I’m sitting in a Chicago public library and since I don’t trust unencrypted WiFi networks for anything that requires a login, I took out the charging USB cable and tethered my laptop to my HTC EVO. The 4G gets only one bar here, but I figured it should still be able to give me a good connection. Then I ran a few speed tests on my laptop and my speed varies between 6/0.8 – 7/1 Mbps (download/upload). Whoa, that’s faster than I ever had with my AT&T home DSL, which usually tests between 4/0.6 – 5/0.7 Mpbs (although I have 6/0.7 Mpbs on paper).
Last night I tried EVO’s WiFi hotspot feature with similar results (7/1 Mbps), then I connected my PS3 to the Internet through it, and I played Battlefield 1943 online for an hour without being booted off and without any noticeable lag except a few screen “skips” once. The experience was almost identical to playing on my DSL ISP (AT&T) connection. So, it seems not only the bandwidth but also the latency on this thing is really great (low, typically between 50-100 ms, as opposed to over 1000 ms on my iPhone).
Update May 24, 2011 – I consistently keep getting best results with USB tethering over 4G at Starbucks by Clark and Harrison. Using bandwidth tests from my link on top page menu, dslreports.net shows over 7 Mbps, broadband.gov OOKLA @ 5.5, MLAB 3.5, speedtest.net shows 10-11.5 Mbps (ISP caching?!),chicago.speedtest.frontier.com 11-12 Mbps (?!), fox valley around 4.5, bandwidthplace.com around 7, speakeasy.net around 7.5, and CNET 5-6 Mbps.
This is my experience. My neighbor at another corner of our building is often having problems getting a 4G signal at home on his EVO, so your results may vary, but to summarize, my phone internet connection is faster than my ISP DSL line.