The findings seem to echo another test conducted by Gizmodo, which also put AT&T's speeds at the top. PCWorld said AT&T enjoyed a huge boost since it conducted similar tests last spring. AT&T's average download speed went from 818 kilobytes per second last year to 1410 kpbs in January and December.
Now mind you, this doesn't affect coverage, something AT&T still needs to work on if you've noticed the Verizon Wireless commercials. But when it comes to speed, AT&T seems to be distancing itself from the pack.
Here's a quick snapshot taken from PCWorld's test of 13 cities:
What's interesting here is that AT&T's reliability is tied with Sprint at 94 percent ahead of T-Mobile and Verizon at 92 percent.
Here's a look at the breakdown of speeds on a smart phone for the 13 cities.
You can see that AT&T was fastest in all but two of the cities for downloads on a laptop and 9 of the 13 cities for downloads on a smart phone. And it was the hands down winner for uploads.The test were conducted in December.
Here's a look at speeds over a laptop.
You can see that AT&T was fastest in all but two of the cities for downloads on a laptop and 9 of the 13 cities for downloads on a smart phone. And it was the hands down winner for uploads.
The tests were conducted in December and January at 20 locations within the 13 cities. There were more than 51,000 separate tests covering 850 square miles or about 7 million subscribers.
AT&T has been investing heavily to boost its 3G performance and recently announced it was investing about $19 billion this year in its network, more than all of its competitors. Last year, it started to roll out its HSPA 7.2 technology which delivers higher speeds and they've also begun converting parts of the network to the 850MHz band, which frees up more capacity. AT&T is also investing in more cell towers and building up more backhaul or connections from the towers into the network.
AT&T will still get dinged for its service but perception usually takes a while to catch up to reality. We'll see if AT&T can sustain these results with more and more iPhone and smart phone subscribers jumping on to AT&T's network. It already has 40 percent of its subscribers on smart phones and is chasing more users with new Android devices. And it's also got the iPad coming soon, which will add more load to the network.
But for now, it's good news for AT&T. Now you AT&T users, are you seeing any of these faster speeds or are you scratching your head at these results?