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Report: Verizon takes the crown as the fastest wireless network in the U.S.

Report: Verizon takes the crown as the fastest wireless network in the U.S.
PCMag just announced the results of its fifth annual test to see which mobile carrier has the fastest network in the states. The winner? Verizon Wireless. According to the test, Big Red offers the fastest, most reliable network, with the widest coverage. And just to show that T-Mobile CEO John Legere isn't just a promotional genius, the mobile operator finished on top in half the cities tested. Of course, Legere just might have CTO Neville Ray to thank for that.

The testing also showed that besides Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile has done an impressive job getting up to speed with an LTE network that seemed to come out of nowhere. Sprint, on the other hand, continues to disrupt coverage in order to gets its LTE pipeline completed. Speaking of speed, many believe that Sprint will eventually be the speed king in the U.S.

While AT&T won the crown last year, this year it was Verizon's new XLTE service that took the carrier over the top. The service runs LTE over Verizon's AWS 1700MHz spectrum. In combination with the operator's 700MHz spectrum, the nation's largest carrier offers strong service in rural markets, while XLTE helps those in major cities where networks are often too congested.

The LG G2 was used for the drive tests because the device is available for all four major networks. The drive tests covered 30 cities and thousands of miles, and were supplemented by surveys from individuals who turned in their own experiences.

Test results in the Miami market

Test results in the Miami market


source: PCMag

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posted on 11 Jun 2014, 19:47 8

1. fzacek (Posts: 1648; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Still doesn't justify Verizon being so expensive...

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:23

13. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I pay $45 a month for 8gb of Data and Unlimited calling and texting! xD

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:39

15. fzacek (Posts: 1648; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


On an individual plan? Last time I checked it was like $90 for a plan like that on Verizon...

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:41

16. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Its a corporate discount of sorts cuz of the company I work for. Its 50% off the data plana and I don't get charged the $40 fee for the line. So its $45 for 8gb, $50 for 10gb, $55 for 12, so on and so forth, every 4gb... $5. Then tablet conection $5. Its dirt cheap. Plus $100 off any phone + Upgrade every 10 months. Plus only a year contract. Crazy ass deal lol xD

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 22:26 1

29. fzacek (Posts: 1648; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


That sure is a sweet deal...

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 23:13 1

34. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5765; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


One that is not available to probably a majority of VZW users….

These speed tests are a moving target. One year, ATT is on top, next year, it is VZW. In one more year, it could be T-Mo or Sprint. The real test is who is consistently (year-over-year) fastest.

VZW had an advantage when it was the only option for a wide footprint LTE presence. Now that everyone else is claiming similar coverage, separating out truth from fairy tales is a bit of a challenge.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 00:45 4

39. technitude (Posts: 26; Member since: 19 Dec 2013)


The whole thing could be totally bogus. I have friends on all networks, and Verizon users are the most data timid users of all. My friend actually was an hour late meeting at a ski resort, because he was near his data limit, and did not want to use his GPS. And, it is not just that, data caps are costing me money.

I must have heard data cap excuses 40 times in the past year. Next time... They are fired.

I hope states incur legislation that prevents Verizon and AT&T from such huge markups on data overages. I imagine the overage markups are 1,000%. It would be like gas costing $150/gallon after you use 100 gallons in a month. At the very least, they should be subject to windfall taxes.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:52

60. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


"and Verizon users are the most data timid users of all" - Its easy to go over 2gb of data on Verizon because you get LTE EVERYWHERE!!!

"I hope states incur legislation that prevents Verizon and AT&T from such huge markups on data overages. I imagine the overage markups are 1,000%. It would be like gas costing $150/gallon after you use 100 gallons in a month. At the very least, they should be subject to windfall taxes."

