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AT&T boasts 20%-60% faster wireless speeds than competitors

post #1 of 81
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AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., touted on Monday that a new third-party test found its network is 60 percent faster than competitor Verizon.

AT&T on Monday announced the results of the testing from Global Wireless Solutions Inc. Though the carrier did not specifically name Verizon, it noted that the "largest competitor by subscriber count" has a network 60 percent slower than AT&T's. Verizon is the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. in terms of subscribers, while AT&T ranks a close second.

The third-party test also found that the nearest competitor in terms of wireless speed was 20 percent lower than AT&T's network on average nationally. AT&T's press release did not indicate whether T-Mobile or Sprint was the next-fastest provider.

AT&T noted that it has invested nearly $6 billion in wireless initiatives over the first three quarters of 2010. That's a 55 percent increase over the same period in 2009.

"We're very pleased with the nationwide results of GWS drive testing, which demonstrate that we're delivering a superior mobile broadband experience on a nationwide basis," said John Donovan, AT&T's chief technology officer. "Our top priority for the weeks and months to come is to continue our focus on network enhancements and improvements to ensure continued access to fast mobile broadband speeds and reliable voice service."

The GWS test compiles wireless network performance results over 950,000 road miles in more than 400 U.S. markets. The testing area represents about 88 percent of the U.S. population.

AT&T boasted that its network allows customers to download a 40 megabyte MP3 album more than a minute faster than the next-fastest, unnamed network. AT&T's speeds would also allow an 80 megabyte video to be downloaded about two minutes faster.

The GWS tests also found that 98.59 percent of voice calls on AT&T's network were completed without interruption. The industry's best score, again from an unnamed carrier, had a better score by about one tenth of one percentage point, or one call in 1,000.

AT&T will be able to tout its network speed against Verizon in the first quarter of next year, when the iPhone is expected to be available on both carriers after Apple releases a CDMA version of its smartphone. Numerous mainstream media outlets have said that Apple is preparing for an early 2011 launch of the Verizon iPhone.

AT&T's HSPA+ high-speed network is scheduled to reach more than 250 million Americans by the end of this year. It offers a theoretical download speed of up to 14.4Mbps.
post #2 of 81
I wonder if this will shut up all those "AT&T sucks" people out there.
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post #3 of 81
[QUOTE=AppleInsider;1756761]AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., touted on Monday that a new third-party test found its network is 60 percent faster than competitor Verizon.

As opposed to another third party test that showed Verizon as faster. Of course they did not tell us about that one.
post #4 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I wonder if this will shut up all those "AT&T sucks" people out there.

Nope. It still sucks for many people. I am not one of them.
post #5 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I wonder if this will shut up all those "AT&T sucks" people out there.

No. Those people are not on AT&T so nothing has changed for them.

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post #6 of 81
Before the inevitable AT&T bashing begins...

For the record, I've been quite pleased with the 3G service and coverage in Austin, TX. On iPad or iPhone, it's been reliable and fast.

Of course, I've travelled to cities where this wasn't the case - I dropped calls, reception was weak, and data was slow. (Philadelphia, Denver, etc)

Maybe we can at least all agree on the fact that AT&T at least seems to care about it's performance and seems to be spending millions of dollars to meet expectations. When Verizon jumps on board, we'll see how strong they're data network is and how well they respond to complaints.
post #7 of 81
Where I live, my AT&T 3G speed is faster than T-Mobile and Sprints "4G" (false advertised) speeds.
I consistently get 1.2-1.5Mbps down and 1.2+Mbps upload speeds. (speedtest.net)

I for one am looking forward to all other carriers getting iPhones to take a little stress off AT&T towers and I think it will be even faster.

WTG AT&T !
post #8 of 81
Testing must have skipped over downtown Chicago. Service here is terrible. hit and miss every few seconds. I loved AT&T when living in Salt Lake City but here in Chicago I'm constantly looking for a wifi hotspot.
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post #9 of 81
It doesn't matter if it's 60% faster or a million times faster. If I can't get a signal where I live, it's 0% faster. And right now, that's the case. Awaiting the Verizon iPhone. Great phone, but without a signal, it's useless to me.
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post #10 of 81
For those of us that have ATT in many different Cities & States we all know the truth. Service can and shouldbe MUCH BETTER than it currently is. A third party independent ..........hired by who???
post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokolosh View Post

Testing must have skipped over downtown Chicago. Service here is terrible. hit and miss every few seconds. I loved AT&T when living in Salt Lake City but here in Chicago I'm constantly looking for a wifi hotspot.

