PC World study: AT&T network has undergone "drastic makeover"

According to AT&T's commercials, they provide both "a better 3G experience" as well as "the nation's fastest 3G network." And, based on PC World's latest 3G wireless performance study, they've got more meat and potatoes (as if Luke Wilson wasn't enough) to back up their claims.

The study, a collaboration between PC World and wireless analysis firm Novarum, took place from December 2009 to January 2010, and compares the four major U.S. wireless carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile) in 13 "broadly representative" cities in the U.S. During the study, 51,000 separate tests were run, in which 850 square miles, and 7 million wireless subscribers, were covered.

AT&T showed marked improvements over their figures from a similar study conducted during March and April 2009. Highlights of the most recent study include:

  • Using notebook computers (e.g., with a built-in or external 3G card), AT&T had the fastest download speed in 11 of the 13 cities, and the fastest upload speed in all 13 cities.

  • For smartphones, AT&T had the fastest download speeds in nine of the 13 cities, and the fastest upload speed in all 13 cities.

  • Of the smartphone-carrier-based combinations, the AT&T-iPhone pairing had the fastest download and upload speeds, although its reliability slightly trailed the T-Mobile-G1 combination, which posted the highest figures.

Given the nasty back-and-forth between AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which resulted in AT&T taking legal action (which they dropped in December 2009) against Verizon Wireless, the study could serve as a feather in AT&T's cap.

Readers, what do you think? Does the study mesh well with your experiences with AT&T Wireless? Let us know in the comments!

[Via PC World].