T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42Mbps network faster than Verizon's 4G LTE in 11 cities
T-Mobile's data speeds were often twice as fast as second place AT&T. You can visit the sourcelink to see results of the speed tests in individual cities.
In the meantime, we can look at the results from some major cities. In Miami, on the download test, Verizon's 4G LTE just edged out T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 pipeline, but those two were well above the rest of the carriers. On the upload side, Verizon's 4G LTE won by a landslide. In New York, it was AT&T's 4G LTE network that had the highest download speed which peaked at 41.59Mbps. Verizon's 4G LTE and T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 had scores about half those of AT&T. Verizon's 4G LTE had the highest upload speeds. In San Francisco, it was AT&T's 4G LTE network that had the fastest download speeds while Verizon's 4G LTE pipeline offering the top upload speeds.
What about Sprint? Well, the carrier was at a disadvantage as it doesn't have an HSPA+ pipeline of course, and while it does offer 4G via WiMAX, those speeds are slower and later this year the carrier is expected to turn on its LTE network which means next year's tests should be more competitive.
1. Cugino2007 (Posts: 8; Member since: 31 Mar 2012)
Were the tests done indoors or outdoors? With my experience, T-Mobile is plenty fast, as long as your outdoors. Indoors the signal is virtually nonexistent.
6. Galen20K (Posts: 498; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)
In 12 years with T-Mobile I've always had fantastic indoor signal strength. Obviously the very small area where you live/go does not represent the entire experience of the United States.
58. ravx25 (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
It doesn't have to be a small area. I live in the middle of Dallas Forth Worth and Tmobile blows here. I work just north of DFW Airport and get little to no 4G coverage. Tmobile just blows in some places. Unfortunately for me, they suck in Dallas...one of the largest places in the Unites States.
65. abrahavt (Posts: 4; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)
I tried TMobile for a day before switching back to ATT. I could barely get one bar in my home and the constant search for a signal killed the battery in no time.
17. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
I dont know what your talking about. I do clinicals in a very large hospital and have full 4g coverage the whole way through it. I have a friend with a VZ thunderbolt that only gets coverage on the outter edges. Its all about where you are. There is no such thing as a perfect carrier.. just perfect for your location.
29. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i think that's interference from Hospital Equipment, it's a tried theory, i've been in Hospitals recently with my Razr and i go from full LTE connectivity to nothing in the few minutes it takes me to get further into the Hospital. that doesn't happen anywhere else and i do grunt work in a factory sometimes which is in a thick, solid industrial building.
31. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
LTE generally gets better building penetration than GSM so if its not interfering with mine, it shouldnt be interfering with yours. Then again, im up with the patients or down in surgery. oooh surgery is fuuuun. :)
I think its just a weak area for VZW. I tossed that at a VZW rep the other day that tried the old "you will keep losing signal on Tmo" line. He didnt have much of an answer. Sad part is that i know its a canned responce, since we all said that when we worked there.. lol.
Honest truth, one covers 96% of americans, the other covers like 98% of americans.. there isnt that big of a difference other than the boonies.
44. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
oh i wasn't talking about the actual Hospital Building, i'm talking about the Equipment like CAT Scanners and whatnot.
52. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
havent had an issue yet regardless of what I'm near. So, so far i've been very happily surprised with the service.
69. barterpc (Posts: 5; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)
KingKurogiii you shouldn't be dampened that much. LTE like CDMA signals re-route so theoretically if you have good coverage you should have it throughout. Actually I've gone in hospital basements with older CDMA 800 and had almost flawless coverage. It might also be in your hospital they specifically install cell-dampening. They do this alot now in places where the cell may interfere with normal operations of radiological equipment. They install UHF dampeners to guarantee it won't happen, as a precaution. But if you did it near Radiology, it's normally hospital policy to have you turn off your cell there anyway.
2. -box- (Posts: 3539; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Heh heh heh. I hope this silences all the ignorant folk who don't consider HSPA+ in the same speed tiers as LTE... Looking forward to LTE-Advanced and next-gen HSPA+ versions
Oh yeah, and sprint is still slowest, to no one's surprise. Hope for their sake they trade unlimited for speed and quality (especially structure penetration), otherwise they'll keep losing money and customers
4. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
there won't be next gen HSPA+, that's the whole point of it not being comparable to LTE even though the speeds are indeed pretty comparable.
18. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
technically, HSPA+ is capable of 84mb/s and thats probably what he meant. Tmobile had plans to go 84 (and they still might, who knows), but they decided to concentrate on LTE revision 10 first.
