iPhone 4S new 14.4 Mbps HSDPA 4G speeds won't help Americans

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple demonstrated fast new 14.4 Mbps data downloads that technically put the new iPhone 4S in the realm of 4G LTE competitors, but US residents won't benefit much from the increased potential because domestic carriers don't support it.



Apple's new iPhone 4S will take full advantage of foreign networks supporting 14.4 Mbps HSDPA (high speed downlink packet access), a technology related to the GSM/UMTS standards. The existing iPhone 4 is limited to 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 HSUPA (uploads).



However, Verizon Wireless and Sprint, two of the three US mobile carriers will sell iPhone 4S in the US, are CDMA only, meaning they can't take any advantage of its new HSDPA speed potential. They'll continue to be limited to CDMA's 3G EVDO, which is noticeably slower than AT&T's network.



But even AT&T has been very conservative in building out its HSDPA capacity. The company's UMTS 3G network only started getting built out around 2006, when Verizon's competing, incompatible EVDO 3G service was already usable, initially forcing Apple to release the original iPhone as 2G only.



Apple has since increased the iPhone's 3G download speeds, first adding 7.2 HSDPA on the iPhone 3GS, then adding faster uploads with 5.76 Mbps HSUPA on iPhone 4, all the while also frequently noting that the potential of its smartphone was limited by the network technologies of carriers.



The company made similar caveats when introducing iPhone 4S with 14.4 Mbps HSDPA today. What it hasn't made clear is that not only will the feature only potentially address AT&T subscribers in the US, but that even AT&T's network has little or no support for actual 14.4Mbps service.







AT&T's HSDPA currently a tenth as fast as iPhone 4S potential



In a publicly issued document to mobile developers dated just last month, AT&T stated, "HSDPA?an ehhanced [sic] protocol in the HSPA family?is the highest-performance cellular-data technology ever deployed. Its peak theoretical rate is 14.4 megabits per second (Mbps).



"AT&T has engineered its network so that most users' experience typical downlink throughput rates of 700 kilobits per second (Kbps) to 1.7 Mbps, with bursts over 1 Mbps. Typical uplink rates are 500 Kbps to 1.2 Mbps."



The company notes that "Current HSDPA devices commonly support peak rates of 3.6 or 7.2 Mbps, though typical user rates are lower than this."



The existing iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS fall into these categories, but iPhone 4S is now a 14.4 Mbps device. If AT&T continues to note that its actual network speeds are lower than the potential of last year's iPhones, then there isn't much hope that a faster iPhone will make any difference to Americans until AT&T improves the engineered throughput on its network.



The network that wasn't there



It's noteworthy that there is a 14.4 HSDPA mobile network in the US: it is being built out by T-Mobile. Unfortunately, it operates on frequencies that are incompatible with standard UMTS phones like Apple's iPhone 4S, making it also impossible to take advantage of the new phone's capabilities (just as existing 3G iPhones can't take advantage of the company's AWS 3G network, and are limited to 2G GSM service when unlocked to use T-Mobile).



AT&T hopes to finalize its acquisition plans of T-Mobile and convert the company's oddball AWS bands of HSDPA for future use as an LTE network, suggesting that America's primary 14.4 HSDPA network won't be around very long.



With iPhone 4S promising to be a very popular phone, AT&T has a strong opportunity to advertise its existing HSDPA speed advantage over CDMA rivals Sprint and Verizon, something that may compel the company to reconfigure its network engineering to fully support the faster speeds available to iPhone 4 (7.2 Mbps) and iPhone 4S users (14.4 Mbps).



Until that happens, however, a primary feature of the new iPhone 4S model will only really be useful to users in Europe, Asia and other locations with completed, fully functional high speed mobile data networks.
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Comments

  • sagebrushsagebrush Posts: 2member
    Quote:

    It's noteworthy that there is a 14.4 HSDPA mobile network in the US: it is being built out by T-Mobile. Unfortunately, it operates on frequencies that are incompatible with standard UMTS phones like Apple's iPhone 4S, making it also impossible to take advantage of the new phone's capabilities (just as existing 3G iPhones can't take advantage of the company's AWS 3G network, and are limited to 2G GSM service when unlocked to use T-Mobile).



