Verizon 4G LTE vs Sprint 4G WiMAX: Sprint Dethroned as 4G King

We’re noticing the growing arrivals of 4G-compatible handsets, with the recent HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon and the HTC EVO 4G on Sprint, plus others. However, consumers might do well to remember that which carrier they choose will also affect the speeds capable. Now we’ve heard of comprehensive testing of speeds of the Verizon 4G LTE vs. Sprint WiMAX networks and it appears that Sprint’s WiMAX has been dethroned as the 4G King.

As 4G network areas continue to spread across the country, these handsets offering faster performances will become more and more prolific. Walter Piecyk of BTIG Research decided to put these two networks to the test using the HTC EVO 4G on Sprint and the HTC Thunderbolt for Verizon Wireless, according to Zach Epstein on BGR. Believe it or not over 1,000 speed tests were carried out in New York City using the two handsets and it was Verizon’s 4G LTE network using the Thunderbolt, that consistently out-performed Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network, often by significant margins.

Integrated mobile hotspots on both handsets were utilized for the tests and tests included the use of an Apple iPad 2 and a Toshiba laptop. Average speeds for Verizon’s LTE network came in a 9Mbps down and 5Mbps up while Sprint’s WiMAX network worked out at 1Mbps up and also 1Mbps down. It was also noted that Verizon’s LTE network also gave better coverage and reliability than that of Sprint’s WiMAX. Something that may surprise many, given the reports of poor battery life on the HTC Thunderbolt, was that it was found to have a better battery life than that of the HTC EVO 4G. To see a chart with some of the speed test results check out the BGR link above.

This is a pretty ringing endorsement for the Verizon 4G LTE network and if you want to find out more about how it works and what areas are covered check out this Verizonwireless.com page. For information about Sprint’s WiMAX network look here at Sprint.com. Are you surprised at just how much faster Verizon’s 4G LTE network was when compared to Sprint’s 4G WiMAX? We certainly were. Are these results enough to deter you from buying a 4G handset on Sprint now and instead choosing a 4G offering on Verizon? Let us know with your comments.

  • steverafail

    Empty networks are just that, empty of traffic. Going down an empty highway is always faster and really, Verizon makes everything so expensive, a little more speed won't do anything for most of us. Now if they would allow connection to our laptops than it would be worthwhile paying Verizon. I learned my lesson with them long ago.

  • Ron

    Putting into consideration that Sprint’s 4G coverage is broader than Verizon’s, I’d have to side with Sprint on this one (WiMax available in all but 12 states and LTE in only half, only on the coasts).
    I agree with Steverafail here: a few extra Mbps won’t waiver a stand when cost is also put into play. But WiMax (Sprint) and LTE (Verizon) will be accessible from laptops with 4G MiFi and 4G Tethering, where the speed of the laptop will play a bigger effect that that of the on-service phone.
    Considering as well that Sprint has the best phones on the market (and rolling out some new ones, that I know), for that reason I would also choose an alliance with Sprint over Verizon.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jayq330 Jonathan Oquendo

    on my evo 3D i get downloads of 9 mbs & up & thats everywhere i go brooklyn, queens & manhattan. not to mention the condo that i live in has 30 floors, i live in the 3rd floor with concrete floors & ceilings & with 2 more 30 story buildings on each side of me i get 1 or 2 4G bars & download 4 to 6 mbs, though the upload is .5mbs. but ill say this the price that im paying every month beats the $95 i was going to pay for unlimited data, verizon 2 verizon & 450 anytime minutes starting @ 9pm! even more on at&t. but now after july 7th the unlimited data is no longer available so its even worst. i get the same coverage & even though im not downloading @ 13mbs like verizon, im very happy with truly unlimited data downloads @ 9mbs even 13 when i find a good spot. all in all my bill comes to $68! sprint is just about ready to start using the iden spectrum for voice aka 800 mgz which will basically mean no more roaming from verizon anymore! & also voLTE & LTE data will soon be used on the 800mgz so be ready…theres a surprise this fall that sprint is keeping a secret until then & im pretty sure itll be the activation of this spectrum which will be the beginning of the better multimode towers aka, vision network.