Yea but imagine that eveyrone was going to the SAME gas station to get gas in the city (much like towers are to data) So if everyone used all the data they wanted, and you only had lets say 10,000,000 of gas a month for everyone in the city, each citizen would be rationed to 100 gallons a month and they would be charged more (a premium markup) for using MORE of the data in the available pool. Another example is a toll road. You pay tolls on a road because tolls 1. Limit the number of cars that can drive on a certain road, pretty much esuring zero traffic. 2. Pays for the maintence of the road so you always get a non-bumpy surface, no pot holes, all the markings are mantained. Well a digital data network is the same thing. Verizon charges premium for its data rates, but with a good sense - there's signal everywhere, its fast for everyone, it never buffers, its not overcrowded.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 01:16

40. PAPINYC (Posts: 2282; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


Yes, you have a crazy a$$ sweet deal but, it don't beat my Unlimited Data for $23.99 (after corporate discount) and $29.74 for my minimum Voice Nationwide 300 Plan; I know I only have 300 minutes but my Groove IP app kicks in with a cool California number and free texting also courtesy of Groove IP (and, Google Voice and WhatsApp, of course). Besides, who really does voice calling anymore; that's soooo 2003. Have to give it to Big Red, I got an S4 to try out this XLTE for my PAPISELF and it IS twice ia fast as regular LTE. I just have to say to all you Sprint subscribers, "you has my deepest SYMPATHY but, you know what they say, you get (or in this case barely get) what you pay for. And, you pay for crappy voice service, abysmal data speeds and horrific Customer disService. But, enjoy your cheap a$$ bill."

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:46

59. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I use minutes because of voice conferences and calling other stores and what not... So I need the unlimited minutes, I can't always text my boss sometimes I need an immediate response and calling is the only way to go when you need an answer that second... and that douche has two lines and sometiems doesn't answer! xD. I know I don't have 'unlimited' data but you're paying almost the same as me and I have a hard time even using 8gb... So its pretty similar deal. If I ever were to get close to passing 8gb, Ill just bump my plan to 10 or 12 that month. Problem solved.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:43

17. bigdawg23 (Posts: 366; Member since: 25 May 2011)


You must not understand business. When you offer service in parts of the US that many carriers don't cover people will pay what it needed. Business 101 is charge what people all willing to pay. Everyone has choices.

You may view Verizon and AT&T expensive but for my AT&T is pretty inexpensive for the coverage I recieved. In fact AT&T is cheaper for me than all other carriers. I have 10GB Share plan. I use my phone lot but still have 3-4GB left at the end of every month. Other phones on my plan use less then 200MB on their iPhones.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:46

20. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


He's got a point, Verizon's network is huge. They were serious about that 'can you hear me now' bulls**t. I haven't experienced a place yet that didn't give me LTE...

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 23:43

37. milesboy5 (Posts: 146; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)


Peru, Indiana between Kokomo and South Bend...I hit this dead zone on my way to college and back.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 10:31 2

50. Omarc07 (Posts: 243; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Go up to malibu in California and catalina island as of 2014 verizon lte is spotty. And u drop down to 3G evdo while att maintains strong lte in those same places so yeaaa your are lucky that in your area u havent dropped down to Verizon 3G because its painfully sloooow..

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 10:49 1

51. PapaSmurf (limited) (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Verizon's 3G is slow, but definitely more usable than Sprint's.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 11:31

53. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


Yea, my area has Verizon 3G as well. And my dad's house, on Verizon maps, is shown as an LTE area with very good coverage. Guess what.. he doesn't get any whatsoever. No LTE, no 3G, not even 1x. No service.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:55

61. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Every carrier has that problem SOMEWHERE.

" I live in the moon, I don't get LTE, NO 3g, NO Service" Wel duhhh s**t happens. Nothing is perfect lol

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 07:48

43. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4026; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Verizon is NOT that much more expensive than you think. Remember you pay for what you get. Verizon has service in most areas & the new XLTE is just bonkers.

Verizon is the only company that delivers in quality, speed & reliability. No one else in the US can EVEN come close! I gladly pay Verizon what they ask because it's MONEY well spent.

You will never get a Ferrari for the price of a Kia... Verizon is the Ferrari & the other less reliable, slower, & bad quality carriers are the Kia...

