Nationwide Speed Test Finds Verizon As The Fastest Network In The US


PCMag has taken it upon themselves to conduct a mobile speed test for their “Fastest Mobile Networks” story they like to run every year. They gathered mobile data from 21 cities across the country and upon pooling the data, found Verizon taking the #1 spot for fastest mobile network. This no doubt has to do with their blazing fast 4G LTE network they began rolling out earlier this year. While this may no doubt comes as a surprise to anyone (LTE is often faster than a lot of home internet connections), it was interesting to see AT&T taking the top spot for over “rural coverage” offering fast 3G speeds for those in little towns and cities throughout the U.S.

It’s like I always say, the only thing really holding back the “speed” of our phones right now is the network they’re connected to. I’m sure Verizon is gloating at these results right now but I can’t help wonder how dramatically these numbers will change once the AT&T-Mobile merger finally goes into effect.

[Via PCMag]


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Sprint, Fix this. Your speeds really suck in my area and you guys should be embarrassed by this test.

    480k average is pitiful but I get 150~200K when I am on EVDO Rev. A, NOT 1xRTT (which is not 3G by the way)!

    When I have to force roam onto US Cellular 1xRTT to get a more reliable and faster speed than your so-called 3g network there is a big problem!


      1. It is pretty bad that T-mobile and AT&T speeds are that high compared to Sprint’s and they are only using 3G. It is the only downside I see to Sprint getting the Nexus 3.

    2. Sprint speeds seem to suck in every area.

  2. if only verizon could cover more than 10% of the country lol who cares about speed if you can’t use it.

    1. There are plans to expand LTE across their entire footprint (more than I can say for sprint) by 2013. Most urban areas should have it by 2012.

      1. Yeah, Sprint has to totally retool off of Wimax, though.

    2. they cover more than 10% not to mention they are expanding again july 21 to more markets. It seems like they expand to more markets every month or so.  They are doing much better than sprint is with wimax

    3. LOL! They probably already passed up sprint and tmobile..

  3. When Verizon’s network becomes larger and more people are on it, I expect those speeds to drop about 10mpbs

    1. Last I heard LTE stands for Long Term Evolution… So that must mean its always gonna get better as to avoid that problem. LTE networks over seas are twice as fast and they never slowed down with more traffic..

  4. Verizon 4G Was Just Activated Today In My Area.. Gotta Say Its Blistering Fast

  5. why does anyone even care about wireless speeds? With all these bandwidth caps with at&t and now soon verizon, do i really need 30mb per sec to blow through my lousy 2 gig data allowance? Its like buying a ferarri and only being able to drive 10 miles before you have to put it in the garage until next month.

    1. Oh man that is pretty damn funny

    2. Dead on! im in Canada and its the same, only the small networks (wind/mobilicity) offer any form of unlimited data, and their coverage doesn’t even go out to the suburbs…

    3. dude….seriously couldny have said it better

    4. You pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    5. Funny analogy :-)
      BUT wireless connection speed has nothing to do with how quickly you will “blow through” data, bringing you closer to your cap (if you have one). A faster connection will not increase your data usage. It will simply make the response time quicker. Causing your phone to be more usable and enjoyable when it is requesting network data.

  6. I got Unlimited Verizon LTE Data! No cap, and nobody else on Verizon right now has a cap, so we’re gonna enjoy our real 4G! HSPA+ is a joke!

    1. Hspa+ shits on wimax. And wait til the hercules comes out, then talk.

    2. I’m on Tmobile and paying only $160 for a 5 person family plan which has unlimited calls and unlimited texts, plus 200MB data on 3 of the phones. Yeah I know, it’s not exactly unlimited data, but at least Tmobile only throttles your speed after you reach the 200MB cap, instead of charging you extra.

      Now how much would a similar plan cost on Verizon, over $200? I will gladly settle for tmobiles 3mbps speeds for that price.

      EDIT: Wow, I just checked the Verizon site and to get unlimited talk and text with 5 lines STARTS at $299 LOL. That’s almost twice the price of Tmobile and we haven’t even factored in data plans yet.

      1.  Sure it costs more on Verizon but at least with Verizon you can go more than 10 feet outside of a major city and still get a signal.  I gladly pay more for Verizon service knowing that I can use my phone almost anywhere.  No other carrier has as large of a coverage area.

      2. Wheres nisme? Im sure he will comment about how his plan is so much cheaper than what the average consumer can get. Where are you nisme? Where are the fanboys?

        1. Funny, you call me out as a “fanboy”, for stating what I pay, even though I put a disclaimer, and explain exactly how I come to my price. You didn’t even notice, the post you replied to, put prices that the “average consumer” can’t get, but didn’t explain HOW. Hypocite much? Not to mention, my bill has always been a side arguement. The main meat of my decision on going with Verizon, is their coverage, and now DATA SPEEDS. wich, according to this article, are the best in the business. Move along troll.

      3. If you are going to say what “you” pay, at least put a disclaimer as to how it is more than 30% less than what the “average consumer” can get. Considering your plan is 219 on T-Mobile, before tax and fees, please explain how you got such a low price. BTW, with Verizon’s mobile to mobile, and Friends and Family, who needs Unlimited minutes? I sure do like my unlimited, un “throttled” data though. Not to mention, the exponentially larger coverage area….

