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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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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.

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