Sprint Calls B.S. on Verizon Speed Tests

Hold the phone Sprint says dont get too excited about reported speeds on Verizon Wireless network. They could be fleeting.

BTIG Research recently pitted Sprints WiMAX network against Verizons LTE network in New York City, testing the HTC EVO (Sprint) and the HTC ThunderBolt (Verizon Wireless). The test found Verizons averages to be 9.1Mbps downlink and 5.28Mbps uplink, with Sprint registering a slow 1.17 down and .66 up. Not even close.

But Sprint is firing back, calling the testing inaccurate.” The wireless carrier did its own tests, telling IntoMobile that its own third-party testing shows its WiMAX speeds average 4-5Mbps down, much higher than BTIGs numbers, but still slower than Verizon based on BTIGs research. Sprint also says its too early to give Verizon serious props for speed when you consider that the ThunderBolt is thus far the only 4G smartphone running on the network. Sprint saw higher numbers on its own WiMAX network when it first launched, but those have come down a bit since traffic has increased.

4G remains more of a buzzword than an actual definition that can be used to compare network speeds. All of the Big 4 claim they are 4G,” but until recently, have fallen short of the required speeds as defined by the International Telecommunications Union. The issue remains muddled and is constantly up for debate.

But despite the ambiguity, 4G is thus far proving to be important to consumers. The HTC ThunderBolt broke sales records when it debuted last month. And although not 4G, combined with the Bolt, the debut of the iPhone on Verizons network gave the carrier a real double-whammy to start 2011.

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