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AT&T LTE found to be faster than Verizon's

Posted: , by Michael H.

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AT&T LTE found to be faster than Verizon's
It had been assumed that although AT&T has fielded a faster network compared to Verizon for years that LTE would bring parity between the carriers, but a new study has found that AT&T's fledgling LTE network is upwards of 30% faster than Verizon's. 

The study was conducted by Metrico Wireless in the 5 markets where AT&T has LTE built up and compared with Verizon's LTE network in those same markets. The devices used were the HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket on AT&T and the HTC Thunderbolt, Samsung DROID Charge and Motorola DROID Bionic on Verizon. 

AT&T LTE found to be faster than Verizon's
Metrico found that stationary HTTP download and upload speeds were comparable, but that AT&T had a mean download speed 30% higher. This only comes out to a difference of 10.2 Mbps on Verizon compared to 13.8 Mbps on AT&T, which for most activities isn't really that noticeable of a difference. Metrico found that both networks had average speeds over 10 Mbps and peaks above 30 Mbps. 

Metrico did make it clear that it should be kept in mind that Verizon has been building its network for about a year and there are far more subscribers on it than on AT&T's network, so that could have affected the results. This is possible, but LTE networks are designed for heavy workloads, and AT&T has always prided itself on being faster than Verizon, so it certainly wouldn't be surprising to see these numbers hold true moving forward. 

source: Metrico via BGR

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posted on 21 Dec 2011, 10:55 16

1. bolaG (Posts: 468; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)

Thats great, but a fair comparison would be to compare ATT speed with VZW when VZW first released their LTE network, meaning there was almost no congestion.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 12:18 3

12. beatsandmelody (Posts: 109; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)

Exactly. When Verizon's LTE first went live it had phenomenal speeds but every tech writer made sure to mention that speeds would probably drop when more subscribers did and sure enough, they did. Thankfully, they dropped to the level that Verizon has advertised as real world performance so good on them. What does AT&T expect their real-world throughput to be once they've switch a significant portion of their subscribers?

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 12:39 4

16. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Features and function (and hopefully price) is where carriers should be competing, because the consumer wins. Buying up competitors is not the way to compete.

Personally, I hope AT&T and VZW go balls to the wall competing in the LTE space. It will have the side benefit of forcing Sprint to step up its game and the same for T-Mo. Nothing like a 4-way catfight. Consumers win.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 15:32 1

26. codymws (Posts: 237; Member since: 17 Jun 2010)

Exactly! When LTE first came to my area (Portland, OR), I was getting speed in the upper 40 Mbps!! And even now I'm almost always in the 30's.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 19:56 2

39. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

you guys have already hit the main point on that. its easy to look fast when no one is on the network. Lets do the test again in a year and see what it looks like.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 10:58 14

2. baileyboy (Posts: 18; Member since: 06 Jan 2009)

Show me AT&T's LTE coverage... that's what i thought.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 14:18 2

21. corporateJP (Posts: 2431; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


And what little there is, there is nobody using it to tie up the speed at this time..

posted on 22 Dec 2011, 00:21 2

43. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 467; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)

That's not what the post is about... Seriously, it's not, go somewhere else...

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 11:02 5

3. Netolic (Posts: 144; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

this is the reason skyrocket exist

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 11:05 10

4. Penny (Posts: 1648; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)

Bottom line speed isn't as important to me as coverage and reliability. If they can match Verizon in that regard, then I would actually commend them.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 11:05 8

5. bossmt_2 (Posts: 449; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)

Question is, is this based on lab tests or field tests. Are you the same distance from each tower? How many users are accessing said tower? etc. LTE has a much higher bandwidth than 3G but it's still gonna have speed variability depending on a ton of factors.

Consumer tests like this are good if you're the consumer in that spot, but for most of the people in the country this is worthless.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 11:15 14

6. vzwing (unregistered)

I could not imagine a more premature and technically flawed comparison of AT&T's LTE network performance vs VZW's. It's like comparing two 747's, one loaded and the other empty, to see which one takes off quicker. Duh!!

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 14:19 1

22. corporateJP (Posts: 2431; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)

Perfect analogy.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 11:23 2

7. bossmt_2 (Posts: 449; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)

Also another factor is the device, there's a reason most times network speed tests are done on Broadband Access Cards, because there's nothing like hand placement that can screw up the radio. Think about the iPhone death grip. If the skyrocket and Vivid have better radio placement for how they ran the test, that could also skew the results.

