How Fast Is 4G Wireless Service?

4G Speeds in Mbps and Kbps

4G LTE phones
AnandTech.com

4G wireless service providers like to talk about their super-speedy 4G wireless networks, but just how fast is 4G compared to 3G? 4G wireless is supposed to deliver service that is anywhere from four to ten times faster than 3G networks.

Since 3G networks offer download speeds from 600 kilobits per second (Kbps) up to 1.4 megabits per second (Mbps), with bursts up to 3.1 Mbps, we can see how 4G compares to 3G with the examples below.

4G Speed of Popular Mobile Carriers

These 4G speed measurements are what are reported by the carrier as the average speed their users can get. They may or may not be reflected in your device given your service area and phone/tablet capabilities.

Note: The 4G speeds are expressed in megabits per second, megabytes per second, and kilobits per second.

Sprint

Download: 3 Mbps to 6 Mbps (0.375 MB/s to 0.75 MB/s, 3,000 Kbps to 6,000 Kbps), with bursts up to 10 Mbps (10,000 Kbps, 1.25 MB/s), on Sprint's 4G WiMax network.

Upload: Up to 1 Mbps (0.125 MB/s, 1,000 Kbps)

See Sprint's website for 4G speeds and coverage

Verizon

Download: 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps (0.625 MB/s to 1.5 MB/s, 5,000 Kbps to 12,000 Kbps) on their LTE network.

Upload: 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps (0.25 MB/s to 0.625 MB/s, 2,000 Kbps to 5,000 Kbps)

Verizon's website has more information on their 4G speeds

T-Mobile

Download: 5 Mbps to 8 Mbps (0.625 MB/s to 1 MB/s, 5,000 Kbps to 8,000 Kbps) on their HSPA+ network.



However, even though it's not a true 4G network, it does deliver speeds faster than a typical 3G network. It's considered more of a 3.5G network than a true 4G network.

For comparison, a wired cable modem typically delivers download speeds between 1 Mbps and 6 Mbps, but some providers offer service that delivers speeds of 15 Mbps and higher.

Upload speeds over a cable modem are generally slower, below 1 Mbps and averaging between 128 Kbps and 768 Kbps.