PCMag has published the results from its annual test of mobile data speeds. Covering 30 cities around the country, PCMag used eight Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphones set to connect to the LTE and non-LTE signals of each of the four major networks (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon). You can read more about the process here.
The overall results from the tests seem to indicate that AT&T logged the fastest LTE speeds in the most places, while Verizon held up well from a reliability standpoint and “aced every rural/suburban region” thanks to its nationwide LTE coverage.
Overall, we found AT&T’s LTE network to be the fastest of the group, but Verizon Wireless typically triumphed on our reliability gauges. T-Mobile’s new LTE network looked great in the few cities where we could find it, and it has the best backup in T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. Sprint, just like in 2012, didn’t win any cities, but it’s on an upward trend by switching from obsolete WiMAX to a fresh LTE system.
While results varied city by city, Segan concluded that all four carriers are “working hard and delivering better networks than they did last year,” adding, “There’s one thing clear, though: If you have an older 3G phone and you’re in an LTE coverage area, upgrade to an LTE phone right now. The difference in data performance is dramatic.”
Fastest Mobile Networks 2013 [PCMag.com]