AT&T has the nation's fastest wireless network according to PC Magazine

This article contains unofficial information.
AT&T has the nation's fastest wireless network according to PC Magazine
Trying to answer the age-old question, which U.S. carrier is the fastest, PC Magazine came up with AT&T as the winner. Of course, there were some parameters to the test that if changed, could have resulted in a different winner. PC Magazine said that voice quality, dropped calls and coverage area were not part of the test. Right away, this favors AT&T. The carrier has had problems with dropped calls and voice quality, and its 3G coverage doesn't come close to reaching the amount of  people that Verizon Wireless does with its 3G pipelines. What is being tested and measured is the mobile internet. In 20 cities, 1,000 rounds of tests were run which is the equivalent of 10,000 individual tests. At the end of the day, AT&T was the overall winner and also was the victor in regions such as the Southern, Central and Western part of the U.S. Two cities, Las Vegas and Philadelphia, had to be tossed from the test results because of technical problems. Keep in mind that as PC Mag was editing this piece, T-Mobile rolled out the faster HSPA+ service in some more locations. But that will have to wait for the next time. For now, AT&T has the nation's fastest mobile network according to PC Magazine. As for being the most robust network, well, that's another test for another day.

Nationally, AT&T was first followed by T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint 3G. In the Northeast, the HSPA+ rollout by T-Mobile in New York City helped the carrier grab the top spot in the region, followed by AT&T, Sprint 3G and Verizon. AT&T took the title in the Southeast with T-Mobile in second and Verizon and Sprint 3G tied for third. In the Central, it was more of the same with AT&T beating out T-Mobile as Verizon and Sprint 3G again tied for third. Finally, out West, AT&T took the top spot followed by Verizon with Sprint 3G third and T-Mobile last. If you're wondering where Sprint 4G is, while Cricket and WiMax did get tested in the small areas that they currently service, both did not cover enough area to be included in the final rankings of each region.

source: PCMagazine







FEATURED VIDEO

38 Comments

1. DonkeyPunched

Posts: 321; Member since: Jan 10, 2010

Hm, I wanna see those Sprint 4G speeds. I keep hearing all this speculation between T-Mobile HSPA+ & Sprint 4G... :\ I wanna know which is faster so I can choose a service I wanna stick with in the month of June/July.

2. Schmao

Posts: 365; Member since: Jul 05, 2009

Right now, T-mobile HSPA+ (max 21) speeds are faster than Sprint 4G (max 11)

4. DonLouie

Posts: 594; Member since: Dec 22, 2008

Max speed with WiMax is 14 while average is 3 - 8 but + is closer to current 3G. Looking at the graph shows the GSM carriers are faster but not consistent as CDMA.

8. spoonb1

Posts: 77; Member since: Jan 02, 2010

funny how everyone in the media and dumb "consumers" are told that 4g is better and faster when 3g is still capable of upwards of 24mbps speeds, and current so called 4g is only theoretically at 11.... lol stupid media... its all the iphone 3g's fault for bringing the technology name into the equation.. lol

9. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

@DonLouie I wouldn't be so quick to say CDMA carriers are more consistent. In every region tmobile beats VZW in consistency, except one and VZW only wins by a factor of .02. Also in 2 of four regions AT&T beats verizon, and the other 2 verizon beats AT&T. I'd call it a draw, now sprint does have better consisentcy than all three in all regions Except one, which AT&T has that claim. Point is being CDMA is not indicative of the carriers consistency. Not if the CDMA carriers have such a gap in consistency.

18. jenna_23

Posts: 145; Member since: Apr 02, 2010

yes i agree right now t-mobile hspa 21mbps beats sprints 4G network in terms of coverage and speed cuz believe it or not t-mobile has hspa+ in waaaay more places than wimax.. . sprints 4G network is only available in a few places.. . t-mobiles 3G hspa is available on more markets ..

30. DonLouie

Posts: 594; Member since: Dec 22, 2008

Way more when concerning GSM is an exagerration to say the least.

31. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

3G is capable of 100 mpbs speeds - LTE is not true 3G as it is considered 3.9 3G

3. Richcop

Posts: 19; Member since: Aug 02, 2009

Just taking a quick glance at this tells me that Sprint 3G and Cricket have the best consistancy rates of data with T-Mobile next. Sprint was in the 90's in all four tests. AT&T was in the 70's in one of the tests. Just my 2 cents.

