PC Mag Ranks Fastest Wireless Cities
Verizon's LTE Tops AT&T in 19 of 30 Cities
After giving a little early sneak peek at Sprint's upcoming LTE network
, PC Magazine
has unveiled their report exploring the fastest wireless networks in the United States
. The magazine drove around 30 U.S. cities in three cars to test the nation's five largest carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and MetroPCS. Not too surprisingly (given Sprint and T-Mobile's un-launched LTE networks and MetroPCS's "not-really-LTE" network) AT&T and Verizon battled for speed supremacy, with Verizon offering faster service in 19 cities compared to 10 for AT&T.
Of interesting note, after taking their lumps early on for shoddy iPhone service, AT&T is officially the fastest wireless carrier in New York
. Other cities, like Chicago
, see Verizon with a distinct speed and performance advantage. Verizon still overall has a steep LTE lead, offering the service in 258 total markets to AT&T's 39.
Despite not yet launching LTE T-Mobile's HSPA+ service doesn't fare too badly in the rankings, beating out Sprint's current "4G" (Wimax) offering in most markets. Cricket didn't want to participate in the rankings since their LTE network isn't up and running yet -- probably a good idea given the fairly sad performance shown by MetroPCS in the rankings. MetroPCS didn't offer LTE in most markets, and in markets they did -- average speeds often struggled to break 2G (100 kbps) speeds.
The magazine correctly attributes a lot of the market-by-market speed challenges to spectrum holdings
, something that improves for carriers like AT&T dramatically once they speed up the re-farming of existing spectrum being used for 2G EDGE services. The magazine also explored which carrier offered faster iPhone service
(still only really 3G of course), noting that AT&T was the fastest, but Verizon frequently offered more reliable connectivity.
For those interested, the magazine breaks down speed winners by region here
HTTP D/L % That was the most interesting figure to me in the table provided. Now I know why my AT&T data service is so frustrating to use.
Pittsburgh is so bad It's not even listed.
Atlanta Surprisingly at the top again...from AT&T!
said by CableConvert:Psst, the list in just in alphabetical order.
Surprisingly at the top again...from AT&T!
Re: Atlanta "Worth noting: Atlanta had the single fastest download we saw anywhere in the country, a scorching 56Mbps off Glenwood Avenue in the East Lake neighborhood."
As quoted from the article...not just alphabetical order
Rural Northeast Checking the map route that was used for testing, this seems to be the closest to the Dulles tech corridor I work and live near. The performance index also matches what I have seen in personal experiences over the last couple of years.
Good testing, bad weighing
As an LA resident and owner of an AT&T iPhone and Verizon LTE iPad, I don't think these results give AT&T a fair shake at all.
LA speed result
Verizon's LTE network is obviously superior where available, but Verizon does not have LTE coverage in all of Los Angeles county. When you exit LTE territory, Verizon 3G can be unusably slow in my experience. It's much, much worse than AT&T for general web browsing.
PC Mag gives Verizon 3G a "mobile speed index" of 45, but the average is only 0.62mbps. AT&T's average is over twice that at 1.31mbps, but they only give it a 41? WTF? Because Verizon has better UDP performance? I browse the web far more often than I stream UDP. Perhaps Verizon's 3G network performs better where it's gotten relief from the new LTE network, not sure because they didn't test in those areas.
I also question what they were using to test AT&T's network - I see speeds up to 6mbps on AT&T's HSPA+ network, in areas where neither Verizon nor AT&T has LTE coverage. They show a "max" of less than 3mbps. Were they using a non-HSPA+ device to test? If so they're ignoring a very significant aspect of AT&T's network - a reasonably fast network with excellent coverage.
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Re: Good testing, bad weighing Because AT&T's 3G likes to stall out. Of course Verizon beat AT&T in many cities where AT&T doesn't have LTE.
Re: Good testing, bad weighing These bloggers and mags need to start focusing on latency and educate others the impact it has. A smartphone doesn't need more than 4Mbps, there simply isn't an app that would benefit from 20Mbps. But low latency does improve user experience, especially web browsing. 4Mbps at 50-60ms latency is far far better than 40Mbps at 150-200ms latency.
Re: Good testing, bad weighing True. Also, how they handle large events. AT&T is notorious for being super fast, and then just stopping completely when there is a large event.
| |fiberguyMy views are my own.Premium
All this means is.. ... that we all now have to listen to every wireless ISP state "We're the fastest ISP according to PC Magazine".. no different than the way the ISPs all took credit for the fastest wired ISP in America.
Yeah, right! This is coming from a magazine that recently said Charter was the fastest cable internet around?!
PC Mag will write a story saying ANYTHING, if some one is going to pay to publish such a story!! Wouldn't trust a single word coming from this worthless mag!!
The Firefox alternative.
| |kingdome74Emotionally UnavailablePremium
Grain Of Salt According to their methodology for the Northeast region they never left I-95. Scientific it's not.
T-M0 ROCKS AGAIN! Well, What is there to say. T-Mobile blows everyone out the water again Minus LTE!!!!
None's even close. Head and shoulders above all the rest. My personal test avg is around 19mbps down, 5mbps up. Not bad for Galaxy SII