    As a T-Mobile customer, this is frustrating. I've been stuck using the iPhone 3G for over 2 years now, simply because I'm waiting for an iPhone upgrade that will actually give me data speeds beyond the 2G EDGE service. Must I now really wait even longer...?
  • ikolikol Posts: 369member
    Epic fail.
  • iocdadiocdad Posts: 4member
    The news just keeps getting worse.
  • zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    The rest of the world is leaving the U.S. Behind because of corporate greed and policy. Overcharge for service that is mediocre at best, while no percentage of the profits go towards build out of modern radio networks.



    America is slowly becoming a 3rd world nation because of conservative ideologies.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,859member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iKol View Post


    Epic fail.



    And yet people were clamoring for LTE. How foolish they all are.



    The telecoms need shut down. Have the BBB do it, I don't care. If we ever want this country to be competitive again, we need to have higher standards and an iron fist on forced carrier hardware upgrades.
  • sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,541member
    This is precisely why I don't get the ruckus that the whiners are talking about with the iPhone not being a "4G" phone. There's nothing out there (in the US) yet to use it so who the hell cares!



    I'll take better 3G speeds and solid battery life over any phantom 4G beta-testing chip any day.



    Of course, it would be nice if the telcos started ramping up 4G networks since my iPhone plan is contributing quite a bit each month to their bottom line.
  • einsteinbqateinsteinbqat Posts: 169member
    Happy to be Canadian where we get 21Mbps and above.
  • lifelonglifelong Posts: 7member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    This is precisely why I don't get the ruckus that the whiners are talking about with the iPhone not being a "4G" phone. There's nothing out there (in the US) yet to use it so who the hell cares!



    I'll take better 3G speeds and solid battery life over any phantom 4G beta-testing chip any day.



    Of course, it would be nice if the telcos started ramping up 4G networks since my iPhone plan is contributing quite a bit each month to their bottom line.



    Why is Verizon's LTE network "phantom 4G?"
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,297member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post




    America is slowly becoming a 3rd world nation because of conservative ideologies.



    Yeah. It wouldn't have anything at all to do with the current anti-business liberal administration. What a crazy thought.
  • rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post


    The rest of the world is leaving the U.S. Behind because of corporate greed and policy. Overcharge for service that is mediocre at best, while no percentage of the profits go towards build out of modern radio networks.



    America is slowly becoming a 3rd world nation because of conservative ideologies.



    Nah, not greed, but stupid dumb*ss politicians like Durbin, Dodd, Frank through their idiotic regulations. They think they know better at running corporations than do the actual businessmen. Their track record proves otherwise! Look at how they are vilifying BoA telling their customers to bolt. Okay, what are the consequences if that bank did lose enough "capital" that would effect other aspects in the finance world that would come back to deteriorate the average person in some way? Did Durbin ever think of that? Doubt it, he's a dumb*ss!



    That overcharge you posted about is nothing more than Democrats sticking it to evil corporations and still don't get it that it's passed on to the consumer. It is they who pay government's "I'll get you" attitude that only ends up hurting the little man. Call it the Progressive thinking tax.

    /

    /

    /
  • eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,325member
    I'm all out of meh for today's "event." I am an AAPL fanboi. Dig their stuff. Really like my iMac, iPad, iPods, and iPhones. Use them all regularly. They are great value, and just. work.



    Sadly, that means I have high expectations. And I suppose that's unfair. I really like APPL stuff, but there was nothing here for me. iMessage won't work with my iMac where I rather need it. The nano "upgrade" really isn't. I really don't see a reason to get an iP4S over my iP4. I'm really not a gamer, the speed thing isn't an issue, nor do I travel the world. The location thingy seems OK, but Glympse does what I need.



    I guess the biggest disappointment was the nano and iMessage. Those could have rocked me.
  • shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post


    The rest of the world is leaving the U.S. Behind because of corporate greed and policy. Overcharge for service that is mediocre at best, while no percentage of the profits go towards build out of modern radio networks.



