×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Six Major 3G and 4G Networks Tested Nationwide

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the actually-tested-locally dept.

The Internet 115

adeelarshad82 writes "PCMag recently tested six 3G and 4G networks to determine which ones were the fastest (and slowest) in 18 different US cities. They focused on data, not calls, and used their own testing script and methodology, which combined various kinds of uploads and downloads. Using laptops, more than a dozen people ran more than 10,000 tests; they found AT&T is both the fastest national 3G network, and the least consistent. Sprint's 3G system was the slowest of the 'big four' carriers, but the most consistent. When the test results were broken down by regions, AT&T led on speed in the Southeast, Central, and West, but T-Mobile took the crown in the Northeast region. Sprint's 4G network was fast where it was available, but it was surprisingly slower than 3G in some cities. The fastest AT&T download seen, at 5.05 megabits/sec, was right behind Apple's headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA. The fastest connection in any of the tests was a blazing 9.11 megabits down on Sprint 4G in the Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta, GA. The slowest city, on average, was Raleigh, with average 3G downloads of 880kbits/sec."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

115 comments

GNAA 4 LIFE!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32449470)

I just jizzed in my own face. It was awesome!

-Gary Niger

Verizon (2, Interesting)

dward90 (1813520) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449488)

I'm surprised at not seeing Verizon mentioned in the summary, as I've heard pretty much everywhere that they have the best network. Perhaps Verizon focuses more on phone service than data?

Re:Verizon (4, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449540)

I think their focus is more on coverage than raw speed. Since these tests were all done in major cities, Verizon's major selling point is instantly made irrelevant.

Re:Verizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32449728)

Should the study be dismissed then? Because right now it looks like Sprint would be the clear winner, but if that's true, I'd list Verizon there.

Posting from a Sprint phone, for what it's worth. This was almost the first time I'd consider my network superior. I do, however, rub it in when someone else gets a dropped call, as I understand that only happens on Sprint phones in other areas.

(D/FW)

Re:Verizon (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450724)

Verizon is listed, they just didn't win any speed races for data - in fact, they seem to be mediocre at best.

I've found Verizon to be fantastic for phone service, but I've never understood their price gouging on SMS/MMS and Data. When I compared phones with all features on (like Droids with Data and SMS/MMS service), Verizon was priced near the top. When I looked at phones with just voice, Verizon was very competitive. After looking into it, though, I decided the price was silly and not worth it at this time. Maybe after I make my first million, but keeping up with the Jones' was never my style - I am fiscally responsible, unlike most people I know that have stuff like that.

Re:Verizon (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32449964)

Since these tests were all done in major cities, Verizon's major selling point is instantly made irrelevant.

I live and work in the largest city in the country, and I assure you that Verizon's major selling point is never irrelevant. Currently I have a Verizon phone and a T Mobile phone, up until 4 months ago I had a Verizon phone and an AT&T phone. Even in the city, T Mobile and AT&T coverage is crap. Their signal is often weak, it drops frequently, 3G is spotty at best, even 2G is spotty. My Verizon phone on the other hand always works, 100% of the time. I've had a Verizon phone the longest, about 10 years now. I honestly can't remember the last time it dropped a call, or I couldn't make a call because I didn't have a signal, or couldn't browse the web because I had no data connection, but it was definitely at least 5 years ago. Meanwhile the T Mobile Blackberry I have right now is barely usable unless there's WiFi nearby. In my mind, bandwidth is irrelevant, coverage is everything. I don't really give a shit if the AT&T phone could download something 10x faster, since I can't actually make use of that bandwidth without a fucking signal.

Re:Verizon (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#32452882)

I live and work in one of the more well-off areas of San Diego (Solana Beach)...and the AT&T coverage here is absolutely horrible. I quite often will get no signal at all, spend half my time not even on 3g, etc. Almost all of the people in the office here have an iphone too, and all but one of them have the same problem (meaning, it's not just my phone).

Re:Verizon (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451330)

Using my metro (Baltimore, and sometimes DC) as the judge, it has verified what I already knew about Verizon: a bit slower but more consistent (how often does the download meet the minimum requirements of the spec). We see 96.3% consistency for Verizon in Baltimore, compared to 92.6% for each of the next most reliable. This is about half the number of dropped/lost/slow data messages from the next best competitor, and far better than AT&T's 74%. In DC, Verizon was actually relatively fast, while still being the most reliable at 96.7%. It depends on what you want your network to do.

