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T-Mobile wins 3G shootout, Sprint and Verizon speeds fade

Leah Yamshon, Mark Sullivan | May 22, 2013
As much as we hear about LTE service these days, the fact is that three-quarters of U.S. wireless subscribers still use good old 3G service. For AT&T and T-Mobile, that means HSPA service (although the companies call it "4G"), while for Sprint and Verizon that means CDMA service.

Sprint says the upgrade will also improve voice service, which runs over the CDMA network. Sprint notes that it began running its CDMA voice service on a new spectrum band (800MHz) in the first quarter of 2013, which it believes will improve in-building coverage and reduce dropped and blocked calls.

Despite our test results, Sprint says that the network overhaul is already having positive effects on its 3G service. In Chicago, for example, where the overhaul is nearly complete, Sprint says that its 3G sites are handling about 30 percent more traffic on average, and that download speeds have increased by about 15 percent for sites with upgraded backhaul.


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