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Nation's LTE Networks Ranked, Verizon Tops Competition

Article Comments  18  

Jun 11, 2014, 11:23 AM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Jun 11, 2014, 1:45 PM

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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Jun 11, 2014, 5:10 PM


This article says Sprint's network is slow and has poor coverage. Yet the article below says the fastest LTE speeds were recorded on phones with Sprint Spark and Verizon XLTE. So how can Sprint's network be "slow" if it tied for the fastest speed.
The fastest Sprint speeds are probably in their Spark 2.5GHz markets where they had a huge amount of Wimax spectrum that has been changed to LTE.

In markets where they are running 5x5 1900 and 5x5 800 networks, their network is the slowest. Becaus...
Unfortunately Bob, they're basing it on average nationwide coverage and phones capable of said technologies. Very few Spark devices and limited rural coverage impedes results.

Frankly, I find massive coverage is overrated and I've been claiming th...
I have first hand experience that Sprint LTE coverage is better coverage than AT&T's. I can compare the two by running OpenSignal on both my work phone and personal phone. Every once in a while AT&T bursts to 30mbps on LTE but is usually in the 7-8mbp...

Jun 26, 2014, 2:29 PM

Sprint's LTE appears to be best in my region at least

My previous job I had a Verizon LTE phone and I wasn't that impressed. Peak download speeds were pretty good, but it would constantly switch between 4G and 3G, thus making my connection to streaming audio cut out constantly.

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.
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