What’s all the rage with carriers these days? 4G LTE. Everybody talks about it and they all boast that their own network is best. But RootMetrics decided to review the networks of the “Big Four” carriers in the US and they found some interesting things.
For example, AT&T took home the gold in the speed department with an average of 18.6Mbps (57.7Mbps max) for the download speed and average of 9Mbps (19.6Mbps max) on the upload. Verizon wasn’t too far behind with an average of 14.3Mbps (49.3Mbps max) on the download and 8.5Mbps (19.7Mbps max) on the upload. Not shabby at all. Sprint came in third with 10.3Mbps (32.7Mbps max) for the down and 4.4Mbps (9.9Mbps max) on the up. That’s actually slightly better than what they advertise so that’s a good sign. Since T-Mobile’s LTE network isn’t live yet, they had their 42Mbps HSPA+ network tested and it came in at 7.3Mbps on average for the download and 1.5Mbps for the upload. Quite good for a non-LTE network.
But let’s not forget about another large issue, coverage. This was where Verizon stole the spotlight as they were present in every single one of the 77 markets that were used in this test and as of January 31, 2013 when their review was completed, Verizon had LTE coverage in 475 cities. AT&T had LTE coverage in 47 of the tested markets while Sprint had it in a mere five of the markets. Of course, they’re not far into their rollout so we can’t be too hard on them. But to be fair, AT&T and Sprint have both had expansions since the test and AT&T now covers 73 of the 77 markets while Sprint has also expanded to cover more than the five in their test.
If you want to check out the entire review for yourself, just follow the link below and see it all in a nice colored layout. There’s a bit more information about non-LTE speeds there as well if you’re interested. All in all, it was quite an interesting review that really helps to portray the different carrier’s strengths and weaknesses well. I’m excited to see what continues to happen with LTE this year, especially with Sprint and T-Mobile as they roll out their LTE networks. Stay tuned for more info in the future on LTE expansions! As for the results, were they what you expected? Do any of them make you want to switch carriers? Get those fingers some exercise by typing your thoughts into the comments below!