Tmobile isnt the first with the tech, but when they build it, they build it pretty smartly. They werent first with 3g or 4g, and they blew past everyone, and they are not the first with LTE, but they are building it in a way to make super quick upgrades. Which means as a consumer your getting a lot more for your money.
25. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
that's all well and good now but that strategy is merely a quick fix, T-Mobile can't afford to divulge into changing network technologies at the drop of a hat like the larger carriers can. it's much better to have one solid type of network than multiple types of networks that you need a bunch of different radios to even be able to take advantage of. it's like swimming, if you keep coming up for air every few seconds then you're not going to get anywhere.
32. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Tmobile isnt switching anything. They are reorganizing. No, Sprint tried that "well, we will just get a little of every technology and see what sticks" approach and they suck for it. iDen, cdma, wimax, lte.. whats next? lol.
Tmobile's approach has always been to wait and let the big guys pay the big bux for the equipment. Then when economies of scale kick in, they get the newer, upgraded version for cheaper.
They waited on 3g, and then ran circles around ATT/VZW speed with their quick upgrade to hsdpa, hspa+ 21, then hspa+ 42 ... and now they are set to do it again with LTE-10 set up in a way that leaves them open for a super quick upgrade for the future. They went from 2g to 4g with a wide roll out faster than either ATT or VZW could get from 3g to 4g. Now they are condensing the network a bit and moving their "4g hspa+ to 1900 as well so they can use 1700/2100 for LTE. A move that not only makes them international device compatible, but offers even better in building penetration with minimal extra cost.
Tmobile is very smart with how they implement the network. Where they suck at is consistency in plans and advertising.. which has cost them quite a bit.
45. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
to the end user it really isn't that different from what Sprint used to do. you still have to buy specific devices to be able to use the different categories of HSPA+ and then the phones that are available now won't be compatible with LTE when they roll that out. that's when the network fragmentation becomes a problem. you say they'll have LTE-10 set up in a way that'll open them up for a super quick update but they're nowhere near as prepared as Verizon having nearly half of the nation covered in LTE TODAY. T-Mobile still needs time to roll out an LTE Network, that takes time no matter who you are. of course T-Mobile got onboard with 4G quicker, it's 3G upgrade tech, it's quick, easy and cheap to upgrade but investing into it whole heartily isn't the way to prepare for a future that meets an LTE standard.
53. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
bah. were gonna just have to disagree.
its no different than VZW's CDMA phones being locked out of LTE, or any other company's GSM/LTE. So its really a moot point.
the big difference is, when your not on LTE, your on 42mb/s hspa+. When your on verizon and your not on LTE, your on 2mbs CDMA. Your over complicating a non issue for Tmobile.
Its a lot more important for VZW to speed LTE across their map than it is for Tmobile to hurry it up with LTE.
For them its more marketing at this point than an increase in service. Look at the scores.. they are identical. To the end user that doesnt really care.. whats the difference? There really is non on the short term, and they will be on LTE on a similar time table to Sprint, so its not like they will be "behind.
They will be among fastest 4g now, and right up there tomorrow.
56. Forsaken77 (Posts: 542; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)
Tmobile also uses AT&T's network alot. Tmo doesn't have great coverage. I guess they deploy a lot less towers in areas than the bigger carriers. So they "borrow" AT&T's network, which is probably the reason for the 1700 band. If I'm not mistaken, AT&T is using a 1700's band also.
3. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
it all comes down to the same thing, Verizon has more people using their LTE network than AT&T does with theirs and T-Mobile does with their 42mbps category HSPA+. they're all very capable networks. AT&T & Verizon use the same damn thing and HSPA+ 42mbps does compare quite nicely however it's long term potential is non-existent hence why T-Mobile is eventually going towards the goal of having an LTE network up and going so really i think the winner in terms of progress is Verizon being that they are much, much further along in rolling out their LTE network and that'll also make them even more ready for the upgrade to LTE-Adv in the near future, the network is just getting more adverse effects from having more LTE users to hog up the spectrum. once Verizon finishes maximizing network efficiency they'll have it down and if AT&T doesn't pick up the pace Sprint and T-Mobile may surpass them in the LTE race eventually. we'll just have to see about that.
5. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2844; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Finally someone with some sense speaks! King, that is what I'm talking about! Verizon has by far more people on their LTE network, thus slowing down the data network speeds. Remember how fast they reported it when it first came out on limited networks? Yep same thing can be said about AT&T as well, trust me once it reaches 100+ more cities and more and more people are using their LTE network, it will slow down as well.
