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Rumor: Apple's 'iPhone 5S' will feature 150Mbps LTE-Advanced support

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Apple's next iPhone may offer even faster cellular data connections with support for the LTE-Advanced wireless standard, according to a new rumor.

Qualcomm


Apple is allegedly in talks with SK Telecom about launching an LTE-Advanced phone later this year, according to The Korea Times. "LTE-A" is an upgraded version of the long-term evolution wireless standard currently found in the iPhone 5.

Citing an unnamed executive with SK Telecom, the report said that Apple is in the midst of negotiations with the carrier. Currently, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the only device to take advantage of the LTE-A standard with SK Telecom.

LTE-A is capable of theoretical download speeds reaching 150Mbps, which is double that of basic LTE. The executive cited in the story reportedly said there is "no reason" for Apple not to adopt LTE-A with its next iPhone.

The possibility of LTE-A functionality on the next iPhone is believed to be possible because of new chipsets from Qualcomm. A potential "global LTE" chip candidate for Apple was released in February, boasting truly global connectivity support.

The Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution would enable an iPhone that supports all 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and LTE Advanced networks. Currently, the iPhone 5 is sold in three variants ??two GSM and one CDMA ? to offer compatibility with various networks across the world.

But Qualcomm's RF360 would mitigate this problem, and even add support for the obscure TD-SCDMA network used by the world's largest carrier, China Mobile. Apple does not currently have a deal in place to offer the iPhone through China Mobile, though rumors of a deal have persisted for years.
post #2 of 59
I have been suggesting that Apple would use this technology (meaning the Qualcomm 360 Front End solution) for many months.

Here is a link to the product brief.

I wonder how this will impact Samsung. Will the next premium Samsung phone still be offered in one dozen versions?
post #3 of 59
So how long will it take for all csrriers to support this and how bad will it drain your battery looking for it when its not around. Or worse, you are in a place without basic LTE

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post #4 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

So how long will it take for all csrriers to support this and how bad will it drain your battery looking for it when its not around. Or worse, you are in a place without basic LTE

Indeed, over here in NL we're still stuck on 3G. LTE-Advanced will be a welcome addition, but of course only usefull for those on a carrier supporting it.
Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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post #5 of 59
Pffft. If it's called the 5S, it'll fail. /sarcasm

Still it'll be an interesting upgrade.
post #6 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

I have been suggesting that Apple would use this technology (meaning the Qualcomm 360 Front End solution) for many months.

Here is a link to the product brief.

I wonder how this will impact Samsung. Will the next premium Samsung phone still be offered in one dozen versions?

Likely yes. The disparate versions are often imposed by the carriers rather than deliberately designed by Samsung. At least, this was the way it used to be. Quite possibly, Samsung has earned more sway now that they are the top alternative to the iPhone. I doubt that, however, Samsung's strategy is to sell their phones through as many carriers as possible. Apple is willing to wait until negotiations swing in their favor.

post #7 of 59

It's incredible how quickly speeds have increased since the first iPhone.

post #8 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

So how long will it take for all csrriers to support this and how bad will it drain your battery looking for it when its not around. Or worse, you are in a place without basic LTE

The four carriers with the largest subscriber bases in the United States are testing LTE-Advanced and at least two have announced plans to begin supporting LTE-Advanced in 2013.

The Qualcomm 360 Front End Solution should offer improved battery performance.
post #9 of 59

all the content is still virtualized and clouded so its not like the speed will be noticeable

 

i have 2 LTE phones i use daily and only get LTE speeds when doing a speedtest

post #10 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

It's incredible how quickly speeds have increased since the first iPhone.

Not really. VZW announced their commitment to LTE back in 2007, so it's not surprising that we're getting the current speeds and how much faster they'll get with LTE Advanced.
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

It's incredible how quickly speeds have increased since the first iPhone.

 

Especially given how long it took for 3G to be widely available.

post #12 of 59

Sprint is also using LTE advanced. The Qualcomm RF360 would be an excellent choice and I really hope it is selected. There are just so many different spectrums and bands used all around the world. It is also excellent news for Sprint since the iPhone will now very likely support their LTE on all their frequencies which include 800MHz, 1.9 GHz spectrum, and  2.5 GHz spectrum. The 2.5GHz will use TDD-LTE Band 41. Sprint is currently deploying FDD-LTE in 1900 MHz Band 25 spectrum, where it holds two 5 MHz channels in the G band adjacent to PCS spectrum. Sprint's 800 MHz spectrum falls under Band 26, created when 3GPP merged several separate band classes--specifically 5, 18 and 19, which included portions of the 800-900 MHz range. 

