ATT LTE faster than VZW?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by hefeglass, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. hefeglass macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
    i realize that the coverage is the big part that matters right now...verizon having about 200 cities with ATT about 30..

    BUT, they do have att LTE in Raleigh, NC ..where I live.

    and I have seen many of the reviewers tested VZW LTE and got some great speeds...but I was curious as to what kind of speeds ATT service offers..

    well, according to bloomberg, ATT 4g LTE is looking to be almost twice as fast (granted this is just one location...and I'm sure some of the tests on VZW were this fast also, and the network saturation level for verizon on their LTE network is much higher than ATTs I'm sure)

    but i figured I would ask here if anyone has used ATT LTE...seems like it can at least compete with verizons as far as speed goes..

    Attached Files:

  2. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    I think the simplest way to put it is:

    Where it is available, AT&T LTE stands a good chance at being faster than Verizon LTE.

    The catch is it's not widely available. It's exactly like the 3G rollout; Verizon was slower, but vastly more widespread. I live in Charlotte, and chose AT&T over Verizon. If it's a complete joke, I'll swap it for a Verizon model when they become available again.
  3. hefeglass thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
    i made the mistake of getting no LTE at all..

    I may end up returning mine for a 64 ATT

    is there any benefit to ATT bc I already have att as my phone service?

    I am honestly not seeing any reason to go for att besides the (possibly) faster speeds..but in reality, all of the speeds seen with verizon were more than enough for me. And the coverage when out of the state would be much better
  4. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    If you want to look at it as a benefit, wherever you don't have AT&T LTE, the "4G" HSPA+ it falls back to is much faster than Verizon's EVDO 3G.

    At the moment, there is no benefit or penalty by having your phone service with one company and data plan with another. That may change in the near future, however. Both carriers are discussing moving to a "shared" data plan model, where you purchase one data plan and share the allotment with all of your devices. At that point, if you have your devices on different networks, you won't be able to take advantage of that new format.
  5. bowlman23 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    I went with vzw because they have so much more coverage than AT&T. AT&T will likely be faster for now because they don't have nowhere near as many 4g devices out in the market as Verizon does. Also, they don't have a large enough 4g network to see what it will be like when 4g fully spreads. I definitely get the argument that HSPA will be faster than EV-DO, but vzw's network is almost in 200 markets and plans to go to 400 by next year. If I have 4g coverage in most areas, I don't care about it dropping down because it probably won't happen too often, at least where I travel. I have an AT&T iPhone and I remember how painfully slow it was for them to get their 3G network out to most areas. I take reliability over speed most days.

    But I do see why people like AT&T because of the HSPA. The tethering made a difference for me too because I got my wife the wi-fi version and she can tether to my iPad if she needs it.

    Just my two cents. Doesn't mean I'm totally right. It's just what works for me.
  6. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    If you have a service discount with AT&T and are willing to go to a post-paid data plan subscription, you might get a discount on data.

    I've not explored the option on my account, but others have done this. If you get a 20% discount *and* it applies to data *and* you can set this up, that'd be $24/mo for 3GB instead of $30/mo.

    Also as mentioned there's noise about possible shared data plans sometime this year. Not sure I'd choose one carrier vs the other just for that rumor but it is something to keep in the back of your head.
  7. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    This is why I said HSPA+ is not really a benefit, more of a stop-gap measure. If you generally always have LTE, you won't care about what the fallback data speed is.

    I'm still very torn about whether I made the right choice. For me, it came down to the fact that AT&T has great LTE coverage in Charlotte, I have been with AT&T for over a decade, and plan on sticking with them when I upgrade to the new iPhone later this year. I want to take advantage of the shared data plan if it comes to fruition. I also have thousands of rollover minutes accumulated, and basically all of my friends and family are on AT&T now, due to the iPhone.
  8. catalyst6, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

    catalyst6 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2007
    I also live in Raleigh. I originally ordered the AT&T version but have changed to Verizon. Here is why:

    -I would have gone WiFi only if this had only been a 3G device. The draw of 4G to me is the actual use of 4G. I feel the argument for the AT&T HSPA+ fallback is too emphasized (I actually have an AT&T iPhone 4S). The 4G on the iPad is only useful to me if there is a 4G network to ACTUALLY USE.....which leads me to my next point...