You did note that this is a driving around test, not inside of a building. Also since downtown is mostly commercial and not residential the population stats may be skewed away from downtown as well. Concrete and steel are tough to get a signal through.

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post #12 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokolosh View Post

Testing must have skipped over downtown Chicago. Service here is terrible. hit and miss every few seconds. I loved AT&T when living in Salt Lake City but here in Chicago I'm constantly looking for a wifi hotspot.

It used to be bad but I have not had problems in a long time in downtown Chicago. If you are testing in a building, no cell phone will give you excellent coverage. Even Verizon (who uses a frequency that has slightly better wall penetration) will have trouble with highrises. It is always hit or miss in this case, but most commercial buildings in Chicago will have repeaters to help address this.

As an owner of both, I can say that AT&T HSPA+ is definitely faster then Sprint's 4G service. I am lucky to get 2 Mbit speeds of the Sprint 4G myfi. I think Sprint may be either over selling or not putting enough investment in their backhaul. I travel a lot and there is the occasional city where AT&T is significantly slower despite having a 3G signal though. My guess is that it has something to do with the backhaul.
post #13 of 81
When in most places in Maryland I get great speeds, sometimes comparable to cable but almost always DSL level speeds. Calls never drop for me while I am in most of Maryland.

When I am in DC for work the service is terrible. I get 56k like speeds most of the time and other times I can not connect at all even though I have bars. Calls drop about 1/4 the time in DC.

AT&T still needs work, but it has in some areas gotten better.
post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I wonder if this will shut up all those "AT&T sucks" people out there.

No, because this is another stupid Att PR press release that happily trumps 60% faster than our next competitor, which means what?

People on Sprint's WiMax network get 14+ mbps on their phones, and that is NET, NOT GROSS bandwidth. Att has NOTHING that can match that.

Sure, their 4G coverage is like nothing. But you can't say that Att is 60% faster than Sprint because Sprint's network isn't just 3G anymore. There has to be several * like "Claim based on average speed", etc.

It's the stupid "We cover more than 95% of America" bull shit when Verizon literally blows Att out of every category in coverage, 3G or not.

T-Mobile claiming 4G anything is also bull shit.
post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I wonder if this will shut up all those "AT&T sucks" people out there.

Nope, some will always find a reason to complain going to great length to research some article to provide some fact to enforce their hate of at&t. They are simply incapable of thinking otherwise.
post #16 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

No, because this is another stupid Att PR press release that happily trumps 60% faster than our next competitor, which means what?

People on Sprint's WiMax network get 14+ mbps on their phones, and that is NET, NOT GROSS bandwidth. Att has NOTHING that can match that.

Sure, their 4G coverage is like nothing. But you can't say that Att is 60% faster than Sprint because Sprint's network isn't just 3G anymore. There has to be several * like "Claim based on average speed", etc.

It's the stupid "We cover more than 95% of America" bull shit when Verizon literally blows Att out of every category in coverage, 3G or not.

T-Mobile claiming 4G anything is also bull shit.

I can tell you that Sprint 4G may be capable of higher speeds then AT&T HSPA+, but it currently does not deliver. The only advantage to Sprint 4G is no download caps. Sprint claims 3-6 mbit is typical. I find 1-3 mbit is more realistic though. Sure I have found that odd spot that gives you a 7 mbit connection, but it is rare and seems to be related to the tower. 14 mbit is the max sprint allows and you will never see it. I think the technology is capable of around 70 mbit per user in the current iteration. Not sure what the maximum bandwidth for all users is, but I think that depends on tower configuration. My experience is based on Chicago.
post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I wonder if this will shut up all those "AT&T sucks" people out there.

I wasn't an AT&T hater, but now I live a block away from the largest medical center in the world, the Texas Medical Center in Houston, and I can't even get phone reception in my gd apartment, except maybe if I put my iPhone 4 on the windosil, sometimes.. if I get a page I have to walk out of the building to return it. EFF YOU AT&T !!!
post #18 of 81
  1. Verizon CDMA is slow....real slow.
  2. When AT&T and Verizon both have LTE within the next few months, Verizon still needs to fallback on this slow CDMA network for a long long time. At least AT&T can fallback on a 14.4mbs network, not 3mbs as is the case for Verizon.

Q: If I'm on Verizon's LTE and I fallback to CDMA, what drops first, my voice call or my internet access?
post #19 of 81
Stupid. What is the point of faster speeds if your connection keeps dropping?

AT&T needs to show that they are fixing their coverage problems, not that in 1% of cases they have faster network.
post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post

I wasn't an AT&T hater, but now I live a block away from the largest medical center in the world, the Texas Medical Center in Houston, and I can't even get phone reception in my gd apartment, except maybe if I put my iPhone 4 on the windosil, sometimes.. if I get a page I have to walk out of the building to return it. EFF YOU AT&T !!!

