AT&T vs. Verizon Network Load

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thetexan, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. thetexan macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2009
    A common misconception I see excusing AT&T's poor data performance is the belief that AT&T's network is expected to handle a lot more data than any of its competitors. That idea was disputed by a research firm saying that AT&T actually handles less raw data across its network than Sprint, and far less than Verizon. They attribute this claim to larger 3G footprints and the fact that Verizon and Sprint both have sold many more data cards and mifi devices than AT&T, and those are the true bandwidth consumers.

    Another article came out today actually discussing data consumption specific to smartphones on Verizon, claiming that Verizon smartphone users burn on average more data than iPhone users on AT&T, to the turn of almost 100MB more per month. Interesting to see that the Android and other smartphone users on Verizon are using on average 421MB per month compared to the average 338MB per month being used on the iPhone.

    So far Verizon's network has held up to the massive growth pretty well, with no widespread reports of data congestion. Since Verizon separates their data and voice, increased data usage will have no effect on voice service like it does on AT&T.

    Now the question would be if Verizon were to get the iPhone would they be able to handle an additional several million customers who would leave AT&T. I believe Verizon is stubborn with their network and will find a way to cap the number of iPhones available by limiting their inventory should they start seeing decreased network performance.

    Also why am I posting this here? Because it's interesting to think about. I'm no fanboy to any carrier or phone and every time my contract is up I consider all phones across all networks before making a decision. I'm with Verizon now but in December when I'm out of contract if Sprint or even TMobile is offering something I like I'll jump on it.
  2. Psant macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    I wonder if the introduction of the Droid X will increase these numbers even further because I heard the average Droid X user uses 5x the amount of data.
  3. Branskins macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    Why do I have a hard time believing this?

    Does this include all Verizon smartphones?
    What about including all of AT&T's smartphones?

    Either way, I still have a hard time believing this. Maybe it's because some apps stay in the background using data through the night?
  4. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    That CNET article seems to be contradicted by the abstract in the report that they linked to:

  5. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Think about it.

    Verizon smartphone owners have always had Slingplayer, Skype, Pandora and so forth available over 3G... and use them.

    Verizon smartphone users also tend to use 3G over WiFi, since the 3G coverage is so good.

    On the other hand, Apple and ATT have tried since the beginning to make iPhone users rely more on WiFi. They've also spent years preventing heavy data apps from going over 3G.
  6. anonymous guy macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2010
    Another instance is the terrible compression on iPhone Youtube videos over 3G, while other network phones had the HQ option available since the start.

    Luckily, circumvents that :)
  7. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    Aren't there mire smartphone users on AT&T? So even if verizon smart phone users consume more data individually, if AT&T smartphone users outnumber them as whole than AT&T would still have more data usage. I think.
  8. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816


    Jun 21, 2010
    San Francisco, Ca
    I'm sorry, but I have to agree. I just can't see how the iPhone can be beat in data consumption compared to other smartphones.
  9. anonymous guy macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2010
    I'm not an Android user, but I can understand how it may use more data. With Android phones, since the homescreens widgets seems to be constantly pulling data from social networking feeds, stocks, weather, news etc. while the iPhone is relatively static outside of the foreground app and email fetching.
  10. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816


    Jun 21, 2010
    San Francisco, Ca
    But I AM an Android user lol. Let me show you my data usage for the past 7 months? Note my maximum is 127.1MB's in May. I'm at 527.72 MB's so far this month on my shiny new iPhone. The Widgets used surprisingly little data.

    Attached Files:

  11. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    Lol at you guys. Verizon has way more subscribers and way better 3G coverage than AT&T. Why shouldn't they carry more data? Why shouldn't they have more users using smart phones?

    The iphone is neither the first smart-phone, nor the best smart-phone, nor the most common smart-phone. The Blackberry holds all three of those honors.

    Why is this so hard to understand? No offense, but cluelessness and myopia are not virtues and certainly not endearing (especially to the competent among us).

    Maybe you should start looking at information that *isn't* written in an Apple /AT&Tpress release or marketing brochure?
  12. thetexan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2009
    While there maybe more smartphone users on AT&T, it's still easy for Verizon's network to handle a lot more data than AT&T's network.

    The firm told that the average iPhone user burns about 338MB, but the average Verizon aircard customer burns on average 1.6GB. One Verizon aircard customer is equal to about 5 iPhones on AT&T.

    Why is it hard to believe Android users wouldn't use as much data as an iPhone user? The browser is exceptional, it's got all the same video and music streaming apps, I can stream NFL network for free, it syncs with social networks and email, etc etc.
  13. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    They carry more data because they have a larger 3G footprint within which one can ACCESS the data. A big store can move more units than a small store, but the small store can still move more units per square foot. Total network capacity is not the same as localized network load. AT&T might be pushing half the data in one-eighth the coverage, for all we know.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Which is true given the features that verizon bundles with the DX. Large screen makes watching videos/movies quite enjoyable.
  15. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    With the proliferation of more competitive smart phones on the Verizon and
    Sprint networks (the Droid is still less than a year old) and the fact that the
    way a typical BB or WinMo user uses their phone (better browsers, better
    apps) I'm sure there is a big difference between their numbers "now"
    compared to when the iPhone 2G and 3G models launched.
  16. Jeffrosproto macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2008
    This. AT&Ts 3G coverage is so much less widespread than Verizon's that I would bet that most of the data is used in a very small area.
  17. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2010
    Houston, TX
    why does everyone assume people will "flee" AT&T if Verizon gets an iPhone? did you not see the report just a few days ago stating that most of us are happy with the Death Star?
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Dont mind him, he's a VZ die hard :D
    Thats all he does. Posts threads all the time about how great Verizon is and how much AT&T sucks.
  19. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    So dramatic. He didn't say "flee", he said "leave".

    There's no doubt that there's a group of people who left Verizon (and other carriers) over the years, just to get an iPhone... even if their friends or family were still on the old carrier, and/or if they had better coverage before.

    If Verizon gets the iPhone, then a group of those people will leave ATT and go back to their original carrier of choice. Others will stay with ATT.

    That's all. No big deal. The only bad assumption would be if you thought that everyone is so happy with ATT that they would stay.
  20. mrathee macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2010
    You're just flat out wrong.

    Blackberry was not the first smartphone. IBM had the first one in the early 90's.

    Blackberry is not the best smartphone. Any android and any ios device is better than blackberry. Thats why the latest OS coming from BB is considered the "last attempt" to equal android and apple.

    As for the most common - i wouldn't doubt it is blackberry since it has been around for ages longer than the rest - but to say that it will continue to be would also be flat wrong.
  21. curitibagarrett macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2007
    This data is kind of worthless...ATT has over twice the smartphone users as Verizon.
  22. unamused macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2009
    source? :rolleyes:

    anyway, im currently on verizon and am strongly considering getting an iphone when my contract ends in november.

    One of the biggest problems ive always know about but never really bothered me till now is the fact that the current VZW network cannot run data and voice at the same time. Even if verizon got a CDMA version of the iphone, i cant say for sure i would stay because of that very issue.

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