This also only matters while inside the city. I recently took a trip through 5 states and used my Droid as a GPS 'mini-map' and to check real-time traffic. I lost data coverage only once in the hilly panhandle of MD, yet still had voice connectivity. It's good to know that my phone is still reliable until I get into the Allegheny mountains, and even then most of the mountains I have no issue.

Re:Verizon (3, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449580)

I'm surprised at not seeing Verizon mentioned in the summary, as I've heard pretty much everywhere that they have the best network. Perhaps Verizon focuses more on phone service than data?

I imagine Verizon will switch their focus to data once the 'can you hear me now' guy is done testing their network's voice coverage.

Re:Verizon (3, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449688)

  • "Can you Skype me now?"
  • "Can you watch my YouTube video now?"
  • "Can you comment on Slashdot now?"

Re:Verizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32452212)

except with Verizon not being able to do data and voice simultaneously, it would change to:
"Could you skype/youtube/slashdot? ... ok, well, hang up, try again and i'll call you back in 5 minutes."

Verizon isn't "3G" (-1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449608)

3G has come to mean "GSM network". Verizon is still CDMA. They're moving to LTE, which is basically the new version of GSM, and is what people are calling "4G".

Verizon DOES have, by far, the best coverage. No, you aren't going to get 5 megabit/sec downloads on your phone, but you don't NEED to. Nobody does. A phone doesn't do anything that needs that kind of bandwidth. 1 megabit/sec is PLENTY of bandwidth for a phone.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (3, Insightful)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449694)

How about for a laptop "aircard" or such? Or a tablet.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (0)

ThePlague (30616) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450180)

Or tethering.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451284)

My city is smaller than the ones they talked about in the article - e.g., we have Verizon and AT&T 3G, but nothing more than 1xRTT on Sprint - but my Droid is plenty fast enough to tether with. I won't confuse it with my home cable connection any time soon, but it's just fine for on the road surfing. (Haven't tried it with Netflix yet.) Wifi tethering of the Droid is also faster than USB tethering from my wife's AT&T Blackberry via PDANet.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (0)

ThePlague (30616) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451690)

Sure, most web surfing/e-mail doesn't need more than 0.8-1.0 Mbps. Depending on the sites, even those speeds might be overkill. However, tethering to use for streaming video ups the requirements. You definitely need better than 1.0 Mbps average for something like Hulu, for instance, or if you download large files.

The way I see it, cell phones via 4G have the potential to replace home broadband (and cable/satellite eventually) just like they're well on their way to replace landlines. If they can provide reliable 5M/500k D/U at a reasonable price, why bother with (cable/FIOS/satellite) modems at home?

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (3, Informative)

Scyber (539694) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449788)

By what standard does 3G mean "GSM Network"? None that I have ever heard of. 3G is a term used to describe a variety of technologies that meet certain requirements established by the ITU. Verizon's 3G technology is EVDO. Which is the same 3G technology that Sprint uses for 3G. So even if you were correct is saying that CDMA carriers aren't 3G, then why would the post reference Sprint's 3g network?

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32449916)

People should stop using the term "3G". It means nothing, It is confusing. Even DECT6 (a cordless phone technology) is classified as "3G" by the ITU.
Your phone is either EVDO, HSDPA or WiMAX. Don't know what it means? Then just say you have a 3.1 or 7.2 Mbps phone. Simple. No phone should be marketed as 3G or 4G.
Even more confusing: here in Canada, Bell and Telus have 2 networks (EVDO and HSPA+). Both of them are "3G", but they only refer to the new one as such.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (5, Informative)

ThermalRunaway (1766412) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449852)

Wrong. All 3G (and beyond) is based on CDMA principles. In fact the 3G that ATT et al use is W-CDMA. There are differences in channel names and chipping rates and such. But at the end of the day anything beyond 2G is all based on CDMA.

"GSM" 2G is TMDA (time division) and just isn't adequate anymore.

LTE is an interesting beast. It uses CDMA but any user can get multiple channels (if available) at a time. The channel allocation is on a time interval.

"GSM" was dead after EDGE. If you are referring to the actual technology that was 2G GSM. However many people now use it interchangeably with UMTS/W-CDMA.. which causes lots of confusion.

Oh, and just to establish my credentials.. I'm a hardware engineer at a major cell phone chip company. I've built CDMA and UMTS base stations.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32449996)

I find cell phone technology acronyms to be worse than NASA's. When I try to look up information about one set of standards or technologies, the information is riddled with more acronyms to which all seem to lead to even more.

