THE LTE ROLLOUT RACE RAMPS UP – WHICH IS BEST?
With the LTE coverage race looking like a singular and lopsided win for the big red cellphone carrier, many people in Central Missouri are trying to make the tough decision on whether or not to make a switch, or hold fast.
In our state’s capital of Jefferson City, the only LTE service currently available comes from Verizon Wireless. The timetable for the rival competitors of AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile (snicker) is unknown at this time. So for a person considering what the best provider for this area would be, it looks like an easy decision. Or is it?
A good friend of mine, Scot Nichols, owns 2 Droid RAZR smartphones for he and his wife on Verizon Wireless. He’s pretty pleased with the service thus far. We did some testing, and the results were pretty impressive for Jefferson City.
The download speeds for the Droid RAZR under Verizon’s LTE coverage ranged from 10 to 20Mbps. The upload speed was even more impressive, running between 13 and 19Mbps for our tests. That looks clearly better than the HSPA+ speeds I usually get on the AT&T network ranging from 1.5Mbps to as much as 10Mbps with uploads going from 500Kbps to 2Kbps.
But after Postal Jim Stuckey sent me screen shots of his Speedtest results while sitting in the Cardinal’s stadium in downtown St. Louis, I can tell you that this paints a different picture. His Samsung Galaxy S3 was averaging 20Mbps upload and 49Mbps download.
I don’t know what is documented as “typical” from the AT&T company, but several users in the STL area have reported the same speeds using Samsung, Apple, and HTC devices that are equipped with an LTE radio. 50Mbps down and 20Mbps up is quite typical with newer technology.
Back here in good old #CentralMO (Twitter hashtag), I don’t know what the timeframe is for LTE expansion. There aren’t any published reports on a timetable. It could be better than a year out. But I’m not swayed on switching services, knowing what potentially super high speeds are coming to my devices.
The choice to #CentralMO users is simple. Go with Verizon Wireless for LTE speeds right now, and slower CDMA 3G speeds when off the LTE map. Or stick with AT&T for a while, with respectable HSPA+ “4G”, and blazing fast LTE speeds at some point in the future. Or, you could go with T-Mobile that is running on the blazing fast EDGE network, with blinding speeds upwards of 5Kbps (more snickering).
Something else to consider is the plan for Verizon to drop all of the current 3G CDMA network in order to fully go with LTE service. AT&T will continue to have the HSPA+ backdrop as they expand LTE coverage.
My choice and recommendation is for sticking with AT&T. I don’t think you can go wrong with Verizon, it’s a good service. Sprint is not something I recommend for #CentralMO until we know what their future direction is, and T-Mobile gets a flat-out FAIL for our area (they have much better service in STL, however).
In the long run, I think I’ll be better off sticking with my AT&T service to have the widest range of options. But what are your thoughts on the choices of carriers in #CentralMO, or in your area of residence? Shout me out a holler in the Disqus comments section!