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Thread: Compare: Verizon "4G" LTE vs. AT&T "4G" HSPA+ at football stadium

  1. #1
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    Compare: Verizon "4G" LTE vs. AT&T "4G" HSPA+ at football stadium

    I went the Arkansas State at UL Lafayette college football game on Tuesday with some friends. At some point, the game got ugly, so we turned to our cell phones to do some speed tests. I'd say there were about 5 to 10 thousand phones were present (and probably being heavily used to discuss the home team's pending loss).

    The contenders:
    Verizon "4G" LTE on a Novatel MiFi 4620l
    AT&T "4G" HSPA+ on an iPhone 4S
    T-mobile 2G/EDGE on an original iPhone
    T-mobile 3G HSDPA 3.6 on a TM506

    We didn't have a Sprint phone handy. We couldn't force 2G on the iPhone 4S either; apparently Apple/AT&T took that function out.

    Results:

    Verizon "4G" LTE on a Novatel MiFi 4620l via AT&T iPhone 4S(down/up in Kbps):
    12202/1003
    12911/639
    7066/824

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    AT&T "4G" HSPA+ on the same iPhone 4S(down/up in Kbps):
    169/3
    208/2
    293/3
    (I'll point out that more than half of the tests failed due to network timeouts and dropped packets)

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    Verizon "4G" LTE on a Novatel MiFi 4620l via original 2G iPhone(down/up in Kbps):
    5334/943
    3547/887

    T-mobile 2G/EDGE on an original iPhone(down/up in Kbps):
    171/41
    (test was much more responsive than the AT&T "4G" HSPA+ tests)

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    T-mobile 3G HSDPA 3.6 on a TM506(down/up in Kbps):
    1643/290
    1322/301
    1180/274
    (no screen shots available) (this shouldn't be directly compared to the Verizon and AT&T tests, because the phone isn't capable of T-mobile's full 21Mbps HSPA+ specification). This shows that T-mobile's "4G" HSPA+ network is relatively idle compared to AT&T's HSPA+.

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    The test site high upon the bleachers.

    A real world test of the nation's most prevalent "4G" networks.
    Last edited by E_tron; 10-24-2012 at 12:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    And that's one data point.

    Like everything else cellphone, "results may vary depending on your location."

  3. #3
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    I work downtown, and AT&T is way overcrowded there, speed tests usually fail from lack of connection during lunch hours when people are using their phones. The rest of the time speeds are awful, but what does help is turning 3G off and forcing it to the 800mhz EDGE band. Even though EDGE tops out at 200kbps that's still better than the overcrowded 3G. Evidently there are very few edge data users left or no one else knows how to force 2G mode.
    Mourning the loss of my Nextel i325 but still using a bag phone.

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