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AT&T bests rivals in 13-city 3G speed test

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 23 Feb 2010 20:07 User comments (11)

AT&T bests rivals in 13-city 3G speed test PCWorld has reported this week the results of their annual 13-city 3G wireless data test, and the changes in results from last year are drastic.
Averaging the lowest average download and upload speeds last year, AT&T has brought itself back, registering the best average speeds for this year, including the best performance in 10 of the 13 cities, besting rivals Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

AT&T average download speed grew to 1410 kbps, and reliability increased as well.

Before posting the charts, here is how the source reports their testing:
Before getting into the details of our test results, a few words about the testing and the data. During December and January, PCWorld and our testing partner, Novarum Inc., tested the download speeds, upload speeds, and network dependability of the AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon 3G networks from 20 locations in each of 13 U.S. cities. Altogether we ran more than 51,000 separate tests covering 850 square miles of wireless cell coverage servicing 7 million wireless subscribers (see “How We Do the Testing”).

At each testing location, we connected to the 3G network via both laptops and smartphones. The laptop tests accurately measured the capacity and performance potential of a given network, while the smartphone tests approximated the real-world connection speeds users of these popular devices might experience, given the less-powerful processors and 3G radios that the devices contain.


The charts:


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11 user comments

123.2.2010 21:14

Very impressed... Props for ATT...
I hope sprint get back in game, cause they have best prices on smartphones for me at least... But i realy wish i had verizon reliability and freedon of T-mobile that seems to adopt worldwide(sim cards) technology and has nexus one...

223.2.2010 21:26

att's reliability is 85 and 95% in new york and san francisco? Something is up with that data for sure.

323.2.2010 21:34

ive used att and tmobile this year, as well as sprint a few years ago. They all suck in comparison to Verizon, at least up here. I live in very northern ca and there isnt much around up here. Im completely surprised by how much coverage Verizon has even when im driving hours into the middle of ballsville.

423.2.2010 22:38
llongtheD
Inactive

I do not live in one of these cities, so I can't speak of the validity of the test results. I do currently have AT&T as a carrier, and am not overly impressed with the 3G performance in my area.
I have had a subscription to PC world, and dropped it because their tests and reviews are slanted at best. I could be wrong but it seemed like alot of their tests and reviews were almost like paid advertisements for companies. That is only my opinion, but I get no where near the speeds shown in these charts even when the signal is excellent.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Feb 2010 @ 23:10

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

523.2.2010 23:52

Originally posted by jetyi83:
ive used att and tmobile this year, as well as sprint a few years ago. They all suck in comparison to Verizon, at least up here. I live in very northern ca and there isnt much around up here. Im completely surprised by how much coverage Verizon has even when im driving hours into the middle of ballsville.
okay, now I know your lying because you just said 'ballsville'

624.2.2010 0:29

Quote:
Originally posted by jetyi83:
ive used att and tmobile this year, as well as sprint a few years ago. They all suck in comparison to Verizon, at least up here. I live in very northern ca and there isnt much around up here. Im completely surprised by how much coverage Verizon has even when im driving hours into the middle of ballsville.
okay, now I know your lying because you just said 'ballsville'
a quick google brings you to Ballsville, VA. Yay for balls !

I know it's just averaged but, anyone else from Sprint getting downloads speed up to 1500? - New York

724.2.2010 8:11

I'm on Verizon, but not any 'smartphone.' I live in Seattle and can attest to the fact that none of my friends w/ iPhones report the problems many others online do...and those charts seem to show why.

824.2.2010 22:26

If that's the case, then tell me this: why in the hell is 3 towers of at&t blocking my reception for verizon? before the 3rd one went up we got at the very least decent service on EVDO coverage with 2 bars, but not i'm lucky to get EDVO coverage at all, let alone a 1X coverage with 1 or 2 bars. yeah, that tells me alot about at&t's coverage: needs 3 towers to overtake verizon's one, smooth move indeed!! (rolls eyes)

926.2.2010 11:26

It's a very interesting study, now is it always done using the same cities????

I don't see Philadelphia and let me tell you I use AT&T here just because of my Iphone and I can tell you that AT&T sucks. I don't believe this so called "study" Maybe AT&T paid for it or something or I should move to one of those cities to haver a decent service.

1027.2.2010 10:57

Originally posted by jetyi83:
att's reliability is 85 and 95% in new york and san francisco? Something is up with that data for sure.
Yeah. Somehow I don't buy it either.

1127.2.2010 15:01

if they checked it in my city they would have to drive around for an hour to find decent signal.

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