So an iPhone with this new chip could support bands 25, 26, and 41 which would be fantastic news. 

post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

So how long will it take for all csrriers to support this and how bad will it drain your battery looking for it when its not around. Or worse, you are in a place without basic LTE

Going by Apple's past products, they won't release this if it leads to poor battery life. Remember that when the first LTE phones were released, they got about 2.5 hours of life with LTE turned on—without even talking on them. I used to read posts from people saying that iPhone users were so lazy that they weren't willing to "manage their phones", as if that were a good thing.

I even did a test with a friend who had the first LTE phone, the model of which I've forgotten. We went to the same site. He, of course, was managing his phone by keeping LTE turned off. We attempted a fairly large download. I think it was about 20MB. We started at the same time, me with AT&T 3G, and him with Verizon LTE. By the time he got LTE turned on and locking to the network, going to the site and starting the download, I was half way through the download. By the time my download was finished, he was still in the process. Then he had to turn LTE off again, and wait for the phone to lock back to 3G.

Not very promising. When Apple came out with LTE, with 8 hours of talk time over LTE, it showed that waiting was a far better idea. There wasn't much LTE available back then anyway. And now, there isn't much LTE-A available yet.

As it said in the article, it works with all the older standards as well. No LTE? Then fallback to 3G.

I hope this chip is viable for Apple.
post #14 of 59
The current LTE is twice as fast as my home cable modem connection, would 150 mbps really be of much use on the phone. I would just get the kindly txt from my carrier that I am about to hit 5GB of my unlimited download allowance and face throttling that much quicker.
post #15 of 59
Im hoping the 5S will add the ability to use voice and data at the same time on Verizon.
post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

The four carriers with the largest subscriber bases in the United States are testing LTE-Advanced and at least two have announced plans to begin supporting LTE-Advanced in 2013.

BEGIN means they might have a handful of towers in a couple of cities while everyone else is screwed. Particularly since most users don't understand that if they have LTE turned on their phone and little to no service at that level it will eat their battery.

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post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by wally626 View Post

The current LTE is twice as fast as my home cable modem connection, would 150 mbps really be of much use on the phone. I would just get the kindly txt from my carrier that I am about to hit 5GB of my unlimited download allowance and face throttling that much quicker.

You aren't required to download any more than you do now. This will just make accessing the web, and downloading more pleasant.

But there is one caveat, smartphones and tablets can't yet equal the speeds of notebooks and desktops in rendering those pages. You can try to download a page on your mobile device and a conventional computer at the same time. You'll find that your conventional machine is faster in getting that page set up.
post #18 of 59

This is great news! Just in time for AT&T to roll out LTE-A support in 2017 (for major cities... everywhere else, never mind).

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post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hailstormx View Post

Im hoping the 5S will add the ability to use voice and data at the same time on Verizon.

Three years ago, the GSM standards were altered to allow that. We thought that it would be done for the iPhone's arrival on Verizon. But Verizon chose to not implement it, even though it's just a software upgrade.

I miss the capability, though most people don't seen to notice. I doubt Verizon is even thinking about it.
post #20 of 59
When Qualcomm claims that their Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution will support all types of 3G networks, does this mean that the CDMA carriers like Verizon Wireless and Sprint will be finally able to talk and surf the web simultaneously while not on WiFi through technologies like VoRA or VoRB {aka "Voice Over Rev. A" or "Voice Over Rev. B"}? It's been through either one of these, more than likely it's Rev. A, that it was talked so much about prior to the launch of the iPhone 4S. With the CDMA networks and their 3G technology finally having SVDO {aka "Simultaneous Voice and Data Over} capabilities, this would finally end every GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile biggest advantage and make their bragging rights look moot. Instead of doing this feature through 1 channel like it's done on GSM, voice and data will each have their own separate channel; that's according to cNet's Maggie Reardon.
post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Going by Apple's past products, they won't release this if it leads to poor battery life. Remember that when the first LTE phones were released, they got about 2.5 hours of life with LTE turned on—without even talking on them. I used to read posts from people saying that iPhone users were so lazy that they weren't willing to "manage their phones", as if that were a good thing.

I even did a test with a friend who had the first LTE phone, the model of which I've forgotten. We went to the same site. He, of course, was managing his phone by keeping LTE turned off. We attempted a fairly large download. I think it was about 20MB. We started at the same time, me with AT&T 3G, and him with Verizon LTD. by the time he got LTE turned on and locking to the network, going to the site and starting the download, I was half way through the download. By the time my download was finished, he was still in the process. Then he had to turn LTE off again, and wait for the phone to lock back to 3G.

