We were chatting before the event started, and Ray whipped out two Android phones running a network sniffer app created by his company, which showed in a very striking visual manner the latency and speed differences between AT&T and Sprint LTE 4G networks.
The verdict: Sprint -- at least in Palo Alto CA that day -- was horrible. But it's not in just one location that I've noticed this -- a friend with a Sprint iPhone5 and I did a SpeedTest when we were in the DC area last week. I was getting 31mbps on my AT&T iPhone 5 and he was getting 0.3mbps on his Sprint iPhone5.
Sprint might be offering unlimited data. But the pipe that serves that data appears to be about the size of a straw.
I wrote a previous blog post about why this speed factor was the most significant thing about the new iPhone5, because the speed of mobile devices appears by all measures to be on an exponential growth curve and has already surpassed most people's home Cable Modem or DSL networks. Having this uber fast, always-on connection in your pocket all the time has some very significant implications for us as a human race.
Here's the video of Ray showing AT&T vs. Sprint: