Photo of two smart phones.
Which network is better, AT&T of Verizon? CC by nodomain1/Flickr

Dropped calls are commonly associated with AT&T’s iPhone, but the company’s 3G network is faster than Verizon’s. In a test of download and upload speeds, iPhones on AT&T’s 3G network were twice as fast on average than iPhones connected to Verizon’s 3G network. While AT&T beat Verizon in 3G network speed, Verizon’s network provided a more reliable connection.

AT&T versus Verizon

After years of dropped calls, many iPhone users have anticipated leaving AT&T for Verizon. Before making the switch, iPhone users should be aware of a new study conducted by Ookla, creators of the speedtest.net broadband test. Ookla compared test results from AT&T and Verizon iPhones connected to the Speedtest.net app. Verizon iPhone data transfers were half as fast as those measured on AT&T iPhones. Ookla compared Speedtest.net results from  14,000 Verizon iPhones and 42,000 AT&T iPhones. Most users ran the Speedtest.net app several times for a total of 106,000 AT&T iPhone tests and 40,000 Verizon iPhone tests.

AT&T/Verizon speed test details

AT&T iPhones averaged about 1,768 kbps for downloads and 730 kbps for uploads. In comparison, Verizon iPhones averaged about 846 kbps for downloads and 606 kbps for uploads. Data transfer in AT&T iPhones was clearly faster. However, Verizon iPhones had a more reliable connection. Other independent reviewers using Speedtest.net reported that at times AT&T iPhones could not complete the test because they dropped the connection. The Verizon iPhone was noticeably slower but was able to maintain the connection through every test. The test results hold true to claims made in the advertising campaigns for both companies. AT&T touts “the nation’s fastest 3G network.” Verizon touts “America’s largest and most reliable wireless network.”

How to pick the best iPhone

To decide on either an AT&T or Verizon iPhone, consumers should think about how they will use the device most. Consumers hoping to enjoy a lot of media may want to go with AT&T. If reliability is first and foremost, Verizon is an easy choice. The Speedtest.net app,  the easiest and best way to test an iPhone’s 3G network speed, is available free for the iPhone at the Apple App Store.

Information from

Wired: http://wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/02/iphone-speedtest/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/17/133849171/on-the-iphone-at-t-network-is-faster-than-verizons

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41485079/ns/technology_and_science-wireless/

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