Sprint is Biggest Loser in Nationwide 3G/4G Speed Test
April 18, 2012 2:17 PM
comment(s) - last by
T-Mobile USA had the best 3G, Verizon/AT&T split the 4G crown
Sprint Nextel Corp. (
) wound up the top dud in
's second annual nationwide phone network speed test. The carrier finished the 2012 test in the same place that it finished in 2011 -- last. The nation's
only unlimited network
is also the nation's most abysmal network in terms of speed. In 3G and 4G tests across 13 cities, Sprint proved to be as much as 6 times as slow as it next nearest competitors.
Sprint's 3G data speeds actually got
in 2012 -- the only carrier to do so.
Sprint's WiMAX 4G
was so slow it was beat by T-Mobile's 3G network. Sprint
charges customers $10 extra
for that "4G" service.
The test employed a variety of each carrier's top phones. For instant, on Sprint the Galaxy S II from Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) and the Marquee by LG Electronics Inc. (
AT&T Inc. (
) shown in the 3G tests on merits of its HSPA+ network, which nearly doubled in speed since last year. While AT&T markets this 3G network as 4G, that's
just an advertising gimmick
. From a standards perspective,
is correct in labelling it 3G. AT&T itself once said that branding HSPA+ "4G" was
intended to deceive customers
, only to
later jump on the bandwagon
But deception or not, AT&T's HSPA+ is good news for customers, and T-Mobile USA's (a subsidiary of German phone giant Deutsche Telekom AG (
)) super-charged HSPA+ network is even better news.
T-Mobile's terrific HSPA+ network secured it a decisive first place win in 3G testing. T-Mobile devices averaged 3.84 Mbps down and 1.44 Mbps up. Verizon Wireless -- a join venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (
) and Vodafone Group Plc. (
) -- was not very far ahead of Sprint, showcasing very poor 3G data speeds.
AT&T and T-Mobile were the biggest winners, Sprint the biggest loser in
's big speed test. [Image Source: PC World]
In (true) 4G, though, Verizon Wireless has the
nation's largest LTE network
(covers ~200M+ Americans). The company narrowly beat AT&T in uplink speed average 5.86 Mbps versus AT&T's 4.91 Mbps. However, despite its strong speeds and strong performance Verizon Wireless's 4G devices are reportedly suffering from a problem of 3G fallback -- given that Verizon's 3G (CDMA) network is so much slower than its 4G network.
By contrast, AT&T won the downlink LTE test (9.12 Mbps vs. 7.35 Mbps from Verizon), and also won
honors for best LTE carrier. While the testers took issue with AT&T's coverage, which is still relatively small (
~70 million Americans
), they praise AT&T's pairing of HSPA+ and LTE, which allows for smoother handoffs when the faster 4G signal cuts out. They suggested that videos or other streaming content may stutter on Verizon when they lose 4G, but will continue to play smoothly on AT&T.
Overall the tests indicate AT&T and T-Mobile to be the best choices from a data perspective, with Verizon getting small honors for its wide LTE coverage and fast data speeds for LTE. Sprint was the only wholesale loser -- its 3G was the slowest out there and its 4G WiMAX was slower than AT&T and T-Mobile's HSPA+ advanced 3G.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: I can vouch for this
4/18/2012 5:26:29 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of "you get what you pay for".
RE: I can vouch for this
4/18/2012 5:37:58 PM
I think this test is inaccurate for multiple reasons. Yes, Sprint did not perform well in it's test, they are in the process of shutting down Nextel and trasitioning tens of thousands of towers for a rapid rollout of their next-generation network, so in a sense, they 'know' their network isn't up to par at this very second. However, the new technology they have co-developed with Samsung and Ericson - see LTE-Release 10 and Sprint Network Vision - will be one of the most capable and modern networks in the world when it is put into operation. The LTE speeds and improved 3G speeds are ridiculously fast (3G as fast as WiMAX and LTE easily besting the fastest of spee tests for LTE right now, see youtub)and the capacity of this new network is amazing, it's 100 times better then it was. Not to mention rollout on 800mhz, which will literally blanket the country with service. When they did all these tests and were testing Clearwires wimax 4g... which is a bit of a redundancy. In a year, these numbers will greatly change. I'd wait for more accurate results from the new network.
RE: I can vouch for this
4/18/2012 5:45:48 PM
Besides, Verizon's 3G speeds are only marginally better and they are supposed to be number 1 or whatever... a whole 150 kbps more, wow, Smokin'! Well worth $35 extra a month...
"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
Sprint Will Offer LTE Devices in Mid-2012
December 28, 2011, 12:53 PM
Verizon Expands LTE Network, Adds New Cities
October 11, 2011, 12:21 PM
AT&T's LTE Network to Power Up September 18
September 15, 2011, 3:46 PM
T-Mobile Kills Unlimited Data, Leaves Sprint the Lone Hope
May 24, 2011, 8:03 AM
Sprint Tacks on $10 to "Everything Data" Smartphone Plan
January 18, 2011, 10:21 AM
Google Unveils Solar Panel Lease Plan for Homeowners
April 23, 2014, 9:56 AM
Quick Note: Apple Invites Companies to “Copy” Its Environmental Record
April 22, 2014, 7:58 AM
OnePlus One Images Leak Ahead of April 23 Launch
April 21, 2014, 5:19 PM
Nike Axes FuelBand Team, Exits Wearable Device Market
April 21, 2014, 4:58 PM
UK Teachers Want Parents to Cut-Off Their Children's Internet, Tablet Use at Night
April 17, 2014, 3:40 PM
Quick Note: Chrome Remote Desktop App for Android Launches
April 17, 2014, 9:26 AM
Most Popular Articles
A Bug's Life: Female Cave Bugs Have Penises, Penetrate Males for Three Days
April 17, 2014, 7:20 PM
HTC Hires Former Samsung Marketing Chief Who Developed "Galaxy" Brand
April 18, 2014, 6:00 PM
NASA Finds "Habitable Zone" Planet Sized Similar to Earth
April 18, 2014, 3:13 PM
Mounties Arrest 19-Year-Old Who Delayed Canada's Tax Filing w/ Heartbleed
April 17, 2014, 3:24 PM
Thanks to Government Crackdown, Chinese "Porn Cop" Has Watched 600K Adult Videos
April 21, 2014, 12:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information