Nationwide test results
It's a carrier fight! Ok, ok, it's more like a carrier speed test comparison. The folks over at PCMag recently took to the road to test eight different 3G and 4G mobile networks in 21 U.S. cities to determine which carrier could legitimately say they have the fastest network around. The tests were conducted using 16 Android 2.2 smartphones running a custom speed test software from French firm Sensorly. Before diving into the results, it's worth mentioning that these tests didn't measure coverage, voice quality, or dropped calls. This is straight up data. After all was said and done and over 140,000 tests were conducted, Verizon's 4G network came out ahead in all four regions of the U.S. — northeast, southeast, central, and west — and took the nationwide speed crown with average speeds of 9.46 up and 1.35 down. T-Mobile came in second nationwide, followed by AT&T (last year's winner), Verizon 3G, Sprint 4G, Sprint 3G, MetroPCS, and Cricket.
PCMag also handed out an award for the fastest network in "rural America," which is made up of all the areas that weren't included in their 21 cities, including open stretches of land as well as small to medium-sized cities. Who took the rural gold medal? AT&T, followed by T-Mobile, Verizon 3G, and Sprint 3G.
We've seen Verizon's LTE network put up some impressive numbers in the past and, although Big Red is still in the process of rolling out its 4G coverage across the country, it seems like the way to go for those of us with a need for speed. You'll just need to sign up for an unlimited data plan before July 7th if you want to use the network to your heart's content. It's also worth noting that AT&T will soon be rolling out an LTE network of its own, although Ma Bell only plans to have around 15 LTE markets by the time 2011 wraps up. If you're interested in finding out more about PCMag's testing and diving into the nitty-gritty numbers (and why wouldn't you be?), be sure to hit up the source link below!