San Francisco

San Francisco: AT&T Uses Home Field Advantage

AT&T finished on top in the City by the Bay, and it had stellar results from AT&T Park to thank for the victory. AT&T recorded an overall download average of 46.6 Mbps in San Francisco, far ahead of Verizon's runner-up average of 27.5 Mbps. AT&T finished second in upload average, with its 14.8 Mbps speed trailing only Cricket's 15.3 Mbps average.

But AT&T's numbers got a big boost from our test at the San Francisco baseball stadium that bears the carrier's name. Outside of AT&T Park, AT&T recorded average download speeds of 134.5 Mbps. That dwarfs the 34.74 Mbps speed runner-up T-Mobile recorded at the ballpark. Remove that one test site from the mix, and AT&T's overall download speed would be 29.1 Mbps in San Francisco — still solid, though now behind Verizon's 30.7 Mbps average.

MORE: AT&T Phone Plan Buying Guide: What's Best for You?

Still, an edge is an edge, and AT&T exploited the home field advantage at AT&T Park to its fullest. Even so, Verizon  topped our app download test, taking 1 minute and 7 seconds to download Pokémon Go. AT&T's 1:44 average was the next fastest time.

San Francisco provided another instance where T-Mobile and Sprint struggled indoors. T-Mobile averaged 17.5 Mbps in download speeds at our outdoor test sites, but that average fell to 5.3 Mbps when we moved indoors. Sprint's download speeds went from 15.4 Mbps outdoors to 2.8 Mbps indoors, with the underground Civic Center MUNI station proving particularly problematic for the carrier.


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10 comments
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  • danbfree
    2016? Your tests are from September of 2015 and despite not being that "old", things have changed a lot since then and again, is not from 2016. Bad clickbait headline!
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  • Mike_310
    i call BS. Verizon is only 5% faster than tmobile yet the same app downloads 40% faster on Verizon?
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  • chrisfo1
    You should change what speeds were actually being measured. Verizon does not have 24Megabytes per second download. That is insane cellular data speeds and is very very misleading. Those numbers are most likely Megabits* speed, not Megabytes. Mbps stands for Megabits. 1 Megabyte = 6 Megabits. When you download those speed test apps or go to websites testing your internet speed, you are testing the Megabits. So you should be seeing 144Mbps when you measure your speeds on the websites and apps. I am very certain you are not seeing such speeds via cell data lol. Not even close actually.
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  • veladem
    @CHRISFO1 I easily get 50-100Mbps via Ookla on Straight Talk/AT&T. If you'd like a screen cap I can easily get you a few tested over the last half year or so.
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  • taylorh_9
    In San Jose, I can safely say that T-Mobile is easily 2-3x faster than Verizon in most places (we have both.) Some places Verizon is faster or as fast. However T-Mobile's coverage kind of stinks. It's either all or nothing and you get nothing far too frequently whereas Verizon can range from slow to fast, but it always works.
    So speed tests are interesting, but I'm really more interested in consistent good performance in the most places, not rockin' fast performance in spots. Based on my experience, that's how these two measure up.
    Despite that, I'm eyeing the day I can switch to T-Mobile. Sadly some places I currently need coverage (remote rural) T-Mobile simply has no signal whatsoever.
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  • flameout00
    Definitely depends on which part of the Country you are in. Maybe I'm just in a really great spot, but I get around 130 Mbps download and 15 upload (Sprint, Galaxy S7 Edge, Ookla speedtest app) and these results are fairly consistent
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  • PReed4962
    Cricket advertises their speed at 8Mbps - it is not meant to be as fast as AT&T - its also A LOT less expensive.
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  • Zuper_
    These tests are always meaningless. Verizon spends its money in cities. Sprint is hardly a national carrier, drive through flyover country with a sprint phone and you will be roaming on the verizon network most of the time.
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  • Chris_442
    I'm in North jersey and since my galaxy S8 got here last week I've been averaging download speeds on sprint btwn 35mbps to 45mbps with two tests this weekend as high as 67mbps. I drive for a living and those speeds have been pretty consistent across much of the urban/suburban NY metro area. Those speeds are twice as fast as what I was getting with my S6 five days ago. Maybe the new in phone antenna is the difference. Sprint has been trying to get manufacturers to build phones with the latest antenna for a while now and Samsung finally delivered. I'm sure Verizon had something to do with delaying advancement in technology especially by a competitor.
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