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  (Source: AT&T)
20 percent faster than T-Mobile and 60 percent faster than Verizon

After investing almost $6 billion into wireless infrastructure upgrades and initiatives over the first three quarters of 2010, AT&T is now claiming the nation's fastest mobile broadband network as evidenced by a third-party national test. 

The "scientifically valid national drive testing", conducted by Global Wireless Solutions Inc. (GWS), compiles wireless performance across 950,000 road miles, covering 400 U.S. markets that represent 88 percent of the country's population. Across this standard, GWS found AT&T to be the fastest mobile broadband network, 20 percent faster than T-Mobile and 60 percent faster than Verizon.

On average, a 45-minute (40 MB) album finished downloading a minute faster on AT&T's network than T-Mobile's, the next-fastest competitor, and two-and-a-half minutes faster than on Verizon's network.
“We’re very pleased with the nationwide results of GWS drive testing, which demonstrate that we’re delivering a superior mobile broadband experience on a nationwide basis,” said AT&T CTO John Donovan. “Our top priority for the weeks and months to come is to continue our focus on network enhancements and improvements to ensure continued access to fast mobile broadband speeds and reliable voice service.”

This latest claim from AT&T comes on the heels of amped up marketing of high-speed networks from two competitors. Verizon began airing commercials promising 4G LTE by December 2010, while T-Mobile took a more direct route by specifically mocking AT&T in its ads that boast "America's largest 4G network." AT&T has a history of taking issue with such claims, particularly by T-Mobile. And it is no stranger to ad wars with Verizon. The latest developments by all three carriers are certainly just the tip of the iceberg in what is sure to be a knock-down, drag-out brawl.

The GWS test also found that 98.59 percent of voice calls on AT&T's network were completed without interruption, meaning the second-best dropped call average (behind Verizon by only one-tenth of a percentage point) in the nation.

AT&T plans to invest a total of $18 to $19 billion in its wireless network in 2010 (signifying a substantial investment in Q4) to enhance speed and coverage through additional cell sites and deployment of HSPA 7.2 and HSPA+ technology.

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By MeesterNid on 11/23/2010 8:00:50 AM , Rating: 1
Why not just make that graph show 10000% more faster!? It's not like it has numeric values of any kind.

Oh and 6 million over 3, talk about some serious investment! I bet they spend more on office supplies in the same span of time! It just makes me wonder how this network keeps making money?!

RE: Nice!
By StevoLincolnite on 11/23/2010 8:09:03 AM , Rating: 2
And despite the article pointing towards how much faster AT&T is compared to the competition...
There is absolutely no speed results at all, or do I expect to much?
Just some average speed results would be good enough for me!

RE: Nice!
By Mitch101 on 11/23/2010 8:33:16 AM , Rating: 3
Arent these network speed increases kind of moot anyhow when you have a data cap? Its not the bandwidth thats the issue as much as the limit on the data plans.

RE: Nice!
By marvdmartian on 11/23/2010 8:59:49 AM , Rating: 1
Also makes me wonder where they did these supposed speed tests, and how geographical location will affect the download speeds.

For sure, with the historical problems AT&T has had, in major metropolitan areas, with download speed -vs- network traffic, they might not be giving us the whole picture.

RE: Nice!
By Mitch101 on 11/23/2010 9:03:13 AM , Rating: 2
The laws are pretty lax about these things if they can stand in one spot on one leg wearing a tinfoil hat and get what they advertise its allowed.

On the other hand I take anything wireless with a grain of salt.

RE: Nice!
By Samus on 11/23/2010 2:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
It is remarkable how much AT&T invests in infrastructure to have the second poorest customer satisfaction (ahead of Sprint) and the most unreliable mobile network. Who cares about speed when it doesn't work?

Sources: Consumer Report / my3cents

RE: Nice!
By Solandri on 11/23/2010 4:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T is currently last. Sprint barely edged them out for 3rd place in Consumer Reports' Jan 2010 ratings (the most recent).

RE: Nice!
By iDarwin on 11/23/2010 9:26:20 AM , Rating: 5
Everything you need to calculate the speed is right there in the picture...

You know TMobile is 80% of the speed of AT&T, and that it takes 1 minute longer to download 40 MB of data.

40/(.8x) - 40/x = 60 seconds, x = 166.67 KB/s, or 1.33 Mbit/s.

RE: Nice!
By HrilL on 11/23/2010 12:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
That seems about right for the average speed in 3G areas. I typically get about 1.2Mbps around town. At my house I get really good speeds of about 2.3Mbps. This is tethering with a 3G iPhone. My boss says he gets about 750Kbps on Verizon but here is the thing you'll get about those speeds on Verizon just about everywhere they have service. On At&t you'll only get 500Kbps+ on their 3G network and on EDGE you're lucky to get 200Kbps peak.

RE: Nice!
By Adonlude on 11/23/2010 7:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
Just ran the app on my iphone 4. Im 100mi from the test server in Los Angeles. 4 Bars 3G, AT&T.

