In a report released by OpenSignal, AT&T was shown to have the highest LTE speed during the period from early 2012 to early 2013. Offering speeds that average 13Mbps for download, they far outranked the lowest-performing option, MetroPCS. OpenSignal gathered data for over a year in order to gain an accurate measure of the best and worst LTE speeds.

AT&T Currently Ahead in LTE Speed Race

OpenSignal also stressed that their data is dependent on the devices being used, to a large extent. This explains some of why MetroPCS is offering average speeds of only 1.2Mbps, since their users tend to employ less sophisticated devices. However, MetroPCS can also be shown to be the slowest LTE network even on high-end devices, according to the OpenSignal data.

During the period of data gathering, Verizon Wireless measured in at 10Mbps. This put them in second place, but the top two carriers are always switching places. Early in 2012, data showed that AT&T was the fastest carrier, but their speed at the time was approximately 9.12 Mbps. Sprint came in behind both Verizon and AT&T at 7.7Mpbs, according to the OpenSignal data.

The overall average LTE download speed in the U.S. was found to be 9.6Mbps. This is compared to a global average of 10.4Mbps. Sweden is currently the record-holder for fastest LTE nation, while Japan is losing the race. OpenSignal’s data was used to determine that the countries where people are clumped together in urban centers tend to be the ones with the fastest average LTE speeds.

OpenSignal also showed that recorded LTE speeds are up to three times faster than HSPA+ and Wi-Fi. In addition, LTE is better in terms of latency. It offers faster pings, which translates to better service for VOIP options such as Skype.

Global LTE revenues were just over $75 billion this year, and are expected to reach $340 billion by 2017. Thirty-one percent of service is expected to be LTE by 2017, as well. Juniper Research, which is responsible for these estimations, also believes that almost 70 percent of LTE revenues will continue to be made in the American, Chinese and Far East markets.
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{February 28, 2013}