Sprint's network is a joke because how much of an epic fail they had with their "4G" network. They flat out gave up on it and are in last in line once again. Why bother even have unlimited data when your network is slower than dial up?
At least Verizon has a large LTE network and a HUGE 3G network that covers so many people and can actually be used indoors too.
AT&T at least has a large HSPA+ network that by itself is very fast and so is T-Mobile's.
Sprint needs to rush their LTE network out now and quick.
10. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
yeah, Sprint is easily forgettable when discussing 4G networks and their term potential, they had such an Amazing device last year with the E4GT but Sprint's network totally killed it and then like you brought up there Sprint's signal frequencies make using Sprint indoors a real pain in the you know what and their customer support is the WORST but i digress, luckily Sprint could turn their luck around by following Verizon's example being the other side of the CDMA coin here in the US and do an aggressive roll-out of their LTE network and maybe catch AT&T off guard. the GSM carriers may be comfortable with HSPA+ now but they may find themselves too far behind in a future where LTE technology is having it's potential increase exponentially and HSPA+ is hitting a stand still.
19. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
one thing you forgot is that Tmobile's HSPA network is in much higher use than either ATT or VZW's LTE. Since HSPA+ shares bandwith with the 3g phones, there is always a lot more use. And it still kicks butt.
Heres a big middle finger to all those morons that kept trying to say that Tmobile sucks. :)
22. maxican16 (Posts: 361; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
Hmm, is there more use on Tmobile's 3G / HSPA+ network than on VZW's 4G LTE network?? Honest question.
Good on Tmobile though. If only they had better coverage where I live...
23. N.Reynolds (Posts: 252; Member since: 15 Feb 2011)
Remix, I have respect for you after seeing all your posts over the past couple years and yes T-Mobile's HSPA+ is fast but I still say T-Mobile sucks.
24. greathero1 (Posts: 431; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)
Well, I am a Tmo subscriber and their network is fast at times but it is very inconsistent. Too many times over you will have 5 bars and a big 4G label but horrible and slow service. They have been very subpar in my 3 year experience but I have stomached the service in order to have a cheaper bill.
35. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
say what you want. I was just given the option to switch to other networks and I dont see a point. Why pay more for less if its working like a dream where I'm at.
Its all about where you are.
27. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
that's true but remember T-Mobile is the fourth largest carrier in the States, that brings to question how many T-Mobile users there are in a given area using bandwidth vs. the percentage of LTE users there are in those areas especially when we're talking about HSPA+ 42mbps because even though it is upgraded 3G doesn't mean that 3G devices cause as much signal degradation as LTE users do for each other. another thing you might want to remember is that handsets using T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42mbps technology probably haven't seen nearly as much adoption as LTE devices have on Verizon. most people on T-Mobile are there to save money and don't necessarily care about having the latest and greatest. the people that care enough about the latest and greatest to pay more for it are on Verizon. when i look at the classifieds section on forums or on sites like Swappa or Glyde Verizon listings always outnumber everybody else's listings.
34. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
it doesnt matter if its HSPA+10, 14, 21, or 42.. its the same signal. the only difference between 21 and 42 is in the phone.. it uses a dual modem of sorts. HSPA+ is considered more bandwidth friendly up to 84, then LTE starts beating it at higher ranges.
Every 4g phone tmobile has runs the same HSPA+ signal, which is quite a bit. Almost every phone Tmobile has sold in the last 2+ years has been 4G, where on ATT and VZW, a large chunk of their sales is 3g iphones.
Last report had only like 2 or 3 million LTE devices running on VZW if i remember right (which even i thought seemed low) That is well below whats running on Tmobile. VZW may have more customers, but it has a much smaller percent of people on LTE since only specific devices can use it. On Tmobile, nearly every smartphone in the store uses HSPA+
46. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
yeah, i don't think it's that cut and dry bro. if that were the case 42mbps phones would never even drop to 3G but they do.
around 10% of Verizon's subscriber base has switched to LTE. i still think the amount of signal degradation falls within what category of HSPA+ you're using. so i'm still going by Verizon LTE vs. T-Mobile's 42mbps HSPA+.
54. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
technically anything under 12mb/s is 3G so thats a pretty broad range of "still too fast to care" :)
Not all of Tmobile's 3g network has been upgraded to hspa+42. There are still pockets of HSDPA to be found, so yea, the phone will drop.
but again, when the phone drops from 4g to 3g on tmobile its going from 42 to 7. On VZW its going from about the same to 1.5-2. On the high range they are near identical, on the low range its a pretty substantial difference in speed.
55. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
well you know what i mean. xD
yeah, that's why Verizon is in such a hurry to roll out LTE, so that drop will become a non-issue.
42. lsutigers (Posts: 624; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)
King, just to clear some things up, Sprint's 3G network is currently running slow in some markets and others are running very fast, they are working on that and they should have one of the fastest 3G and 4G networks in the coming months and finish this time next year when their nationwide Network Vision project is complete and all of their networks are upgraded and consolidated. As far as their signal not being good indoors, although they currently use the higher 1900mhz frequency, their signal carries just fine, I haven't had any issues with Sprint compared to my Verizon phone and as part of NV they will be adding 3G and LTE on the refarmed 800mhz Nextel spectrum. I do agree that Clearwire's 4G WiMAX does have trouble indoors but their new deployment of TD-LTE is expected to correct this issue as it is much better at signal propagation.
As far as their customer service, they are #1 or 2 or JD Power and ASCI, much improved from the Sprint of the past so that's also not accurate.
Sprint really needs to pull this Network Vision upgrade off as quickly as possible.
47. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
that's funny because i never see instances of Sprint being fast anywhere it's tested. their 3G is still CDMA based, it doesn't have a chance in hell at being the fastest 3G and the same goes for Verizon but Verizon realizes this hence the aggressive LTE roll-out. oh well i hear stories all the time about how Sprint devices are bad indoors but now i guess i've heard one to the contrary.
that's just this year and that's because everybody else has been making moves that people don't want them to make. as far as being consistently satisfied it's always either Verizon or T-Mobile that takes the JD Power & Associate recognition .
62. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2844; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
My co-worker just got the Epic Touch last week and was going on about how amazingly fast and smooth it was. The processor that is, not the service. He complained constantly about Sprint's slow network. He said to me "I can't wait until I can turn this 4G baby on and bam it's fast!" I laughed and told him not to hold his breath. I explained to him that it is a WIMAX only device that Sprint gave up on forever ago and there will be no chance of it ever expanding and it will actually be shut down. I feel bad for people who believed in Wimax and are stuck with wimax only phones.
Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T all have their 3G/4G to fall back on and Sprint is just selling LTE phones without an LTE network. Get on it Sprint or you will go down with Wimax.
43. items17070 (Posts: 70; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)
BULL BULL BULL!! (at least for verizon) I was using verizon LTE back in march 2011 and my DL was averaging about 28 to 36mbps, and now almost a year and ahalf it STILL the same speeds! and I am in balitmore!
48. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
LTE Adoption probably hasn't picked up in your area. enjoy that while you can.
7. DigitalBath (Posts: 8; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
That's what happens when 1 person is on HSPA+.
8. Markizzle21 (Posts: 30; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)
Another thing is look at how many devices can run on hspa 42. Than compare that to how many Verizon Lte devices there are. That also ties into how many people have it. Hspa 42 caps at that 42mbps. Lte I've seen 56 mbps when it first came out so dumb test here
9. vzw fanman (Posts: 1971; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
i trust rootmetrics' reports more. i use their speed test app and i love it.http://rootmetrics.com/compare-carriers/new-york-city/new-york-city-may-2012/
11. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
lol damn! is this an annual report they're making? xD
12. ph00ny (Posts: 560; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Um. Where is the latency figures? That's the big benefit of using LTE over HSPA.
13. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
Looks like Verizon sucks
How can LTE be defeated by Hspa +
14. lubba (Posts: 1309; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)
Then why the f**k is Tmo waisting money on LTE rather than investing in top of the line technological phones! That's what every customer been waiting for iPhone or Lumia 900, or titan, or one x!!!!
16. quesoesgrande (Posts: 208; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)
No, they arent wasting money. Whether they spend money towards those phones that doesn't mean OEMs have to give it to them. Also, many believe the next iPhone will LTE. And I don't want any of the phones you stated . I want a galaxy note or galaxy s3 which is soon coming.
26. lubba (Posts: 1309; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)
Ok so if hspa from tmo beats verizon lte, then why spend all that money. Come on be serious. even the article says it's just for advertise sake. Therefore work on getting the tech goodies, I mean phones. IPhone already sold millions without lte.
28. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
there's no long term potential, look up the technologies, think about the future of the companies and try again.
36. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
there is still plenty of life left in hspa+. The hop to 84mb/s is an easy one... and really.. name me 1 use for all that speed. heck, name a use for the speeds we get now.
