Before we get too crazy, let’s keep in mind this is mobile data only. PC Mag said it didn’t test voice quality, dropped calls or coverage areas because it was focused about mobile Internet. Still, it’s a good sign for the nation’s second-largest carrier because it has routinely been a punchline for its service with the iPhone in major metropolitan cities. The study found that AT&T delivered an average of 1.79 Mbps download speed across the nation, good enough for the top spot. It was also the least consistent of the four major carriers though.
Of the big guys, T-Mobile was the second fastest with 1.17 Mbps average, followed by Verizon Wireless at 1.01 Mbps and then Sprint’s 3G at .99 Mbps. Sprint’s 4G services averaged 2.11 Mbps but it was only available in half of the test cities so it’s not a fair comparison.
This is another PR win for AT&T, which has been beaten up for its 3G services in the past. Unlike some of its competitors, AT&T isn’t jumping directly to 4G, as it will use HSPA+ as a bridge technology of sorts. The company is pumping billions of dollars into improving its mobile data service and it recently ditched unlimited data plans, which may ease congestion in metropolitan markets.
The competitors are not standing still though, as Sprint’s push for 4G services should get a large boost with the release of the EVO 4G tomorrow. Verizon Long-Term Evolution network will be providing 4G speeds in up to 30 markets by the end of the year and T-Mobile HSPA+ network will provide “4G-like speeds,” it says. So, AT&T appears to be the fastest for now, but it’s going to take a lot to keep that title in the future.
[Via PC Mag]