T-Mobile is betting that its unlimited data plans and solid HSPA+ data speeds will keep customers satisfied as it begins deploying in 2012 the first LTE-Advanced network, which will have a peak data rate of up to 1Gbps for a user who is walking or standing still.
Subscribers can use carrier and third-party tools to check coverage, sometimes to the level of a city block, and to check performance, usually in the form of average data speeds for downloading and sometimes for uploading. One example is RootMetrics, which tests wireless performance in 75 markets every six months. Its most recent "Need for Speed" report, for the first half of 2012, is online, and it offers tools and mobile apps to drill down into the test results. In June 2012, PC Magazine published its own wireless network test results for 30 U.S. cities.
The battle of the most LTE is a phony conflict by the mobile phone carriers. It only serves to deflect subscribers from the real issues.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.
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