Go Back   MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPhone

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Sep 28, 2012, 11:57 PM   #1
smdewart
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
LTE in Chicago -- AT&T vs Verizon?

Hi All: Wondering if anyone can opine on ATT vs. Verizon LTE access and speed in Chicago? I currently have AT&T and am considering a move to Verizon. AT&T in Chicago is typically not great, but wondering if LTE is any better than 3G.
smdewart is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 12:13 AM   #2
milan03
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: New York City
Quote:
Originally Posted by smdewart View Post
Hi All: Wondering if anyone can opine on ATT vs. Verizon LTE access and speed in Chicago? I currently have AT&T and am considering a move to Verizon. AT&T in Chicago is typically not great, but wondering if LTE is any better than 3G.
AT&T LTE in Chicago is one of the most problematic AT&T markets because they only have half the amount of deployed LTE spectrum of what Verizon has.
AT&T LTE in Chicago is 5x5Mhz which allows peak download rates of 37mbps while Verizon LTE is 10x10Mhz nationwide with peak speeds of 73.6mbps.

Peak spee are not even as important as the capacity issues that AT&T is gonna have to deal until they deploy another 10Mhz of AWS spectrum. Nobody knows when is that gonna happen.

So right now LTE in Chicago on AT&T averages under 10mbps, and during congested peak hours half of that. By holiday season were looking more than half of that, easily.

Verizon is still around 20mbps on average.
__________________
2013 15" rMBP 2.6Ghz, 16GB RAM, 1TB
milan03 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 01:13 AM   #3
sdfu93
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
I *really* wanted to love Verizon LTE, but am finding it lacking in coverage.

I have an iPad on AT&T LTE, an AT&T 4S and have been testing a 5 on Verizon. When I'm able to get Verizon LTE, it's usually about twice as fast as AT&T, but sporadically is on par during heavy congestion times like ~ 4 - 5 pm. In the distant north burbs (Lake Forest) I'm getting better speeds on AT&T.

My huge issue has been Verizon's claim of LTE coverage -- it's like they put LTE on the minimum number of towers possible. My phone is constantly reverting back to 3G and 2G because of a stronger signal. I had not seen the 2G circle indicator since the original iPhone!

Walking around River North/the loop, Verizon will constantly bounce between 2G - 3G and occasionally stick with LTE. I find myself turning LTE on/off in the iPhone's settings to get it back on the LTE network. During peak times, LTE signal will drop dramatically -- 2 bars during work hours, but then 4 - 5 late at night.

In normal AT&T dead spots, like elevators, basements and other tough areas my 4S is problematic as expected, AT&T LTE is pulling in a usable 1 - 2 bars, and Verizon is on 1 bar of 2G, but not actually able to pull any data. In the suburbs, I had the same situation in various big box retailers (I actually had to walk outside of the store on Verizon so that I could download a shopping list!).

Voice:
AT&T has been much better on the 4S. I keep finding myself reverting back to the AT&T 4S for conference calls because I can't stand the heavily compressed sound of Verizon. Verizon has made statements that they will not support voice over LTE (VoLTE) until mid-2013 because they know the coverage is lacking, and will not implement the costly feature of seamless switching of voice between 3G and LTE bands (so if you're making a VoLTE call, lose the LTE signal, your call will drop rather than revert to 3G).

Data:
Having the option to revert back to HSPA+ is a huge win for AT&T and they seem to have LTE on many more towers. Disadvantage is that depending on congestion, HSPA+ can be faster than LTE. AT&T will never hit the highs of Verizon's LTE because of spectrum issues.

Proxying:
Verizon will recompress web pages and transcode videos/audio. You'll find that JPEGs contain a lot more artifacts/look poorer and YouTube videos have less resolution. I also found that when streaming MP3 radio stations on Verizon, the bit rate seems to get reduced.