    America is slowly becoming a 3rd world nation because of conservative ideologies.



    Slowly?
  • srangersranger Posts: 469member
    That is the main reason why I am going to get a 4G Android phone in Nov when my contract is up.... I have to stick with Verizon for Coverage reasons and we have a pretty good 4G cell here in Atlanta....
  • shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Nah, not greed, but stupid dumb*ss politicians like Durbin, Dodd, Frank through their idiotic regulations. They think they know better at running corporations than do the actual businessmen. Their track record proves otherwise! Look at how they are /

    /



    what color is the sky in your world?
  • handygeekhandygeek Posts: 11member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Nah, not greed, but stupid dumb*ss politicians like Durbin, Dodd, Frank through their idiotic regulations. They think they know better at running corporations than do the actual businessmen. Their track record proves otherwise!



    That overcharge you posted about is nothing more than Democrats sticking it to evil corporations and still don't get it that it's passed on to the consumer. It is they who pay government's "I'll get you" attitude that only ends up hurting the little man. Call it the Progressive thinking tax.

    /

    /

    /



    What regulations are keeping the providers from upgrading their networks? I don't see it - it's all about supply and demand. There is no demand from consumers so the providers are in no hurry. They all need to keep on top of back-haul before said upgrade anyway. Fact is, they simply don't want to invest the money. Once one does it, they'll all do it.
  • adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,750member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post


    The rest of the world is leaving the U.S. Behind because of corporate greed and policy. Overcharge for service that is mediocre at best, while no percentage of the profits go towards build out of modern radio networks.



    America is slowly becoming a 3rd world nation because of conservative ideologies.



    Make people pay more for less. Being greedy and selfish never works out in the long run. However, that's the conservative way. When jobs go overseas people are wondering why. Well they have modern technology and an educated people who will take advantage of it.
  • shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Yeah. It wouldn't have anything at all to do with the current anti-business liberal administration. What a crazy thought.



    You did notice the economy collapsed under the last guy, right? That his "hands off" approach gave us rolling blackouts, oil spills, and wallstreets rape and pillage mentality?



    Or does your memory reboot each election cycle?
  • lowededwookielowededwookie Posts: 737member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Nah, not greed, but stupid dumb*ss politicians like Durbin, Dodd, Frank through their idiotic regulations. They think they know better at running corporations than do the actual businessmen. Their track record proves otherwise! Look at how they are vilifying BoA telling their customers to bolt. Okay, what are the consequences if that bank did lose enough "capital" that would effect other aspects in the finance world that would come back to deteriorate the average person in some way? Did Durbin ever think of that? Doubt it, he's a dumb*ss!



    That overcharge you posted about is nothing more than Democrats sticking it to evil corporations and still don't get it that it's passed on to the consumer. It is they who pay government's "I'll get you" attitude that only ends up hurting the little man. Call it the Progressive thinking tax.



    You're wrong and I can tell you this from experience.



    When the New Zealand government owned the telecommunications industry New Zealand had the BEST telecommunications system in the world because the government had the foresight to get in bed with telecom manufacturers. As a result New Zealand was pushed as a testbed nation because it was large enough to provide valid results but small enough to roll back if it went pear shaped.



    Then, largely due to the National government bankrupting this nation in an effort to become more American capitalist, Labour decided to sell off a number of state owned assets one of which was Telecom.



    As a result of this New Zealand has ended up with a 3rd world telecommunications system that is only now coming back on track.



    Why is it coming back on track? Because of government regulations forcing Telecom to open up and split in much the same way the government split AT&T Bell. As a result of this we are finally starting to get better data rates and plans, better pricing on our calling, and better customer service even.



    This had not happened when telecom was left to do what it wanted and it crippled our country.



    You NEED government intervention more than you know. Your capitalist ideologies are screwing you over but you all seem to be too blind to see this.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,859member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post


    iMessage won't work with my iMac where I rather need it.



    Stay tuned.
  • jpellinojpellino Posts: 565member
    Otherwise this all might be a morass of phones and vendors and networks!
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