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  • "Drastic Makeover:" AT&T Now Tops in Download Speed

    Just under a year after coming in dead last in PCWorld's 3G Wireless Performance Test, AT&T's network is now winning handily with an average of 67% faster download speeds than its competitors. Coming after the CEO of AT&T Wireless's promise that the company was investing in improved infrastructure after years of dismal reviews, the result - what the testers refer to as a "drastic makeover" - is bound to give a boost to AT&T's battered public image. Analysts and US regulators have been predicting that the iPad's launch would bring the carrier's troubled network to a standstill.

    For the comparison, PCWorld testers went to 13 US cities and recorded upload and download speeds from 20 individual locations situated in a grid in the downtown area of each city, running more than 51,000 tests in December and January. AT&T's average download speed was 1,410 kbps and upload of 773 kbps, far ahead of all other competitors and an improvement of 84% over last year's results. AT&T's commitment to address poor performance in New York and San Francisco markets has apparently borne fruit, with three times faster download speeds as compared to last spring in New York City and 40% faster downloads in San Francisco since the previous survey.

    In addition, the survey also looked at reliability, with the tester checking to see how often they were able to establish an uninterrupted connection while doing the speed tests. In this area the carriers all performed roughly equally, with reliable connections coming 92% of the time for both T-Mobile and Verizon, and AT&T and Sprint both somewhat more reliable with 94% of all connections being solid. 8 months ago, AT&Tís reliability rate was coming in at just 64% in PCWorld's tests.

    In addition, in Baltimore, Boston, and New York - cities where the advanced HSPA 7.2 Mbps networks have been deployed - PCWorld measured burst speeds exceeding 4000 kbps. By the end of the year, AT&T says they plan to have HSPA in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Charlotte, El Paso, Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, and Denver.

    image via PCWorld
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "Drastic Makeover:" AT&T Now Tops in Download Speed started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 44 Comments
    1. k.nitsua's Avatar
      k.nitsua -
      I'm not in a major city, but I, too, have noticed a drastic increase in my 3G speed on not only my iPhone 3Gs but also my Nokia Booklet 3G.

      I can see why Apple might stick with AT&T only afterall.
    1. Ticko's Avatar
      Ticko -
      anyone else super impressed with T-Mobile?? hell ya allstars keeping it consistent
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      phone companies are all a bunch of fools. they only give you enough to keep the money going.
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ticko View Post
      anyone else super impressed with T-Mobile??
      Unfortunately we do not see those speeds on T-Mobile using an iPhone. We are stuck with EDGE
    1. jschmall's Avatar
      jschmall -
      I find this interesting considering I've noticed a DECLINE in my 3g speeds lately...
    1. punjabi212's Avatar
      punjabi212 -
      I'm in Manhattan and it did seem like 3G was goin faster
    1. Antman217's Avatar
      Antman217 -
      This is what ive been telling all my friends, verizon may have more 3g in more areas but it doesnt compare to the 3g experience on at&t.
    1. NSXrebel's Avatar
      NSXrebel -
      I've noticed speed increases as well, and I'm in Arkansas at the moment.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      So the verdict is in: AT&T if you live in NYC or LA, Verizon if you live in Hicktown, USA. (T-Mobile for everyone else.)
    1. SnowLeo's Avatar
      SnowLeo -
      For the first time in my whole life I went into some random store near where I live and INSIDE the store I had FULL reception on my AT&T while my dad had NO reception in his VERIZON blackberry. Call me crazy but At&t might just be trying to get their act together... that is... until about 2-3 months after the 3g ipad obliterates their entire 3g service once more. lol gotta love Apple and their crazy power hungry users. Im sure there will even be a huge 3g usage surge after the wifi ipad with those "top 10%" of iphone data users using mywi and tethering their iphone to their ipad. lol it just amazes me to the fact the at&t are oblivious to the fact that every single one of their "top 20% that take up 60% of their data" are all people with jailbroken iphones that use 3g unrestrictor and download full movies over 3g or just tether their laptop to download 8gb torrents while streaming high def youtube. And this is exactly why I will stick with at&t and WONT be the verizon iphone... cause verizon has enough common sense to set a 5gb/month limit (that I once went over in one day tethering to me and my brothers laptop and ipod touches in a 10 hour car ride to canada)
    1. rickybobby's Avatar
      rickybobby -
      i'm in michigan and i never really had slow speeds but i noticed last night that websites that i never went to on my iphone loaded in like 2.5 maybe 3 sec
    1. wiltok's Avatar
      wiltok -
      I work in downtown Chicago and ATT service is not reliable at all. Maybe in the suburbs, but in the city forget it. Constantly dropping from 3g to edge to nothing - and dropping calls like crazy. Really blows....
    1. pyromcr's Avatar
      pyromcr -
      wow. att dosnt suck anymore. it must be the end of the world...
    1. matthew1111's Avatar
      matthew1111 -
      This probably doesnt relate, but my AT&T Service to my house (wifi, etc...) SUCKS. I lag all the time when im playing xbox, and i currently live in texas...Though I do have 3 other computers, a printer, and a Jailbroken iTouch on it...
    1. Conas's Avatar
      Conas -
      The 3G in Amarillo (Hickville) Texas is top-notch. I doubt it's as fast as what it being used in the major cities, but maybe someday they'll make it even faster. I rarely lose bars, I never drop calls, and download speeds always make me giddy. I use 3G Unrestrictor, and my Youtube videos (on 3G) are clear as day and don't take but a few seconds to start streaming. I love the difference between Youtube that thinks it's on Wifi and Youtube on 3G.

      Anyways, I'm happy AT&T is making life more bearable for the big city folk.

      I'm real curious about what iPad will do to network reliability. Personally, I'll be purchasing the cheaper Wifi version and tethering w/ my phone because I am not paying for 2 dang "Unlimited data" plans.
    1. adsonjustin's Avatar
      adsonjustin -
      I get full bars at home. but at school I have one bar all day. the only place I get service is near the parking lot.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      I'm quite surprised at T-Mobile's numbers, better than I'd have thought. I wonder why Verizon's reliability is lower? That just seems weird to me.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Awesome! Now I can get faster 3G speeds in areas I never visit. Meanwhile I am still waiting for 3G where I live. Did I mention Verizon and Sprint both offer 3G in my area?
    1. glendoor's Avatar
      glendoor -
      I think my speeds have been slower. Normal at best. I'm in Flordia but not in Hicksville
    1. SnowLeo's Avatar
      SnowLeo -
      I live in NYC and get prefect reception with my iphone. But thats because I dont use AT&T. I also have a Verizon Moto Droid rooted with 2.1 custom firmware with full multitouch and TETHERING (for $30 a month less than a mifi) Then I dont even have a voice plan and just use wifi VOIP apps on my iphone that thinks the verizon 3g from my droid is wifi and make free calls in the US and super cheap international calls. So I pretty much beat the system and by not using AT&T and instead tethering my droid I get FULL reception and FREE calls to the US all for $30 a month less than a mifi. Just gotta make sure I stay under the 5gb a month "unlimited" verizon data plan. (aww no tethering to my computer to download high def movies over 3g). Lol but I definitely suggest this to anyone who lives in SF or NYC. Btw you can get tethering hacked onto windows mobile phones the palm pre plus and others (I got it working on my lil bros HTC Ozone so he can always have "wifi" with his ipod touch)