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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. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      i guess im just special. i've allways had great speeds with At&t
    1. Nehal3m's Avatar
      Nehal3m -
      OMFG! AT&T is FINALLY doing better than last year! Honestly, when AT&T matches the reliability of Verizon in Los Angeles, I'll get myself an iPhone.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SnowLeo View Post
      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)
      Uhh........
    1. SnowLeo's Avatar
      SnowLeo -
      naw. I lied about my previous post. I actually get the data plan free with $0 monthly fee because my dad is the owner of the wireless zone verizon premium retailers in pennington NJ and featherville PA so I can the droid data plan free. only cost is the phones.. had to pay full price for the droid... but compared to the $60 a month for a mifi... hmmm over 2 years... 2 x 12 x 60 =... well you get the point. But seriously you can save some major coin and get full reception and free calls in NYC and SF if you do what I do.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      I don't see the ipad affecting AT&T as much as people think. My money is on the odds that most will choose the wifi version due to the fact that most people already pay for an Internet connection at home so they will piggyback off of that. AT&T has always worked very well for me so it is good to see that it just keeps getting better
    1. boxxa's Avatar
      boxxa -
      Wow so you mean ATT is investing the money they are making on all the iPhone and soon to be iPad sales into their network and improving their service? I feel like the world may have stopped spinning.
    1. badass1469's Avatar
      badass1469 -
      lol good for me =] i live in san jose, as well as go to san francisico a bit. so i guess this update in speed was intended for me =P.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      AT&T reception is terrible here. On T-Mobile I get 1100 - 1900 download on my 3G so I'll stick with that
    1. scottjl's Avatar
      scottjl -
      big deal. they test in 13 major cities. i travel the us constantly (for work) and let me tell you outside of these 13 major cities at&t service sucks for both data and voice. i'm amazed at how many places i travel to (several in a month, from coast-to-coast) that simply have crap service. dropped calls. calls that don't go through. and horrible download speeds.

      i love my iphone, but i am sorely disappointed in AT&T.
    1. Imsorussian's Avatar
      Imsorussian -
      Im in ny and at&t sucks just like before still major call drops the 3g is super slow or not responding at all they just suck i wish iphone would move to verizon. Dont believe the hype about at&t they just suck.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      AT&T works great here. I have full bars 95% of the time and my data speeds rival the speeds in the chart.
    1. rkswat's Avatar
      rkswat -
      Quote Originally Posted by SnowLeo View Post
      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)
      Nice commercial
    1. Squeaky369's Avatar
      Squeaky369 -
      This has been irritating me for awhile. And I finally did the research and got the information on Verizon vs. AT&T 3G Maps.

      AT&T 3G is the same speed as Verizon's "Mobile-TV" service. To be able to use their Mobile-TV service, you have to have the same amount of broadband available, as AT&T offers in their 3G Network.

      So; here are the REAL maps.


      Verizon's Network - The map that shows coverage that would match AT&T 3G Speed.


      And AT&T's Map...

      Wait; they are the same, is that because the FCC restricts broadband of these speeds to specific areas? Maybe... Amazing.

      So lets compare the Digital Signal map that Verizon shows on it's "There's a Map for That" commercials. Since, their "3G" network, as shown in this new study, matches AT&T Edge Network.


      Here's Verizon's (EDGE) 3G Network. Not bad.


      And here's AT&T Edge Network.

      Yeah, Verizon has a bit more coverage out west then AT&T does; but they still lie.

      AT&T will always kick Verizon's ***...
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      It really doesn't matter who has most coverage - if either companies coverage is not good where you want to use the phone then you have very little choice.
      Here in the UK, if one carrier has poor coverage you just use another, it's usually no big deal. No carrier has perfect coverage and it varies where you go - and that's in a small country like the UK.
      At least we have choice.
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      I already hit the thanks button, but I just need to post a thank you to Squeaky369 for the coverage map. I've gotten increasingly irritated about people believing the Verizon's was some all powerful being that karate chops everything else into oblivion.

      Now as far as speeds are concerned, I live geographically equal distances between NYC and Philadelphia (maybe 10 miles closer to PHL) Would I benefit from either city's 7.2 upgrade? or would it be regular 3g coverage for me? Don't really care if its an Apple product or not, I'm going back to Windows Mobile as soon as their available. XBL & Zune FTW.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      I don't see the ipad affecting AT&T as much as people think. My money is on the odds that most will choose the wifi version due to the fact that most people already pay for an Internet connection at home so they will piggyback off of that. AT&T has always worked very well for me so it is good to see that it just keeps getting better
      Also, keep in mind that anyone who has an iPhone jailbroken and using any tethering app (MiWi preferably) you can tether wireless and use your iPad to connect to your phone and have internet.
    1. DaMan05's Avatar
      DaMan05 -
      900 kbps down...

      HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA CANADA FTW!!!! 21 MBPS HSPA+ on 5 different networks (but its actually 2 different networks)
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by DaMan05 View Post
      900 kbps down...

      HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA CANADA FTW!!!! 21 MBPS HSPA+ on 5 different networks (but its actually 2 different networks)
      And what speeds do you actually get on these 21MBPS networks?
    1. DaMan05's Avatar
      DaMan05 -
      On the iPhone? Upto 4 Mbps
      Higher on those USB and mifi devices from what I hear
    1. davshirley's Avatar
      davshirley -
      So does this mean that AT&T will soon allow tethering for non-jailbroken iphones?

      Honestly, tethering is the ONLY reason that I jailbreak these days.