eWEEK Labs tested wireless data services from T-Mobile USA Inc., AT&T Wireless and Sprint Communications Co. L.P., using a mixture of PC Card adapters and Bluetooth-enabled handsets provided by the carriers whose services we reviewed.
Its probably no surprise that our favorite of the bunch was the fastest—AT&T Wireless UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System)—but we were also pleased with the performance of the AT&T Wireless EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) and Sprint CDMA2000 1xRTT (Radio Transmission Technology) services we tested. Both of these services were fast enough to let us effectively get work done while out of range of wired or WLAN (wireless LAN) connectivity.
We were disappointed with T-Mobiles data service, which had caught our eye with its very affordable $30-per-month unlimited-usage price. Unfortunately, the high latency and slow speeds we experienced during tests will preclude all but the most Spartan uses of the service.
We tested all three services with a Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. LifeBook P5010D running Microsoft Corp.s Windows XP Service Pack 2, and we conducted all testing from a handful of locations in San Francisco.