AT&T vs. Verizon vs. T-Mobile LTE Speed

tx2005

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2013
130
101
I'm pricing out different carrier options for a 6s Plus and despite being a longtime AT&T customer, it seems like the other carriers are offering more data for less, especially on a shared plan.

My main concern is LTE speed on Verizon and T-Mobile vs AT&T. I've always been pretty happy with the speed of LTE on AT&T and I'd hate to lose that if I switch. Do any T-mobile or Verizon customers care to mention how fast/slow LTE is for you? Any issues to know about up front? I do live in Houston so I'm not super concerned about coverage as I think all 4 us pretty well covered now.

I'm not really considering Sprint as my gf has Sprint currently and her LTE is painfully slow compared to what I have on AT&T
 

LimonJoe

macrumors newbie
Oct 4, 2015
19
8
I'm pricing out different carrier options for a 6s Plus and despite being a longtime AT&T customer, it seems like the other carriers are offering more data for less, especially on a shared plan.

My main concern is LTE speed on Verizon and T-Mobile vs AT&T. I've always been pretty happy with the speed of LTE on AT&T and I'd hate to lose that if I switch. Do any T-mobile or Verizon customers care to mention how fast/slow LTE is for you? Any issues to know about up front? I do live in Houston so I'm not super concerned about coverage as I think all 4 us pretty well covered now.

I'm not really considering Sprint as my gf has Sprint currently and her LTE is painfully slow compared to what I have on AT&T
TMo always gave me the fastest speeds however Verizon has better and more coverage. I had TMo for a couple of years and moved to an area where TMo wasn't very useful in regards to LTE or even HSPA+. Needed to use wifi calling in the house to make calls and send/receive text.
Switched to Verizon because I had to and I am never without LTE, anywhere I go. It may not be as fast as TMo LTE, but it is still very fast nonetheless. After all, this is a mobile computing device that's in my pocket!!!
 

ROLLTIDE1

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2012
1,791
549
T-Mobile network is still mostly EDGE when you leave a major city so if you travel at all you want to avoid them cause doing anything on a EDGE/GPRS connection is like being stuck in 80's
 

tx2005

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2013
130
101
It seems like a toss-up between AT&T and Verizon for me. Either stay with AT&T or switch to verizon and do a shared plan with my significant other. Does Verizon still not allow surf and talk? That would be a deal breaker for me.
 

LimonJoe

macrumors newbie
Oct 4, 2015
19
8
It seems like a toss-up between AT&T and Verizon for me. Either stay with AT&T or switch to verizon and do a shared plan with my significant other. Does Verizon still not allow surf and talk? That would be a deal breaker for me.
iPhone 6 has a "voice+data" option in LTE settings. Which also supposedly enables "HD Calling" which is supposed to be a higher quality of voice calls.
 

iNinja08

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2015
174
97
http://opensignal.com/ seems to be pretty accurate for real speeds. If you choose advance view it'll show you the speeds in your area. Looks like TMobile and Verzion are the fastest but not by much in Houston.
 

ROLLTIDE1

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2012
1,791
549
It seems like a toss-up between AT&T and Verizon for me. Either stay with AT&T or switch to verizon and do a shared plan with my significant other. Does Verizon still not allow surf and talk? That would be a deal breaker for me.
Yes they do with VOLTE you can talk and surf at the same time
 

terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,742
557
Pennsylvania
It seems like a toss-up between AT&T and Verizon for me. Either stay with AT&T or switch to verizon and do a shared plan with my significant other. Does Verizon still not allow surf and talk? That would be a deal breaker for me.
If you enable VoLTE, you'll be able to talk and surf at the same time as long as you're in an LTE area
 

Eddiepapi

macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2014
10
4
If Tmobile released the 700mhz in your area then I would definitely try them out. Check out the speeds I'm getting.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: LLL1424

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,168
Here(-ish)
I'm pricing out different carrier options for a 6s Plus and despite being a longtime AT&T customer, it seems like the other carriers are offering more data for less, especially on a shared plan.

My main concern is LTE speed on Verizon and T-Mobile vs AT&T. I've always been pretty happy with the speed of LTE on AT&T and I'd hate to lose that if I switch. Do any T-mobile or Verizon customers care to mention how fast/slow LTE is for you? Any issues to know about up front? I do live in Houston so I'm not super concerned about coverage as I think all 4 us pretty well covered now.

I'm not really considering Sprint as my gf has Sprint currently and her LTE is painfully slow compared to what I have on AT&T
Only those in Houston can answer your question; all other replies are moot.

RootMetrics could also give you an idea of local speeds.

BTW, there is an entire thread where people do nothing but post their LTE speeds. Did you look there?
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/post-your-lte-speeds-and-location.1449989/
 

rugmankc

Contributor
Sep 24, 2014
2,178
640
The only way to do this is find someone with those carriers and do side-by-side tests. Preferably with same phone, but that would be hard. Otherwise speeds can change quickly even in same area. You can also take advantage of a 14 day return policy by carrier. Or, whatever equivalent they offer. I will agree TMO was horrible for me outside their city areas. Even looking at their coverage area maps on web was not accurate. I get decent ATT coverage everywhere I go for business appts and vacations. Weakest spot, ironically, is my lower floor of house. But, I am in a valley with lots of trees. I have wifi, so it only bothers phone calls occasionally.
 

Anthony T

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2008
992
86
Having been a customer of all 3 carriers, I have to say I wasn't that impressed with Verizon. I feel like their service is very overrated. I had them for my iPhone 6 and didn't really get what all the Verizon fuss was about.

AT&T was definitely better than Verizon from my experience, coverage and speed-wise. I had AT&T for quite some time.

I had T-Mobile for a while on my 5S. I wasn't happy with their coverage so that's why I went to Verizon.

I kept going over my data on Verizon so decided to give T-Mobile another shot for my new 6S Plus since they have unlimited data and supposedly better coverage now. I've been very impressed so far. Their customer service is horrible (I had one person who was great though), but their LTE has been faster than AT&T and Verizon in my experience. I'm not sure if that's because the new 6S Plus is faster or if it's the service itself, but I'm happy with T-Mobile now.
 

cchs2014

macrumors member
Dec 1, 2014
58
35
Having been a customer of all 3 carriers, I have to say I wasn't that impressed with Verizon. I feel like their service is very overrated. I had them for my iPhone 6 and didn't really get what all the Verizon fuss was about.

AT&T was definitely better than Verizon from my experience, coverage and speed-wise. I had AT&T for quite some time.

I had T-Mobile for a while on my 5S. I wasn't happy with their coverage so that's why I went to Verizon.

I kept going over my data on Verizon so decided to give T-Mobile another shot for my new 6S Plus since they have unlimited data and supposedly better coverage now. I've been very impressed so far. Their customer service is horrible (I had one person who was great though), but their LTE has been faster than AT&T and Verizon in my experience. I'm not sure if that's because the new 6S Plus is faster or if it's the service itself, but I'm happy with T-Mobile now.
I agree! I just switched from Sprint to T-Mobile and the difference is night and day. I'm so happy with T-Mobile. I live in Atlanta and T-Mobile works amazing. I'm in college and the biggest problem I've had is that one of my classes is basically in the basement of a building in the city so ALL the carriers switch from LTE (upstairs) to 'No service' in the lowest level. But today I noticed that my iPhone 6S Plus was able to snag T-Mobile's band 12 LTE. So while others had no service on their devices, my T-Mobile 6S+ was the only one hanging onto LTE. Amazing.
 

ROLLTIDE1

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2012
1,791
549
I agree! I just switched from Sprint to T-Mobile and the difference is night and day. I'm so happy with T-Mobile. I live in Atlanta and T-Mobile works amazing. I'm in college and the biggest problem I've had is that one of my classes is basically in the basement of a building in the city so ALL the carriers switch from LTE (upstairs) to 'No service' in the lowest level. But today I noticed that my iPhone 6S Plus was able to snag T-Mobile's band 12 LTE. So while others had no service on their devices, my T-Mobile 6S+ was the only one hanging onto LTE. Amazing.
I hope that you don't travel much or you will be severely upset when you leave the city and have to deal with the little E icon that stands for EDGE on your phone
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,377
1,139
Charlotte, NC
I hope that you don't travel much or you will be severely upset when you leave the city and have to deal with the little E icon that stands for EDGE on your phone
You sound like a broken record from 2013.

They've significantly expanded LTE coverage outside cities and along most major roads and highways between them since then.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 0970373

0970373

Suspended
Mar 15, 2008
2,727
1,407
I hope that you don't travel much or you will be severely upset when you leave the city and have to deal with the little E icon that stands for EDGE on your phone
Yeah, this is mostly outdated advice. You could amend to say "if you travel to small cities taking back roads."

And if you travel internationally, TMO is the best option. Free roaming & texts!!
 

ROLLTIDE1

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2012
1,791
549
Yeah, this is mostly outdated advice. You could amend to say "if you travel to small cities taking back roads."

And if you travel internationally, TMO is the best option. Free roaming & texts!!
Not out dated advice at all it's the Truth the T- Mobile network has more holes in it than swiss cheese . You have to wonder why no storm chasers use T-Mobile to stream live video or to get radar data . If it works for you and you don't travel very little then go for it :) but I could never live with GPRS and EDGE data speeds
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.