AT&T Claims Fastest LTE Networks Speed in Third Party Study

According to research conducted by RootMetrics, AT&T has the fastest pure LTE speed of any of the major carriers, clocking in average download and upload speeds of 18.6Mbps and 9.0Mbps. Number two Verizon delivered 14.3Mbps and 8.5Mbps, respectively, with Sprint a distant third at 10.3Mbps and 4.4Mbps.

T-Mobile doesn’t offer 4G, but its non-LTE speeds are the best of the group at 7.3Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up; AT&T is a strong second in that category, actually, with 4.3Mbps and 1.1Mbps.

AT&T 4G devices
A few of AT&T's 4G devices

Verizon has been the frontrunner in terms of rolling out 4G LTE networks, which it has done at a blistering pace. For instance, RootMetrics found Verizon’s LTE network in all 77 markets that they tested, whereas AT&T was only in 47. That number has changed, however, as AT&T said that it has now launched LTE networks in 26 of those markets, bringing its total in the tested areas to 73.

4G LTE coverage map
4G LTE coverage map (L to R: AT&T, Sprint, Verizon)

It’s clear that AT&T currently has the faster service, but the company has a long way to go to match Verizon’s coverage footprint--Verizon still holds the lead nationwide with 475 markets to AT&T’s 153--but once AT&T eventually catches up, Verizon will have extremely stiff competition. Sprint and T-Mobile should be sweating it right about now.