AT&T and Verizon are battling it out to build nationwide, high-speed wireless networks to feed Americans’ millions of hungry smartphones and tablets, and Sprint and T-Mobile aren’t far behind. So, for the fourth year running, we sent drivers out on the road to test our 4G nation and figure out which network is the fastest near you. This year, we upgraded our testing to be more consistent and more realistic. We put three Ford hybrid-electric cars on the road (for more, see “It’s Electric! Driving Ford’s High-Tech Cars”), each packed with eight identical Samsung phones to test the four major carriers’ networks: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. A new testing tool from Sensorly let us grab new measurements, like the all-important “time to first byte” which tells you how long it takes for a Web page to start to appear. (For more, see How We Tested.) With our improved tools, we found out why you should be looking for the letters “LTE” on your 4G phone, and how LTE’s strengths lend themselves to real-world advantages like faster Web page downloads. But remember: The speeds we saw on AT&T’s and Verizon’s nationwide LTE networks look spectacular, but they aren’t the… Read full this story
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