All that said, I actually expect AT&T's network to be faster now, LTE is scary to a lot of mobile broadband providers because it's unknown what the network capabilities are so I wouldn't be shocked if AT&T released theirs a bit more to make up for the nearly a year longer that Verizon is on the market

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 11:34 12

8. jd829 (Posts: 155; Member since: 24 Feb 2010)

Relax fanboys, it says right here:
"Metrico did make it clear that it should be kept in mind that Verizon has been building its network for about a year and there are far more subscribers on it than on AT&T's network, so that could have affected the results."

Now everyone unbunch their panties and have a merry christmas lol

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 16:17 1

30. Phullofphil (Posts: 801; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)

well that's why there should have been more research one before releasing this unfinished not accurate reports. Just like calling hspa or whatever its calls an others 4g. Also even the iphone4g is confusing in that it is misleading and most people believe what there reading and among other things it gives salesmen the ability to mislead people. I don't really care if att is faster. As of right now the servers we get our data from mos likely not be able to give the data fast enough to really differentiate between the two in real-life situations. Also with large files people will use WiFi more often to cut back on usage. The only difference is transfer from device would be different. The most important flaw is I get such different readings every speed test and download and uploading files that there is no way that's accurate. I have had a 38 mg download and a 24 upload max reading.average 20 and 10 respectfully on a crowded network. This report is worthless. Five years from now it will matter to me and I might switch carriers.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 19:59 2

41. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

no matter how long you hold your breath, HSPA+ will still be officially considered 4G by the IPCC. LTE, Wimax and HSPA+ are ALL considered 4g if they can break 13mb/s. I dont really give a crap what "tech" it is or how many "Gs" are assigned to its name, as long as its fast and not battery draining. 42mb/s "4G" without the LTE battery drain is just fine by me.

Wait... why is sprint calling wimax 4g again then?? :)

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 11:36 1

9. Ivey_BOl (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)

At & t are some 4G LTE LEECHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With their whole 16 cities on LTE Fall Back!! Verizon FTW

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 11:46 7

10. Jon.916 (Posts: 6; Member since: 06 Jun 2011)

I live in Sacramento, CA and sell Verizon as an indirect rep. for VZW and AT&T. Verizon provided us a Droid Razr. The speeds I am getting consistantly are 28-34 mbps down, and 12-14 mpbs up. Those are the same speeds I saw when the network was launched in mid June. I don't really see how you can make an argument about bandwidth and congestion when the network that has been active for 6 months has stayed at the same speed. People are buying Verizon 4G LTE phones like crazy now, but the network was virtually empty in June and July. If AT&T's speeds are higher, they are higher. AT&T deserves a most criticism of what it gets, but when a network is faster, no amount of cheerleading is going to change that.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 16:27 1

31. Phullofphil (Posts: 801; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)

I think your phull of it. Your telling me you get the exact same readings every time. I don't think so. You must own and iphone. I do agree what's faster is what's faster. A the same time it way to early to tell. If art gets the exact same readings every time than well that would be way better. Most important is why do I care sorry all.

posted on 22 Dec 2011, 14:58 1

50. bgage1988 (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)

I am a sales manager for an at&t direct dealer in Michigan. I love all the opinions people have on here. Heres mine. It doesnt matter whos faster than who. When true LTE rugs the united states for at&t and Verizon, the better customer experience in store will matter the most. Even tho I am a at&t guy, I give credit where its deserved and Verizon has it. Sprint is still the little brother of the BIG 3. I never bash any other company, just because their also trying to get ahead in the business. at&t does have cheaper data plans though, but the plan prices are sooo close anyways. Everyone needs to compete.

posted on 22 Dec 2011, 00:27

44. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 467; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)

Dude, thanks, respect for you. For some reason people don't want to accept the truth, they don't believe anything even if it's proven. Even writing this, you can see people didn't like what you said because you proved them wrong. This is coming from a verizon rep. wtf, why would he lie?

