AT&T Has Fastest, Equally Reliable 3G Network In 12 Regions

Gizmodo has compiled the data collected from their large-scale crowd-source test of 3G networks in and around 12 areas, including 11 major cities in the continental United States. Surprisingly, despite all of the bad press they’ve been getting, AT&T’s network proved the best of the bunch.

According to the data given from users on 3G data connectivity and speeds, AT&T’s network was neither more reliable or less reliable than Verizon’s. It was, however, significantly faster in 6 of the 12 areas, and faster on average over all than other carriers. Verizon came close, beating AT&T in 4 of the 12 areas, but with a slightly lower national average.

In terms of downloads, AT&T and Verizon came in either first or second in 9 markets, and coverage was fairly consistent in each tested area for both carriers. Interestingly, AT&T won 12 out of 12 for upload speeds.

Their methodology:

  • Bandwidth & Latency: Speedtest.net – Reports upload and download bandwidth in megabits per second, as well as ping latency in milliseconds. We performed this test five times at each location on each modem.
  • Pageload: Hubble images at Wikimedia – A 4.42MB web page with 200 4KB thumbnails, it was fully reloaded three times, and timed using the Firefox plug-in YSlow. The three time readings were averaged.
  • Download: Wikimedia’s Abell 2667 galaxy cluster photo – This single 7.48MB JPEG is a clear test of how fast you can download stuff from the cloud, and again, we hard refreshed this file three times, and measured time using YSlow for an accurate human-error-free reading.

Atlanta – AT&T, followed by Verizon
Bay Area/San Francisco – AT&T, followed by Verizon
Chicago – AT&T, followed by Verizon then Sprint
Denver – AT&T, followed by Verizon
Las Vegas – Verizon, followed by AT&T
Los Angeles – AT&T, followed by Sprint
Maui – Verizon, followed by AT&T
New York – AT&T, followed by T-Mobile
Phoenix – Verizon, followed by T-Mobile
Portland – T-Mobile, followed by Verizon
Seattle – Verizon, followed by T-Mobile
Tampa – Sprint, followed by AT&T

[via Gizmodo]

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