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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 17, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Verizon flies past other carriers in Seattle speed test

Verizon and its new LTE network walloped other carriers in a new survey of Seattle-area wireless network performance.

The survey (posted below) was done by Bellevue’s RootMetrics, which did more than 27,000 call, data and text tests in September to gauge speeds and performance of the different carriers in the area.

It found that Verizon’s average download speed was up to 21.5 times faster and its average upload speed was 20 times faster than previous tests in February, which didn’t test the latest 4G networks.

Verizon’s average download speed of 14.5 megabits per second was faster than the maximum speed Root recorded on any of the other carriers, and its 9.6 Mbps upload speed was eight times faster than T-Mobile, its nearest competitor.

Verizon also topped its ranking of overall performance. Second place went to AT&T, followed by T-Mobile and Sprint.

Root also found that AT&T more than doubled its average download speeds since its previous tests, moving it from third to second place in its speed ranking. T-Mobile also showed faster downloads but they “increased at a less drastic rate, while Sprint’s average download speed actually declined.”

T-Mobile was the quickest to deliver text messages.

When it came to dropped calls, all four carriers “delivered statistically equal performances” the report found, with drop rates of 0.1 to 1.6 percent.

But data transmission failures were higher in Seattle than in other markets that Root has tested recently. AT&T had the lowest data failure rate – with failures in 6.2 percent of its tests – and Sprint had the highest rate, with failures in 14.2 percent of its tests.

Root did the tests with off-the-shelf Android devices. From the description of the devices and methods:

The HTC myTouch 4G Slide (T-Mobile 4G), the HTC Thunderbolt (Verizon 4G), the Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint 4G), and the Samsung Infuse 4G (AT&T 4G). During the Text test, SMS messages were sent from each phone to an in-market receiver kit holding mobile devices for each of the carriers. The phones used in the receiver kit were the HTC Droid Eris (Verizon), the HTC Evo (Sprint), the Samsung Captivate (AT&T), and the Samsung Vibrant (T-Mobile).

A few graphics from its report:

root1.jpg

root3.jpg

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Comments | Topics: 4G, Android, AT&T

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