You can probably blame this thing called "Physics", not any specific cell phone provider. Wireless signals do not like to penetrate brick, metal, or tinted glass barriers.
post #21 of 81
AT&T does suck. Verizon, however, sucks more. Seriously, I don't get how people can get so excited about Verizon offering the iPhone when Verizon offers little more then hidden fees, and a world full of being nickel and dimed to death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I wonder if this will shut up all those "AT&T sucks" people out there.
post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

You can probably blame this thing called "Physics", not any specific cell phone provider. Wireless signals do not like to penetrate brick, metal, or tinted glass barriers.

thanks for the physics lesson. I didn't realize that cellphones were not meant for indoor use.
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post

I wasn't an AT&T hater, but now I live a block away from the largest medical center in the world, the Texas Medical Center in Houston, and I can't even get phone reception in my gd apartment, except maybe if I put my iPhone 4 on the windosil, sometimes.. if I get a page I have to walk out of the building to return it. EFF YOU AT&T !!!

You need to so some reading about how radio signals propagate and what impedes them. You know, like steel buildings. Ever look at the ceiling in a hospital? Cell signal boosters in every hallway.

Clueless, funny, rant though.
post #24 of 81
I've been consistantly getting 4-5mbps here in Columbus, OH.
post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

You can probably blame this thing called "Physics", not any specific cell phone provider. Wireless signals do not like to penetrate brick, metal, or tinted glass barriers.

Yeah. If you expect to use a cellphone as a home phone plan to get a repeater. You might have slightly better luck with Verizon, but it will be hit or miss either way. AT&T is definitely faster then Verizon though. Even if Verizon had the iPhone on their network, I would take AT&T and a repeater over them for the extra bandwidth. A good indicator of which company might be faster is to look at which one provides internet service in the area. If there is AT&T DSL, there may be a good AT&T backhaul. If there is Verizon FiOS, then they may have the better backhaul. My impression has always been that AT&T has a better backhaul because they build it off of their DSL network (which is almost everywhere).
post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Stupid. What is the point of faster speeds if your connection keeps dropping?

AT&T needs to show that they are fixing their coverage problems, not that in 1% of cases they have faster network.

Confused: Didn't this study say that it covered 950,000 miles, 400 markets, and about 88% of the population? Where did your 1% come from?
post #27 of 81
So which is the actual claim? Is AT&T 60% faster, or is Verizon 60% slower? Those are VERY different numbers.

If Verizon is 60% slower than AT&T (in other words, 40% as fast) then AT&T is 2.5x as fast as Verizon. A.k.a. 150% faster.

(It’s all just general claims anyway—what matters is where you live. Where I live, Verizon and AT&T share the same dead zones! But they are few, so I have little interest in switching to T-Mobile. My iPhone 4 gets great 3G coverage and reliability. And the main thing I need to know: only AT&T lets me check the movie time online WHILE on the call!)
post #28 of 81
something tells me that ATT did a bogus test by third party testers.

My money is on the fact that they paid the third party tester to

1- test in an optimal time of day, not when their network is maximized by users and just craps out.
2- test in areas ATT has maximized their network
3- in areas they know their competitors don't do as well

there are all sorts of ways you can manipulate results from "independent testing," this is much like politicians doing push polling, you can rig a result by virtue of how you ask a question, which can often lead to your candidate getting a better result.

this test can have tons of manipulations and settings which favor ATT, even though they tout it being done by third party. Hell they could even have given the testers settings prioritizing them over regular customers on the network.

who knows. but the one thing i do know is ATT stinks most of the time. their coverage has holes and drops calls, Data is many times not available, and often i can't start a call when i try.

ATT stinks, just hoping that they stink a lil less come Jan/Feb when the Iphone Exodus commences.
post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post

thanks for the physics lesson. I didn't realize that cellphones were not meant for indoor use.

Well, when you are essentially sitting inside a metal box what so you expect from a radio signal?
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post

something tells me that ATT did a bogus test by third party testers.

My money is on the fact that they paid the third party tester to

1- test in an optimal time of day, not when their network is maximized by users and just craps out.
2- test in areas ATT has maximized their network
3- in areas they know their competitors don't do as well

there are all sorts of ways you can manipulate results from "independent testing," this is much like politicians doing push polling, you can rig a result by virtue of how you ask a question, which can often lead to your candidate getting a better result.

this test can have tons of manipulations and settings which favor ATT, even though they tout it being done by third party. Hell they could even have given the testers settings prioritizing them over regular customers on the network.

who knows. but the one thing i do know is ATT stinks most of the time. their coverage has holes and drops calls, Data is many times not available, and often i can't start a call when i try.