Do you have any good resources to help me better understand what the hell you just said? :)

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32450412)

If you think the advertised acronyms are bad then you should work for a telco, particularly AT&T. ALL of their billing systems are nothing but acronyms and you have to know all of them or know where to look them up before you make a single change to the service. I don't know how many times I've seen variants of LTG6X for PRI/DID circuits.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32450068)

You're partially right. CDMA as a modulation technique is used by UMTS networks as well as CDMA networks. CDMA2000/EVDO is an end to end technology used by "CDMA Networks". GSM networks which CDMA modulation are much different.

With regards to LTE you're completely wrong: LTE uses OFDM.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (4, Informative)

ThermalRunaway (1766412) | more than 3 years ago | (#32454770)

OFDM is based on CDMA. The point of CDMA is using orthogonal codes to separate users that are all in the same frequency space.

OFDM is an extension of this that offers more features, data throughput, etc. You can easily visualize LTE as many small CDMA channels where users get one or more of these channels during a time interval.

I doesn't much matter what happens outside the air interface, and it has no bearing on the rest of the network. Its all high speed backhaul anyway. You can plug in whatever you want.

Hell I can plug a Verizon femto cell into my Comcast connection and it becomes a small CDMA node. I hardly think you can call this an end to end technology that uses CDMA.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32450414)

LTE is an interesting beast. It uses CDMA

Wrong. LTE is based heavily on OFDM.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (0, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451660)

Apparently those supposed heavyweight credentials he was swinging around don't mean shit!

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (1)

ThermalRunaway (1766412) | more than 3 years ago | (#32454800)

Lol... I work for Qualcomm. We invited all this shit. Pretty sure I know what I'm talking about.

Or would you like to compare patents you are on vs patents I'm on in the wireless technology field?

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32452846)

"I'm a hardware engineer at a major cell phone chip company. I've built CDMA and UMTS base stations."

Have you ever heard of TDMA?

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (1)

ThermalRunaway (1766412) | more than 3 years ago | (#32454784)

TDMA is what GSM 2G is based on. Users get a channel for a specific time interval and they are the only user on that channel.

CMDA lets all users transmit simultaneously and are sperated not my *time* (TDMA) but by orthogonal codes (CDMA and beyond). Go look up wash codes.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (1)

trampel (464001) | more than 3 years ago | (#32454604)

Oh, and just to establish my credentials.. I'm a hardware engineer at a major cell phone chip company. I've built CDMA and UMTS base stations.

Not intending to troll, just testing my understanding: since UMTS is 3G and all of 3G is CDMA, isn't the last statement somewhat redundant, as in "I've used computers and Macs"?

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (1)

ThermalRunaway (1766412) | more than 3 years ago | (#32454794)

This should have been CDMA2000 and UMTS. Different specs. And actually UMTS is a 2g + 3g package that uses WCDMA for the 3g portion.

So really this should have been CDMA2000 and WCDMA

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32455612)

I seriously question you being a professional in the field. I suggest reading about LTE, GSM and EDGE on wikipedia to correct your most flagrant claims.

1. GSM is TDMA/FDMA
2. LTE uses OFDM/SC-FDMA (OFDM but with an extra DFT/IDFT layer). Channel allocation is on a time and carrier basis.
3. EDGE is an extension of GSM. A new modulation and packet protocol within the existing radio channel. Also adds a new node to the GSM network.

If you're indeed a hardware engineer at a major cell phone chip company, may I suggest evening courses at the telecommunications department of a local university?

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449878)

You're right and wrong. It has nothing to do with CDMA or GSM, 3G is literally the third generation of mobile telecommunication technologies. 3G doesn't actually mean GSM in the slightest. WiMax is technically "4G" because it's a part of the fourth generation, along with LTE. Also, this has nothing to do with phones, more and more people are using these data technologies for laptop tethering. WiMax has been sold on Sprint for a while, for use with aircards, but the EVO 4G is the first phone to actually integrate it.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (2, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450006)

1 megabit/sec is PLENTY of bandwidth for a phone.

Kind of reminds me of:

640K ought to be enough for anybody.

(Bill Gates, 1981)

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32450024)

3G has come to mean "GSM network".

Bullshit. You can't just redefine terms because you don't understand what they mean.

