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iPad 4G LTE speed comparison: Verizon vs AT&T

iPad 4G LTE speed comparison: Verizon vs AT&T
Now that we have already discussed the AT&T and Verizon 4G data plans that you can choose from for your new iPad, it is time to examine what kind of service you will actually be getting in exchange for your money. And in order to do that, we have put together several iPad 4G LTE speed tests performed in various locations across the U.S.

First, let us present you with our own benchmark results from a Verizon iPad running on 4G LTE. The testing took place in the Ft Lauderdale area over a period of 24 hours, and the software that we used was the SpeedTest app from Ookla. During peak times, the Verizon iPad averaged speeds of about 5 to 6 megabits per second on the downlink, and about 2 megabits per second on the uplink. However, during the late hours of the day we saw download speeds ranging from 11-13 Mbps and uploads of 4-5 Mbps. Further testing with a Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX for Verizon returned similar results. 

Apple's new iPad (3) using Verizon's 4G LTE network
Apple's new iPad (3) using Verizon's 4G LTE network
Apple's new iPad (3) using Verizon's 4G LTE network
Apple's new iPad (3) using Verizon's 4G LTE network

CNET did its iPad 4G LTE speed tests across three well-populated areas of San Francisco: Union Square, the Pier 39 area, and the media's very own headquarters, which is located near the Financial District. Both an AT&T and Verizon model of the iPad have been used along with the SpeedTest app. An iPhone 4S hooked up to the Verizon iPad via its mobile hotspot feature has also been thrown in the testing for good measure. Unsurprisingly, the 4G LTE data speeds varied greatly from one location to another. At the end of the day, AT&T was the carrier, which delivered the faster LTE speeds, although Verizon was not lagging far behind. 

AT&T 4G LTE was slightly faster than Verizon's in the San Francisco area

Gizmodo uses its own 4G LTE benchmark system that collects user data from all over the U.S. Apple iPad tablets with 4G from both AT&T and Verizon can be used in the testing, including the "old" iPad 2 and first-gen iPad. The results show that with the new iPad, Verizon manages to provide faster 4G LTE speeds on average: nearly 7.2Mbps versus 6.8Mbps for 4G LTE by AT&T. However, both carriers perform equally well when it comes to peak internet speeds. Interestingly, the iPad 2 on Verizon is nearly twice as fast on 3G when compared to the AT&T iPad 2 model, according to the collected data.

User data from across the U.S. shows that Verizon 4G LTE is mostly faster than AT&T 4G LTE
User data from across the U.S. shows that Verizon 4G LTE is mostly faster than AT&T 4G LTE

Padgadget also tested a couple of iPads across the Dallas area - one for Verizon and one for AT&T, but a clear winner was hard to pick. That was because internet access speeds varied depending on the location, in which the tablet was being used. For example, the Verizon iPad had the upper hand when tested at a large shopping center, while the AT&T model performed noticeably better at a bar. That goes to show how vastly the performance of 4G LTE service may differ from one location to another. 

Across the Dallas area, results from AT&T and Verizon 4G LTE iPads were mixed


In conclusion, it is really hard to tell whether AT&T or Verizon will provide you with better 4G LTE service for your new iPad as that greatly depends on your location and on the network load. But whichever carrier you choose, one thing is certain - there will be a humongous difference between the 3G speeds you have experienced in the past, and the 4G speeds that you will be getting with the new iPad.

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