OutSprinted: Verizon's LTE Bests Sprint's WiMax

Analyst Walter Piecyk of BTIG Research ran more than 1,000 speed tests in New York City to determine which 4G network was faster, Verizon's LTE or Sprint's WiMax. If it's all about speed for a subscriber, the tests point to one 4G network: Verizon.

Sprint's HTC Evo 4G smartphone and the recently released Verizon HTC Thunderbolt were used in the tests. BTIG used the phones as mobile hotspots. Both an iPad 2 and Toshiba laptop used the smartphones for their broadband connectivity, and the results were unsurprising, echoing another recent test by RootMetrics that compared all Big 4 carriers and came out with Verizon on top.

That was average: Verizon's network topped out at 19Mbps download and 10Mbps upload. In addition, Piecyk said that the Verizon network was more reliable, and that the Thunderbolt had better battery life than the Evo.

Of course, while Verizon's LTE blasts away at other carriers' 4G services, it's still only available in limited markets. Verizon plans to aggressively increase that coverage however; AT&T's LTE service won't even begin testing until mid-2011.

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Walter Piecyk appears to have a soft spot for the HTC Thunderbolt. He recently wrote that a survey of 150 Verizon Wireless stores showed the Thunderbolt selling at least as well as the iPhone 4 at 89 percent of stores, with it outselling Apple's device at 28 percent of them.
Tags:  LTE, Sprint, WiMAX, Verizon