“Third-generation wireless technology, or 3G, started being rolled out in about 2001, and offers a wide range of services (from music downloads to mobile GPS) and greater efficiency than previous standards. In the U.S., three providers offer 3G service: AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint. The fourth nationwide carrier, T-Mobile, says it will roll out its 3G network starting later this year,” Brian Nadel reports for Computerworld.
“Although 3G can be accessed using many cell phones, road warriors who need to get serious work done will likely want to use their laptops,” Nadel reports. “To gauge the speed and reliability of these three wireless data networks, I used my ThinkPad X300 to collect nearly 500 data points at eight different places in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, within a 50-mile radius of midtown Manhattan’s urban canyons,.”
“I timed how long it took to establish a connection with each network, followed by speed tests. Using Alken’s bandwidth meter, I was able to gauge download and upload speeds as well as how long it took to load that vendor’s home page,” Nadel reports. “All speed readings — connection time, the Alken speed tests and page loading times — were repeated five times and averaged.”
“AT&T’s network left its competitors in the digital dust, with average download speeds of 755Kbit/sec. and average upload speeds of 484Kbit/sec. The peak download speed was 1.6Mbit/sec. It connected in just 3.0 seconds and loaded the test Web page in 0.228 seconds,” Nadel reports.
“The slowest of the three cellular data networks, the Sprint network delivered on average 494Kbit/sec. download speeds to my notebook. That’s roughly a third slower than AT&T’s network. Its average upload speed was 294Kbit/sec. and the network’s top speed was 1.2Mbit/sec. It connected in 3.7 seconds,” Nadel reports. “Verizon’s BroadBand Connect network averaged 592Kbit/sec. for downloads and upload 232Kbit/sec. for uploads. Peak speed was 1.3Mbit/sec. On the downside, it took a relatively pokey 5.6 seconds to connect.”
Much, much more in the full article here.