& cplSiteName &

AT&T Beats Verizon on iPhone Speed

Sarah Thomas
3/7/2011
50%
50%

If you want the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone 4 with the fastest download and upload speeds, stick with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), but if you want the best Web browsing, then it's a toss-up between AT&T and Verizon Wireless .

That's what the results suggest, at least, from mobile-device tester Metrico Wireless Inc. in its iPhone tests on live and simulated mobile networks.

When Metrico tested the two devices in a variety of markets, including congested areas such as New York and Chicago, it found that AT&T's iPhone download speeds were twice as fast as Verizon's, but the mean load time for an average Web page was about the same.

That may not be too surprising to a lot of users, as AT&T has gotten flack for reliability, not speed. When it came to reliability, Metrico found that when the iPhone is mobile, AT&T's version actually completed around 10 percent more data download sessions than Verizon's. When the phones were stationary, however, Verizon's iPhone proved to be more consistent, with a 10 percent better success rate.

Metrico isn't able to compare speech quality across carrier because of a technology bias, according to VP of Information Products Rich McNally, but it did look at dropped call rates and found that the difference was less than expected.

"The popular wisdom dictates that AT&T has a higher dropped call rate and blocked calls on AT&T iPhone," McNally says. "Our results show that, but the magnitude is not that big."

Metrico also compared AT&T's iPhone to 22 other smartphones within the carrier and compared the Verizon iPhone to 17 of its own devices. The AT&T iPhone outranked its peers in data download and upload speed, but ranked below average in Bluetooth speech quality. It came out right in the middle for call performance, beaten by top performers Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) Captivate and High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) Aria.

On Verizon, the iPhone was a top performer on noise cancelling, but was below average on data download speeds to other Verizon smartphones and comparable on speech quality.

Why this matters
Metrico, which does both pre- and post-launch testing, performed over 10,000 Web page downloads, ran more than 2,000 data download/upload tests and made nearly 4,000 voice calls, but it's clearly doing some fence-sitting here. That's because it's hoping to sell these metrics to the wireless operators, amongst other customers such as enterprises and device makers, so playing favorites wouldn't help that cause.

Its findings, and performance metrics in general, are important though because of the high costs associated with customer service. Wireless operators need visibility into their networks, devices and customers' experiences in order to improve them. Calls into customer-service call centers are costly and churn is even more so.

Besides providing more evidence for the AT&T versus Verizon iPhone (and soon to be iPad) battle, Metrico is also giving the wireless operators and device makers actionable data to improve their devices. For more
For more on how the wireless operator's leverage metrics, test and measurement, check out the following stories:



— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
ycurrent
50%
50%
ycurrent,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:10:56 PM
re: AT&T Beats Verizon on iPhone Speed


Good to see some data on this, as opposed to anecdotes, espeically as people will be quick (and wrong) to claim AT&T's better results on the defection of subs to VZ

WilliamofOccam
50%
50%
WilliamofOccam,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:10:55 PM
re: AT&T Beats Verizon on iPhone Speed


I am curious how Metrico compiled this data. For example, download speeds are a function of current load (number of active users) in a cell. So unless Metrico had access to this kind of fine-grained data which I imagine operators are unwilling to share, one should not read too much into the results presented; or completely discount anecdotal evidence for that matter!

WilliamofOccam
50%
50%
WilliamofOccam,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:10:54 PM
re: AT&T Beats Verizon on iPhone Speed


Talking of sample size reminds of the phrase lies, damned lies, and statistics! But you do make a fair point.

tsat
50%
50%
tsat,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:10:52 PM
re: AT&T Beats Verizon on iPhone Speed


Just switched from ATT to Verizon in San Francisco.  My phone can actually sustain a phone call now.


 


Its like saying a car is faster, even though it doesn't come with seats.

Featured Video
From The Founder
The world of virtualization is struggling to wrench itself away from the claws of vendor lock-in, which runs counter to everything that NFV stands for.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
21st Century Networking? Welcome to the Lock-In
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
How Long Before We Hit Peak MWC?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/23/2018
Stakes Run High for Tivo in Comcast Suit
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/20/2018
Liberty Global: Not So Fast on D3.1
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
AT&T Reveals Initial 5G Cities
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/21/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed