PCWorld went on a bit of an adventure recently to put AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon’s 3G and 4G networks to the test. They traveled to 13 cities across the United States — Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. — and tested data speeds in a total of 127 different locations.
The tests between the carriers are broken down into four categories: 3G download speed, 3G upload speed, 4G download speed, and 4G upload speed. The winner for both of the 3G categories is T-Mobile, followed by AT&T in second, Verizon in third and Sprint last. AT&T took first place for 4G download speed, Verizon took second, T-Mobile took third and Sprint took fourth. Verizon won the last category of 4G upload speed while AT&T dropped to second here, T-Mobile came in third, and Sprint dead last again. The details including mbps up and down were covered last month.
That’s the old news. Now PCWorld is releasing more specifics on some real world tests they conducted as well as how the networks performed in all 127 locations. Aside from recording mbps, which just look like a bunch of numbers to the average consumer, a researcher at each test spot downloaded a 100KB static web page and streamed a one-minute video. The time it took for the web page to download and the video to start playing was then logged.
The full test results for each of the 127 locations, including results for these real world tests, can be found on the 3G/4G performance map PCWorld put together. For that, head over to their website.