5. wreh3

Posts: 25; Member since: Apr 19, 2010

PC magazine must have the worst network analysts for them to think that at&t has the fastest wireless network; were they being bribed; or it's a deal for them to keep their jobs

6. BlackberryUser

Posts: 609; Member since: Jun 26, 2009

They all got unlimited data plans in exchange for the article, jk...

19. jenna_23

Posts: 145; Member since: Apr 02, 2010

i totally agree with u PC magazine must have the worst network analysts for them to think at&t is the fastest network in the US. at&t is actually the worst when it comes to everything call fails, dropped calls , slow 3G .. i had at&t before and i think it was ridiculous how i would still get call failed with 5 bars of 3G now in the other hand t-mobile rarely drops the call even when i have 1 bar of service . so yea go figure ...

33. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

ok, read the article and the charts - we are only dealing data speeds - voice calls are a different matter and some point no one will care as all voice will go VOIP.

7. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

AT&T is techinically faster. But when actually uploading/downloading its by less than a single second so you wouldnt really notice a difference (not to mention Verizon phones now have a lot better processors in their phones). So that's why they're allowed to claim it on commercials without VZW suing their @$$.

12. spoonb1

Posts: 77; Member since: Jan 02, 2010

oh and i suppose that the actual network speed has nothing to do with it... but since you don't know ... att UMTS (3G) is running 3.6mbps(average speeds 1.5 to 2.2mbps) and soon to be 7.2mpbs is far faster than VZW EVDO running 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps... so with att even the average speeds--not talking max speeds or anything-- are up to 3 times faster than vzw... thats part of why apple chose att and the other is the simultaneous voice and data. none of which has anything to do with better processors in phones.... just sayin

13. whocares

Posts: 235; Member since: Dec 19, 2009

owned.

14. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

oh really? and how fast will VZW LTE be? and hmmm... you dont know. and how much load is on the network when its running on that? 12%? hmmmm another stat that you dont know do you..... maybe you should also learn about all the class action lawsuits AT&T has had toward them because their network could never handle what they claim. hence tiered data thats not unlimited for your treasured iphone and ipad... so once again.... owned.

15. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

and P.S. Apple came to Verizon first smarty, they turned them down. Because they didnt want Apple to own the data plan and part of their monthly access also.... but i'm sure you knew that.

38. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

Well smartysmarty if you knew anything, then you would know that they went to cingular first... which is att...

17. jenna_23

Posts: 145; Member since: Apr 02, 2010

t-mobile is technically muuuuuuuch faster than at&t because its running at 21 mbps which if u ask me its much faster than at&t's 7.2 mbps so on t-mobile u really do see a difference when downloading stuff.

20. DOGIEFRESH

Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

Dude you should file a lawsuit against SLOW-RIZON CEO, he said apple never went to them for the first iphone, get over with that urban legend fanboy....!!!

22. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

no.. he went to Voda phone.. then entailing VZW along with it. But good try.

24. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

35. DOGIEFRESH

Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

That's false first of all Voda partially owns VZW they don't make the desicions, and second why Voda didn't make a deal with apple in Europe then is kinda like nonsense....!!!

36. DOGIEFRESH

Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

Yes i can read and also i read on usatoday that the ipad was imminent for VZW, after that who will believe on those guys...!!!!

10. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

I think 4G just needs to be completely out of his equation. For now anyway. It's not up in Enough markets, and it's max speeds haven't fully matured. This is the first set of 4G standards. Wimax as a network technology has the potential for MUCH greater that 11mbs. I'm talking 70 and/or up. Real world speeds would be more like 20-40 in that case at best but it's still far superior. Same with LTE When it rolls out. Speeds will probably initialy be around 10-20mbs. Mayb 30. But LTE has a max theoretical of 120+mbs. Real world speeds of 70+. luckily we see the final evolution of 3G speeds so we can fairly test them, but it just wouldn't be fair to test an evolving and new network.

11. Mateo8326

Posts: 472; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

we all knew ATT had the fastest 3g network we knew that for years so stop hating. yall can down ATT for there lack of coverage but with speed they are on top.

16. jenna_23

Posts: 145; Member since: Apr 02, 2010

im not hating on at&t but t-mobile now has the fastest network in america running at 21mbps u should know that, its even faster than sprints 4G sorry but its the truth .. the truth hurts dont it?

23. omarc26

Posts: 360; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

i agree t-mobile is muuuuuuuuuch faster than gayt&t

26. Mateo8326

Posts: 472; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

did yall not just read the article lol

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.