For the painfully ignorant:
1G was analog voice
2G was digital voice
"2.5G" was an attempt to piggyback data onto voice channels
3G is purpose-build digital data.

EV-DO (verizon 3G) is definitely a dedicated data network, and definitely 3G (multi-megabit) caliber.

The way you use terms like "CDMA" and "GSM" makes them meaningless. GSM is a widespread, 2G, voice-only standard. HSDPA is not GSM. LTE is not GSM. CDMA is a channel control protocol that underlies lots of protocols, from IS-95 (2G voice) to HSDPA.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450274)

Don't tell me what I do and don't need out of my phone. YOU may not need a 5Mbit connection; and you're probably right to assume that most people also don't need a connection that fast. But maybe I'm deploying an emergency patch to my server that I have to upload from my tethered laptop; that extra bandwidth could make a real difference. Hell, maybe my business absolutely needs me on a video conference, and 1Mbit won't do the trick.

Obviously that's unlikely, but don't say "nobody" unless you understand the requirements of the entire world.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450296)

3G has come to mean "GSM network". Verizon is still CDMA. They're moving to LTE, which is basically the new version of GSM, and is what people are calling "4G".

Verizon DOES have, by far, the best coverage. No, you aren't going to get 5 megabit/sec downloads on your phone, but you don't NEED to. Nobody does. A phone doesn't do anything that needs that kind of bandwidth. 1 megabit/sec is PLENTY of bandwidth for a phone.

What if you are tethering wifi? The EVO that Sprint is releasing next week has two camera, one for HD video, the other rear facing for video conferencing, a 1Ghz processor, a higher definition screen, a GPS receiver....etc. Who knows what kind of bandwidth apps will require in the very near future.

Don't get me wrong, today, you are correct. No one needs more than 1Mb/s to a phone... right now. However, reading your statement reminded me of a famous quote concerning 640k.

Re:Verizon isn't "3G" (2, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450354)

How is this "Insightful"?

3G means "3rd generation" and 4G means "4th generation". It's that simple.

Re:Verizon (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32449720)

Interestingly, http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/07/3g-speed-test/ has very different results and Verizon comes in first.

Verizon has always favored call quality over data service though, that's why they stuck with CDMA and even took so long to convert to digital. For a long time they even required every handset maker to include an extendable antenna for their network to ensure you could get the best signal possible for calls.

Even now, Verizon 3G is technically EV-DO which caps at 3MB much lower than the 14MB of HSDPA.

Re:Verizon (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 3 years ago | (#32454082)

Verizon has always favored call quality over data service though, that's why they stuck with CDMA and even took so long to convert to digital.

Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless (result of a merger) didn't even come into existence until after almost all carriers switched to some digital technology. One of the companies (PrimeCo) was CDMA from its launch.

Re:Verizon (1)

Digicaf (48857) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449820)

Actually, they have an excellent data network. It is slower than AT&T's HSPA, but in my experience it is much much more reliable. With Verizon, I average about 600 - 700 kbps down almost everywhere. With AT&T I might get 1mbps down or I might get 250 - 300 kbps down depending on which wall I'm standing next to. The reason for that is Verizon's EVDO A has been rolled out all over the place and is a little older than AT&T's HSPA. AT&T's rollout of their 3G network was (and continues to be) horrendously slow.

Re:Verizon (1)

mcatrage (1274730) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449986)

If you look at data consistency they were near the top or won in every region and to most people I think thats more important than pure speed when it comes to a smartphone.

Re:Verizon (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450868)

I was in NYC last week and was very surprised at how much faster my T-Mobile data connection was. At the time i thought it was my imagination. Now back on the West Coast I'm started to feel a little slighted.

Re:Verizon (0, Troll)

jonadab (583620) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451448)

> as I've heard pretty much everywhere that [Verizon] have the best network

You have apparently been talking with Verizon employees, then. Verizon hasn't even been able to maintain the existing landline network that they acquired when they bought GTE. If I ever inherit a hillion jillion dollars, Verizon is the first company I will buy just to shut them down.

Re:Verizon (1)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451982)

I can clarify the verizon thing for you. They were only testing for speed, and only where everyone had coverage. Given those restrictions, the results aren't surprising. I have had data cards and smartphones from AT&T, Verizon, and T-mobile data through various jobs (oftentimes simultaneously). AT&T is generally the fastest when it works. Verizon is by far the most consistent (500kbps~1 mbit almost anywhere in the country in my experience) with the largest 3G network by a HUGE margin. T-mobile is just a disaster all-around (virtually no coverage, so 99% of your time is spent on EDGE).

