A number of benchmark test have just become available on the performance of 4G networks in the US. And the major vendors are all tested – AT+T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. And the results speak much louder than any press releases or WormTongue Mobile Phone Company advertisements. There is the real deal , Verizon, and then the hoaxsters. The chart below from Rootmetrics gives a good overview of who is doing what:
Clearly Verizon is outperforming all 3 other major providers with 4G performance that is 4-6 times better on downloads and uploads then the rest of the competition. These results are confirmed in a second must-read report from PCWorld which examines 4G performance in 5 western US cities – Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle. Again, at 18Mbps download and 7.4Mbps upload and 57millisec latency, Verizon beats all other vendors by a factor of 6 for download speed, a factor of 7++for upload speed, and a factor of 3 for latency times. PCWorld worries that Verizon’s LGE network may not be loaded as the Thunderbolt 4G-LTE phone is just weeks old and the Verizon 4G mobile cards are just 4 months old. Also these results are better than what Verizon is looking for when the network is loaded[Verizon is saying to expect 5-12Mbps downloads]. But Computerworld appears to back-up the basic numbers again with independent tests on the Northeast US coast again showing at least a 3 times better performance for Verizon.
Clearly Verizons LTE 4G technology is the real deal. T-Mobiles HSPA+ is maybe 1/3 the deal [but it is convertible to LTE technology]. AT+T is way behind in its conversion to LTE and may have not gotten the deployment right since its LTE numbers are well below Verizon’s. Its purchase of T-Mobile may take dollars awya from badly needed LTE upgrade.
But the real hoaxster here is Sprint. Their 4G technology is can barely keep up with T-Mobile 3G+ HSPA+. This is passingly strange as WiMax has had the support of Intel, BridgeWave and Alianza among others. But Intel’s buy of a 4G LTE vendor in March of this year, may be indicative of where the 4G winds are blowing. Bottomline, unless there is a Hail Mary Technology Pass that can boost WiMax performance, Sprint looks a clear loser in the 4G wars because it has already invested $multi-billions in its WiMax rollout.
Finally consider that if Verizon can maintain its download/upload rates then video conferencing, tethering, and AJax intensive apps are here to not just stay but prosper. Big question, will Apple release an iPhone and iPad updates to take advantage of Verizon’s roaring speeds or will this be another Android win in the mobile space ?