AT&T Inc's 4G LTE network wins on speed but Verizon Wireless still dwarfs all others on size, according to the latest report from RootMetrics
The researchers have just put out an LTE Performance Review for 2012 that gives AT&T the crown for the fastest networks using the latest wireless broadband technology.
AT&T clocked an average of 18.6 Mbit/s downloads for its LTE networks with a maximum speed of 57.7 Mbit/s. The operator currently has 149 live LTE markets.
Verizon Wireless is getting 14.3 Mbit/s average download on its LTE network, with a top speed of 49.3 Mbit/s. The operator currently has over 470 active LTE markets.
RootMetrics describes 2012 as a foundation year for Sprint Nextel Inc.'s initial LTE deployments. The operator is getting an average of 10.3 Mbit/s download on its LTE network with a maximum of 32.7 Mbit/s recorded. The operator currently has 67 LTE markets live.
T-Mobile USA is due to launch its first LTE markets this year. "Although T-Mobile didn’t offer LTE in 2012, their HSPA+42 network turned in impressive download speeds," RootMetrics noted, with an average download of 7.7 Mbit/s. The uploads, however, suffer because of the 3G-derived nature of T-Mobile's network.
Why this matters
With users uploading and downloading gobs more data on their smartphones, laptops and tablets, a fast, large, and reliable 4G network is starting to become a table stake for operators in the U.S.
And as 4G LTE is the bedrock for many of the services planned by U.S. operators this year, so performance details are useful.
Obviously, averages don't give the full picture, as higher performing networks in some markets can drive up the overall average figure. So let us know how your operator is doing with LTE in your city/town.