Inside iPhone 4S US mobile data: AT&T vs Sprint vs Verizon

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  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axual View Post


    These numbers are mostly meaningless except to AT&T marketing people. It's a phone first, and AT&T does not deliver the same level of performance for basic phone calls.



    If I have to wait 3 seconds for my email to load, I just don't care. But dropped calls, poor quality calls do make a difference. I'll my iPad for browsing data intensive websites.



    If anything is marketing it's the results of another recent test that shows Verizon being ever so slightly lower than AT&T in dropped calls by 0.7%, AT&T having slightly better call quality on the downlink, and Sprint having slightly better call quality on the uplink.That that each of the big three had wins and losses. It's not meaningless when you use your smartphone for data access significantly more than you use it for phone calls. This goes for all devices and carriers.



    LTE speeds are more than "mostly meaningless" marketing but it currently suffers from power usage issues that make it less than ideal for most customers in 2011.
  • kevvokevvo Posts: 1member
    Also, when it comes to coverage, the carrier stereotypes of rural vs urban don't always apply. I worked out in a rural area of Texas in 2010, and the only carrier offering service was AT&T. The organization I worked for happened to be in a valley that created a small dead spot, but AT&T had service everywhere else. The other three major carriers ended their coverage 5 miles up the road toward the nearest midsize city. Not only that, but AT&T actually bothered to bring T1 lines all the way out to the towers so we could have decent 3G data service. The organization is hoping to work with AT&T on placing a tower on the hill they own that overlooks the entire coverage gap.
  • psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 451member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I'll say there are many areas where AT&T sucks. It's not just rural areas but in some major cities. That's changing with the new spectrum use but as you say people need to look at their governments because not being able to get a new tower for 3 years is absolutely ridiculous when it takes a couple weeks in other big cities.



    Then there is the more local issue where customers want better service but don't want to have an ugly tower in site. It's hard to build something called a tower and not have it be an eyesore for someone. Even the ones that look like trees would be ugly if stuck just outside your home.



    Maybe one day we'll have low-earth cellular satellites that will allow us to get rid of the towers altogether. While we're at it let's through in wireless power, too.



    Aesthetics of tower sites is an issue, but don't forget the tin-foil hat crowd who are deathly afraid of RF emissions of any sort. They hold more sway over local planning and city council meetings that might think.



    Having done my share of cell site acquisition work, I can tell you all it takes is just one citizen to torpedo an application for cell site. It ain't easy.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post


    Aesthetics of tower sites is an issue, but don't forget the tin-foil hat crowd who are deathly afraid of RF emissions of any sort. They hold more sway over local planning and city council meetings that might think.



    Having done my share of cell site acquisition work, I can tell you all it takes is just one citizen to torpedo an application for cell site. It ain't easy.



    Is there any evidence that RF emissions from a cell tower can cause any sort of cancer or anything else dangerous? I thought that even the extensive cellphone study came back with RF not being causing brain cancer.
  • festerfester Posts: 1member
    here is some testing of my own. fastest wifi will ever go is 39mb even with a 100mb wifi because iphone only has a single channel. even though iphone 4s has a 14mb capabilitys it wont go past 8mb with all the overhead packets. I build towers here are some examples.
  • marigotmarigot Posts: 1member
    There was a comment suggesting US carriers have been slow to build out their systems. Although that is true, zoning laws which govern the installation of cell sites are local. Many communities make it difficult and in some cases, impossible when applications are denied, to get antennas and/or cell sites in service. Each community makes its own rules and sets its own procedures. It is often months to get community approvals for a single cell site.
  • derekrodderekrod Posts: 38member
    Im from New York City.On AT&T I get speeds in brooklyn that are 5-7 MBPS.I recently switched back to AT&T after snagging a VZW iP4.Verizons phone data worked in Manhattan.Most noticeably Times Sq where I work.AT&T's data completely craps out in Midtown manhattan its a known fact.Verizon while slower and the reason I switched still was able to deliver data in midtown albeit much slowly
  • dbtincdbtinc Posts: 134member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1st View Post


    "The idea that AT&T is a terrible service provider and certainly the worst in the US (and in particular in San Francisco), was flatly refuted in our testing. AT&T not only won overall in speed tests by a wide margin, but also delivered the fastest peak scores by far. "

    Feel sorry for the chaps jumped over to VZ and got locked in contract.



    Uhhh, sometimes you use the phone for a PHONE CALL and that's where AT&T sucks ...
  • sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,218member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by obxwebdesigner View Post


    I agree when I read this article it seems like they push AT&T and poo poo Verizon when Verizon is really the clear winner.



    Verizon is not the clear winner...that is bogus. Despite its better overall coverage and fewer dropped calls, it still has holes depending on where you are. In the western suburbs and exurbs of Phila (where I live), there are a lot of gaps, especially in more rural areas (Chester County, Lancaster County, Berks County). I know this because I had Verizon for 7 years. I even had trouble getting ANY signal in the school where I work, which is right near the Main Line.