431ms Ping, 36.4kB/s Down, 44.4kB/s Up. Not terribly great.

RE: Nice!
By Alexstarfire on 11/23/2010 9:49:02 AM , Rating: 3
Not sure what it said when you posted, but the article says $6 BILLION was invested, not $6 million.

RE: Nice!
By ImEmmittSmith on 11/23/2010 10:09:52 AM , Rating: 2
6 BILLION DOLLARS! (Say it like Dr. Evil would! lol)

RE: Nice!
By Fanatical Meat on 11/23/2010 11:35:57 AM , Rating: 2
That's 6 Billion , not Million

Get over it
By earwig75 on 11/23/2010 9:19:49 AM , Rating: 2
I know everyone finds it fun to hate AT&T but the truth is the carrier's 3G network IS faster. It is a different technology than Verizon uses. 2 years ago I would agree with you about the bad coverage etc. but I live in a suburban town in NJ and travel often. I have to say, I rarely have a dropped call and I have 3G service everywhere I go, not EDGE. I think AT&T's older bad reputation is clouding your judgement and unless you have a phone on their network you really shouldn't even bother commenting. A 3rd party puts out these results and you say they are nonsense... how or why should anyone listen to you if you don't even have a phone on the network? Is it because you “heard” the network was crappy? AT&T has invested BILLIONS in the network over the last 2 years.

RE: Get over it
By ProviaFan on 11/23/2010 11:01:13 AM , Rating: 2
Nice try with the personal attacks there. In the midwest, things are not as you claim. I have an AT&T phone, and I see 3G maybe once a month or so for a few hours when I'm in a large city. The rest of the time, it's 56K dialup, uh, I mean, EDGE.

RE: Get over it
By earwig75 on 11/23/2010 11:58:07 AM , Rating: 2
I did not make any personal attacks... what are you talking about? I have no problems with AT&T or the service. MOST people here complaining say they have Verizon or some other carrier... so how could they give a proper review? That makes no sense. It is like me telling you I hate steak when I never ate it before. Also, I stream music every day and surf the web like crazy... I NEVER go over my alloted data amounts. I am thinking you are just a bunch of sheep :)

RE: Get over it
By ProviaFan on 11/23/2010 1:47:59 PM , Rating: 2
how or why should anyone listen to you if you don't even have a phone on the network? Is it because you “heard” the network was crappy?

I am thinking you are just a bunch of sheep

That is why I'd be likely to discount your opinion, even if I didn't have personal experience (and the experience of many people I know) on which to base my opinion. Try living outside of the [geographically] relatively small areas privileged to have AT&T 3G coverage for a while and then let me know how that music streaming and crazy web surfing is going for you...

RE: Get over it
By fmk2 on 12/22/2010 8:37:52 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T may currently have the fastest network from a standpoint of what it's capable of delivering, but here in Silicon Valley, the AT&T network is so over-subscribed that it can take forever to do downloads. Cram enough users onto the network, and it doesn't matter how big the network pipe is -- it still gets plugged.

I also don't understand why AT&T is spending billions on 3G upgrades when 3G is outdated technology. What happened to their plans for a 4G LTE network similar to what Verizon is advertising? That technology has the potential to be much faster than even the fastest home DSL or cable modem systems.

They'll never do this, but...
By ProviaFan on 11/23/2010 8:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
I wish they'd test the average speed over a majority of the provider's covered area, rather than just testing in the middle of large cities. If they did this, they'd certainly find that Verizon (3G everywhere) would be much faster than AT&T (EDGE everywhere except large cities), which would be somewhat faster than T-Mobile (still uses GPRS in numerous rural areas).

RE: They'll never do this, but...
By Wolfgangap on 11/23/2010 8:45:30 AM , Rating: 1
My edge performance has allowed me to load many webpages faster than people on Verizon's 3G network in my area (just this past month AT&T upgraded us to 3G and I smoke all of my verizon friends on my WP7 Focus). Granted, I was on iPhone 3G and they were on Droid 1, but still my edge was faster.

Just because something says 3G doesn't indicate it will truly be faster, it is just 3G tech. There are still bottlenecks, bandwidth issues, etc...

I remember when I first got my cable modem and speed tests put it slower than 56K. The Cable company had way over sold it and they didn't have enough bandwidth for the area.

RE: They'll never do this, but...
By ProviaFan on 11/23/2010 8:55:42 AM , Rating: 2
I'll grant that the situation may be different in other locations, but in the state where I live, Verizon's 3G* is fast enough to watch Youtube and stream audio, even in some remote campgrounds in the middle of nowhere. In contrast, you'd wait half a minute or more to load DailyTech on AT&T's EDGE network that covers (?) most of the small towns and less of the remote areas in the state.

* Yes, I realize it's different technology, can't do calls and data simultaneously, blah, blah, blah. It still beats the living **** out of EDGE.

