1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.
Melanie Pinola

How Fast Are 4G and 3G Internet Speeds?

By September 23, 2013

Follow me on:

Speed Test on Android

Faster is always better when it comes to internet access. It's hard enough, however, getting super-fast internet access at home, let alone top speeds on our smartphones and tablets over 4G or 3G. Just how fast should you expect your mobile devices to be?

A study earlier this year found the average download and upload speeds for the four major wireless carriers in the US:

  • AT&T's 4G LTE network was found fastest, with average download speeds at 18.5 Mbps and upload speeds of 9.0 Mbps. Its older 3G network, by contrast, averaged 4.3 Mbps download and 1.1 Mbps upload. AT&T's LTE network had a 81.7% network connection rate.
  • Verizon came in second, with 14.3 Mbps for downloads, on average, and average upload speeds of 8.5 Mbps. (Although it comes in slightly behind AT&T, Verizon, BGR notes, has a larger footprint and 90$ connectivity.)
  • Sprint averaged 10.3 Mbps for downloads and 4.4 Mbs for uploads, and the network was accessible 50.2% of the time.
  • T-Mobile's HSPA+ network averaged 7.3 Mbps for downloads and 1.5 Mbps for uploads--so, better than 3G, but 4G LTE will be faster.

You can test how fast your network is with Speedtest's mobile speed test on Android or iOS. Share your results with us in the comments! (I'm at 14-16 Mbps download and .7-2 Mbps uploads.)

If you're using an Android smartphone or tablet, you can also try to boost your internet speed over 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi with the free Internet Speed Master app.

Stay on top of the latest in mobile computing, telecommuting, and working on the road: Free weekly newsletter | Blog posts subscription | Follow me on Twitter: @melaniepinola or Google+

September 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm
(1) Jim Reeve says:

I have had Verizon mobile broadband for over two years and have never seen speeds as high as that. I typically get no more than a third of that and quite often it is lucky to be a tenth of your average figure. I use the service as my home Internet connection and, as such, work off the same cell tower in Purcellville, VA.

December 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm
(2) joel de guzman says:

if my 2mbps 4G LTE is only showing an average of below 200kbps download rate, is it good or bad? what is wrong with this speed?

it seems very slow for a 4G 2mpbs… sometimes its showing above 2mbps download… but it only happens once in blue moon… is my internet provider fooling people with this kind of download speed?

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
Top Related Searches
  • internet speeds
  • ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.