Overall:
- For me, Verizon costs $30-40 more a month because of the shared data plan. - Verizon has extremes of ultra lows and highs, but for web pages and other activities you're not going to notice a huge difference.
- Verizon might have great numbers now, but they're only advertising averages of ~ 10 mbps. There goal is to buy spectrum rather than put up extra towers.
- Be prepared for some 2007 iPhone 1 speeds with Verizon.

I've reserved an AT&T iPhone 5 for pickup tomorrow. I was willing to lose my unlimited AT&T plan and pay extra for great coverage, but Verizon doesn't make the cut. If they add more LTE towers by the time a 5S is released, I'll consider trying them again, but I'm not optimistic.
sdfu93 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 11:08 AM   #4
smdewart
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Thanks much for the reply! I'm actually from Lake Bluff / Lake Forest so I know the area well, and ATT's 3G has always seemed fine up there. I live in East Lakeview and work in River North/West, and ATT is hit or miss it seems.

My wife has a Verizon LTE iPad and I've noticed that its speeds are much more modest since the iPhone 5 was made available.

But I'm also thinking about how the HSPA+ is a good fallback. My brother has the 4S and "4G" is pretty fast as-is, so if LTE doesn't work and "4G" is the runner-up, followed by 3G... then it's almost a good insurance mechanism.

All that said, VZW also unlocks the SIM card slot, which would be great for international travel I think? Then again, my wife is definitely getting the VZW iPhone 5, so even if I got the ATT 5, we'd still have some coverage.

Any other Chicagoans have comments?
smdewart is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 11:17 AM   #5
misterjay
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
I live in the suburbs of Chicago, (Orland Park..ect..)

AT&T LTE is GOD AWFUL. I'm pretty much getting Straight Talk Prepaid 3G Speeds.
misterjay is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 02:22 PM   #6
ninethirty
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Anyone else have any opinions? I'm torn at the moment. I have an unlocked GSM phone on it's way from Canada, but I also realized that I'm no longer on contract with AT&T, so I could switch over to Verizon if I wanted to, and sell the unlocked GSM phone BNIB when it gets here.

For what it's worth, AT&T on the 4S has been a nightmare. I'll have full bars in most places and get no data whatsoever. Calls will go through fine, but I rarely make calls anymore. All I care about is data, and the speed of that data.

Cheers!
ninethirty is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 02:37 PM   #7
mpossoff
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Philadelphia
Quote:
Originally Posted by milan03 View Post
AT&T LTE in Chicago is one of the most problematic AT&T markets because they only have half the amount of deployed LTE spectrum of what Verizon has.
AT&T LTE in Chicago is 5x5Mhz which allows peak download rates of 37mbps while Verizon LTE is 10x10Mhz nationwide with peak speeds of 73.6mbps.

Peak spee are not even as important as the capacity issues that AT&T is gonna have to deal until they deploy another 10Mhz of AWS spectrum. Nobody knows when is that gonna happen.

So right now LTE in Chicago on AT&T averages under 10mbps, and during congested peak hours half of that. By holiday season were looking more than half of that, easily.

Verizon is still around 20mbps on average.
Is there a way for AT&T to get more than 5X5?
mpossoff is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 04:15 PM   #8
thaghost
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Romeoville, IL
I have a att work phone on lte and i just switched to verizon for my personal. I've noticed similar speeds out in the suburbs (bolingbrook up to mt prospect). But in the city, my verizon phone was much faster. it was pulling speeds of 22-28 whereas my att was at 8-10.
__________________
MacBook Pro 13.3" 2011, 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD : iPhone 4S 32 GB AT&T : iPad 2 32 GB
: The new iPad 32 GB Verizon LTE: 21.5" iMac, 3.0 GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD : iPhone 5 32GB White Verizon
thaghost is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 04:26 PM   #9
MultiMediaWill
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Illinois
Quote:
Originally Posted by thaghost View Post
I have a att work phone on lte and i just switched to verizon for my personal. I've noticed similar speeds out in the suburbs (bolingbrook up to mt prospect). But in the city, my verizon phone was much faster. it was pulling speeds of 22-28 whereas my att was at 8-10.
What speeds did you get in Bolingbrook on ATT?
__________________
MacBook Pro 15" 2011 , 2.2 GHz Quad i7, 750GB SDD, 8GB RAM
iPhone 6 Plus 64gb
MultiMediaWill is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 04:38 PM   #10
Ohbomb
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
I work in the Citigroup building (500 w Madison) and live in the south loop. I have had AT&T with the 3GS, 4, and 4S. AT&T was always bad in terms of dropped calls and data rates but got especially bad with data about a year ago. My phone was unusable during rush hour as I took the train home from work.