    AT&T, by contrast, works very well at my school and at my home. Data speeds, call quality and dropped calls have definitely improved in dramatic fashion since I signed on with them in 2008 (iPhone 3G at the time). AT&T also enables simultaneous voice and data, which is something I use frequently. The downside is that 3G data seems to "hang" even in good signal areas at times, and there a lot of "mini dead spots" even in some populated areas (spots where it drops to Edge or no service for say, 1/4 of a mile while driving).



    The point is that it depends where you are and what poison you choose. I've considered bailing on AT&T, but their improved network over the years coupled with simultaneous voice and data has prevented it.



    One final note on AT&T: When I first got my iPhone 3G, dropped calls and data speeds drove me BONKERS. I was dropping at least several calls per day. Data was at a snail's pace most of the time. I thought it was the phone until I traveled to Boston...it was like I had a different phone...fantastic data speeds and coverage. Things have definitely improved since then.
  • sprint3gissuessprint3gissues Posts: 13member
    This one has not been getting enough coverage. The fact is that Sprint 3G is practically unusable by many subscribers both iPhone and non-iPhone devices. The influx of users has crippled their ability to provide service and Sprint has responded by doing NOTHING for users to compensate for the fact that they are providing 3G service that can average 200kbps for 8 hours a day! The are still charging 100% while providing that crappy service. You can see here that a single forum on Sprints website has over 400,000 views on this issue with over 1800 posts. http://community.sprint.com/baw/thre...=1860&tstart=0. There are posts from all over the country describing issues. I'd love to see the authors or someone else press a little harder to get some movement/response on this issue from Sprint. If you are considering Sprint PLEASE make sure that you test your 3G data speeds and verify that they are acceptable before your 14 day return window is closed. At this point based on service and customer service I could NOT recommend Sprint.
  • misamisa Posts: 700member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kianabc View Post


    I registered just to post this comment because I think the "conclusion" of this article is a bit unfair. Yes, this article tested the iPhone on all three networks, but when you read it, it makes you think that AT&T is the fastest network and Verizon sucks. That's only because the iPhone 4S is a 3G device, not 4G. I am a iPhone 4S user and overal a big Apple fan. I love my AT&T network so far because it works well in my hometown; however, I just recently bought a Verizon MiFi mobile hotspot and, boy, that thing is blazing fast! I get downloads in the range of 7-9 mbps, consistently. I travel all over the US, and so far it's been that fast every where I go, with an exception of Marriott hotels.



    For some reason neither my iPhone 4S and my Verizon MiFi work at the hotel. I swear Marriott messed with the 3G/4G networks, so you're forced to buy their Internet. I get full bars and can make/receive phone calls, but no data. Weird.



    Anyway... The Verizon 4G network is super fast. I have no experience with Sprint's 4G network, so I cannot comment on that.



    Nah, it's perfectly fair because the iPhone 4S is only using 3G networks on both AT&T and Verizon. Sprint backed the wrong horse.



    The 3G network AT&T has supports HSPDA, depending on configuration can be between 1.2 and 84.4Mbits. This is not AT&T's 4G network, which is LTE. Verizon 's 4G network is also LTE, but their 3G network maxes out at 5.5Mbits. That's it. Plus the disadvantage of not being able to use data or voice at the same time.



    Sprint's 4G network is LTE and WiMax.



    See the problem? The iPhone doesn't use the 4G LTE networks of any carrier.
  • sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,218member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by misa View Post




    see the problem? The iphone doesn't use the 4g lte networks of any carrier....yet.



    tftfy
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,529member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Misa View Post


    Sprint's 4G network is LTE and WiMax.



    I'm sorry, what? Since when does Sprint have ANY LTE ANYWHERE? WiMAX is their 4G.



    Edit: lol, Wikipedia.



    Addendum: HOLY CRAP, Sprint has LTE now! Guess their hand was forced by the iPhone. Well, and common sense.
  • jmnjmn Posts: 3member
    If anyone is still reading this thread, I would really appreciate a response to this question. Since I'm not a technical person, do any of you know whether the limitation on WiFi speed would throttle 4g from Verizon? In other words if I get a Verizon hotspot and connect it to my iPad via wifi, would the wifi speed be less than the 4g speed?
  • vgermaxvgermax Posts: 9member
    Out and about in Toronto this morning using Rogers

    Down/Up/Ping

    7.73/1.03/82

    8.16/1.14/69

    4.51/1.14/80



    Best I've seen in 1 1/2 months of off and on (12 tests) checking

    8.16/3.23/55
  • tyler82tyler82 Posts: 524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1st View Post


    "The idea that AT&T is a terrible service provider and certainly the worst in the US (and in particular in San Francisco), was flatly refuted in our testing. AT&T not only won overall in speed tests by a wide margin, but also delivered the fastest peak scores by far. "

    Feel sorry for the chaps jumped over to VZ and got locked in contract.



    ANY cell phone provider in the city is horrible. You can literally walk 2" in a different direction and lose all your service. I've seen this with Metro, ATT, and Verizon. It's the topography and lack of cell phone towers (and also the substandard service provided to Americans compared to European and Asian markets) to blame. Although I'm not a huge fan of cell phones anyway.
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