    -There is SIGNIFICANTLY more coverage of LTE with Verizon in NC (RTP, Raleigh/Durham/CH, Charlotte, Wilmington, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point, some of the I-40 corridor) compared to AT&T (Raleigh/Durham/CH, Charlotte). This is likely to grow even more as Verizon has publicized a quick rollout of LTE across the country over the next year.

    -Reviewers are reporting insane speeds on Verizon LTE (I'm not sure AT&T would be significantly faster)

    -Hotspot functionality and 1GB plan is a good value.

    Based on the info and research I have done (as well as being a life-time NC resident), I feel like Verizon is the better choice here. I still have AT&T for my iPhone 4S service, but I feel like that's the real place the HSPA+ fallback matters.

    I bought the 4G iPad to utilize 4G....using 3G fallback benefits as logic was my original justification, but seems silly in hindsight as this is not a phone. Just my opinion of course, but based on my use case I think Verizon is the best choice.
  9. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    Definitely all logical points to help you make your decision. My only argument would be I think LTE will be so fast that people will be burning through the 1GB data plan faster than they can blink. At that point, AT&T's price for the 3GB plan is nice compared to Verizon's.

    As I said, I'm torn, and I don't think I'll truly feel comfortably with my decision until I use the iPad for a week or two and read others' experiences in the NC area.

    If you guys are all going with Verizon, it would be cool to report back to this thread what you've found after a week or so with the iPad. I'll do the same with my experiences with AT&T.
  10. boxster99t macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2010
    It's difficult to choose between AT&T and Verizon if (like me) you live in an area where both have 4G LTE. I actually pre-ordered one of each, planning to try both and keep one.

    I'm leaning toward AT&T based on data plan differences (I plan on taking the $30/3G plan and don't like receiving only 2 GB from Verizon for the same money), not so much for perceived AT&T speed advantages.

    AT&T's 4 G LTE speed advantage (if there is one) is a factor of 4 G LTE traffic volume--once numbers of AT&T's users approach the users on VZ, you should expect to see comparable 4G LTE speeds from both. AT&T's speed advantage for HSPA+ vs. VZ 3G EVDO is real but becoming less significant.

    VZ has (in press releases recently) announced major expansion throughout 2012 which will further widen the LTE markets served lead VZ has over AT&T, thereby lessening the territory on Verizon's slower 3G EVDO network. If the data plans were identical below the $50/5 GB mark, the decision tilts to VZ in my mind.

    Decisions, decisions :D
  11. JohnCalif macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2011
    Southern California
    I use a Verizon 4G LTE MiFi in the LA area, which is supposed to be a solid LTE market, but it frequently drops down to 3G and it is annoying. My iPad 3 will be LTE on AT&T.
  12. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    For the next two years, VZ's LTE will have the footprint edge.

    Though, we all know that AT&T never updates or upgrades anything rapidly. heck, they are still rolling out 3G.
  13. iMule macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    Greenville, SC
    Yep... take AT&T's 3G footprint. Take the fact that they actually have the integrity to use their broadband hotspots as a coverage booster.

    I know a guy who is contracted by AT&T and Verizon to upgrade towers. He said that Verizon has a better turnout, because there are less middle men to complete the conversion and can usually do 1 tower a day. He said with AT&T, there's always contract/land owner rights and it's a living hell to complete an AT&T 3G tower.
  14. bobsentell macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2008
    When it comes to LTE, I think it will depend on where you are. Just as at&t disconnects all the time in NYC but rarely does where I live, LTE speeds on each network will depend on your environment.

    As the two LTE techs are similar, there shouldn't be that noticable of a speed difference.

    For my part, I went with at&t because the drop from LTE to 3G is less painful on at&t.
  15. iMaven, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

    iMaven macrumors 6502


    Jan 21, 2011
    AT&T has had a connectivity issue for several years and it hasn't gotten much better. So, how long will it take them to catch up with Verizon...or will they?
  16. hefeglass, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

    hefeglass thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
    thanks for all the info and suggestions..
    I have a feeling I will be exchanging my wifi for a vzw lte whenever enough stock exists for it.
    i didn't really envision myself using LTE much since I have wifi almost everywhere I go but the option would be nice when traveling.