The problem is in advertising. Everything is going LTE and to avoid the confusion and loss of sales from it, they have to go LTE.
49. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
there SHOULD be no life for HSPA+ while there is LTE available. divulging into adding another category of HSPA+ only takes more time and resources from diving into the better, more expandable LTE technologies.
15. snowgator (Posts: 3149; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
T-Mo is working on a LTE network as well. Makes this pretty much a non-issue. Their current set-up is fine for what they offer, which is a good set of less expensive devices on a respectable network for an extremely fair price. Their biggest disadvantage is coverage out of their areas, which is not as important for them. If you are on T-Mo, you probably do not travel much for business or such.
Actually, I think T-Mo has a great position as the #4 network to upgrade and expand at a pace they can afford and having a good enough network to keep their core customers as they do it. Sprint is upside down in red ink, and has had several LTE plans even as they try to tread water with shutting down two other networks (WiMAXX and IDEN) and they suffer from the worse 3G network speeds. Whose to say in a couple of years from now T-Mo hasn't become #3?
21. disneydad (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)
Unfortunately I do not see the carrier positions changing unless something incredibly earth shattering happens in the mobile carrier world. All of the carrier's brands are currently set in the public's mind. VZ is considered the largest and greatest, ATT has their strong 'if it's not broke don't fix it' core, Sprint will always using gimmicks to keep their customer base, and T-Mobile is the carrier people love to hate/overlook.
Studies have been shown that their is no real growth in the industry except people switching to smart phones and that they only stay with their carrier for about 28 months before switching. It's just trading customers back and forth.
If carriers could truly wean people off of the 'I'm entitled to a free phone' mantra we could see real competition between carriers.
40. networkdood (Posts: 5256; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
so true on the 'free phone' mantra thing...lol
20. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Already one of the fastest. And very soon it will be LTE-10 + a 42mb/s HSPA+ backhaul. And its still half the price of ATT/VZW. Again, if you live in any kind of metro area that has HSPA+ available (which is pretty much ALL metro areas), you owe it to your self and wallet to give em a try.
30. facts&truth (Posts: 41; Member since: 15 Jul 2009)
Good God. I wish some of you people would learn some since. Stop saying that hspa+ won't work long term. It has way more potential that what you will ever know. The deal is that Lte handles spectrum 38% more efficiently.Its like a 6 lane vs a 4 lane highway. HSPA+ is very much the way of the future as well. Just ask Europe. Verizon had to go by way of Lte because they had to. You fail to realize Lte is a base gsm tech. Also what you don't know is T-Mobile has the latest hardware towers. When they roll out Lte, it will be a minor hardware upgrade and a primary software upgrade. Not to mention, T-Mobile is adding a new tech that that will cause deeper building penetration and spectrum won't matter as much. Not to mention, T-Mobile will have Advanced Lte as quiet as its kept.In the process T-Mobile may upgrade to HSPA+ 84 with multiflow .Also with the spectrum reframe, coverage will greatly improve. I can't tell to much, but T-Mobile will have the most advanced network out there and at a much lower cost. Side note. T-Mobile has the largest 4g footprint out there.They have way more people on there 4g network than anyone else including 14,21,and 42 chip phones. Why can I make these assessments, I work for Nokia S. And I build the tech and it is in progress. Take note, Verizon's Lte is not as reliable as there cdma. You'll see soon enough what's in store.
33. dha_george (Posts: 53; Member since: 27 Jan 2010)
thats kinda been my understanding from talking to people that know about the back end fiber optics that each of the main carriers are using. Verizon is just putting the lte radios up but not doing anything to improve their back end fiber optics. While t-mobile and at&t have been building up their fiber optics(during their hspa+ build outs) to handle the faster data speeds. that is the main reason why at&t's lte network tends to beat out verizon's when it comes to speed. It's not the amount of users on the network lte is designed to handle that kind of traffice as longs as the back end fiber optics is in place to handle it.
39. networkdood (Posts: 5256; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
AT&Ts '4g' network really is better than VZW
50. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i know very well what LTE is. people said the same thing about AT&T and now what? they're still way behind Verizon. oh is that why PCMag found that Verizon's LTE was a more reliable 4G network than anyone else's? xD
37. networkdood (Posts: 5256; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
See, the thing with Verizon is that say they have the biggest and best 4G LTE coverage - it is not even true as I was in Madera, CA and had 4G LTE lighted up on my phone - got about 3meg down and 1.5 up on speed test. I can already get that and more in that area with an HSPA+ AT&T phone.
51. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i think anybody will tell you that's not normal. xD