By Stephen Schenck | November 6, 2013 11:47 AM
All too often, when we’re evaluating the relative strengths and weaknesses of wireless carriers, we’re focused on raw speed. And when we start to look for a secondary criteria, it’s often something like quality of coverage, or just size of the network. What about signal latency – how long it actually takes these networks to send around our data? While often a minor concern, if one at all, a new report is hoping to shed some light on the situation, ranking the big four carriers in the States by just how low latency their networks are.
It’s a close race, yet T-Mobile emerges as a bit of a surprise winner, coming in fastest across all communication standards. There are some general patterns that we can see from the whole data set: LTE tends to be the lowest latency option available, and when we’re looking at the others, those based around GSM systems tend to be lower latency than CDMA alternatives. Sprint, especially, seems to have a particularly laggy network, and even its LTE latency is nearly bested by T-Mobile’s HSPA+.
Sure, we’re still concerned with issues like which devices are compatible with each of these networks, and what each charges for service, but we’ll definitely be adding this latency data to our grounds for consideration next time we’re thinking about switching carriers.