Sprint responds to controversial 4G speed tests pitting Verizon’s LTE against WiMAX

BGR on Friday reported on a massive 1,000-test 4G speed study conducted by BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk and his team. Piecyk’s controversial study found that Verizon Wireless’ new 4G LTE network handily beat Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network in the head-to-head speed tests. The tests used the mobile hotspot functions on Verizon’s HTC ThunderBolt and Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G, and found that Verizon’s 4G network averaged 9Mbps down and 5Mbps up while Sprint’s 4G speeds hovered around 1Mbps in each direction. With regard to Sprint and its WiMAX network, these findings are not in line with BGR’s experience. As such, we reached out to Sprint for comment.

“In a word, we find these tests inaccurate,” Sprint spokesperson Stephanie Vinge-Walsh told BGR. “We work closely with an independent third party research company which reports regularly to us on real-world, scientifically tested speeds and the results we see do not match what Piecyk found. We’ve recently seen speeds in NYC (inclusive of New Jersey) averaging 4-5Mbps download.” Recent unscientific speed tests performed by BGR in and around New York City found that Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network consistently delivered between 3 and 5.5Mbps down and around 1.5Mbps up. While we did find Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network to be significantly faster than that during our review of the HTC ThunderBolt, our tests support Sprint’s stance and further suggest that BTIG’s testing may have been flawed.

Sprint’s full statement is as follows:

In a word, we find these tests inaccurate.

We work closely with an independent third party research company which reports regularly to us on real-world, scientifically tested speeds and the results we see do not match what Piecyk found. We’ve recently seen speeds in NYC (inclusive of New Jersey) averaging 4-5Mbps download.

The Verizon 4G LTE network is very new so no one has any fully time-tested data on it yet. As their network gets loaded and more than just one smartphone comes forward on their network, we can better assess its capabilities. In the early days of 4G for Sprint, we saw some very high speed numbers when the Network was launched (much higher than our current speed claims) but what ultimately matters to customers is a consistent, long-standing experience based on a network loaded with customers.

While speed tests will come and go, Sprint continues to offer consumers a dependable 4G network, more 4G devices and a better 4G value – with the only truly unlimited 4G – and we will continue to invest in expanding and enhancing Sprint 4G.

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