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 11:51 2

11. snowgator (Posts: 3586; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

Poor AT&T. This is the first good news for them since the T-Mobile fiasco and no one will give them a moment to enjoy it. If nothing else, spot them this: At least it shows the promise of them building their LTE the right way and it has the potential to be a really good network. No, they will never catch up to Verizon unless Big Red lets them. I fully expect Verizon to be improving it's network to be even faster before AT&T finishes their roll out. But this is a great start for them, and it is good for those with LTE.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 16:32 1

32. Phullofphil (Posts: 801; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)

I very the let on both are the same and its more likely the device and distance and angle and blockage from the towers that's it.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 12:25 4

13. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Wow, falwed network? You do realize that HSPA+ is tons faster than Verizon 3G? Both LTE 4G networks are fine - just depends on coverage and on the phone. Enjoy it no matter who you have.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 12:46 1

17. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


posted on 21 Dec 2011, 13:11 1

19. Whateverman (Posts: 3262; Member since: 17 May 2009)

I don't think att is a failed network either but its nowhere near VZW's. Here's the thing...I always hear how much faster AT&T is supposed to be and see the speedtest that are supposed to confirm that as well. But why does it not translate in faster load times when you compare phone to phone/page for page? VZW will most often beat the AT&T device 50-60% of the time. I mean, look at the 3 way speed test between the three iphone 4S's. The VZW version KILLED the other two. So what is it that we're not seeing, that AT&T customer are?

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 13:57

20. snowgator (Posts: 3586; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

Where was that 3 way comparison? I missed it.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 14:42 1

23. Whateverman (Posts: 3262; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Sorry gator, I probably should have posted the link when I first mentioned it. But here ya' go!


posted on 21 Dec 2011, 15:57 1

27. stowe528 (Posts: 7; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

That was a smart tactic used by AT&T to upgrade their HSPA network, in order to enable faster connections in places where they would either take long to expand their LTE network to, or to make up for locations with low LTE signal. If only Verizon had upgraded their CDMA network, then it would have been at least on par with AT&T.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 16:36

33. Phullofphil (Posts: 801; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)

the coverage of cdma is so great I think always have to keep it but putting a tech in between like the two would be awesome.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 12:26 3

14. devon613 (Posts: 114; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)

its funny how you guys are all haters god att cant do anything without u bashing them what have they done to u that any other phone company has done yall act like verizon is the best carrier....give att props when they do something at lease gosh...when they do something bad ok go at them but they cant do anything right in some of u guys eyes.....

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 16:42 1

34. Phullofphil (Posts: 801; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)

att is not a person you crazy person and most people are bashing this artical not att. You are a hater of Verizon. I respect all tech I am a true tech person and I like to be impartial but don't like this artical

posted on 29 Dec 2011, 11:45

55. devon613 (Posts: 114; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)

smh im not a hater of anyone i just tell it like it is....and everyone is not just talking about this article....they are talking about other things that have nothing to do with the article

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 12:39

15. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 645; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

Oh stop crying and complaining, who really cares? AT&T needs to bolster it's 4G network. Just realizing that AT&T is the last to move to a better technology, well hope it works out for them. T-Mobile made out like fat cats, 3 billion plus a 7 year roaming 3G deal and some AWS bands. Bring it on guys, I want some competition so we get better prices from you big wigs fighting all the time :).

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 13:11 1

18. droiddomination (Posts: 203; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

well let us hope that att can keep their lte up and running and not have massive outages every other week like verizon's sorry asses. haha.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 15:05 2

24. NokiaS77 (Posts: 8; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)

Some people are really silly. Some of you people are so sold out to Big Red, it's a shame. Now, if they put money into your pockets, it's a horse of another color. I hope you uphold your families and or husband or wife the way you do for Verizon Wireless.
I work for all of the wireless companies. The coverage difference between Big blue and Big red is 1.3%. That's a fact. Big red has a lot more 3g coverage. Fact 2: AT&T will have the most advanced network in America. Why? They have HSPA+21 and Lte. Lte is an GSM technology. Lte works well on an already built GSM network smoothy, I wont get into how. Now Verizon and it's thicker phones all have to do with incompatibility of Lte to CDMA. That is to say, the bouncing back and forth of the radio's. In conclusion, Tmobile's HSPA+ 42 mbps network is just as fast as Lte in most areas on phones and computers. Having said that, if we build out an Lte network for Tmobile; they will be killing all other American wireless carriers in terms of speed, voice clarity, and reliability. They like Sprint already have the infostructure, but a better one. PS, trust me, AT&T are rapidly building out their Lte. Most of you will be shocked in a couple of months. At&t wont have the breakdowns either. These are the stone cold facts.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 16:13 1

29. BattleBrat (Posts: 1458; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

Yes, thicker phones, my RAZR is a downright brick, people swear I'm carrying a copy of war and peace in my pocket when I carry it.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 17:27

