iPhone carrier comparison: AT&T tops in data and browsing

A new study comparing the 3 U.S. iPhone carriers shows that AT&T is tops for data and browsing, more than doubling the download speeds offered by Verizon and Sprint.

As carriers continue to duke it out, AT&T reigns supreme in data speeds and browsing ability. Engadget

A new study comparing the 3 U.S. iPhone carriers shows that AT&T is tops for data and browsing, more than doubling the download speeds offered by Verizon and Sprint.

While the data speed news does not come as too much of a shock for many who follow the mobile phone industry, it is interesting to note that the iPhone also reported better-than-expected call quality and reliability on AT&T's network. The study, performed by wireless communications analysts Metrico, shows that AT&T's call failure rate sits at 2.8 percent, slightly higher than Verizon's 2.1 percent, but much lower than Sprint's 3.7 percent.

Metrico

Using over 6,000 calls from a variety of U.S. cities and complex algorithms to ensure objectivity, Metrico's study seems to be a fair representation of carrier quality across the country. Other numbers of note from the study include:

  • Page load times: (1) AT&T - 1.29 sec. (2) Verizon - 2.6 sec. (3) Sprint - 6.44 sec.
  • Speaking quality (out of 5): (1) Sprint - 3.95 (2) AT&T - 3.85 (3) Verizon - 3.5
  • Listening quality (out of 5): (1) AT&T - 3.82 (2) Sprint - 3.72 (3) Verizon - 3.55

Though the study was not intended to rate the carriers in the U.S., consumers can use the numbers to make better-informed decisions about which carrier to choose for their iPhone experience. Of course, customers should also take into account their current plan and standing with their carrier and any associated fees that they may incur should they break their contract.

If you're a data guy like me, who doesn't make a lot of calls but relies on the speed of the network you're on, AT&T seems to be the clear favorite, which may signal why AT&T recently stated that it had not experienced much in the way of customer churn since Verizon and Sprint started selling the iPhone.

Did you switch carriers after Verizon or Sprint got the iPhone? If so, let me know your experience and reasons in the comments!

About the author

    Joe is a seasoned Mac veteran with years of experience on the platform. He reports on Macs, iPods, iPhones and anything else Apple sells. He even has worked in Apple retail stores. He's also a creative professional who knows how to use a Mac to get the job done.

     

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