Comparing AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon on 3G/4G wireless latency

It's no secret that a significant amount of attention and interest has been paid to wireless network speeds in the United States and globally. And LTE networks clearly provide faster download speeds than 3G networks.

While there's ample interest in wireless network speeds globally, relatively little attention has been paid to 3G and LTE latency--which is notable considering a number of operators have pointed to improved latency as a major reason behind the push to LTE. 

When Verizon (NYSE: VZ) announced its LTE deployment in 2010, the operator boasted that "the user plane latency achieved in LTE is approximately 1/2 (one-half) corresponding latency in existing 3G technologies. This provides a direct service advantage for highly immersive and interactive application environments, such as multiplayer gaming and rich multimedia communications."

Latency is defined as the time it takes for a source to send a packet of data to a receiver. Latency is typically measured in milliseconds. The lower the latency (the fewer the milliseconds), the better the network performance.

FierceWireless, with partner OpenSignal, is hoping to shed some light onto the latency issue. You can read the pub's latest special report on the issue here. 

Read more on