3G a let-down in the US3G a let-down in the US
February 2, 2009
The four major 3G operators in the US are failing to deliver the speeds that customers expect. These not altogether surprising findings come from analyst firm Gartner, which says that while most 3G providers in the US typically market speeds as high as 1.8Mbps, the actual speeds are generally between 300Kbps and 700bps.
That is not to say that the providers are doing anything illegal, says Gartner, as carriers don’t guarantee these speeds but rather use the get-out phrase of providing speeds ‘up to’. Clearly, however, customers are being led to believe they will get faster speeds when they sign on for the service.
Although Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are each mentioned in Gartner’s report for using these marketing tactics, it singles out AT&T and its 3G iPhone for being particularly misleading with the suggestion that the iconic device is faster than other devices using the same 3G network.
Feedback from Clearwire’s mobile WiMAX service in the US does indicate, however, that customers are getting what they expect – that is, a service that typically offers between 2Mbps and 4Mbps on the downlink.
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