According to AT&T and a “comprehensive third-party drive test” conducted by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), AT&T is the Fastest Mobile Broadband Carrier in the US. According to GWS, they downloaded a 45-minute (40mb) album from all carriers and AT&T was on average one minute faster than the next fastest competitor, which in this case by their color coded graph can only mean T-Mobile. The T-Mobile speed, which AT&T says is 20% slower than theirs, faired much better than Sprint and Verizon who averaged 55% and 60% slower. AT&T also takes a swing at Verizon by saying that the same album would take on average, more than two-and-a-half minutes longer (Bold in Red Lettering: Hmmm Verizon?) to download on AT&T’s largest competitor’s network, under the same circumstances.

With AT&T behind the marketing curve without any 4G branding, this would seem to help them as T-Mobile is hot and heavy with the myTouch 4G advertising claiming that they can video call over their network where AT&T’s Facetime on the iPhone is limited to WiFi only. Sprint also has a line of devices branded 4G to better secure their place as a fast network, enter the Epic and EVO 4G for example. 

I guess AT&T didn’t like the latest T-Mobile myTouch 4G commercials huh?

You can read the full AT&T Press Release: (CLICK HERE)


  1. These tests don’t matter. It doesn’t matter that on average you’re faster than Verizon if Verizon is still faster than AT&T in markets like New York City and San Francisco. When the data on the southern end of your average is clustered up heavily like that, then you got the very vocal minority, the discontents, the iphone owners, whining all over the Internet about how unbearably poor the network is (though with some people saying Hey I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’ve got AT&T in Jersey City and it’s just fine) whereas Verizon folks are content and wouldn’t know the difference between 600Kbps and 1.7Mbps and it is my understanding that wherever you are with Verizon, just about, it’s evdo rev 1a for everyone.

    People trust anecdotal evidence like that, I’d say, more than AT&T’s promotions and fair and square tests.

    Think about this: Even though Verizon has more wireless customers, “AT&T sucks” brings almost seven times as many hits back than “Verizon sucks” on a google search. Why is that?

    Where there’s smoke there’s fire and where there’s a carrier showing off some testing data there’s bullshit which is at best unusable unless you skydive from outer space every day landing in random parts of the country and want to have on average a faster experience even if it means EDGE most of the time.

  2. @ Doug Simmons
    I have first hand experience with EVDO speeds in any areas, but I believe the tests do matter, because they show what the average speeds are nation wide. If AT&T’s mobile net is sluggish in New York City and San Francisco, and the average speed is more than twice, then it means 3-4 times higher speeds for other places. Considering that I have AT&T like speeds where I live and I do feel the different between 3G and WiFi internet speed on all of my devices, 3-4 times higher 3G speed is definitely well above the threshold limit. So I strongly disagree with “Verizon folks are content and wouldn’t know the difference between 600Kbps and 1.7Mbps”, but on the other hand you are probably right about the psychological stuff.

  3. Sorry, there is a missing “no” from the first sentence, as I have NO experience with EVDO internet at all except for the fact that my download stops while I’m on a call. :o)

  4. I get almost 2MB/s in the middle of nowhere out in the moutains of Maryland, but in NYC the download speeds are horrible and are probably less than 200k/sec. On the other hand, in the DC area where I work, I get about 3.5-4 MB/s download and 1.5-2 MB/s upload.. Sure, there’s not as many people in DC as there are in NYC, but that drastic of a difference doesn’t make sense. AT&T still has a long way to go to get people on board with their wireless data quality (I personally like it a lot, but that’s because of where I live).

    This morning on my way to work, driving on I70 from Hagerstown MD towards Frederick MD, I downloaded a 110Mb Podcast in only a few minutes. Probably about 2.5 to 3MB/s

    I think that some people still confuse Megabyte and Megabit and expect files to download even faster… You measure file size in Kilobytes, Megabytes and Gigabytes. ISPs measure their connection speed in bits (since you’re transferring packets with bits of data), as in Kilobits (Kbps), Megabits (Mbps), and Gigabits (Gbps) per second. There are 8 bits per byte. Hence, there are 8 Megabits per Megabyte. a 110MB file would be 880 Megabits, if you’re getting about 2.5-3 Mbps, you’re looking at a download of anywhere from about 5 to 6 minutes.


    AT&T needs better coverage in high profile areas like NYC. If they could provide the same coverage there that I experience at home in Maryland and at my work in the DC/NoVA area, I think more people would be satisfied.

    That being said, my experience with other carriers in this area like Sprint and Verizon have been hit or miss. Depending on how close they are to the towers, my friends with their Sprint 4G HTC Evos have great or horrible connection speeds. Never in between.

  5. I agree with Doug here, the chain is only as strong as the weakest link in this case. People usually don’t speak up if everything is working as advertised but they sure do make a ruckus when things break down. Now granted, this isn’t always At&T’s fault, in some cities it’s supposed to take years and years to go through the tower application process. Bottom line though, if your going to start claiming superiority, then you better deliver across the board.

  6. After a year or so of the iphone explosion in NYC, figuring every week that, Though they may have been asleep at the wheel, by now, surely AT&T has been able to extrapolate from the sales and data usage data in order to know what to expect in the future and since they have plenty of cash and since we New Yorkers are so important they must be throwing as much money at the problem as necessary — unless there’s some scientific limitation behind this.

    Take a look at what this guy wrote in June, definitely worth a read:

    Tl;dr? Forget AT&T speed improvements (instead, expect things to continue to get worse) in places like NYC and Frisco until LTE rolls out “many years” from now due to fundamental problems with GSM.

    MBA in engineering from Columbia fwiw…

  7. simmons, the article you linked basically just says that yeah, its still the iphone clogging up AT&T’s network. so even tho LTE (which isnt as far off as you imply) will help with the iphone problems, all AT&T really needs is for verizon to sell the iphone. once there network has more traffic than the hooker on your street corner not only will AT&T free up some cap space to all the dummies who want to have an iphone that wont really multitask (you know, download an app while your on a phone call) but VZW will start being criticized for having a shitty network… look at everything AT&T had to endure and they still have the lowest churn rate of any of the carriers. add shitty speeds and network to verizons resume and watch the shit storm begin. VZW hasnt had the experience that AT&T has had at defending itself against the masses… and btw, i beleive the most recent reports put AT&T as the largest carrier again.

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