There is a reason why other carriers are cheaper than Verizon. They CLEARLY don't offer what Verizon offers.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 11:29

52. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


Except a ferrari doesn't limit how much gas you can use or how many miles you can travel. Verizon's price would be acceptable if they had an unlimited data option. But at 2GB it isn't worth jack crap, no matter how "fast" it is or how good it's coverage is. If you're limited to how much you can use it, those 2 points become moot.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 13:04

54. droidlife (Posts: 4; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


but a ferrari only reaches true potential based on the roads. Verizon has more roads and better roads. Verizon is like the autobahn while some of the discount providers have nothing better than a dirt road in many places if anything. Also don't forget Verizon recently bumped everyone with 2GB to 3 at no cost. It is not unlimited, but better than the 2. They also now have edge and it offers big line discounts on higher data packages (4 phone and 10GB of data for $160). For 97% of people this is going to vocer all their needs

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:14

64. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


I don't understand your autobahn analogy. Autobahn lets you go as fast as you want and as often as you want. Now a better analogy would be Verizon= 5 miles on the autobahn, after which you need to stop and wait a month before going another 5. Also the edge plan is nothing short of a scam. Add on between $20-30/month for each device you'll be paying off, as the average consumer and for those 4 users, $80-120 will be added onto their bill.. so $240-280/month. Compare that to the previous deal where you can have a minute/text plan and each user pays for data. I'll use my families example of 700 minutes with unlimited text for $80/month. Then add on $10 for each line, so if it's 4 lines, we are looking at $120 total. Now if each person adds 2GB (or unlimited if they joined up that far ago.. which is our case), that's $30/each extra. So $240 total, no more. BUT, here's where there's also a significant differences lie: subsidized phones (though of course you're on contract), and you don't HAVE to get a data plan. Have you seen Verizon's pricing for basic phones?? $30 line access fee!! My family has 5 lines with 3 of them being basic phones. Current cost= $80 (plan)+ $40 (4 extra lines.. line access fee)+ $60 (data plans for 2 devices, one of which is unlimited data).. this comes out to $180. If we were to go over to the new plan, it would be $100 (plan)+ $30 (edge discount 2 devices) + $90 (line access fee for 3 basic phones) for a total of $220 + $40-60 monthly for 2 devices, for a total of $260-280. $100/month more for the new plan.. no thanks.

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 17:16

69. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I'm in the exact same boat as you. If I were to change plans now, my bill would increase by 30 dollars, and my two unlimited plans which only average about 2-5 gb a month would then become capped at less than half that. Ummmmm, no, I'll pass.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:00

62. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


If you drive a Ferarri, at 12 cylinder, your gas isn't gona cost the same as if you drove a 4 cyl honda civic. Youll pay for the speed of the car! What a horrible exampe LOL Youll spend 4-6x more money just going to the corner on your Ferrari than if you rode your Sprint scooter there. Duhhh.. "I get unlimited miles on my Sprint scooter, you only get 20 miles of gas on your Verizon Ferrari for the same price" well guess what, I'll be at the 6 mile marker HOURS before you get there on your damn scooter LOL

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 20:07

66. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


except that isn't the case. We aren't comparing Sprint to Verizon, but rather T-Mo to Verizon, so we are comparing 2 ferrari's, with one of them able to only go 5 miles on the Autobahn before waiting a month to go another 5 miles, while the other gets to go the whole distance unhindered. Now which sounds like the better deal?

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 17:12

68. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


As an unlimited customer, I actually disagree. You don't need unlimited data. It just needs to be *reasonably capped*. 2 GB is far from reasonable at the same 30.00 dollar price as my unlimited is. Not to mention the chit 40.00 dollar line access fee. Seriously? No, 10.00, the same as it always was, would be reasonable. I might could even justify a 50% increase to 15.00. But 40.00, you have lost your gotdamn mind. I don't care how fast they "become" if they won't give me reasonable amounts of data to use. 5 gb was once considered "reasonable" on their unlimited plan, so it should be that for the 30.00 dollar tier of data. Then, I could reasonably see a 7-10 dollar per "extra" gb surcharge. If they bump me onto one of these plans then they will get to see how "fast" they lose me as a customer. I don't agree with people using their "unlimited" plans as a sole means of internet. IOW, the people that tether 500 gb a month are ridiculous, but this harming everyone with their asinine policies is just BS.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 15:28 1

57. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5765; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


XLTE without a lot of users is quite bonkers. I have seen ~56Mb/s down on my Droid Maxx. Put a bunch of users on the XLTE network and it can slow down to 3G speeds. Downtown Palo Alto, CA at mid-day during the week is a high usage time, and I have seen ~1.1 Mb/s down.