        1. Why do I need to put any disclaimers when that is the NORMAL price without any discounts. Just check the Tmobile site for yourself. Family plans only come in two choices now, 1000 minutes or unlimited, and both have unlimited texts.

          Unlimited talk+text starts at $100 for 2 lines, From there, you can also choose any tier of data plan: 200MB($10 per line), 2GB($20), 5GB($30), 10GB($60). These plans are all “unlimited” in that there’s no overage charges. They throttle your speed after you reach the cap.

          So here’s my family plan:
          Unlimited Talk+Text+200MB data on 2 lines – $120
          Add 3 lines – $30
          Add 200MB to a 3rd line – $10
          Total – $160

          If we had the same 5 line plan but with 2GB data on those 3 lines, it would be $190. 5GB on 3 lines would be the $220 that you came up with.

          200MB isn’t very much, but I realized I never ever used more than 500MB in a month under my old unlimited plan with my G1. I can deal with the 200MB cap and the edge speeds after, since it only costs a measly $10 a month. And since I live in the populated SF bay area, I am very happy with the coverage and speed of Tmobile. I get service in a lot of areas where my ATT/iphone friends don’t get shit, and for a much lower price.

          So enjoy your Verizon service. I’m sure they have better coverage, but at what cost?

          1. Umm, I get 219 when I look it up. So again, how do you get it so cheap? Mind you, that 219 is WITHOUT fees, tax, or inscurance. So, you get a 30+% discount? Also, for me T-Mobile has NO COVERAGE, so sure, I could save a few bucks, but at what cost?

          2. Sorry, I realize why we’re getting different numbers now. I signed up for my plan over the phone, and if you read the fine print on the plan on their website, it says $30 to add a line to the unlimited plan, or $10 for a 500min plan on the additional line, but only if you go to the retail store or do it through the phone. So my plan is like this:

            Unlimited talk+text+200MB data for 2 phones = $120
            Add 3 lines w/ 500min each = $30
            Add 200MB data = $10
            Total = $160

            So that’s unlimited talk on the first 2 phones, and 1500 minutes distributed for the other 3 phones. That’s fine for my family since before we were all sharing a 1500min plan for 5 phones for the same price. Now we have unlimited talk for the 2 biggest talkers and still have plenty of minutes for the other 3 lines. So it’s not a special discount or anything, you just have to call them or go to the store to get it.

            Tmobile has been spotty sometimes in the past but their service has improved a lot for me lately. I switched from Verizon to get the G1 and back then, Verizon didn’t even work at my home! So far, I’ve only only found one spot near my area with bad service, and that’s at my buddy’s house up in the hills. Verizon works there and ATT does not. So I will concede that Verizon is better there, but at the end of the day…Tmobile is way better than ATT at least and I’m happy to save so much money.

          3. BTW, the “add a line” charge is 30 a month. Now I know why you have it cheaper. Because, you obviously don’t….

  7. Verizon 3g speed in boston is like Tmobile Edge….

  8. Hey, now, don’t overlook that T-Mobile’s 4G came in second, and they don’t hard-cap your bandwidth (although once they throttle you it’s pretty painful).  Okay, Verizon won by a factor of 3x for average transfer but 3Mbps average still isn’t too shabby.

    1. agreed. and it will get at least twice as fast with 41mbps *jizz*

  9. Yo, NH has shitty coverage of EVERY network. so…

    1. I live in T-Mobile’s 4G area and get great speeds, but the internet drops out on most days.

  10. Just glad I read this before I jumped from Verizon to Sprint the the Evo 3D. There still isn’t any phone on VZ that I want to use my upgrade, from the OG Droid, on. Guess I’m in for some more waiting.

  11. merger finally goes into effect? that got approved? let me check…. just googled it and i didnt see any news that it was approved… misinformation.

  12. Verizon does have high prices but tmobile users should really shut up with the pride talk ur merging with at&t. No other market expands at the rate of verizons. LTE is the future of data. Thats why At&t is set to start rolling out their LTE, HSPA is not long term it just allowed them to give u a little more while they capped ur data plans and throttle ur speeds. lol! First comment was dead on why is faster better youll reach those caps in no time FML!

  13. What is HSPA+; and what is LTE?AT&T recently upgraded the software of its mobile broadband network to HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access). When HSPA+ is combined with enhanced backhaul, AT&T’s already fast mobile broadband network will deliver even faster speeds.   This evolution sets the stage for another 4G speed upgrade later this year when AT&T begins the planned initial deployment of its LTE (Long Term Evolution) network in mid-2011. Once completed, AT&T will be the only carrier to offer two layers of network technology delivering 4G speeds: HSPA+ and LTE.  

  14. Everyone knows (like it or not) that Verizon Wireless has the best network in the Country! Bar None! All you at&t-mobile punks should wise up and switch to the best! Oh yeah, forgot about Sprint, Now they decide to go with LTE? what the hell were they thinking?! Idiots…what a Joke!

    1. Spoken with true ignorance. As they say: once you go AT&T, good luck closing your eyes. I can tell that you haven’t had your eyes opened yet girlfriend.

  15. In a town with minimum users, AT&T 3G is about 3mbps while my friend on Verizon gets about 700kbps when we are in the same area. Glad Verizon got 4G because their 3G can’t beat AT&Ts EDGE and that’s a fact.

    1. Sure AT&T’s 3G is faster than Verizons 3G. However, Verizons 3G is far more reliable. That’s a fact. As evidenced in the aticle above.

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