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4G Networks Tested: WiMAX vs. HSPA+

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The bottom line is that 4G is here, and it works. Both T-Mobile and Sprint offer impressive speeds that will let you browse the web faster than ever. We watched a bit of Hulu during most of our testing, and it looked impressively good with both technologies.

Sprint's WiMAX network is still growing, so you need to check coverage carefully before banking on it, but if Sprint offers good 4G coverage where you need it, it's at least twice as fast as 3G on the download side.

If you're shopping for fast data, though, T-Mobile's upgraded HSPA+ network is worth a hard look. HSPA+ is just as fast as WiMAX for downloads, and much faster when it comes to upload and latency. That means T-Mobile might be the better choice if you need to upload a lot of videos or do some serious multiplayer gaming. T-Mobile plans to have 100 major metro areas upgraded to HSPA+ by the end of 2010.

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When it comes to phones, Sprint offers just one 4G model: the HTC EVO 4G. T-Mobile, however, offers nine models with HSPA 7.2 at the moment. HSPA 7.2 clocked impressive speeds in our tests, definitely comparable to Sprint's 4G.


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