As you might know, Verizon’s 4G commercial debuts will happen this Sunday. “4G” can mean very different things for different carriers, but at the very least, it is supposed to represent a “discontinuity” in terms of network performance, when compared to 3G networks (note that there are also 3.5G networks…). We got our hands on the LC VL600, one of the two Verizon 4G modem available today. We took it for a ride, and here are the first pieces of hard data that we have compiled for you.
As you can see, the sheer download speed is very impressive (and is consistent with previous 4G performance rumors), and far beyond “4G” Networks like Sprint’s. We’ve chosen to run synthetic tests with different benchmarks because results often vary from one to another. However, we also streamed 1080p videos and movie trailers (try this one with your 3G modem), and that showed that we were indeed getting impressive download speeds. Competing products could simply not sustain that kind of streaming in our testing conditions.
The upload speed is also very interesting, and again, Verizon does very well. But what’s most important is the perceived performance: it feels very much like using a landline connection and that’s why we compared Verizon’s 4G with our office Comcast cable connection.
This is a big deal. After years empty promises by the wireless industry, it is Verizon that delivers a mobile broadband in the U.S that truly feels like a “home” connection. Some might debate whether or not Verizon should call its product “4G” (4G was supposed to deliver 100+Mbps), but we feel that it’s a sterile debate. What matters is to understand what it can do for you – today. From that perspective, we can only conclude that Verizon’s 4G represents a huge discontinuity in the mobile broadband market. But beware: all 4G is definitely not created equal.
*Note: the current data represents a sampling that was taken near the Caltrain station of 22nd street in San Francisco. Results can vary from location to location, but from what we discovered, it’s pretty clear that Verizon’s 4G LTE connection works very well, even if you take into account that:
1/ The network has a lot of capacity given that it was just launched this week.
2/ Competing networks might run faster in a different location (Verizon’s could too)
If you’re curious: the test was conducted on a Macbook Pro 15″ running on Windows 7 + Bootcamp. There’s currently no modem support for Mac (Windows emulation *should* work).
Don’t hesitate to a comment below, and we’ll try to provide an answer.
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