Nationwide 3G Speed Tests Reveal AT&T’s Network to Be the Fastest

It seems that AT&T has strived to have the fastest data rates since the iPhone became available on their network. Ever since AT&T’s EDGE data rates were tested to be a few times faster than the competition in 2007, it appears they have kept up the trend of having the best mobile data rates. A new network comparison that takes 150,000 recent 3G iPhone speed test results into account shows AT&T’s 3G data speeds to be about double the 3G data speeds of Verizon’s network.

The network comparison was done by Ookla, the company behind is a site users can access to test the speed of their Internet connection, the results of which are then saved and organized geographically. is available for the iPhone in the form of an app, and results are separately saved based on the user’s network and whether the user is testing over EDGE, 3G or Wi-Fi.

The average 3G download speed on AT&T’s network was 1.769 Mbps. Verizon’s average 3G download speed was not even able to break a Mb, with a speed of just 848 Kbps. The difference was not as significant with upload speeds, but there was definitely still a difference: AT&T managed an average upload speed of 730 Kbps, while Verizon manages an average upload speed of 506 Kbps. These numbers are provided by Ookla, generated from the recent results of those using their app.

Obviously there is a big difference here, thanks in part to AT&T’s switch to HSPA+, which enables their 3G GSM network to be among the fastest. I can say that I have seen 3G download speeds of up to 3.0 Mbps on AT&T’s HSPA+ network, an impressive number for a 3G network.

It seems obvious that AT&T and Verizon have contrasting networks, based on the significant differences that tests have revealed. Verizon has been tested to have a network that is more reliable and drops less calls, but these tests bring us to the consensus that AT&T’s 3G data speeds are over twice as fast as Verizon’s 3G data speeds. If apps and Internet access are more important to you than making phone calls, it would seem that AT&T is a better choice than Verizon. If phone calls are the most significant part of your iPhone usage, then you should probably go with Verizon’s network.

[via Wired]