AT&T "4G" Blows Away Verizon 3G in New iPad Speed Tests
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AT&T “4G” Blows Away Verizon 3G in New iPad Speed Tests



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.

(Read: New iPad Speed Tests: AT&T vs. Verizon 4G LTE)

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.

verivon v. at&t speed test

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.



  1. Fresnore

    03/20/2012 at 11:22 am

    why would you compare 3G to 4G?

    • Josh Smith

      03/20/2012 at 12:08 pm

      In many areas, there is AT&T “4G” and Verizon 3G, but no 4G LTE from either carrier. If you have the fake “4G” which is essentially just faster 3G, in your town and no 4G LTE, this is important to know.

    • bdnyy23

      03/22/2012 at 8:57 am

      I agree, obviously AT&T using the +HSPA network will give better results than 3G on Verizon.  Based on your article you say that AT&T 3G is better than Verizon 3G, but you did not test that, WTF?

  2. Guest

    03/20/2012 at 7:07 pm


    Thanks for the test.

    I’m deciding.

  3. Awilbourn

    03/21/2012 at 11:26 am

    Can you run another test of putting an AT&T SIM in the new iPad Verizon and see how fast it is? Seems from the reading that the Verizon model supports the HPSA+, just not LTE, so it would seem that you get the best of both worlds, but would require two different data plans. Being the plans are month to month could seem you go with the one you need based on where you will be.

  4. Raceinxs

    04/05/2012 at 7:26 am

    The tests were not done on the same server!  FAIL!  One in TN, the other in NC. 

  5. Raceinxs

    04/05/2012 at 7:40 am

    From New Jersey, I tested just one device to those two different servers. 
    Shelby, NC is slower. 
    Best speed to Shelby, NC is 1.07 down, and .89 Up.
    Best speed to Morristown TN is 1.32 down and .99 Up.

  6. acasa

    05/08/2012 at 12:28 am

    Magnificent site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you to your effort!

  7. Don

    05/23/2012 at 2:35 pm

    That’s funny because my T-Mobile 4G averages 6 MBPS Down and .98 up. I use a MIFI wireless box as well so the Jokes on ATT and Verizon.

  8. Guy Jones

    07/01/2012 at 9:51 am

    I don’t concur with the author’s findings. First off, the whole point of buying the iPad 3 is to take advantage of 4g speeds. I understand that in areas without 4g, at&t’s 3g beats Verizon, but Verizon has significantly broader 4g coverage, and, isn’t that more significant?

    Also — Verizon allows the user to use his/her iPad as a mobile hotspot; at&t doesn’t.

    Verizon offers more varied data plan choices, including a 10 GB plan; at&t doesn’t.

    More coverage and mobile hotspot sealed the deal for me — I bought the Verizon version.

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