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Mammoth Study Finds Sprint’s 4G Network is the Worst – And It’s Not Even Close

Updated 4 years ago
Verizon LTE Speed

In a mammoth study comparing mobile data speeds of U.S.-based carriers across various cities, Verizon emerged victorious more often than not. But the study, conducted by PC Mag across 30 U.S. cities, revealed that competition amongst carriers is closer than it’s been in quite some time.

In putting together its report, PC Mag said that it ran “more test cycles than ever before: 131,000 cycles over 30 cities and thousands of miles of driving.” In addition to measuring 3G and 4G speeds across different carriers, the study also looked at which carriers tend to perform better on a region by region basis.

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“We found a more competitive landscape than ever,” PC Mag writes. “Verizon won about half the cities and all the rural regions, like last year. But the rest of the cities were almost equally split between AT&T, with strongholds in the Southeast and Texas, and T-Mobile, which was especially strong in Western cities.”

Comparing 4G speeds nationwide, Verizon won hands down, delivering an average download speed of 19.1 Mbps, easily trouncing Sprint which pulled up the rear with an average speed of 12.7 Mbps.

Looking at 3G speeds nationwide, T-Mobile emerged victorious with an average download speed of 7.4 Mbps, followed by AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon which came in last with an average speed of just 0.9 Mbps.

On a region by region basis, here’s a shortened breakdown based on PC Mag’s results.


LTE Winner – (1) Verizon (2) T-Mobile (3) AT&T (4) Sprint

3G Winner – (1) AT&T (2)T-Mobile (3) Sprint (4) Verizon


LTE Winner-  (1) Verizon (2) AT&T (3) T-Mobile (4) Sprint

3G Winner-  (1) AT&T (2)T-Mobile (3) Sprint (4) Verizon


LTE Winner – (1) Verizon (2) T-Mobile (3) AT&T (4) Sprint

3G Winner – (1) AT&T (2)T-Mobile (3) Sprint (4) Verizon

South Central Region – New Orleans, Houston, Dallas

LTE Winner – (1) AT&T (2) Verizon (3) T-Mobile (4) Sprint

South Central Region 3G Winner – (1) AT&T (2)T-Mobile (3) Sprint (4) Verizon

Northwest Region

LTE Winner – (1) T-Mobile (2) Verizon (3) Sprint (4) AT&T

3G Winner – (1) AT&T (2)T-Mobile (3) Sprint (4) Verizon

Southwest Region

LTE Winner – (1) Verizon (2) T-Mobile (3) AT&T (4) Sprint

3G Winner – (1) T-Mobile (2) AT&T (3) Sprint (4) Verizon

PC Mag’s full piece is well worth reading in its entirety if you happen to be considering switching carriers and want to see where you can get the most bang for your buck.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.