36. NokiaS77 (Posts: 8; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)

Moto, wow. They have more advanced radios than most companies and can make a smaller lte chip. The Razr is wide enough even for big hands. And still, 1 slim phone.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 16:46

35. Phullofphil (Posts: 801; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)

please get into how. And I do not know you so I won't trust you prove it show data. Show what your spewing.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 18:21

37. NokiaS77 (Posts: 8; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)

Well, it's like this, lte is a natural path from basic gsm tech to a higher path of the same technology. It's called Inter-Technological Mobility. It works seemless lte and 3g. HSPA works on top of or as the same as 3g, Its just another upgrade as with lte is layered to and with hspa. This is why 99 times out of a100 you wont see att with all these outages as does verizon. In short, verizon is trying to take a world standard and mix with cdma tech, 1 for data and 1 for voice. A whole lot of kinks must be worked out in all of that transfer. Att works so much smoother, it's called moving up the path. Verizon wasn't so simple and it's 2 different worlds of tech they have to make work together and the handover is much more complex and battery life will suffer from it in verizon lte phones. Thats all.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 20:03 2

42. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

you didnt answer a single question. you show no proof of your data.

And if you know radio tech so well, then you would know that CDMA carries signal longer per tower, and it also carries a much better building penetration than GSM which is why for actual connectivity, CDMA is superior. GSM's only strength is in its faster 3G speeds compared to CDMA and its natural HSPA+ progression path.

VZW's signal is much harder to knock out than ATT's, and their network is much bigger than 1.3% of a difference. I dont know who has been feeding you that line, but its not true at all.

posted on 22 Dec 2011, 02:18 1

45. NokiaS77 (Posts: 8; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)

Lets put it like this, when you build out towers, you know whats going on. At the end of the day, I don't have to prove anything because you are not putting money into my accounts. Having said that, as so called as superior as cdma is said to be, 70% of the world doesn't use it. By the way, doesn't sprint use cdma? Oh, they have wonderful penetration don't they? Spectrum is what causes better building penetration fool. Now, nothing changes the fact that Lte and Gsm networks work better together. By the way, who asked me a question? Att and Verizon are about the same in terms of wireless. Verizon has more 3g coverage that's all. Field test have proved this. All one must do is look at both of their coverage maps and see for yourself what they both advertise on map coverage. I'm sorry, you know so much. Miss me with the hype.

posted on 22 Dec 2011, 09:16

46. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

Really, last check said it was 52% GSM to 48% CDMA.

Try again.
you dont have to prove anything.. because you have no proof.

posted on 23 Dec 2011, 19:55 1

53. devon613 (Posts: 114; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)

man ignore that person im with u nokias77 they hating they prob got verizon lol...most of the world is cdma y u think verizon wants to switch to gsm it will happen one day ....cdma is old technology....

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 15:27 1

25. torr310 (Posts: 839; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)

Internet speeds from different carrier are fast enough for me...
But AT&T... scored the worst customer services again this year.

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 16:02

28. MickDM (Posts: 63; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)

Did some1 mention a FAIR comparison? I just read pa 4 general information...very biased reporters here...

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 18:55

38. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

all the speed in the world doesnt matter if you dont have the road to travel. A car going 200 mph wouldnt matter if it can only do it on a quarter mile, it needs an autobahn

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 19:58

40. andi8945 (Posts: 4; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)

I live in Puerto Rico and ive been using from my job the galaxy skyrocket and have been doing speed test for the LTE networks, and the numbers are great 13.3 mb download and 3.5 upload. Can't wait for more and even greater LTE phones!! Can't say for Verizon because we don't have it in PR

posted on 22 Dec 2011, 10:42

47. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1032; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)

The problem with this article is tenure. Verizon has had LTE for over 6 months while AT&T is just getting started. I have AT&T and Im looking forward to having LTE here in St. Louis. We cannot honestly say that AT&T has a better LTE network than Verizon until it has been active for over 6 months with enough subscribers and devices active within

The only difference between the networks are the backup coverages when LTE has a weak signal or none at all

AT&T has HSPA+ and HSPA as their backups to LTE
Verizon has 1+EvDo (I think)

that is a huge difference because we all know that LTE wont be available everywhere for a while and we are addictive to not only our data plans, but the amount of time it takes to load a web page or stream a video. It depends on what you are willing to deal with when LTE is down

The only advantage that AT&T has over Verizon is that I can surf the web and talk on the phone at the same time

posted on 22 Dec 2011, 11:08

48. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

LTE will most likely be rolled out over top of the HSPA+ signals, which is true. More than likely though, those massive areas not covered under ATT's tiny 3g footprint will see no improvements made as they concentrate on the high population centers that have HSPA already.