ATT stinks, just hoping that they stink a lil less come Jan/Feb when the Iphone Exodus commences.

I doubt it was manipulated. This was not commissioned by AT&T. This was an independent test that they happened to do well in. It is not surprising to me. AT&T has always had the fastest network. That isn't the point that most people complain about. Typically it is AT&T's slightly smaller rural coverage, slightly worse indoor coverage, and dropped calls (which have reduced significantly since most were caused by the 2G to 3G handoff). They are just backing up what everyone already knows with some evidence. Perhaps they are also trying to combat the myth that other providers 4G networks are faster then their near 4G HSPA+ network.

Just because a company happens to do well in an independent study doesn't mean that they manipulated the results. A little research before throwing out conspiracy theories would be nice.
post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I wonder if this will shut up all those "AT&T sucks" people out there.

The fact is that if you commute to downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park - a distance of 2-3 miles - you will have 2-4 dead spots where calls cannot be made or calls in progress are dropped. These dead zones are NOT near tall buildings and the iPhone says 'No Service' in the upper left. We have tested this with iPhone 3G & 4Gs.

So until AT&T can deliver basic services to 1995 levels - yes, they will still suck.
post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2774 View Post

The fact is that if you commute to downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park - a distance of 2-3 miles - you will have 2-4 dead spots where calls cannot be made or calls in progress are dropped. These dead zones are NOT near tall buildings and the iPhone says 'No Service' in the upper left. We have tested this with iPhone 3G & 4Gs.

So until AT&T can deliver basic services to 1995 levels - yes, they will still suck.

I live near lakeshore drive and do this all the time. There used to be problems but they disappeared. You also used to hit a lot of dead zones just riding the train. It may have been the result of new frequencies in Chicago. Perhaps if you have an old phone (like the 2nd gen) the problems may still exist. I could see the lower level of lakeshore drive having problems, but have never tried to use a phone there. The subway is still a little spotty, but at least there is coverage in the subway now. The lakeshore also used to have poor coverage, but that improved within the last couple years too.

AT&T has an iPhone app to report dead zones. May be worth trying if you have a specific problem.
post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2774 View Post

The fact is that if you commute to downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park - a distance of 2-3 miles - you will have 2-4 dead spots where calls cannot be made or calls in progress are dropped. These dead zones are NOT near tall buildings and the iPhone says 'No Service' in the upper left. We have tested this with iPhone 3G & 4Gs.

So until AT&T can deliver basic services to 1995 levels - yes, they will still suck.

Nice, AT&T sucks because of a 2-3 mile stretch. Sorry about that little fella
post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerARSgm View Post

Before the inevitable AT&T bashing begins...

For the record, I've been quite pleased with the 3G service and coverage in Austin, TX. On iPad or iPhone, it's been reliable and fast.

Of course, I've travelled to cities where this wasn't the case - I dropped calls, reception was weak, and data was slow. (Philadelphia, Denver, etc)

Maybe we can at least all agree on the fact that AT&T at least seems to care about it's performance and seems to be spending millions of dollars to meet expectations. When Verizon jumps on board, we'll see how strong they're data network is and how well they respond to complaints.

I've been VERY critical of AT&T since switching to buy my first iPhone two years ago. I've since upgraded to an iPhone 4. Speaking in everyday use terms (which can be subjective, obviously), I'd say the network has improved by leaps and bounds in those two years. Data speeds are much better, and I drop far fewer calls.

I still have lingering issues with AT&T, notably dead zones in Philly's Western suburbs (where I work) and the "exurbs" (where I live). 3G is definitely spotty as one heads Northwest towards more rural areas, but that is to be expected. I still drop more calls than I'm comfortable with, seemingly with no reason many times.

I've also had some frustrating billing experiences, most notably trying to combine my plan with my wife's---and getting billed $3.99 for accidentally pushing the AT&T Navigator button on her phone (they removed the charge).

So all things considered...a mixed bag. Not overly happy, but things have improved.
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post #35 of 81
I was in Eagle River Wisconsin, The middle of no where and a friend just purchased the Sprint EVO. I was unimpressed by the EVO as just to the touch you can easily identify the difference in quality of manufacture. When my friend showed me how fast it brings up web pages and it was lightning fast. Ever since I have been very disappointed with the speed of the AT&T network. I understand wireless technology is still in its infancy but the speed difference between my iPhone and his EVO was embarrassing. I am an Apple fan as they are leaders not followers but how could this happen? Is it because the sprint network has that much lower traffic? This article claims faster speeds by AT&T than another carrier. But unless my friend tricked me somehow how did he access the websites almost instantaneously. Not even my desk top is that fast.I get the impression that there is a reasonable amount of data averaging to make there across the country claims but....
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamlo View Post

It doesn't matter if it's 60% faster or a million times faster. If I can't get a signal where I live, it's 0% faster. And right now, that's the case. Awaiting the Verizon iPhone. Great phone, but without a signal, it's useless to me.