I now switched my wife and I to Verizon with iPhone 5s and so far couldn't be happier. Data speeds are good and I actually get service no matter what time of day. (even during white sox and Notre dame games I've been to recently)

Obviously I haven't been on Verizon long but so far it's night and day from the kind of service I had with AT&T. I will miss data and voice at the same time but it's well worth it to have a phone that works 100% of the time.
Ohbomb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2012, 04:53 PM   #11
thaghost
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Romeoville, IL
Quote:
Originally Posted by MultiMediaWill View Post
What speeds did you get in Bolingbrook on ATT?
15-20 down 13-17 up
__________________
MacBook Pro 13.3" 2011, 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD : iPhone 4S 32 GB AT&T : iPad 2 32 GB
: The new iPad 32 GB Verizon LTE: 21.5" iMac, 3.0 GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD : iPhone 5 32GB White Verizon
thaghost is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 19, 2014, 03:48 PM   #12
MrX8503
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Looking at ATT vs Verizon in downtown Chicago before the iPhone 6 drops. Wanted to revive this thread to get an update on LTE speeds.

I'm getting 6mbps with ATT, 73mbps with Verizon. Can anyone else post their results?
MrX8503 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 19, 2014, 08:01 PM   #13
nostresshere
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Asking here is probably a bad idea.

Actual service in any city will vary in different parts of town. Ask some people that have this service that travel to similar parts of town that you do.

Again, answers here are of marginal value.
nostresshere is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 19, 2014, 08:52 PM   #14
MrX8503
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by nostresshere View Post
Asking here is probably a bad idea.

Actual service in any city will vary in different parts of town. Ask some people that have this service that travel to similar parts of town that you do.

Again, answers here are of marginal value.
Anywhere downtown Chicago would be helpful.
MrX8503 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 19, 2014, 09:11 PM   #15
Hexaea
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrX8503 View Post
Looking at ATT vs Verizon in downtown Chicago before the iPhone 6 drops. Wanted to revive this thread to get an update on LTE speeds.

I'm getting 6mbps with ATT, 73mbps with Verizon. Can anyone else post their results?

I have LTE basically everywhere as long as I'm above ground. Can't speed test at the moment but I've never felt my internet was terribly slow anywhere.
Hexaea is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 19, 2014, 09:14 PM   #16
Hexaea
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Chicago
LTE in Chicago -- AT&T vs Verizon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexaea View Post
I have LTE basically everywhere as long as I'm above ground. Can't speed test at the moment but I've never felt my internet was terribly slow anywhere.

Sorry should note I'm on AT&T :P
Hexaea is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 19, 2014, 09:31 PM   #17
SpasticPat
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Apollo, Pa
Send a message via AIM to SpasticPat
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudy.kenneth View Post
is iphone 6 come with lte? i like very fast service.
__________________
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
-George Orwell
SpasticPat is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 20, 2014, 12:13 AM   #18
guychicago
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
I live in the Gold Coast area and work in the loop, on my iPhone 5s LTE speeds are great and barely any dropped calls. I had an iPhone 3GS on T-Mobile before but that was only on 2G speeds.
I want to get the iPhone 6 and I'm looking at a plan whether it's T-Mobile or AT&T. Currently I am being charged $90 a month for three gigs of data, 450min and unlimited text. Is there a cheaper individual plan with AT&T or is T-Mobile better?
guychicago is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 20, 2014, 08:39 AM   #19
Eileen89
macrumors 6502a
 
