Verizon and Sprint may both be CDMA carriers, but when it comes to 4G, the two companies have opted to use different technologies: Sprint has WiMAX, Verizon uses LTE. Which one is fastest? According to Walter Piecyk at BTIG Research, Verizon's network is ahead by a country mile. Piecyk and his team conducted over 1,000 speed tests in New York City recently, using the mobile hotspot functionality on a ThunderBolt on Verizon and an EVO 4G on Sprint to tether an iPad 2 and a Toshiba laptop and test the network speeds both in a building and near a window. After all was said and done, the ThunderBolt averaged speeds of 9.10Mbps down and 5.28Mbps up while the EVO finished with an average of 1.17Mbps down and 0.66Mbps up. Piecyk also claims that not only is Verizon's LTE network better indoors, but the ThunderBolt offers better battery life than the EVO 4G. You can find all of the results below.
Piecyk's speed tests are pretty interesting, although I would've preferred to see the tests done in different parts of the country rather than in one spot in NYC. As always, your mileage may vary when it comes to network speeds and coverage and you should always try to test a network for yourself before making a decision when it comes to selecting a carrier. With that said, the disparity between Verizon and Sprint's average numbers is a tad surprising. To those of you living in an area with Verizon LTE or Sprint WiMAX, do you find that you're getting speeds similar to the ones found in these tests or are you seeing something entirely different?