Need For Speed: A Look At The Top Four Carriers And The Speeds They Offer

Just about every major carrier seems to boast the “fastest network speeds,” while bombarding us with acronyms like LTE and buzzwords such as “lightning fast.” When it’s all said and done, we’re left confused and none the closer to the truth of which network actually has the fastest speeds. So how do we find out the truth? Well, it’s not as simple as we’d like it to be and there are near infinite variables to the equation, but one way to get a general idea of how fast a network’s speeds will be in a real-world environment is to test them out.

PC World did just that, and before you go getting your knickers in a twist over the results, remember those infinite variables I mentioned earlier. PC World’s results represent a general average of how each network performed and was tested in the following 13 cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

When it comes to 3G, T-Mobile was the clear winner. With their wannabee 4G HSPA+ 21 speeding past the other three networks, leaving them in the dust. AT&T came in second with average download speeds of 2.62 (mbps) while Sprint finished dead last with a disparaging download average of .56 (mbps).

While carriers continue to push forward with 4G LTE, the truth of the matter is the majority of users are still on 3G and if you plan on staying on 3G for a while, your best bet is T-Mobile.

Fast-forward to the future and 4G is what we’re really concerned about. We want our content to download before we even hit “download,” am I right? It’s obvious that Verizon and AT&T are the winners when it comes to 4G thanks to LTE. AT&T’s 4G LTE network actually outperformed Verizon in the download category, while Verizon took the top spot when it came to upload speeds. T-Mobile didn’t do too bad with download speeds of 5.53 (mbps) thanks to their HSPA+ 42 service while Sprint finished dead last again, with numbers that couldn’t even outperform T-Mobile’s 3G.

While many factors will play into which network you choose to have service with, speed, for many, is a top priority. If it’s speed you’re looking for, and happen to be in a 4G LTE area, your best bet is of course either AT&T or Verizon.

For a complete look at the tests done by PC World, hit up the source link below.