How do AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon compare when it comes to network latency?

Naturally, a great deal of attention gets paid to wireless network speeds in the United States and around the world. However, not as much attention typically gets paid to 3G and LTE latency speeds, even though many major operators cite improved latency as a big reason to deploy LTE.

When Verizon 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, and it's typically measured in milliseconds. The lower the latency, the better the network performance. To get a better look at how the U.S. carriers perform when it comes to latency, FierceWireless partnered with OpenSignal, which uses a panel of more than 1 million consumer devices to provide real world data on the performance and coverage of mobile networks. For more, check out this special report.