I'm with you. When I get a full signal the download speed is nice, even with 2 or 3 bars it's better than you'd expect with 2 or 3 bars. The problem is areas where it's jumping back and forth between 3G and edge, or you've got no signal at all and calls drop. This happens too much around Los Angeles.

People make Verizon sound like you'll have 5 bars everywhere you go and that therefore the effective speed would be more than AT&T's higher potential speed. I doubt that's the case, but I'll take the no dropped calls that I hear about from Verizon people I know locally and work my up from there as LTE rolls out.

What I'd really like is a cell phone that doesn't get garbled or cut out when I'm trying to write down an address or a phone number. That would be nice!
post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHOBIZ View Post

Nice, AT&T sucks because of a 2-3 mile stretch. Sorry about that little fella

Yeah a 2-3 mile stretch that is home to millions of people at the heart of one of the largest cities in the U.S. There used to be major problems here, but I have not experienced them in a long time. There is probably the occasional dead zone still, but it is nothing like it used to be. I no longer worry about a call dropping.
post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Yeah a 2-3 mile stretch that is home to millions of people at the heart of one of the largest cities in the U.S. There used to be major problems here, but I have not experienced them in a long time. There is probably the occasional dead zone still, but it is nothing like it used to be. I no longer worry about a call dropping.

I understand your point, but if it is not an issue why was it even brought up for argument then? Just for the OP to vent on something that does not even exist today?

Well, if we can go back in to the past, I want to bitch about not having enough money to spend when I was twelve
post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by InLine1 View Post

I was in Eagle River Wisconsin, The middle of no where and a friend just purchased the Sprint EVO. I was unimpressed by the EVO as just to the touch you can easily identify the difference in quality of manufacture. When my friend showed me how fast it brings up web pages and it was lightning fast. Ever since I have been very disappointed with the speed of the AT&T network. I understand wireless technology is still in its infancy but the speed difference between my iPhone and his EVO was embarrassing. I am an Apple fan as they are leaders not followers but how could this happen? Is it because the sprint network has that much lower traffic? This article claims faster speeds by AT&T than another carrier. But unless my friend tricked me somehow how did he access the websites almost instantaneously. Not even my desk top is that fast.I get the impression that there is a reasonable amount of data averaging to make there across the country claims but....

I was in a similar boat earlier this year when my friend also picked a Sprint EVO. And like you, the moment I held it in my hands I knew this was on a much lower tier in terns of the "feeling" of quality.

But likewise, I was disappointed that my iPhone 4 loaded pages over 3G only about as fast as his EVO. Then I realized a few things:

1) My iPhone starts displaying pages EARLIER than the EVo even though it finishes loading them just slightly slower.

2) the EVO he got (don't know what fruit cake version of robotOS it used) was very slow with JavaScript heavy pages.

3) Pinch-to-Zoom was extremely, badly implemented.

4) Android's default home screen (or at least default for his Sprint EVO) is a cluttered mess.

And finally, I am with other posters as far as improved AT&T service. Having been with the original iPhone in 2007, I can say definitively that my service quality has IMPROVED with AT&T and that the speed upgrades and frequency changes have really really really helped my experience. I for one am actually kind of proud that AT&T is finally starting to get its act together.
post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

I'm with you. When I get a full signal the download speed is nice, even with 2 or 3 bars it's better than you'd expect with 2 or 3 bars. The problem is areas where it's jumping back and forth between 3G and edge, or you've got no signal at all and calls drop. This happens too much around Los Angeles.

People make Verizon sound like you'll have 5 bars everywhere you go and that therefore the effective speed would be more than AT&T's higher potential speed. I doubt that's the case, but I'll take the no dropped calls that I hear about from Verizon people I know locally and work my up from there as LTE rolls out.

What I'd really like is a cell phone that doesn't get garbled or cut out when I'm trying to write down an address or a phone number. That would be nice!

Yeah. This was the real problem. Not sure what is taking them so long in LA. Everything is fully 3G for probably hundreds of miles around Chicago. I've never had it drop to Edge even going to outer suburbs. I've heard of problems in LA though.
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