Sprint had a good long run being the only carrier in the US with a real next generation 4G network. But with the launch of Verizon's LTE network, Sprint's WiMAX waves are looking a lot less wondrous. BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk performed 1000 speed tests using the HTC Evo 4G (Sprint) and HTC Thunderbolt (Verizon) in New York to see which network delivered the best 4G speeds. The result: Verizon destroyed Sprint.
Royal Pingdom has aggregated a heap of data on what sort of connection speeds people are actually getting around the world. Included in the statistics are results for the 50 top countries by total number of internet users. The data is from the second quarter of 2010, and comes courtesy of Akamai. The results are not entirely surprising, but that doesn't mean they can't be disheartening.
South Korea topped the charts with an average speed of 16.63Mbps. The nearest competitor was Hong Kong with only 8.57Mbps. The United States came in a number 12 in the world, just barely beating out Hungary. Canada sits just above America (geographically and on the chart), but the difference between it and the US is marginal.
The overall world average was 1.8Mbps, so by that measure, the US is doing quite well. It could be worse. The world's largest internet market, mainland China, has an average speed of only 0.86Mbps. What sort of speeds do you get at home? Anyone still stuck on dial-up?
Even a cursory glance at the internet will assure you of one fact: people hate AT&T. While a great many people love their iPhones, the network is their one major complaint. News of a massive AT&T failure is juicy stuff, and stirs up the interwebs nicely, but Gizmodo’s recent 3G speed test does throw AT&T a bone. If you have solid AT&T 3G service, it’s probably really, really fast.
Gizmodo tested 3G data speeds in 12 markets around the US. The tests checked raw speed via speedtest.net, as well as downloading very large images and webpages. The results of the testing indicate that AT&T beats out Verizon in average download speed. However, it was close, with Verizon winning out in four of the 12 markets. The real shocker is that AT&T absolutely destroyed the competition in upload speeds, winning all 12 markets.
If this tells us anything, it’s that we can’t be too harsh with AT&T. Sure, AT&T has some issues with service coverage, but the network is fast where you can get it. That’s at least half the equation.
eWeekbrings two pieces of sobering news on the broadband front to our attention this week: much slower median speeds than other advanced nations, and a big shortfall in new customers.
The US may think of itself as a broadband leader, but that's a perception that doesn't fit the facts, suggests a new report from the Communication Workers of America (link in PDF format). Their SpeedMatters.org website offers a free upload/download test, and the data from that test was used to compare US broadband speeds with typical speeds for other countries. According to SpeedMatters, the US is 15th in the world in broadband speed, with a median speed of 2.3Mbps, compared to world leader Japan at 63Mbps, South Korea at 49Mbps, Finland at 21Mbps, France at 17Mbps, and even Canada at 7.6Mbps. Median upload speed in the US is just 435Kbps (corrected 8-15-08).
Don't blame me, by the way. I use Insight's 10.0 (10Mbps) broadband service, and the SpeedMatters test clocked my download speed at 9347Kbps, and my upload speed at 952Kbps, both very close to the rated maximum. The problem is that 10Mbps or faster speeds (Insight also offers 20Mbps service at an extra charge) are not typical in today's marketplace.
To learn more about why the US is sucking wind in the Broadband Olympics, and what's happening to new broadband customer demand, catch us after the break.