Verizon is pretty much the only carrier that consistently has 3G coverage outside of the major metro areas. Even in major cities, I usually find that the verizon card has better signal inside buildings. Outside of major cities, it is my experience that it's easier to find a verizon 3G signal than an AT&T edge signal.

NOW if they modified the test by driving around the country, and averaging in zeros when they had no coverage on a particular carrier (or EDGE results when they had no 3G coverage), then I anticipate verizon would win this contest by a HUGE margin.

Personally, for mobile computing I find 1mbit is plenty for me... so I'll take reliability over speed any day.

Re:Verizon (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32453974)

I'm surprised at not seeing Verizon mentioned in the summary, as I've heard pretty much everywhere that they have the best network. Perhaps Verizon focuses more on phone service than data?

If by "pretty much everywhere" you mean "in all the Verizon commercials", I am forced to concur.

Sprint (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32449526)

We're the best at being the worst.

Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32449550)

Raleigh would be the slowest city on Verizon, which is where I live and the carrier I use.... Maybe these tests will urge Verizon to increase their speed here ;-)

I use Clear 4G In Baltimore (2, Informative)

mcwop (31034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449612)

It runs my home network, and I am very satisfied with it. So much so, that the Spring 4G EVO looks very attractive as an iPhone alternative. Too bad my contract runs out in December, and ATT jacked up surrender fees.

Re:I use Clear 4G In Baltimore (1)

rnelsonee (98732) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450620)

I use Clear (formerly XOhm) as my ISP too and it's been great. No contract and $35/month. It's not bad, and worth checking out, although it's specific to where you are. I got 1Mbps in my old neighborhood and now reach 3Mbps and I'm only a mile down the road. A friend in Dundalk got 5Mbps.

Also, the ETF fee doesn't go up until you sign a new contract (old ETF is grandfathered in if you are still under contract), and by law the fee goes down every month. It's $5/month for AT&T so if it was $175 in December at the start of a 2-year contract in 2008, it should only be $85 or so now.

Re:I use Clear 4G In Baltimore (1)

cawpin (875453) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450662)

"and ATT jacked up surrender fees." They can't change your ETF after you've signed the contract. Yours is still what it was. Only "new contracts" were changed.

Now i know why my 3G connection has been slow (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449618)

Assholes are running around the country with laptops trying to see how much bandwidth they can eat up for testing purposes.

sounds about right from what i see (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449654)

in NYC and i have an iphone 3GS and a sprint blackberry. speedtests on the iphone average around 600 - 3500kbps download. even in midtown manhattan. depends on the exact location and time of day. and response is pretty good. the Sprint BB is like watching trees grow. Google maps is slow. and there are tons of deadspots around NYC. only time it's better is in one of the old factory buildings on the west side. last year when AT&T had problems i would listen to pandora and slacker on my BB.

with iphone OS 4 coming out next week i would throw the blackberry in the trash if it didn't belong to my employer

Re:sounds about right from what i see (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450170)

You get the best service -- in MIDTOWN MANHATTAN -- from AT&T on an iPhone?

Someone up high is looking out for you.

Re:sounds about right from what i see (1)

longfalcon (202977) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450352)

which BB model? i had a sprint BB that was dooooog slooooow, but it wasn't sprint - it was the crappy phone that was slow.

Yay Raleigh! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32449666)

Yay Raleigh! We have IBM! We have Redhat! We have Cisco! We also have slow-as-hell 3G / 4G!

At least our Roadrunner cable service is pretty solid. Would hate to be in an area with great wireless while simultaneously being stuck with Comcast.

Re:Yay Raleigh! (1)

z1ppy (1123453) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449812)

Agreed on the RR. Though I am ready for some FTTH. FiOS, uVerse, whatever. GIVE IT UP. That's pretty disappointing about the AT&T 3G service here. I've never really thought of it as being slow. Guess I haven't been traveling much since I joined the 3G world.

What about latency? (5, Informative)

Benzido (959767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449750)

The problem with AT&T isn't speed, it's latency. I often had to wait ten seconds or more for a data request to be met, and often the software would timeout before that happened (which meant I would get no data at all). Once a download actually started, it was very fast, but so what?

Re:What about latency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32450130)

the data in the article includes 'time to first byte'

Re:What about latency? (1)

Benzido (959767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450670)

Yeah, I'm not sure how to explain that. I almost never got any useful data in 0.62 seconds, (NYC) not even from something like twitter.