Eileen89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Philadelphia
Quote:
Originally Posted by guychicago View Post
I live in the Gold Coast area and work in the loop, on my iPhone 5s LTE speeds are great and barely any dropped calls. I had an iPhone 3GS on T-Mobile before but that was only on 2G speeds.
I want to get the iPhone 6 and I'm looking at a plan whether it's T-Mobile or AT&T. Currently I am being charged $90 a month for three gigs of data, 450min and unlimited text. Is there a cheaper individual plan with AT&T or is T-Mobile better?
There is a cheap $30/month prepaid plan with T-Mobile.
Eileen89 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 20, 2014, 08:24 PM   #20
guychicago
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eileen89 View Post
There is a cheap $30/month prepaid plan with T-Mobile.
That will not have talk or text will it? Does anyone know how tmobile coverage is on LTE in the downtown area?
guychicago is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 20, 2014, 11:11 PM   #21
yeah
macrumors 6502a
 
yeah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by guychicago View Post
That will not have talk or text will it? Does anyone know how tmobile coverage is on LTE in the downtown area?
100 minutes, unlimited texting and 5 GB of high-speed data (with unlimited data after that, but 2G speeds).
__________________
2014 Macbook Air, 1.4 GHz Haswell i5, 4 GB 1600 MHz RAM, 128 GB PCI-e Flash, Intel HD 5000 ; 16 GB iPhone 5S Gold with the Un-Carrier ; iPad 2 16 GB White with Wi-Fi and a Surface 2 tablet.

Last edited by yeah; Aug 24, 2014 at 10:12 PM. Reason: 100 minutes not 1,000.
yeah is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Aug 24, 2014, 07:02 PM   #22
nateo200
macrumors 68030
 
nateo200's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Rendering......
Quote:
Originally Posted by guychicago View Post
That will not have talk or text will it? Does anyone know how tmobile coverage is on LTE in the downtown area?
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeah View Post
1,000 minutes, unlimited texting and 5 GB of high-speed data (with unlimited data after that, but 2G speeds).
I have this plan. Unlimited Texts, 5GB of high-speed data (then limited to EDGE like speeds after that) and 100 minutes of voice, for those who talk on the phone allot for another $5 or 10 dollars you can get a ton more minutes. I also believe there is a Unlimited Talk, Unlimted Text and 500MB plan for $25 or $30. T-Mobile hides some of the really good deals and sometimes they are only for knew customers.

Anyways I don't live in Chicago but I just got back from the Milwaukee area and was in Chicago, I had T-Mobile LTE throughout Cook County, and all the way up I-94 from Waukegan, to Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee, one or two spots dropped LTE but it dropped to 4 bars of HSPA+. Was watching HD TV shows on netflix with ease from Chicago to Milwaukee.
__________________
-15" rMBP 2.4/8/256/650M, FCP X, AE CS5.5, PS CS6
-USB3 180GB SSD, Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt
-iPhone 6 in Space Grey 128GB
-Canon 550D, GoPro3 Black

Last edited by nateo200; Aug 24, 2014 at 07:12 PM.
nateo200 is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPhone

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lte Is underwelming in Chicago SilentLoner iPhone 55 Nov 11, 2012 01:38 PM
Downtown Chicago Verizon iPhone 5 LTE Problems or did I break my Phone? sephcast iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting 3 Oct 17, 2012 02:55 PM
Verizon LTE Speed on iPhone 5 in Chicago - Data itsmrjon iPhone 0 Sep 24, 2012 04:31 PM
AT&T LTE in CHICAGO: BEWARE!!! MattMJB0188 iPhone 47 Sep 23, 2012 03:32 AM
LTE in Chicago. misterjay iPhone 18 Sep 22, 2012 04:38 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:11 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC