Nation's LTE Networks Ranked, Verizon Tops Competition
Verizon Wireless has earned the title of America's zippiest LTE network this year from PCMag. The PCMag/Ziff Davis Fastest Mobile Networks 2014 project ranked the speed and reliability of the nation's major wireless network providers in testing that spanned 30 cities and collected tens of thousands of data points across thousands of miles driven by cars. PCMag measured peak and average uploads/downloads, ping times, and web page load times. It used the LG G2, which is sold by all four national carriers. The G2 was placed in cars, and cycled through tests continually using an application developed by Sensorly. According to PCMag's data, Verizon won this year due to the rollout of its XLTE service, which boosted speeds, and its far-reaching coverage in both large cities and rural regions. Nationally, Verizon Wireless saw an average LTE download speed of 19.6Mbps, with peaks surpassing 84Mbps. AT&T saw coverage improve across the country, but LTE speeds actually slowed year-over-year in major markets due to congestion. T-Mobile's LTE network grew significantly in terms of coverage and was often the fastest in major cities. T-Mobile's poor rural coverage, however, hurt its national averages. Sprint's LTE network ranked the slowest of the four and Sprint also suffered from a lack of coverage when compared to Verizon and AT&T. PCMag ranks the major networks each year. The overall scores are weighted 70% on speed and 30% on reliability. In additional to national rankings, PCMag generated regional rankings and city-by-city rankings for the major networks.
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AT&T, T-Mobile Offer Best 3G Performance
The 3G networks operated by AT&T and T-Mobile handily beat those operated by Sprint and Verizon Wireless in PCMag's Fastest Mobile Networks in 2014. AT&T and T-Mobile use HSPA/HSPA for 3G and Sprint and Verizon use CDMA EVDO Rev.
Newest Phones Deliver Peak LTE Speeds
Data collected by PCMag for its Fastest Mobile Networks shows the latest smartphones are best able to take advantage of the country's LTE networks. PCMag received crowd-sourced data from 323 different devices across 822 metro areas in the U.S.
In markets where they are running 5x5 1900 and 5x5 800 networks, their network is the slowest. Becaus...
Frankly, I find massive coverage is overrated and I've been claiming th...
Sprint's LTE appears to be best in my region at least
My current job I have an AT&T LTE phone. The coverage just isn't that good, even in major cities. My personal phone is Sprint.
For comparison, I run the OpenSignal app on both phones. Sprint consistently is connected to 4G 80 percent of the time, where the opposite is true with AT&T. my AT&T phone is only connected to LTE about 15-20 percent of the time, and HSPA the rest of the time. At least HSPA speeds are decent (3-5mbps).
As they say, YMMV based on region.