When you look at the data in our 2012 study of 3G and 4G wireless service city by city, certain larger patterns emerge. Most notably, T-Mobile's HSPA+ 21 dominated the 3G testing, earning the highest marks for upload speed and download speed in 11 of the 13 cities studied. The exceptions were Chicago (where AT&T captured the best upload and download speeds for 3G) and Dallas (where Verizon won for 3G uploads and AT&T for 3G downloads).
We saw three main patterns in our 4G test results. In five cities (Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco), AT&T swept the 4G upload and download competitions; in four (Denver, New Orleans, San Jose, and Seattle), Verizon swept both; and in the remaining four (Chicago, Dallas, New York, and Washington, D.C.), Verizon won for uploads and AT&T for downloads. Notably, in two of the cities where Verizon ruled (Denver and Seattle), AT&T doesn't offer 4G LTE service.
For details on how we conducted the testing for our 13-city study, see "Methodology in a Nutshell." Now let's take a look at the individual charts for each city.
Photograph by Robert Cardin.