I wouldn't put it past AT&T to have fast download speeds, quick latency for the first byte, but to make you sit and wait for 10 seconds for the second and third byte.

Re:What about latency? (1)

willy_me (212994) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450742)

High latency will result when in areas with high packet loss. Basically your cell puts out the request but it doesn't go anywhere. It times out and eventually tries again - hence the perceived delay. When responding with a data stream, lost packets are quickly recognized by the receiving node. These lost packets can be retransmitted on request - no need to wait for a timeout.

The test would be to go to an area where you have both great reception and bandwidth. With a good signal and no bandwidth contention the probability of losing that request is low. Do you still have high latency? If so then AT&T is doing something very wrong.

Re:What about latency? (1)

Benzido (959767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450830)

I never had anything but five bars in Manhattan in my two years with AT&T, (I moved abroad a couple of weeks ago) and I had good bandwidth whenever I could get data, but I never latency anywhere under a second. They probably ARE doing something very wrong.

PC World Sprint EVO 4G Test in WA State (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449810)

Using the new EVO 4G phone (from Sprint) on a 3G network is a bit like confining yourself to the posted speed limit in a Maserati. Naturally, when the phone goes on sale June 4, people who live in 3G-only cities (such as San Francisco) may wonder what they're missing from the experience. (What is 4G?) So when I got my hands on the phone, my first thought was to see what the device could do in 4G country--cities where Sprint's partner, Clearwire, has had its 4G WiMax network up and running for a good while. So I flew up to the Pacific Northwest with the EVO 4G to try it out in six 4G cities on Clearwire’s WiMax network. ...

Linky Article [pcworld.com]

Tested it in the bay area (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450206)

Part of the East Bay is a 4G testing area. I just picked up a Sprint Overdrive, and it connects at 4G. The speeds are okay (3-4mbps) but not out-of-this-world like I was expecting.

The reason it was worth it is the unlimited data @ $60/month on 4G as opposed to the same price for 5gigs on 3G.

Re:PC World Sprint EVO 4G Test in WA State (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32453986)

Naturally, when the phone goes on sale June 4, people who live in 3G-only cities (such as San Francisco) may wonder what they're missing from the experienc

That's very generous of you. My guess is that most of them will have bought their 4g phones, and be marveling at how much faster the 4g experience really is.

ATT sucks (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449862)

First, We know that ATT sucks, but clearly it can deliver data. Certain cities are oversubscribed, certain cities are overpopulated. It is likely physically impossible to put enough towers in NYC to cover all the traffic. I appreciate that ATT is going to sell 2 GB of data, with tethering, for $50. That is $10 less than for verizon. Given that Verizon speeds appear to be slower, unless you live or work in a rural area that does have ATT 3G, I can't imagine what the $10 is for. This has pretty much been my impression for the past 20 years. For personal use Verizon is overpriced.

Second, why is Sprint 4G so slow? And they are not cheap either. Neither is T-Mobile. I remember when they would charge $45 for hot spot acess.

And third, I wish cricket would sell a box for home internet. I am surprised that their speeds are so good. Kind of makes you wonder if the tests are totally wack. The lame wireless carriers, ATT and Cricket are on top. In any case, for $40 unlimited you can't beat the deal. I would switch from DSL to them.

Re:ATT sucks (1)

besalope (1186101) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450100)

It really depends on your phone. Windows Mobile has had free apps to tether phones as modems (usb/bluetooth/wifi accesspoint) and it's transparent to VZW. I pay my $30/mo "unlimitted" smartphone data plan and that's it, no need to pay for "tethering" crap. To my knowledge android has similar apps, but for BB.. you're SoL.

Re:ATT sucks (1)

eladts (1712916) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450860)

Almost all Nokia and Sony-Ericsson phones, even dumphones, can tether via USB or Bluetooth out of the box, there is no need for an app for that. Actually, you can get Nokia 5310 from T-Mobile, get the $10 dumphone unlimited web and tether with that.

Re:ATT sucks (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451374)

>I appreciate that ATT is going to sell 2 GB of data, with tethering, for $50.

Wait, what? Data on a Verizon phone is like 30 dollars. Not $60. Its $60 if you have a non-phone like a broadbard card. A lot of Verizon phones can do tethering for free. If anything AT&T is the ripoff here.

>Second, why is Sprint 4G so slow?

