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this weekend i decided to go shopping with my wife…well, okay, she shopped, i waited in chairs most of the time outside of dressing rooms.

during one store visit, there was a t-mobile store next to it, so i decided to just wander and check out the devices (which i already knew which ones they had).

the conversation went something like this:

employee: how can i help you tonight?
me: ah, just killing time while my wife is shopping…
employee: i see, so are you already with t-mobile?
me: actually, i just switched
employee: really, may i ask why?
me: sure, i switched to verizon for the faster data speeds.
employee: oh, well, you know they aren’t that much faster
me: dude, step off, i’m a techno-dweeb and trust me, you don’t want to engage in the conversation you are about to enter.  i’ll disorient you with a bunch of acronyms like CDMA, GSM, TDMA, EVDO and spout off frequencies of the spectrum you haven’t even considered for…your head will start spinning you’ll wish you never asked.

okay, i really didn’t say that, but did tell him he was dead wrong and that my personal experience was that verizon was about 7x faster than the EDGE service i had w/t-mobile.  he insisted t-mobile was faster and then i finally had to shut him down a bit rudely and let him know that he really wasn’t equipped to make that statement.

it got me thinking later that night (actually about 5 minutes after that) and while on my treo 700w, i went to a mobile speed test site (DSL Reports MSpeed).  my results were actually pretty interesting.  you first choose your ‘data chunk’ size you want to test with: 5K, 20K, 100K, 200K, 600K, 1MB.  on all but the 600K i got this message (screen caps from my actual device):


so when i tried it with the 600K size file:


and with the 1MB file:


pretty dang good… now i don’t have my t-mobile device anymore with me, but i can tell you that the fastest speed (and yes, on EDGE) that i ever received was 173kbit/sec.  so my 7x comment was specific to me.  i realize that there are definitely different considerations and ‘your speeds may vary’ does apply, which led me to click on dslreports’ ‘fastest speeds’ link to show the summaries by sample:


notice that sprint (spcsdns.net) and verizon (myvzw.com) are the two fastest.  and notice where t-mobile (tmodns.net) is?  almost 3x difference.  And they have about the same sampling size.  so my comment was pretty accurate.  the report site also had a link of ‘fastest today’ which i thought had intriguing results:


noticing that t-mobile had posted some pretty good speeds (also notice the broswers there).  now i’m one to admit when i’m wrong and at first glance the ‘fastest today’ speeds show t-mobile faster (albeit not by much) than sprint/verizon (both using EVDO technology).  however, when you apply the sampling rate to get averages, i think it rains supreme that t-mobile (EDGE) is still a bit slower.

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