If you want Apple’s new iPad 3rd Gen and don’t live anywhere near either AT&T or Verizon’s 4G areas, then I suggest you go for the AT&T model for one reason. Speed! Our tests show that AT&T’s 3G whips Verizon’s easily.
(Read: New iPad Review – 2012)
I grabbed my iPad from the hands of the FedEx and immediately after opening it up I tested the 3G speeds on both Verizon and AT&T using my new Verizon iPad and my old iPad 2 with AT&T 3G, which is now showing as “4G” on iOS 5.1.
As a result of the test I think I made the wrong choice.
Take a look at the speed test I ran. The New iPad with Verizon 4G LTE is in black on the left and my old 3G iPad is in white on the right.
As you can see, the speeds from the AT&T model using 3G, and A&T’s HSPA+ network which is shown as “4g”, were much faster than the Verizon model using only 3G.
Here are the average results from three speed tests.
- Download Speed: Verizon (average of .64 Mbps) and AT&T (average of 2.24 Mbps)
- Upload Speed: Verizon (average of .62 Mbps) and AT&T (average of .89 Mbps)
Verizon averages one-fourth the speeds of AT&T using 3G in downloads. Upload speeds were more even, but you don’t upload nearly as much as you download.
There’s good news. If you have an AT&T 3G account on another device, you can stick your 3G AT&T sim card into your new Verizon iPad and it works. I tested it and learned I get decent speeds with it.
I recommend that if you live in a rural area or small town, that has both AT&T and Verizon 3G networks, go with AT&T. The only reason to do otherwise would be if you know AT&T 4G LTE will arrive soon. I am about an hour’s drive from Verizon 4G and 90 minutes away from the closest AT&T 4G LTE area.
The only reason you might do otherwise is if you have an AT&T sim card you can put in your Verizon iPad and then swap out the 4G sim card when you plan to travel in 4G areas.