LTE's Effect on HSPA+ (AT&T)

tqmcguire

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Jun 14, 2010
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I've noticed, even before the iPhone 5 launch, AT&T's 4G HSPA+ speeds have been downright abysmal. This may be coincidence but this has come at the same time that AT&T is rolling out LTE in my area. I've noticed this at both work and home. It happened at work first some 3-4 months ago maybe my iPhone 4S and HTC One X both were getting horrible 4G speeds. I used to be able to stream SiriusXM, UStream, etc. Now I can barely send text messages on 4G. As soon as I hit LTE I get insane speeds of 20-40 down and 10-20 up. On 4G? Less than 1 down and similar up. Now at home we're on the list to have LTE by the end of 2012 and my speeds have dropped in a similar fashion. Maybe it's just increased load on the HSPA+ network, I don't know but it seems like AT&T is killing their old network to make room for the new. I don't mind that except that LTE doesn't penetrate into my office and I don't know how it will perform at home. Home is less of a problem since we have WiFi but it's still a problem. I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed this.
 

BreakingKayfabe

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Sep 12, 2008
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Re: LTE's Effect on HSPA+ (AT&T)

Within the past two weeks I've realized that my HSPA+ speeds on my 4S have been really bad. Not normal.
Speed testing gets me $hitty results. Places I usually get 7-9mbps, I'm getting like 3 or so. Sometimes I can't
even hit 1 in places where it's usually reliable. It's becoming a problem and I was close to making a thread
about this.

- - - Updated - - -

Within the past two weeks I've realized that my HSPA+ speeds on my 4S have been really bad. Not normal.
Speed testing gets me $hitty results. Places I usually get 7-9mbps, I'm getting like 3 or so. Sometimes I can't
even hit 1 in places where it's usually reliable. It's becoming a problem and I was close to making a thread
about this.
 

IAmSixNine

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Oct 10, 2011
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Re: LTE's Effect on HSPA+ (AT&T)

FYI, technically HSDPA+ is not 4G.. its 3.5 or 3.75..
In Australia apple was being sued for such a thing.
Australian government sues Apple for ‘misleading’ 4G label on new iPad | VentureBeat
Anyway, the iPhone 5 is LTE aka 4G compliant. Its just a technical discussion but thanks to misleading marketing by the carriers its all been blurred.
I for one would be happy with Tmos HSDPA+ network if the speeds were 10+ megs.. I dont care what its called, if its 7-10 megs down to me thats great for a phone.

- - - Updated - - -

FYI, technically HSDPA+ is not 4G.. its 3.5 or 3.75..
In Australia apple was being sued for such a thing.
http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/27/apple-australia-ipad-4g-lawsuit/
Anyway, the iPhone 5 is LTE aka 4G compliant. Its just a technical discussion but thanks to misleading marketing by the carriers its all been blurred.
I for one would be happy with Tmos HSDPA+ network if the speeds were 10+ megs.. I dont care what its called, if its 7-10 megs down to me thats great for a phone.
 

tqmcguire

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Jun 14, 2010
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Re: LTE's Effect on HSPA+ (AT&T)

FYI, technically HSDPA+ is not 4G.. its 3.5 or 3.75..
In Australia apple was being sued for such a thing.
Australian government sues Apple for ?misleading? 4G label on new iPad | VentureBeat
Anyway, the iPhone 5 is LTE aka 4G compliant. Its just a technical discussion but thanks to misleading marketing by the carriers its all been blurred.
I for one would be happy with Tmos HSDPA+ network if the speeds were 10+ megs.. I dont care what its called, if its 7-10 megs down to me thats great for a phone.

I do realize that HSPA+ is technically not 4G however that's what all the carriers are calling it now and that's what the icons on our phones show so to differentiate between LTE and HSPA+ I just used their terminology. Marketing confusion aside, I would also be happy with 7-10 down no matter what they call it. However as Heisenberg also said, in places I used to get 3-7 down I'm now barely getting 1 down. My theory is that AT&T is, for lack of a technical term, turning down the speeds on their HSPA+ network in places where their LTE network is live or about to go live. I hope that's not the case but it seems to be happening everywhere LTE is live or will be. I don't pretend to have knowledge of how cell networks work but each tower has to be connected to a hard line of some kind, I would think. AT&T could theoretically give more bandwidth/throughput/whatever to the LTE portion of the tower and less to the HSPA+. It's kind of like going from a wireless G router to a wireless N router. Your broadband provider's speed didn't increase (size of the pipe is the same) but your wireless is now faster. I'm guessing that AT&T didn't increase the "size of the pipe" much and is simply giving the majority to LTE and less to HSPA+. Again I could be completely wrong. :)
 

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