New Mobile Data Speed Tests Show AT&T is the Fastest, Least Consistent of the Bunch

There's no doubt in anyone's mind that 3G is pretty much one of the biggest factors in going with a new mobile phone contract, at least if you want to be connected at all times, and don't want to be waiting all day to get something done. And of course, let's not forget that there's a huge push towards 4G. But for now, 3G's the focus, and thanks to PCMag, we've got a brand new widespread test that shows which wireless carrier is the fastest. The results are pretty revealing.

We'll just go ahead and declare the winner as AT&T. Now, we'll go ahead and tell you how it was done. PCMag went out to 18 different cities across the continental United States. They used a plethora of staff members, freelancers, and a new piece of software of their own design to put the networks to their test. Which networks were included? AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint 3G and 4G, and Cricket. The only things that they didn't cover was voice quality, dropped calls, or coverage areas. They admit that those are just as important, especially to most customers, but that simply wasn't part of the test this time around.

Here's what we're looking at for results: AT&T's HSPA 7.2Mbps 3G network strong-armed the wireless carrier into first place, based on the speed index. AT&T sat nicely at a 93, while Sprint's 3G reached a 76. T-Mobile and Verizon were 83 and 77 respectively. However, things get trickier when you look at consistency, as AT&T found themselves at a marginal (compared to the competition) 86 percent consistency level. Sprint 3G was at a 95 percent level, T-Mobile at 92 percent, and finally Verizon was at 88 percent.

AT&T may have the fastest network around, but if you can't keep your customers connected to that data, then we imagine that there's not much to boast about here. Then again, AT&T needs all the boasting material they can get, so we imagine that if they're paying any attention, they should run with this latest result. If you want a far more detailed explanation of how they reached their conclusions, with several more graphs for your viewing pleasure, hit up the link below.

[via PCMag]