AT&T LTE is fastest in the US, Verizon most reliable: PCMag 2013 test results

AT&T LTE is fastest in the US, Verizon most reliable: PCMag 2013 test results

Summary: All four major US carriers now have LTE rolling out and PCMag visited 30 countries testing data speeds and reliability. Results are presented for regions and each city so check to see what the best option is for your area.


Since I cover the smartphone world and like to test handsets I had accounts with T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T. However, to save some money I just dropped AT&T and after reading the results of PCMag's Fastest Mobile Networks 2013 I may have to add them back to my arsenal.

PCMag conducted extensive real-world testing around the country using three Ford hybrid-electric vehicles with eight identical Samsung phones to test out the four major carriers. They were focused on wireless data and did not test call quality, dropped calls, or coverage areas. I don't make many calls myself and find wireless data to be more essential for my smartphone usage.

It's pretty clear that AT&T wins when it comes to LTE speeds while Verizon tended to win in the reliability testing. T-Mobile's LTE network is new and fast where you can find it, but they do have one of the fastest backups with their 42Mbps HSPA+ network. Sprint didn't win in any cities, but their LTE coverage is expanding.

30 cities were covered by the testing team and you can read the specific results for each city and by regions around the country. AT&T and Verizon are the most expensive carriers, but as you can see in the test results you get what you pay for in most cases.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Samsung, Smartphones

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  • 30 countries...?

    Summary says 30 countries were tested. FYI.
  • My LTE verizon phones

    get around 20Mbps download speed at my house, where i get only 15% signal. When i am in the city, it is a little faster, but seriously, why does it need to be faster? Any faster and i could accidentally kill my data allowance in just a few moments.

    ~20Mbps is perfectly fine for a phone, at least until service providers actually let us USE their networks again...
  • AT&T is not reliable

    I don't care if ATT is the fastest at times. The problem is that many areas coverage drops off to nothing. Cumulatively, their coverage can really stink. Fast one second and nothing for 10 is not a good situation.

    The only thing ATT is consistently fast at is tacking on fees.

    Its aggravating and something needs to change in the phone market for more responsible service.