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

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
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, "HSDPAan ehhanced [sic] protocol in the HSPA familyis 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.
post #2 of 85
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...?
post #3 of 85
Epic fail.
post #4 of 85
The news just keeps getting worse.
post #5 of 85
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.

Originally Posted by Marvin

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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #6 of 85
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.
post #7 of 85
Happy to be Canadian where we get 21Mbps and above.

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post #8 of 85
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?"
post #9 of 85
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.
post #10 of 85
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....
post #11 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

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

Stay tuned.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #12 of 85
Otherwise this all might be a morass of phones and vendors and networks!
post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

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.

This reminds me of when the Concord was built yet wasn't allowed to fly over the United States because of standards and regulations.
post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Stay tuned.

Oh, iWill. But while it looked imminent, it now seems relegated to a future release. Oh well.
post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

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.

What the? Dude, you smell like a paid shrill or salmon. Why? This thread has nothing about what you posted. Apple fanboy you aint'. Good try tho.

Um, there is only two hundred new features in iOS 5. Maybe you should go buy a 4G Droid and literally watch your battery life vaporize. Poof.

"My Biggest Disappointment was iMessage" LOL!!!! Epic Fail. Exactly what would have "rocked" you "fanboy"?

Seems like you've been outed. LOL
post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

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.

Which is good because Apple sells more iPhones outside of the US than in the US. Despite the sales figures the iPhone has been quite US-centric (and continues to be so).
post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

Oh, iWill. But while it looked imminent, it now seems relegated to a future release. Oh well.

iMessage'll be in a 10.x.x update, and I'd bet before the end of the year, providing no issues.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #18 of 85
Why is this turning into a government discussion? Should we nationalize all of them?
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Why is this turning into a government discussion? Should we nationalize all of them?

Really. I've deleted the political posts, cutting this thread in half. If any of you people can't make a post without bandwagoning for or against some branch of politics, please go to Political Outsider exclusively, or some other forum site.
post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post

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.


NZ does not have a 3rd world Telecom system, it is much better than 3rd world. Labour was the one that allowed Telecom to become a monopoly, they were the ones that made the laws around the sale, not sure why you are trying to blame National for this.

The old post office was over weight government department, it needed to be trimmed down, maybe Telecom took it too far.

And as for government intervention, remember the NZ Government forced Telecom to sell their GSM licence and use CDMA, that set NZ back years for mobile technology, intervention isn't always the best option.
post #21 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

"Allowing us to take over T-Mobile will benefit all customers in the long run, and provide them the services they desire and deserve," said AT&T representative Chuck T. Fuckface.

I don't understand how this relates. There is no iPhone in the US that uses the frequencies for which tmobile US is licensed. Blame Apple and tmobile, not AT&T. Yelling at them to roll out LTE faster then getting pissed that they aren't rolling out HSPA+ at the speeds you want faster makes sense?

Why all the venom directed at the one company that is closest to the rest of the globe with GSM? If Sprint and Verizon hadn't bet wrong for 3G and Sprint wrong for their initial 4G, perhaps there would be real competition TODAY with the same protocols. Until that can happen the market will remain splintered.
post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

iMessage'll be in a 10.x.x update, and I'd bet before the end of the year, providing no issues.

Why do you insist on being an Apple apologist in every single post? Are you trying to be the unofficial Apple customer service representative of AI even though you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about 90% of the time?

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post #23 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

NZ does not have a 3rd world Telecom system, it is much better than 3rd world. Labour was the one that allowed Telecom to become a monopoly, they were the ones that made the laws around the sale, not sure why you are trying to blame National for this.

The old post office was over weight government department, it needed to be trimmed down, maybe Telecom took it too far.

And as for government intervention, remember the NZ Government forced Telecom to sell their GSM licence and use CDMA, that set NZ back years for mobile technology, intervention isn't always the best option.

With all due respect, I don't think comparing NZ to the 270 million sq miles and 150+ million mobile phone subscribers is apples to apples (pardon the puns).
post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Why do you insist on being an Apple apologist in every single post? Are you trying to be the unofficial Apple customer service representative of AI even though you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about 90% of the time?

I thought he's been pretty spot on. Oh, that means I'm wrong at least 90% then. Sh!t!!
post #25 of 85
I don't get this article.