High peaks and low valleys.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:02 1

63. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Sprint 3G in Miami is completely useless. I just decied not to use data from 12pm to 8pm cuz it didn't load dick. So... even 1.1mb/s is not zero Mb/s lol

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:15

65. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


Have you considered T-Mo?

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 19:47 4

2. PapaSmurf (limited) (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)


PA slow to report news as always.

Look at T-Mobile's 3G making Sprint's LTE look bad lol.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 19:53 9

3. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Molasses pouring in the middle of winter is faster than Sprint

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 20:01 4

5. PapaSmurf (limited) (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Snails and worms crawling on the pavement outside is faster than Sprint.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 20:14 5

8. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


An elderly old granny with a walker is faster than Sprint

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 20:51 3

9. PapaSmurf (limited) (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)


The hamster in the commercials is faster than Sprint.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:07 4

11. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


A slow moving sloth is faster than Sprint

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:55

25. Heatfan316 (Posts: 416; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


Maybe their network speeds can compete with your brain activity, I hear that's pretty slow too.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 22:21 4

28. PapaSmurf (limited) (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)


You killed our little chain we had. Way to go.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 22:41

32. HouTexan (Posts: 311; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)


Lmao funny stuff.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 23:20

35. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Just like the Spurs killed the Heat in the playoffs

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 14:13

55. Heatfan316 (Posts: 416; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


I know it was so funny /s You two are aspiring comedians with lots of potential, maybe who knows you'll have a career in stand-up(cue eye roll). How many accounts do you have PapaSmurfette? I mean half your comments are fanboy drivel and yet you get a lot of likes, I doubt it's legit. ..smh! Pathetic.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 23:23 1

36. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Someone's bitter about the game

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 20:12

67. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


If you break into a room as a couple are at it, would they not be bitter at you? So why wouldn't he get bitter at you, with you breaking his party up whilst he's riding Sprints pooch?

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 19:55 3

4. MartyK (Posts: 711; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


I do not believe this "results of its fifth annual test ", this is a farce.

Sprint Max download speed is 54?!, are you kidding me?!, on their best day you can only get 10 DL....hahahah

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 20:58 3

10. Doakie (Posts: 1251; Member since: 06 May 2009)


10 Mbps?!?! With my Sprint HTC One M7 the fastest I saw on their LTE was 2 Mbps on your average day. ONE time I found a lone LTE tower along Renton-Maple Valley Highway outside of Seattle. I got 20 Mbps. I was shocked.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:20 1

12. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


Exactly, this is bs. I've hit 71 Mbps down and 26.63 on T-Mobile, in Syracuse NY, so where the f*** are they getting their numbers from?? Verizon?? Nowhere near as fast and I've been testing on their new XLTE network as well.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:50

22. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


These are averaged out by adding all the cities together then dividing by that number. The city YOU live in is not the only example, hence these speed tests are averages. In some places TMobile will be faster, in others Sprint, in others Verizon ... Your own experience is not a scientific measurement for how things are, you do understand that? Your own consciousness doen't determine reality and I hope you did ok in basic math to understand my comment about 'averages.'

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:57 1

26. MartyK (Posts: 711; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


Please tell us what city Sprint is faster than anyone?...hahahahahaha

Sprint couldn't be the fastest if they were the only carrier in the city!...lmao

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 22:27 2

30. PapaSmurf (limited) (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)


They're faster at giving excuses as to why their network is slow.