VZW's entire network (with maybe a minor exception here n there) runs off of EVDO-Rev A 3G.

So in the cities where ATT has its HSPA/LTE it should technically be faster (at least until the network bogs down), but in the rest of the country, VZW is still faster.

The only issue I see.. and someone correct me if they know otherwise, is with LTE/HSPA. Everyone assumes that they will somehow always be faster than VZWs LTE/CDMA on a pure numbers scale. But in real life, unless the phones are designed to intelligently detect and switch between HSPA+ and LTE when both signals are available (depending on which one is running faster at the moment), there will be no noticable speed advantage with ATT. The LTE market is going right on top of their tiny HSPA+ market, so the most likely scenario is that the phones will search for LTE the whole time and then drop down to EDGE/HSDPA when not in a prime market.. which is no faster in real speed tests than EVDO Rev A.
Its all about where you live.

posted on 22 Dec 2011, 12:36 1

49. NokiaS77 (Posts: 8; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)

Your so smart, you don't know sh*t. Att network is much more expanded than what it was a year ago. For people like you that's always running your mouth, wait til you see what happens in 7 months. You know Att is a larger company overall right? Now Lte is gsm and it accounts for that 70% fool. Until you get out there in the business, what you say means nothing. You are so full of typical american hype and propaganda. Why yes, often times it's about where you live. Fact, handover from Lte to HSPA is much smoother and faster than handover from Lte to CDMA. ATT is more advanced and is/will be a faster network and no one will match it, unless Tmobile pumps out Lte. Now do you work for verizon? Even if you do, take that red c**k out of your mouth long enough to be balanced.

posted on 22 Dec 2011, 19:38

51. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

hey, get loud, it proves you have no point. good job.

no, i dont work for VZW, yes I do work for Tmobile. Yes i have a pretty in depth knowledge of the carriers, where they stand, the techs involved, and every last bit of that nonsense.

70% of what? GSM vs CDMA??? LTE is an evolution of GSM yes, but it does NOT count toward some GSM carrier unless that LTE is going to places that were never covered before, as those % are based on countries and their land coverage.

BTW, when competitors release their "coverage" maps, ATT includes its roaming agreements with Tmobile in its "total coverage". VZW does not include anyone's agreements. VZW is still the bigger network, BY FAR. And when you get into real world use, VZW obliterates ATT for signal strength. VZW's ENTIRE network is 3g where ATT's network is still mostly EDGE with pockets of 3g/hspa+ in major population centers.

"typical american propaganda". We call that a "fact". look it up.. its in the dictionary... under "fact". Amazing, huh?

posted on 23 Dec 2011, 03:41 1

52. NokiaS77 (Posts: 8; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)

Get load my butt. YOU have no proof. Your facts are wrong bud. Now, did big red tell you they have big roaming agreements with sprint and vise versa. No, they didn't. Tmobile uses Att towers more so, not the other way around. Lets hip you to this, Att is upgrading their whole network to HSPA+, fact, you'll see. By the way, Att's edge is high speed and in most places, fast as evdo rev a & b. Let's not play on words, lte is gsm in every way. I wish you could build and do field work and work in the central offices to do syncrinization. Ooh I really do. I wish you could live in Canada to see how hspa+ and lte are almost so equal in speed. You wouldn't even know the technical/simple difference between hspa+ and lte.VZW obliterates ATT for signal strength? That's why Tmobile is just as good as Verizon in voice quality and when traveling 65south in the mountains, verizon drops off more than Att. Ok. BTW as they say, if your going to talk all of that foolishness and be wrong and have no real insight, get a job making more than 30 or 40 thousand dollars a year. Please?

posted on 23 Dec 2011, 20:05

54. devon613 (Posts: 114; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)

dang i like u more and more nokia lol get'em lol....im over here weak(laughing) I worked for sprint and tmobile now att and sprint was so terrible and tmobile was ok but has been getting worse i havent had many problems with att i know my internet is way faster than i have ever had....funny how verizon people think they never heard of a drop call when my mom gets them all the time so funny...but just wanted to give u props bro ...keep it up

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