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Verizon vs. Sprint 4G LTE In New York City



Verizon undeniably has the largest 4G LTE network in the U.S. while other carriers like Sprint are doing their best to rollout their networks, but the question is how fast are the speeds where LTE is available?

Using a Verizon iPhone 5 and a Sprint HTC One review unit we were able to test Sprint’s new network against Verizon’s older, larger network. The tests took place in Brooklyn, New York. Sprint hasn’t rolled out its 4G LTE network to the whole of New York City yet, but we were able to get a signal in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

Sprint’s speeds may change as the carrier finishes its New York City rollout, but all speeds for Verizon were consistent with previous tests.

Read: Speedtests: LTE Speeds to Expect for Your Galaxy S4 and HTC One

Verizon Sprint 4G LTE test 1

We tested each network three times to make sure the speeds were accurate. The test showed that Verizon’s network beats Sprint’s 4G LTE speeds handily. In the first test between the two devices the Verizon iPhone 5 recorded 32.41 Mbps down and 3.26 Mbps up. The Sprint HTC One, on the other hand, reported 11.53 Mbps down and 5.11 Mbps up.

In the next speedtest, the Verizon iPhone 5 beats the download speeds of the HTC One by at least 5Mbps. The Sprint phone, however, reported slightly higher upload speeds, making it better for uploading photos and videos, but only by a small margin.

In the third test the Verizon iPhone 5 reported 25.76 Mbps down and 3.11 Mbps up while the HTC One reported 14.26 Mbps down and 4.62 Mbps up. The third test was closer with the iPhone 5 reporting 20.74 Mbps down and 4.65 Mbps up and the HTC One reporting 14.17 Mbps down and 5.65 Mbps up.

Both phones reported speeds comparable to some broadband connections. Neither network is inherently bad in the few tests we performed, but some will prefer the faster speeds of Verizon. Verizon’s network also has the advantage of size. Sprint’s network is relatively small at the moment, and network speeds on Sprint 3G are notoriously slow.



  1. William Hugh Murray

    04/28/2013 at 11:03 am

    Brooklyn is part of NYC. However, the part of NYC that counts is Midtown Manhattan. Sprint may have a easier time there. Neither Verizon nor AT&T deliver true LTE speeds there. I have an AT&T iPhone 5 and a Verizon LTE MiFi cars. I go into NYC at least once a month and speed check both networks when I do. It may be high rise buildings more than the networks but with the LTE indicator on I rarely see more than 3mbps down and often it is dial up speed. If these speeds are load related, Sprint should not have a tough time beating either.

    Both networks have been notoriously bad in NYC and San Francisco. Recent reports from San Francisco suggest that Verizon has put that problem behind them. Voice in NYC has gotten better but data over cellular has not. Fortunately the Tri-state cable companies are providing a pretty good Wifi alternatively.

  2. George

    04/28/2013 at 4:41 pm

    Those sprint lte speeds are not too bad specially when the data is truely unlimited. I would take those speeds any day over verizon’s capped data plans.

  3. Steve Gordon

    04/29/2013 at 4:33 am

    So, Sprint 4G=pretty speedy, & plenty for most ppl…EXCEPT, as noted, when NOT 4G, on Sprint 3G is I PAINFULLY slow. on the other hand when not on Verizon 4G, Verizon 3G/EvDo sucks as well. I left Sprint last year, and as. New York City residentcan’t even compare choose my galaxy note 2 with T-Mobile Prepaid…it is truly unlimited…HSDPA ‘4G’ (or 3.5G really) is at least as fast as Sprint 4G (Avg. 14 down, 4 up) in Queens & Manhattan. The Note 2, S4, HTC One (but not the S3) will ride T-Mo’s LTE when it comes…& I can’t fathom paying Big Red’s rates…or dealing/ CDMA non-4G be. It A Sprint or VZW.

  4. bryan

    04/29/2013 at 1:22 pm

    Why would you use 2 different phones for speed tests? Both carriers have iPhones. I know the speed results are not going to skew too much from the tests you have done, but it would still be a better comparison with 2 identical devices.


    04/29/2013 at 5:05 pm

    Sprint is doing the right thing. Replacing all outdated towers is the way to go. So far for an instance, the Bronx has more lte coverage on sprint than Verizon…

  6. Bryce

    04/29/2013 at 6:15 pm

    I truly love how Sprint is making an effort to change their whole network. I am glad I never switched as CDMA has better call quality I my opinion than GSM networks.

  7. Aamir Vishwas

    04/30/2013 at 3:34 am

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  8. alex

    05/01/2013 at 4:39 am

    you have failed to mention that in every one of those speedtest sprint had lower ping times, which would result in faster load times in everything, from videos to webpages.

  9. Rob

    05/12/2013 at 3:13 pm

    I might be a little late to this .. but I wanted to say Sprint has said their goal with 4g LTE wasn’t to have the highest peak speeds as Verizon and ATT seem to. They want to give a tad less bandwidth to each person for a more consistent speed throughout the day. In a nutshell sometimes Verizon and ATT drop way down from the great speeds ( like you report above ).. the idea Sprint has is to not give peak speed to everyone.. so that everyones speed will always be very good overall.

    If you want to test this.. maybe you can try throughout the day and see what Verizons lowest speeds are versus Sprints? Maybe compare it to their peak speeds and see who has the biggest drops from peak to lowest??

  10. ulyses

    05/26/2013 at 6:37 am

    I have 30 mbps on wishita ks and 6000 up on sprint lte

  11. ulyses

    05/26/2013 at 6:38 am

    I mind 30000 down

  12. KillSprint32

    11/27/2013 at 7:25 am

    Roll out in Brooklyn, NY? Sprint must have an EXTREMELY large African American audience to consider there, instead of midtown or lower Manhattan. I live in Queens, and work in Hoboken, NJ…both locations my phone claims it’s on LTE via settings, but displays 4g; in either case, the service is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad that I am sick and tired of looking at a blank white screen loading for literally hours or to see the error message “session timed out.” Like to play video games on your phone that require a connection? Forget about it using Sprint because those games only operate when I’m connected to the TMC WiFi @home…Sprint will always tell me “sign in failed.” I have an “unlimited data plan” but the only function Sprint can seem to do well is placing basic phone calls….Sprint can make the claim of “unlimited” because you will NEVER receive ANY data to begin with. ……Sprint should OWE refunds to all existing customers in the NY/NJ area for relentless HORRIBLE service. Please come pick up your paper-weight you sold me….I don’t classify it as a cell phone.

  13. KillSprint32

    11/27/2013 at 10:12 am

    My favorite is trying to access bank records via the Bank of America app; Sprint says “loading” for a good 5-10 minutes, then tells me “connection error~ we’re sorry, we weren’t able to complete your request. Please try again.” Just to save face, Sprint should have this message displayed EVERY TIME I open my phone…..guess my “unlimited data plan” is worthless and i’ll have to check bank statements at home or at the bank….that’s much easier than paying over $100 a month for a data service that cannot provide data!!! I’m sure the Sprint CEO still earns a paycheck despite their incapability of fulfilling their job! Stop providing good service in cities nobody cares about and fix your F#$%ing service in the largest cities (SF & NY)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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