*ba doom risk*

On a serious note, I'm curious as to which city Sprint has faster data speeds.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 22:45 1

33. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


Nope, take a look. Yes they have the average down, but what I'm talking about is the supposed "max" speeds they list. Those aren't the "max average speeds" (this would be impossible to calculate anyways), they're the max speeds. As such, my speed would trump the listed Verizon top speed, so yet again I question how they came to this conclusion.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 07:54

45. PapaSmurf (limited) (Posts: 8300; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Prove it. Spark isn't as great as our think as of right now with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon already proving that with double the bandwidth in cities.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 07:54

46. saschasegan (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Jun 2014)


We're getting our numbers from 90,000 drive test cycles and 80,000 crowd-sourced results. However, we did not visit or have sufficient data to say something specifically about Syracuse, NY. Perhaps that's a weak town for Verizon.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 09:59

49. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


perhaps, but eastward towards Utica/New Hartford area, T-Mo 3G is comparable to Verizon LTE.. with speeds of 11-12 Mbps, and LTE now deployed in some parts of Utica. You could be right, though.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 07:51

44. saschasegan (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Jun 2014)


We saw that speed at one location in our 30 cities, specifically on S Miami Ave in the Brickell region of Miami. Sensorly's crowdsourced testing also found that kind of speed on Sprint Spark in Cincinnati, OH. If you're interested in a specific other city, go look at the page for that city.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 20:07 1

6. baldilocks (Posts: 508; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)


In my experience, AT&T is the most reliable and the fastest.

It's amazing how one study is totally different from another. That's why these are a waste of time.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 20:10 3

7. wilsong17 (Posts: 904; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


Why not mention is the most expensive. Unless you travel there is no point in over paying.. I pay 70 dollars unlimited let I constantly get 30mbs with t-mobile and every where I go I get good coverage and forth the most part there is WiFi now available most everywhere

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:27

14. mike2959 (Posts: 228; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


I wish TMO had more than just inner city urban (da hood) coverage but there's a reason why. I have many friends in the commercial real estate market and it comes down to real-estate. TMO doesn't like to spend ANYTHING on the property, the development, the utility.. Any you can't get cheaper than inner city. In the affluent suburbs, TMO's towers are much fewer and farther between. They just don't have the coverage, and coupled with the higher frequency that doesn't travel as far or get thru buildings, it really is just bad.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:44

18. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Yea in comparison Sprint has better penetration thru buildings hence the trade off between the two...

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:50

21. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


No, it's because governments limit areas where carriers can expand (build towers, antennas, etc). So esentially T-Mo and Sprint are handicapped.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:52 1

23. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


We only have one government, and FCC has always favored smaller carriers. It takes money to build a network. (yea those steel towers and s**t, they're not free) The more subscribers you have the larger network you can have. Verizon and AT&T started with more money than the rest.. Cingular was already a huge netowork before American Telephone or whatever the f**k their name stands for bought them...

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 00:04 1

38. Salazzi (Posts: 173; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)


No, the FCC has no say. Your city government decides on zoning and appropriates certain areas as buildable cellular areas. If say, T-Mo wanted to build a tower in a certain area to cover an area where their coverage is struggling, and the city government denies them a permit, they cannot build there, and as such you will see no expansion into that area. As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago, John Legere mentioned that that is one big factor as to why they don't have certain areas covered.. especially areas that are logical beyond measure that people go "why the hell not?", is because they are denied the permits necessary.. the boys with the deeper pockets who can pay off certain officials get their equipment in while the smaller carriers are left either with no coverage, or leasing tower space off another carrier, which either the company gets denied or they're allowed but it cuts into their bottom line.
Also, just to throw in some info before I close this off, the FCC actually despises small carriers. The current head of FCC was a big-time lobbyist for the likes of TWC, Comcast, Verizon, etc.. in other words, the guys who are on top and would prefer to remain there while raping the people for all the pennies in their purse.

posted on 11 Jun 2014, 21:45

19. zachattack (Posts: 565; Member since: 31 Jul 2013)


Shocker... and yeah it does justify their price they can charge whatever they damn well please for being the best. Also, all plans pretty much cost the same get over it

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