The expansion to 4G LTE networks and new, faster data networks, carriers have started throwing buzzwords like HSPA, HSPA+ (officially 4G) and 4G LTE around, and you might feel lost about the actual speeds you are promised. The most comprehensive test of carrier data speeds we've seen is one done by PCWorld, where the publication tested how 3G and 4G performed in 13 of the biggest US cities.
The initial results were released earlier with T-Mobile grabbing the 3G crown and for 4G it was a close race between AT&T and Verizon, but the latter has more coverage which gives it an edge.
And for 4G the situation was even more stratified. AT&T's 4G blew the competition out of the water in Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Verizon was the best 4G choice in Denver, New Orleans, San Jose, and Seattle.
So bottomline is that much of it all depends on location. Even the big loser, Sprint's WiMAX had a solid performance in some markets like Boston. So when picking your carrier, check out how each of the major US operators scored in different markets and make an informed decision for your region.
It's all at the source link below, along with a map, conveniently visualizing the results.