Light Reading

The Best 3G & 4G Cities in America

Dan Jones
LR Mobile Report
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
10/30/2012
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Let's take a look at how the data splits across carriers.
Table 3: AT&T's Fastest Cities

City Top Download Speed (Mbit/s) 2012 Test Dates
Indianapolis 20.4 July 18 - 24
Cleveland 19.7 Sept. 6 - 15
San Jose, Calif. 19.5 Aug. 17 - 21
San Antonio 18.8 March 19 - 23
Indianapolis 18.6 Feb. 13 - 19
Source: RootMetrics




AT&T has the fastest overall speeds, just edging Verizon out for top downloads.

Table 4: Cricket's Fastest Cities
City Top Download Speed (Mbit/s) 2012 Test Dates
Philadelphia, PA 0.9 April 8 - April 14
Kansas City, MO 0.9 April 24 - 30
Charleston, SC 0.9 August 17 - 21
Philadelphia, PA 0.9 July 28 - August 3
Dayton, OH 0.8 May 8 - 12
Source: RootMetrics




Leap, which markets itself as Cricket Communications Inc. , has the slowest overall numbers of any carrier but has no 4G LTE network -- aside from two markets, one just launched in Vegas -- to speak of.

Table 5: MetroPCS's Fastest Cities
City Top Download Speed (Mbit/s) 2012 Test Dates
Dallas 3.4 Aug. 7 - 13
Dallas 3.2 Feb. 21 - 27
Orlando, Fla. 2.9 May 20 - 24
San Francisco 2.6 July 18 - 24
Tampa, Fla. 2.4 Jan. 13 - 19
Source: RootMetrics




MetroPCS gets its fastest numbers in Dallas, one of its oldest LTE markets, launched in September 2010.

Table 6: Sprint's Fastest Cities
City Top Download Speed (Mbit/s) 2012 Test Dates
San Antonio 6.9 Aug. 7 - 13
Kansas City, Mo. 6.2 Aug. 17 - 23
Atlanta 5.1 Aug. 7 - 13
Orlando, Fla. 3.9 May 20 - 24
Dallas 3.8 Aug. 7 - 13
Source: RootMetrics




Because of its smaller radio channels -- typically 2x5MHz rather than 2x10MHz -- Sprint is getting less juice out its 4G network than either AT&T or Verizon.

Table 7: T-Mobile's Fastest Cities
City Top Download Speed (Mbit/s) 2012 Test Dates
Atlanta 10.8 Aug. 7 - 13
Seattle 9.7 June 15 - 21
Orlando, Fla. 9.5 May 20 - 24
Mission Viejo, Calif. 9.5 Feb. 21 - 25
San Diego, Calif. 9.4 July 8 - 14
Source: RootMetrics




Note that T-Mobile is getting better performance out of its top 3G HSPA+ cities than Sprint is getting on its 4G cities.

Table 8: Verizon's Fastest Cities
City Top Download Speed (Mbit/s) 2012 Test Dates
New Orleans 19.7 April 7 - 11
Mission Viejo, Calif. 18.3 Feb. 21 - 25
St. Louis 17.6 Jan. 5 - 11
Kansas City, Mo. 17.5 Aug. 17 - 23
Source: RootMetrics




Verizon, meanwhile, comes very close to AT&T in performance and has a wider LTE footprint.

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