    Like some others here, my ATT phone service and 3g have been great ever since first getting an iPhone. Im sure the LTE service would be great here as well..but the fact that I travel a lot has me thinking I should go with the verizon version (both 4g available here in raleigh). Hopefully they get on the same page as far as pricing goes soon..
  17. catalyst6 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2007
    Your first paragraph is the reason I ordered AT&T in the first place and I still feel that AT&T has an obvious advantage in that regard. If this was not the case, the decision would be much more clear cut.

    I'd like to mention that I feel both models in the Raleigh area are probably sound bets, but it just makes choosing one harder. Hopefully next time Apple will sell a unified AT&T/Verizon model.
  18. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    I would say at least a year if not more. It took Verizon about 2 years to hit 200 markets. Verizon will have 400 markets by the end of 2012. If lucky, ATT will have half of that. But how big are those markets is the question. It's clearly Verizon has huge head start. Now everyone says complains how slow Verizon's EVDO is. Well Verizon is saying by 2013 we would only have 4G, unlike ATT which is "hopes" to have LTE down by 2013. That leaves ATT with about 21 months to put LTE everywhere. They couldn't put 3G up in certain areas and it's been several years!
  19. eagleglen macrumors 6502a


    Oct 2, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Is there a technical reason Verizon charges more for 4G on tablets than on their cell phones? I'm trying to decide between AT&T and Verizon this week, and I keep seeing Verison TV commercials offering 4GB for $30, but thats their cell phone data rate. This makes it particularly irksome when AT&T offers 3GB for $30, so settling for 2GB for $30, if I got a Verizon 4G iPad, seems like I'm being gouged.

    And from what I'm able to gather from their web sites, the 1GB/$10 overage rate from Verizon is only if you commit to a rate plan. Otherwise, if you go over, you just pay another $30 for 20GB more.
  20. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    Although the AT&T argument about the HSPA+ makes some sense, on the other hand it doesn't if you go with Verizon and KNOW you'll often be in coverage. If this is the case, Vzw LTE is going to always be faster than AT&T's HSPA+ and the fact you'll more often be in coverage areas if you're traveling. I'd rather be covered by Vzw more often in LTE than have to use a fallback of AT&T if I didn't get coverage.
  21. koigirl macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    I am in central Raleigh. I chose the AT&T LTE iPad for the 3g for $30 offering (before VZW offered free tethering and 1g for $20). Now I am having second thoughts. I have the AT&T iPhone 4s. Service here at our house is not good - I have an M-cell and still drop calls sometimes, although less with the 4s than I did with the 4. That is sort of beside the point because I won't be using LTE at home anyway; I'll be on wireless. And I don't really plan on using my iPad as a hotspot. I might use my iPhone as hotspot in the future when the LTE model arrives. We travel up and down the eastern seaboard from Maryland to Florida with a travel team on an almost weekly basis. This is why I always get the data-enabled iPad version for all of these road trips and time spent at soccer fields. I have family in the Dallas area and AT&T coverage there is superior to VZW but of course I am only there a handful of times a year. We also spend a good amount of summer at the NC coast (EI area). So it's very difficult to discern which is the best option.

    For those of you who live in North Carolina, have you experienced/heard anything about the AT&T LTE coverage in Raleigh? I've googled "AT&T LTE in Raleigh" but haven't found much info or discussion from real users and AT&T's coverage maps are not very detailed. How about coverage in secondary markets like Greensboro, Asheville, Wilmington or along I-95 and I- 85 corridors?

    Also, a second question regarding exchanging the AT&T iPad for VZW version. If I open it and try it out and then decide to return it to Apple store within 14 days, will I be able to exchange it then and there for VZW version or will I have to return AT&T one and then wait for VZW iPad to become available? Will they accept my opened AT&T iPad as an acceptable return? If replacement is unavailable, that could mean more weeks of waiting with no iPad at all.
  22. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    The reason for the difference in pricing between smartphone and tablet/USB modem is simply because you will chew through more data on a tablet or laptop. They can offer the higher cap on the smartphone and bank on the fact that you likely won't use it all. Verizon also knows their network offers better coverage in more areas and charges a premium for it.

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