AT&T's network does suck in a lot of places, but right now at work, the Speedtest app on my iphone shows 3-4Mb/s down and 1.5Mb/s up. AT&T already has rolled out 14.4Mb/s speeds to towers, but the problem is their backhaul (the link between the tower and AT&T's network). In the few places where AT&T has upgraded the backhaul and the network links aren't too crowded, good speeds are possible. I don't think I'll double my throughput but 5-6Mb/s doesn't seem unlikely if I can get a strong signal and a unloaded tower.
post #26 of 85
This has been the problem all long and which people never caught onto in the US or refused to realize. The cell network is so screwed up, every company went down its own path to somehow differentiate themselves and in the end it does not work well. VZ is the worse they got in bed with QUALCOMM in hopes the world all go down the CDMA path which it did not, Beside the VZ in the US, Japan and Korea no one really uses CDMA, and Japan version does not work with VZ version isn't that cute.

Because the US providers went down these different paths they could not leverage anything so they all have expensive networks which they do not want to put any more money into to upgrade so the US is stuck behind the rest of the world. Honesty, this is becoming a trend in the US we lagging the work when we use to be out in front.
post #27 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

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.

That's great. We'll shut down the US telecom companies and then where will we be? I guess we won't have mobile phone bills anymore as there won't be any mobile systems to use.

Believe it or not, there really was an industry that was nationalized in this country long ago and it turned out to be a financial disaster... the railroads about 90 years ago or so.
post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by einsteinbqat View Post

Happy to be Canadian where we get 21Mbps and above.

I know what you mean. Count me among the disappointed with this update to the iPhone. The minimum I was expecting was that it would be able to take advantage of the 21 Mbps network here. The rest of the improvements are nice, but not nearly as important.
post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Why do you insist on being an Apple apologist in every single post?

lolwut.

Quote:
Are you trying to be the unofficial Apple customer service representative of AI even though you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about 90% of the time?

Um.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

That's great. We'll shut down the US telecom companies and then where will we be? I guess we won't have mobile phone bills anymore as there won't be any mobile systems to use.

I'll clarify. Tear apart the Big Four. Force them to become new companies. Force change on them.

Sorry for the ambiguity.

Quote:
Believe it or not, there really was an industry that was nationalized in this country long ago and it turned out to be a financial disaster... the railroads about 90 years ago or so.

Heavens, no. No nationalization. Just legal requirements for them to actually pretend to care about their customers.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #30 of 85
Too bad it doesn't support 1700mhz AWS. T-Mobile USA's 3.5G network would utilize the HSDPA.
post #31 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoeinla View Post

What the? Dude, you smell like a paid shrill or salmon. Why? This thread has nothing about what you posted. Apple fanboy you aint'. Good try tho.

Um, there is only two hundred new features in iOS 5. Maybe you should go buy a 4G Droid and literally watch your battery life vaporize. Poof.

"My Biggest Disappointment was iMessage" LOL!!!! Epic Fail. Exactly what would have "rocked" you "fanboy"?

Seems like you've been outed. LOL

Well played sir!
post #32 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No nationalization. Just legal requirements for them to actually pretend to care about their customers.

What on earth would that solve.

The solution is to auction more spectrum. Make it such that everyone gets to bid, smaller players get a bonus, but all carriers have 5 years to build out to 85% POP (95% after 8 yrs) or the government will force them to vacate the spectrum and they'll re-auction it. (and the carrier doesn't get once cent of their bid back, and no ways to reset the clock)

No more of this buy-and-sit strategy AT&T has used on their AWS spectrum. Echostar (Frontier wireless) still isn't using their 700MHz spectrum they bought, while Verizon's LTE network in 700MHz spectrum is half way done already.

So where to get more spectrum? The next block of 10 TV channels. 60MHz is enough for two 24MHz slices (10+10 LTE) and one 12MHz slice (5+5 for LTE or one 10MHz TDD-LTE). AWS-3 is coming up too, thats another 25MHz set to be auctioned if the FCC can get its shit together.
post #33 of 85
There is an error. It needs to say GB instead of MB on the model options.
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by siromega View Post

I don't get this article.

