Apr 17 AT 4:50 PM Dustin Earley 66 Comments

The Big 4 shootout: Who has the fastest network speeds?

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If you pay attention to the different ad campaigns that AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon keep in their everyday arsenal, chances are you’ve heard every single one claim they have the fastest network on the block. Whatever they use to calculate those claims, it doesn’t always translate into real world use for every individual on that network. So how could you possibly pinpoint who really does have the fastest network?

PC World has put eight different Android phones to the test, including a 3G device and a 4G device from each major carrier in the US. They selected 13 cities for their, “varying population densities, physical topography, and cellular environments.” Each network was tested at ten locations in each city, five times indoors, and five times outdoors.

When it comes to which carrier in the US posted the best 3G download speeds, T-Mobile took the crown. Thanks to HSPA+ 21, T-Mobile’s average 3G download speed was 3.84 Mbps.

T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42 managed to keep a slim distance when it came to 4G, but AT&T and Verizon’s LTE networks couldn’t be held back. AT&T had the best download speeds, coming in at 9.12 Mbps. Verizon was a close second at 7.35.

The absolute worst carrier if you care about download speeds is Sprint. Their WiMax 4G test numbers were lower than T-Mobile’s 3G numbers. And their 3G numbers were enough to drive any sane man mad, at a pathetic 0.59 Mbps.

Of course these tests still don’t paint an entirely accurate picture of whose networks provides the fastest network speeds, but it does give you a good idea. What kind of speeds do you get with your service? Let us know in the comments.

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Source: PC World

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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