RE: They'll never do this, but...
By Tamale on 11/23/2010 9:28:45 AM , Rating: 2
that's exactly what this study did. i find the same thing traveling with my family - AT&T has consistently fast speeds even in remote areas now.. the same can't be said for anyone else.

RE: They'll never do this, but...
By omnicronx on 11/23/2010 12:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
No.. they don't.. as their own coverage maps indicate.

This is nothing but AT&T tooting their own horn while they can as its quite obvious they will be behind both tmobile and Verizon as one rolls out LTE and the other rolls out their HSPA+ networks. AT&T is behind everyone for the next network upgrade and their coverage still sucks outside of large urban areas.

The move from 2G to 3G has put AT&T behind in terms of coverage. It was much easier for any CDMA network to redeploy to 3g than it was for GSM carriers.

Math Error
By LRonaldHubbs on 11/23/2010 2:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
The numbers given in that graph from AT&T are for percent slowdown. If you want to talk about speedup, those percentages are no longer true. (A is 60% slower than B) =/= (B is 60% faster than A).

WTF?! The board apparently thinks this post is spam. I'm splitting it up to hopefully make it go through.

RE: Math Error
By LRonaldHubbs on 11/23/2010 2:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
If Verizon is 60% slower than AT&T, then AT&T is 250% as fast as Verizon, or 150% faster.

Similarly, if T-Mobile is 20% slower than AT&T is 125% as fast as T-Mobile, or 25% faster.

RE: Math Error
By LRonaldHubbs on 11/23/2010 2:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
I tried to post the math for this but that's the part that the board thought was spam. Sorry, I guess you're on your own for that part.

RE: Math Error
By LRonaldHubbs on 11/23/2010 2:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, typo. Fixed:

Similarly, if T-Mobile is 20% slower than AT&T , then AT&T is 125% as fast as T-Mobile, or 25% faster.

the suck a$$ network makes a cumback
By muhahaaha on 11/23/2010 8:45:46 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, AT&T could be one billion times faster than Verizon, but they still have the same craptastic coverage, so IMHO they suck donkey dong. Iphad users rejoice, you will get 10x the speed and 10x the dropped calls.

I've had one dropped call on my Verizon phone in the last year... uh, when my battery died.

By muhahaaha on 11/23/2010 8:51:17 AM , Rating: 2
I think people are really dumb because they just assume they're going to drop a call now and then. LOL welcome to AT&T. I swear to Steve Jobs's mother, I've never dropped a call on Verizon. Period.

By earwig75 on 11/23/2010 1:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
So you don't have AT&T service but you are saying it sucks? Do you realize how stupid that sounds?

By brentpresley on 11/23/2010 8:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
//stares at his 4G device


RE: ...
By Jedi2155 on 11/23/2010 11:30:10 AM , Rating: 2 Epic 4G has reached 8.9 mbps down / 1.2 upload, and in my cubicle at work I consistently get around 4-6 mbps down / 1 mbps upload. I would think HSPA+ would have trouble competing with that on a regular basis. My old G1 on HSDPA was getting at best 3 mbps.

I can see through them
By vapore0n on 11/23/2010 9:34:56 AM , Rating: 2
Download fastar, NOW!

so you can reach your cap faster and pay us more.

And that is why I left At&t

RE: I can see through them
By ShaolinSoccer on 11/25/2010 6:19:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, AT&T ranks lowest in customer satisfaction. They screwed me once. Never again!

By corduroygt on 11/23/2010 9:53:37 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using AT&T for a while, and my data speeds have been just fine. What they don't mention is half your calls get dropped, and they've still haven't fixed that!

Also, this study must have omitted NYC, because AT&T is horrible there.

By StealthX32 on 11/23/2010 4:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, this sounds like a test of coverage in remote places (which AT&T very well might be the winner), but if the network sucks where 95% of the people live, the network sucks.

By CloudX on 12/3/2010 10:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm out in the middle of nowhere. Tethering on my iphone4 gives me 3.2mbit down and 1-2 mbit up all day everyday. I stream netflix in HD on my xbox360 and it's legit. I also game with pings under 150 all the time. Some servers I'll get 80-100ms ping. Works great out here. I'm 25 miles northeast of Temecula, CA. In Aguanga, CA.

RE: Att
By namechamps on 12/20/2010 4:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
At all day everyday how many days before you hit the 5GB cap.

I guess that is one metric on wireless speed.
1st guy: "Dude I can hit my 5GB cap in 8.4 hours".
2nd guy: "You really need to upgrade to 4G. I can hit my 5GB cap in 38 minutes"

By Jeremy87 on 11/23/2010 12:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
They sure made it difficult to find out the speeds.
Based on the comparisons, 20%/60% and 1min/2.5min faster, it's somewhere between 1.07 and 1.28 Mbit/s.

I don't have mobile internet myself, but my friend gets on average 5Mbit/s with 3G and 30Mbit/s with 4G.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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