AT&T's network does suck in a lot of places, but right now at work, the Speedtest app on my iphone shows 3-4Mb/s down and 1.5Mb/s up. AT&T already has rolled out 14.4Mb/s speeds to towers, but the problem is their backhaul (the link between the tower and AT&T's network). In the few places where AT&T has upgraded the backhaul and the network links aren't too crowded, good speeds are possible. I don't think I'll double my throughput but 5-6Mb/s doesn't seem unlikely if I can get a strong signal and a unloaded tower.

What's there not to get? As you have noticed, AT&T provides considerably lower than 7 Mbps now, and there's nothing to suggest it will get much higher than that anytime soon. iPhone 4 can already go up to 7.2, so the point is that there's not much the faster potential of iPhone 4S' 14.4 can offer Americans.

Even if AT&T dramatically boosts its mobile network throughput, it will likely not saturate the iPhone 4, let alone take any special advantage of the iPhone 4S' "4G" like speeds. So the potential is there, but not the actual mobile network capacity, at least in the US.

iPhone 4S will benefit users like those in Canada and Europe, where 14.4 service is more common. The only possible good news is that AT&T is talking about building out HSDPA along with LTE, which means at some point iPhone 4S users could have blazing fast data access. But its not here now, and there's no firm commitment to delivering anything close to +7 Mbps speeds currently being promised by AT&T.

On Verizon and Sprint it's even worse, because there's zero potential for the iPhone 4S to ever work any faster on their networks than the iPhone 4, which currently feels dog slow compared to AT&T's <7Mpbs service.
post #35 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

What's there not to get? As you have noticed, AT&T provides considerably lower than 7 Mbps now, and there's nothing to suggest it will get much higher than that anytime soon. iPhone 4 can already go up to 7.2, so the point is that there's not much the faster potential of iPhone 4S' 14.4 can offer Americans.

Even if AT&T dramatically boosts its mobile network throughput, it will likely not saturate the iPhone 4, let alone take any special advantage of the iPhone 4S' "4G" like speeds. So the potential is there, but not the actual mobile network capacity, at least in the US.

iPhone 4S will benefit users like those in Canada and Europe, where 14.4 service is more common. The only possible good news is that AT&T is talking about building out HSDPA along with LTE, which means at some point iPhone 4S users could have blazing fast data access. But its not here now, and there's no firm commitment to delivering anything close to +7 Mbps speeds currently being promised by AT&T.

On Verizon and Sprint it's even worse, because there's zero potential for the iPhone 4S to ever work any faster on their networks than the iPhone 4, which currently feels dog slow compared to AT&T's <7Mpbs service.

And when LTE finally DOES roll out to the rest of the nation via AT&T. Iphone 4s gets left behind

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post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

And when LTE finally DOES roll out to the rest of the nation via AT&T. Iphone 4s gets left behind

Fortunately, no one will really care, as by the time AT&T gets 4G across the rest of the country, it will be 2015 and Apple will have had an LTE iPhone for three years by then.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

And when LTE finally DOES roll out to the rest of the nation via AT&T. Iphone 4s gets left behind

Or they roll out max speed HSPA+ as they deploy back haul that can handle LTE. Why upgrade twice? To satisfy the super geeks that hang out here? I can't imagine how small of a consumer base we represent. Seriously, doubling the potential capacity rolled out across a spread out user base that fast?

Funny thing is we each purport to be so tech savvy and informed consumers yet we can't get two to agree on one damned thing (save this).
post #38 of 85
What, only 14.4 Mbps? Switzerland is already rolling out 42 Mbps HSDPA+ and testing 100 Mbps LTE.

Oh, and for the record, the iPhone 4S does NOT have 4G since HSDPA is classed as 3.5G. You need full LTE to qualify as 4G.
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMac2 View Post

What, only 14.4 Mbps? Switzerland is already rolling out 42 Mbps HSDPA+ and testing 100 Mbps LTE.

Oh, and for the record, the iPhone 4S does NOT have 4G since HSDPA is classed as 3.5G. You need full LTE to qualify as 4G.

150 million subscribers (and change) spread across 8 or more carriers and hundreds of millions of square miles and someone says Switzerland.
post #40 of 85
Where exactly did Apple Insider learn that the iPhone 4S has 512MB of RAM? I don't recall it being announced, nor is it listed on Apple's website.
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