Are you kidding. People have been doing speed tests on Sprint/Clear for months and outside of people who are getting zero reception or have bad equipment, we're seeing speeds of 2+ megabits easy, most people getting 3-6mbps with low latency, by cellular standards.

>And they are not cheap either.

The EVO plan with the $10 4G fee is $10 CHEAPER than the equivalent iphone plan. I should know, I've been pricing them out this week because Im thinking of getting rid of my iphone.

Sprint is probably the cheapest carrier right now for smartphones. T-mobile has a good deal if you buy your phone completely (no subsidization) and can get on the lower priced plan.

My personal testing results (3, Interesting)

rongage (237813) | more than 3 years ago | (#32449888)

For what it's worth...

I was in Chicago for a couple of months at the beginning of the year. While there, I subscribed to Clear Internet (http://www.clear.com) - a 4G provider with (I think) Sprint backing it.

My results were absolutely horrible - on average, I was getting 51k download speeds. This was as measured on the modem itself (no router/firewall/PC - right from the status screen on the modem). There was nothing I could do to improve this and the people at Clear were completely baffled by this. According to the Clear folk, I was about 1/10 mile from the nearest tower. I was getting excellent signal and PSNR.

In my mind, either Clear was totally messed up or 4G has a lot more hype than delivery.

Re:My personal testing results (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450078)

Considering I could pull better than 51k with my 1x connection 5 years ago, I'm going to go with Clear was totally messed up. I'm on 3g now and while it's certainly not as fast as my wired connection at home, it is most definitely faster than a 56k modem.

Re:My personal testing results (1)

lidocaineus (661282) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450382)

Rather than re-iterate, I'll just link to a similar reply I had made from the other day. Summary: it's weird what you experienced in Chicago, and I had the exact opposite of what you experienced (plus a much larger set of data - 63 POPs to be exact). Did you try and move it anywhere else? Since it's WiMax, you can just go anywhere with power...

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1669832&cid=32403606 [slashdot.org]

Re:My personal testing results (1)

Dalroth (85450) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451142)

Funny. It's all anecdotal though. I'm on Clear right now in North Chicago and I routinely see 500k+/sec downloads. I've seen the speed tests get as high as 11mbps down, and 1.5mbps up, which in my opinion is pretty damn good for a wireless connection.

There are definitely some areas where it sucks (Riverside has terrible coverage), but I've found it to be fantastic, hardly ever cutting out and even when it's running slower than usual it's still faster than what I had with an AT&T DSL line.

My personal Experience in Dallas (1)

guzzirider (551141) | more than 3 years ago | (#32452244)

I have the Clear service, (the USB dongle and the Motorola Base station). My experience with it has been mixed. It works at 2+ to 4MB on the USB dongle at my work, which is in Carrollton TX 75007.
However it has been unreliable at home (where I need it). Some times it runs at 3 or 4 MB but 50% of the time it is sub 1MB or zilch.
Clear (part owned by Sprint) has promised that 2 more towers are due for activation in the area of my home. The date on this has slipped and I hope that it is not an empty promise.
However to be fair and honest when I purchased the system the coverage map (some type of GOOGLE earth overlay was accurate and I knew that coverage was spotty in my home neighborhood.
I am not in love with it but am not willing to abandon it yet.
I do not have the FIOS available where I live (75218) and My DSL is a long way from the concentrator I am limited to about 1.4 to 1.5 MB on it. (AT&T). U-verse is not available (distance)
The drag about this is that across the street the DSL runs fast and the U-verse is available, oh well

Only cities... (2, Interesting)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450178)

So the indirect conclusion is if you want a best balance of speed, consistency, coverage and price... in a major city, go T-Mobile. Especially when they get HSPA+ running.

Of course, T-mobile has had it's share of privacy problems or losing data (Sidekick incident).

Re:Only cities... (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450496)

In general I've had the most luck with T-Mobile, even for non-smartphone applications. Their pay-as-you-go plans and their willingness to let you use your own hardware without too much hassle are big pluses, as I see it. Plus their "cheap phones" are actually kinda nice.

Re:Only cities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32454652)

So the indirect conclusion is if you want a best balance of speed, consistency, coverage and price... in a major city, go T-Mobile. Especially when they get HSPA+ running.

Of course, T-mobile has had it's share of privacy problems or losing data (Sidekick incident).

Sorry that was Microsoft losing your data. They own the sidekick data service.

