AT&T actually fares better than Verizon in latest tests…?

by Mike
Posted December 7th, 2009 at 5:09 am


If there’s one thing about wireless network tests, it’s that they’re constantly being conducted by various groups looking to disprove claims of their competitors while bolstering claims of their own. The last several months of my AT&T contract were hell. Dropped calls increased by day, signal strength was abysmal, and rounding out the trifecta was a trip to a University of Michigan football game when I couldn’t place a single call, text, or call up a web page all day — even with five bars — because the network was so taxed. So I switched to Verizon and got myself a Droid. O happy day. Did I make the right choice? Depends on how you look at the data provided by Root Wireless…

In their latest survey, they should that in 5 out of 7 major metropolitan areas, AT&T’s 3G had stronger coverage and download speeds than Verizon: 246-428 kbps to 196-259 kbps respectively. I’m all for the hard numbers providing the truth but I’m pretty sure a lot of people would disagree about AT&T’s metropolitan performance. For instance, Chicago is only a stones throw away so I can say I have some experience in a large metropolitan area. While I did have a 5 bar signal (graphical signal indicators don’t mean anything), dropped calls were frequent for me in the Windy City. Also, Since I’ve traveled back to Chicago with my Verizon equipped Droid, I can certainly tell you that I averaged much higher download throughput than the tests show. Though we must realize it is one city, one test. As such, networks can fluctuate greatly. I’m sure there are places where AT&T is better than Verizon just as T-Mobile and Sprint have their own respective places too.

The report cites the differences in AT&T’s 3G network and Verizon’s 2G/3G blend — giving Verizon the win for flat out larger footprint but ultimately given AT&T the cake when technology is concerned. And mostly it’s true. Verizon’s EV-DO network isn’t as technologically advanced as AT&T’s HSPA network. Though Verizon’s LTE/4G network expansions should be heating up soon. That my friends will bring about a “game changer” as many would call it.

It’s just that given my experiences with AT&T in the past, it’s hard to see any tests showing them to be so great when I know that just isn’t the case. Anyone have any experiences or thoughts they’d like to share concerning the matter?

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2 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • John B.
    December 7, 2009 at 9:20 am

    I don’t think Verizon ever claimed their network was faster. Their only goal was to tout their better overall national coverage.

    • Mike
      December 7, 2009 at 9:22 am

      I agree. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve watched the commercials several times. Unless I missed something, Verizon marketed themselves as “more reliable” and owning a larger overall 3G network. I didn’t hear any mentions of speed.

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