no matter which handset they own. Can't believe they still get customers between that, horrible coverage, and horrible data speeds. At least T-Mobile is reliable where they cover, despite also having bad coverage.
--
A fool thinks they know everything.

A wise person knows enough to know they couldn't possibly know everything.

There are zealots for every OS, like every religion. They do not represent the majority of users for either.
Kamus

join:2011-01-27
El Paso, TX

Still don't care.

I usually care about speed. On LTE networks though, It really doesn't matter to me. The fact that being fast on a network like this only means being able to spend your whole data plan in 20 minutes instead of 30 makes it a moot point for me. Because in the end i still have to avoid using it for anything other than music streaming or web browsing as much as i can.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Still don't care.

Which is why I'm staying on Sprint. Would rather have a few Mbps unlimited than 100Mbps with 5GB limit.

openupshop

join:2000-11-25
Chandler, AZ

All Depends Where You Are Located

We all know it all depends where you are located. I am in Phoenix and AT&T kills Verizon on LTE speed. I pull an average of 30 down (peak of 58) and 13 up. While Verizon can't match that, this may not be the case for everyone. All depends on how many people are bogging down the network. I am sure Verizon beats AT&T in other cities and vice versa.
tim tim tim

join:2010-08-14
Lutz, FL
kudos:2

ping

The overall speed doesnt really matter since the ping times still suck.. Get that a little better and it will make the overall experience much better
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: ping

Bingo. All LTE carriers have about the same latency. After a few Mbps, latency matters more for smartphone apps.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

Re: ping

What's up with tmo's ping times? They're HORRIBLE, I also see huge latency, and it didn't used to be that bad. Of course, guess how the call to tech support goes if you try and call them to complain about such an issue. Exercise in futility...
jades

join:2013-04-01
New York, NY

Verizon LTE is garbage

Most reliable service my ass
I wonder if PC world went indoors and tested in-building coverage. Verizon LTE goes down to 1 bar and the internet becomes useless.

Switched to AT&T because of that, and literally having zero issues

This is in NYC, and tons of other people with Verizon LTE are also complaining about this

tmh

@comcastbusiness.net

How about which carrier bends over the farthest for the NSA?

And whether they are coerced or they do it happily.

Now *that's* a poll I'd like to see.
JohnnyBeGood

join:2008-04-18
Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA AT&T/Verizon coverage

Any other forums other there where I could ask others for AT&T/Verizon experiences in Seattle, WA areas?
swarto112
Premium
join:2004-02-17
Brookfield, WI
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Network reliability and speed...like comparing GM and Ford

U cant say one is better than other, it depnds on the phone people. Most smartphones sacrifice reception for the smart part and battery life. I can use my old flip phones where any smartphone has reception problems. That goes for any network. Ive proved this time and again when a friend whines about ATT vs Verizon. Pull out the phones and show the difference on both networks...that being said theyre shifting to better coverage now that the shoft to smartphone is almost complete for most of the nation.

ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage

Great service around here!

I have had AT&T since 2000 when it was still Houston Cellular, which became Cingular in 2001. I have not had many issues with it in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, or any areas in between. I have also traveled with it around the US and roamed in parts of Europe. Their data speeds are usually the fastest in the area and their LTE coverage is about to beat Verizon's in Texas. I have a Verizon LTE hotspot and frequently compare both, and am to the point where I am now considering dropping the hotspot service once the contract is up since AT&T now has comparable/better coverage and much faster speeds.
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