We’ve told you everything you need to know about 4G, but if you’re thinking about switching networks when you get that 4G phone or modem, you might be basing it on who’s faster. Here’s how the networks stack up against one another.
We mentioned the speeds each company is claiming in our 4G roundup, but the numbers weren’t always the most trustworthy. PC World did some serious testing of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint’s networks for both 3G smartphones and 4G modems, and the results were a bit surprising. T-Mobile ended up being the fastest on the smartphone end with 2.28 Mbps down, while Verizon came in last at less than half that. As far as USB modems went, it was very different: Verizon had by far the fastest speeds, hitting about 6.44 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up, while Sprint came in last—albeit close to T-Mobile and AT&T—at a bit more than 2 Mbps down and less than 1 Mbps up.