First Post~ (2, Funny)

Xyde (415798) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450210)

The fastest AT&T download seen, at 5.05 megabits/sec, was right behind Apple's headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA

Why am I not suprised this isn't a black spot for AT&T coverage. I bet they have a transmitter aimed directly at Steve Jobs' head.

Re:First Post~ (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450420)

Don't be stupid.

The transmitter is aimed directly at Steve Jobs' office.

Re:First Post~ (1)

keithpreston (865880) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450478)

I bet they have a deal that there is a transmitter and direct fiber line to it IN Steve Jobs' office. More seriously, I would highly doubt that there aren't multiple att towers on apple's campus. When you are developing cell phones you can just cripple coverage with thousands of phones all doing automated testing on the same tower

Re:First Post~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32450598)

The transmitter is aimed directly *out of* Steve Jobs' *orifice*.

There, fix'd that for ya.

Re:First Post~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32450894)

... or at his liver.

Too soon?

Re:First Post~ (1)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32452030)

Interestingly, Apple campus is one of the only places in Cupertino with good AT&T 3G coverage. My friend lives about 2 blocks away from Apple HQ on Homestead road and I can't even make calls there let alone actually use the web.

Cupertino's dead zone (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32453330)

I tell everybody how bad the AT&T coverage is near Apple headquarters and no one believes me.

I live 3 miles NE of them. My last job was 2 miles SW. There is no AT&T coverage, in either place, for anybody. Phone calls last 30 seconds and are dropped unless you quickly run outside and find a hilltop.

What's hilarious is seeing snooty iphone owners in Silicon Valley rush outside all the time whenever their iphones ring. They dart down the stairs and don't even answer until they're almost out into the parking lot. I think at Apple they have their own five watt cell tower next to Steve Jobs's office and when their phone rings they run inside.

Mbps/MBps/MBPs/MbPs.....etc (2, Funny)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450402)

In case anyone is confused on the proper designations, please refer to this [xkcd.com] chart. Just replace K's with M's.

"3G" and "4G" mean bugger all. (1)

pslam (97660) | more than 3 years ago | (#32450918)

That's the issue. Loosely, "3G" tends to indicate that service has serious provision for data but is still largely voice, while "4G" indicates a service is data-oriented. There's huge overlap between all the competing systems in bandwidth, coverage, latency and features (e.g shared voice+data). Hell, even "2G" (GSM) can be faster than "4G" when your 4G signal is very weak. The current AT&T vs Verizon spat is pretty much dictionary definition Strawman.

It's most obvious when you talk about Verizon and, well, pretty much everyone else's "3G". They're not even running the same modulation scheme or protocols. And sadly it seems the same will happen with "4G" as there's WiMax competing with LTE.

The funny thing is this is almost entirely a US-only issue. I'm sure there's some outliers, but otherwise the entire of Europe, and I think most of the rest of the world uses UTMS/HSPA for 3G and is going LTE for 4G. I can't think of anywhere else apart from the US (and strangely, Iraq due to, ahem, presidential order, despite every surrounding country using an incompatible system) that uses CDMA2000, EVDO, or WiMax (except 1 carrier in Sweden?)

It's pretty much only possible in the US due to the tight carrier-vs-phone contracts you get.

53 minutes a month (1)

Phantom Gremlin (161961) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451234)

Assuming you had an app that could take advantage of AT&T's 5 Mb/s peak speed, you would hit your 2 GB cap in 53 minutes of streaming.

You won't be streaming too many movies to your 3G iPad anytime in the near future.

Not nationwide (1)

greatgreygreengreasy (706454) | more than 3 years ago | (#32451370)

The tests were not run nationwide, they were run in select major cities. This happens to be a major sticking point if you're like me and don't live in one of the few 3G ATT or TMobile markets. I personally hate ATT, only because they're such liars. They can play Nick Drake all day, their coverage still sucks. And their commercials shouldn't say "3G not available in all areas" it should say 3G not available in MOST areas.

Speedy in Canada (1)

CTenorman (1410283) | more than 3 years ago | (#32454954)

It might be worth noting that up here in Ontario I'm able to get 7.2 megabits/sec on a good night, with averages between 4.5-6.5, with latency between 75 and 95ms. And this is literally in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields and trees. In fact, because of where we live, we use something called a Rocket Hub as our primary internet access device, and it uses the cell network. $60/month for 10 gigs, with $5/gig overage. We may not be the best in the world by any stretch, but it's not bad!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...