Rather than “sprinting” ahead, as the name suggests, Sprint’s 4G connectivity found itself instead to be limping toward the finish line in comparison to its speedier rival networks. Managing an average downlink speed of only 2.88 Mbps and peaking at 10.46 Mbps, Sprint lagged behind Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile USA.
Receiving gold medal across almost all areas was Verizon’s LTE network coverage. PC Magazine’s Sacha Segan states in his article “Even with one hand tied behind its back — a 20-percent penalty to its speed score for its lack of rural coverage — Verizon’s new 4G network trounced the other carriers.”
Throughout cities in the Northeast, Southeast, Central, and Western United States, Verizon dominated its opponents, boasting peak downlink speeds of 37.66 Mbps and an average downlink speed of 11.94 Mbps. Second place T-Mobile’s HSPA+ was left miles behind the victor, managing only an average downlink speed of 4.07 Mbps and peaking 15.27 Mbps.
AT&T managed to rob Verizon of winning in every category, by finishing on top in the rural areas. Their 3G network managed an average of 1.9 Mbps out in the country. However, Verizon attained the highest 3G success rate whilst out in the countryside, connecting 81.89% of the time, compared to AT&T’s 68.7% connection success rate.
Even in Kansas City, which does not yet offer LTE, Verizon still outperformed its competitors and was the fastest network in the region. PC Magazine found Verizon’s connection speeds to not only outdo its fellow networks, but to often beat even home internet connections.
Such differing speeds from networks all claiming to offer “4G” connectivity brings into question whether indeed Verizon is exceeding 4G speed capabilities, or whether the other lagging networks are in fact short of the 4G mark.