PC Mag Tests 3G Networks, Finds AT&T The Fastest

With the EVO 4G finally here {BusinessWire}, and the new iPhone being announced shortly, as well as great smartphones on T-Mobile and Verizon, choosing a new phone can be tough.  Price and voice coverage are always something to consider, but data speeds are quickly becoming important as well.  Every carrier claims to have fast speed, but PC Mag decided to test which is the fastest overall.

After thousands of tests in 18 cities, the test came back with the almost surprising conclusion that AT&T is the fastest network out there right now. Considering the notoriously unreliable phone coverage of the network in places like New York and San Francisco, that might be the saving feature that convinces iPhone users to stick with AT&T if and when the rumored Verizon iPhone comes to fruition.  The iPhone carrier came out as the fastest in all areas of the US aside from the Northeast.  It is worth noting that technically, Sprint’s 4G network was the fastest that was tested, but it was only available in 9 out of 18 cities tested so it wasn’t counted. {PC Mag}

In the Northeast, T-Mobile was declared the fastest thanks to it’s improved network that it rolled out in New York City recently.  It also had a network on par with AT&T’s in Boston, Baltimore and Washington, DC.  Sprint’s 4G network was only available in a few markets, but had an average download speed of 2.1 Mbps, as opposed to AT&T’s national average of 1.79 Mbps.

Of course, with T-Mobile rolling out it’s faster network in more cities, and Sprint continually rolling out it’s 4G network, these numbers are subject to change over time.  AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are all looking at 4G rollouts starting in 2011 at the earliest.

The Sprint and Verizon networks have been known to be generally more reliable, if not as fast and unable to do voice and data at the same time.

Keep in mind that speed doesn’t always mean reliability, and that good data speeds don’t mean great calling quality or service.


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