Carrier Wars: Verizon Wireless speed test results

Well folks, the numbers are in. Last week we asked Verizon Wireless subscribers to break out their favorite EV-DO handsets and see how Big Red’s 3G network stacks up against the competition. So far we’ve only covered one of the big US carriers, AT&T, so Verizon represents our second of four. Despite terrible results in some regions, AT&T’s 3G network set the bar pretty high with a raw average of 933kbps on the downlink side — yeah, we were shocked also — but clocked an atrocious 180kbps raw uplink average. So, how did VZW stack up against AT&T? You’ll just have to hit the jump to find out.

The results below are as of 11am Eastern this morning so tests posted in the comments after that point in time are not accounted for. Also, most readers complied with our request to specify which handset they were using to perform their speed tests. Some however, did not. We specifically asked for this info in order to separate EV-DO Rev. A phones from older, slower EV-DO Rev. 0 phones. Apropos, any results that did not have a handset model listed and weren’t obviously Rev. A (pretty easy to tell as Rev. 0 upload speeds have a ceiling just north of 150kbps) were omitted. We also omitted results that only listed max speeds, since they mean absolutely nothing. Ok, here goes:

  • Average download speed, EV-DO Rev. A: 701kbps
  • Median download speed, EV-DO Rev. A: 440kbps
  • Average upload speed, EV-DO Rev. A: 322kbps
  • Median upload speed, EV-DO Rev. A: 286kbps

As you can see Verizon came in well short of AT&T on the download side, averaging 232kbps slower than its GSM rival. In other words, according to the results posted by our readers across the country, AT&T’s network is a whopping 33 percent faster than Verizon’s on the downlink side. The median download speed was also significantly lower than AT&T’s; 440kbps compared to 840kbps. The tide takes a sharp turn where upload speeds are concerned however, as Verizon’s raw average of 322kbps trumps AT&T by 142kbps, or a massive 79 percent.

As with AT&T, the numbers were a bit skewed by tall peaks and deep valleys. As such, we trimmed the downlink data just like we did with AT&T’s numbers and — again to our surprise — VZW’s results were affected even more than the AT&T results:

  • Average EV-DO Rev. A download speed, top and bottom five results discarded: 629kbps
  • Average EV-DO Rev. A download speed, top and bottom 10 results discarded: 583kbps

Bottom line: If you gobble up a lot of data as most smartphone users do, Verizon is definitely not the quickest draw in the West. If uploading and sharing video, images, etc is your thing however, Verizon’s EV-DO Rev. A-capable handsets wipe the floor with AT&T. Granted, an average speed of 322kbps is still pretty pathetic but it’s nowhere near as pathetic as AT&T’s average of 180kbps.

For those of you still holding on to the past and rocking EV-DO Rev. 0 phones, here’s how your gray-haired handsets fared amongst our readers:

  • Average download speed, EV-DO Rev. 0: 548kbps
  • Median download speed, EV-DO Rev. 0: 569kbps
  • Average upload speed, EV-DO Rev. 0: 60kbps
  • Median upload speed, EV-DO Rev. 0: 55kbps

Rev. 0 handsets on VZW apparently aren’t too shabby on the download side but as expected, upload speeds are a total disaster. We only saw results from 28 Rev. 0 users however, so take these numbers with a grain of salt.

Well there you have it people — did Verizon come in where you thought it would? Surprised? Shocked? Indifferent? Sound off in the comments section below and stay tuned for the next installation of Carrier Wars.

For those who want to play with the numbers, here is the data for Rev. A and here is the data for Rev. 0. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: The results of these tests are not collected in a controlled environment and therefore should not be considered to represent a concrete indication of the above carrier’s 3G network speeds and/or performance in general. These results merely provide the average 3G network speeds of the above carrier as experienced by those readers who perform speed tests and share their results. Stop whining.

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