We've been watching the latest commercial for Verizon LTE "hiking" claiming that the network is "astonishing." MetroPCS calls its data 4G LTE. While AT&T does not advertise its speed. Which is really the fastest? What do real speed tests show? Which is the best for you? (video follows).
OpenSignal has an app that shows download and upload speeds. We ran tests indoors with a Samsung Galaxy S III on the AT&T network and Droid RAZR MAXX HD on the Verizon 4G LTE network along with a standard dual-core Motorola Atrix using a Wi-Fi connection.
The 4G AT&T commercial says that it has the nation's largest 4G network which we can't test.
In the Verizon hiking commercial, the young hiker tells his Dad that Verizon offers the "most consistent speeds, indoors or out and obviously astonishing throughput."
The young man asks his father, "You know how fast our home Wi-Fi is? This basically is just as fast Verizon and Verizon has more fast LTE coverage than all the networks combined."
Let's see if the hiker's statements are true...
As you'll see in the video both the AT&T and Verizon Wireless speeds were faster than Wi-Fi which averages around 6GB Mbps down. Therefore the hiker was incorrect about 4G LTE and Wi-Fi, Verizon's 4G LTE is faster than a typical Wi-Fi installation. Let's see if his adjective "astonishing" is correct.
Where the results get interesting is that in our area in Los Angeles County, Verizon Wireless outperformed what OpenSignal in its latest report showed as average speeds for the Verizon 4G LTE Network. Both AT&T and Verizon were faster than the average LTE speeds reported by OpenSignal in the United States at 9.6 Mbps while globally it is 10.4 Mbps.
OpenSignal reported that recorded LTE speeds were three times faster than HSPA+ speeds as well as Wi-Fi. 4G LTE is 7 times faster than 3G.
Our own speed tests showed different results than the averages across the country. We did notice that speed does slow down at peak hours such as rush hour and later. We are not able to test Sprint 4G LTE in the area because it is not completely deployed, in Los Angeles.
OpenSignal Results vs Advertised Speed vs WiMo News Tests: AT&T vs Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Speeds:
- AT&T average download speeds of 13 Mbps vs advertised speeds of 5-12 Mbps. Our average was about the same or ven better than 13Mbps with full signal strength.
- Verizon Wireless average LTE download speeds at 10 Mbps vs advertised speeds of 5-12 Mbps. Our test were way higher with downloads a fast as 35 Mbps and averaged around 28 Mbps almost 3X the average of the U.S.
- Sprint's LTE average download speeds 7.7 Mbps vs advertised speeds of 6-8 Mbps according to OpenSignal.
- MetroPCS average download speeds 1.2 Mbps vs advertised up to 3.1Mbps.
There are many factors in LTE including distance from towers, network strain and device power. If you are a power user and use huge amounts of data or your smartphone is your only data source, we suggest that you can run data speeds test as soon as you get the device in your usual areas of service. If given the option of AT&T and Verizon with the tests seen in the video below, which would you chose? Post your answer in the comments below.
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The typical...speed across all geographic areas for a paired 1.4 MHz LTE carrier is similar to the theoretical peak data rate of our EVDO network based on total kilobytes of traffic as measured at the gateway for the period from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The EVDO network has theoretical peak data rates on the forward link of up to 3.1 Mbps