Not very promising. When Apple came out with LTE, with 8 hours of talk time over LTE, it showed that waiting was a far better idea. There wasn't much LTE available back then anyway. And now, there isn't much LTE-A available yet.

As it said in the article, it works with all the older standards as well. No LTE? Then fallback to 3G.

I hope this chip is viable for Apple.

The Qualcomm 360 Front End Solution uses 28 nm process technology versus the Qualcomm 9615 as in the iPhone 5 which uses 40 nm process technology. Generally, 28 nm process technology provides an approximate benefit of 20% greater energy efficiency versus 40 nm process technology.

For some carriers who were "late" to adopt LTE the upgrade to LTE-Advanced is merely a software upgrade in many instances.
post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Going by Apple's past products, they won't release this if it leads to poor battery life. Remember that when the first LTE phones were released, they got about 2.5 hours of life with LTE turned on—without even talking on them. I used to read posts from people saying that iPhone users were so lazy that they weren't willing to "manage their phones", as if that were a good thing.

I even did a test with a friend who had the first LTE phone, the model of which I've forgotten. We went to the same site. He, of course, was managing his phone by keeping LTE turned off. We attempted a fairly large download. I think it was about 20MB. We started at the same time, me with AT&T 3G, and him with Verizon LTD. by the time he got LTE turned on and locking to the network, going to the site and starting the download, I was half way through the download. By the time my download was finished, he was still in the process. Then he had to turn LTE off again, and wait for the phone to lock back to 3G.

Not very promising. When Apple came out with LTE, with 8 hours of talk time over LTE, it showed that waiting was a far better idea. There wasn't much LTE available back then anyway. And now, there isn't much LTE-A available yet.

As it said in the article, it works with all the older standards as well. No LTE? Then fallback to 3G.

I hope this chip is viable for Apple.

The first LTE phone was the HTC Thunderbolt if I'm not mistaken. Battery life was horrendous and the switching back and forth between CDMA and LTE was still being worked out. I'm curious if AT&T uses LTE for voice because Verizon doesn't, it's used purely for data. 

post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by macm37 View Post

When Qualcomm claims that their Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution will support all types of 3G networks, does this mean that the CDMA carriers like Verizon Wireless and Sprint will be finally able to talk and surf the web simultaneously while not on WiFi through technologies like VoRA or VoRB {aka "Voice Over Rev. A" or "Voice Over Rev. B"}? It's been through either one of these, more than likely it's Rev. A, that it was talked so much about prior to the launch of the iPhone 4S. With the CDMA networks and their 3G technology finally having SVDO {aka "Simultaneous Voice and Data Over} capabilities, this would finally end every GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile biggest advantage and make their bragging rights look moot. Instead of doing this feature through 1 channel like it's done on GSM, voice and data will each have their own separate channel; that's according to cNet's Maggie Reardon.

I wouldn't expect support for Voice Over Rev A or Voice Over Rev B at this point. LTE is the way forward at the moment. Verizon claimed they would begin work on Voice Over Rev A nearly three years ago.
post #24 of 59

CDMA networks like Verizon Wireless and Sprint will have SVDO {aka "Simultaneous Voice and Data Over} capabilities over their 4G networks through VoLTE {aka "Voice Over Long Term Evolution"}; however, having SVDO capabilities through a CDMA's 3G networks is the possibility that every CDMA subscriber is waiting for. AT&T, T-Mobile and every other GSM carrier can no longer brag about having this feature as an advantage once CDMA networks and their 3G technologies gain this capability.

post #25 of 59

We also have to be careful when we talk about LTE and LTE Advanced. Phone carriers are full of marketing bull and we won't see true LTE advanced speed for many, many years.  This article gives a very good explanation.

 

http://gigaom.com/2013/02/17/lte-advanced-is-the-new-buzzword-hype/

 

But to the end customer on a phone it won't matter since for phone usage anything over 7Mbps you won't be able to tell much difference in speed. On a computer where you might be streaming HD content, downloading massive files that extra speed would be noticeable but not so much on a phone. The only real advantage  is bragging rights with speediest screenshots and not in actual usage. 

post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by macm37 View Post

CDMA networks like Verizon Wireless and Sprint will have SVDO {aka "Simultaneous Voice and Data Over} capabilities over their 4G networks through VoLTE {aka "Voice Over Long Term Evolution"}; however, having SVDO capabilities through a CDMA's 3G networks is the possibility that every CDMA subscriber is waiting for. AT&T, T-Mobile and every other GSM carrier can no longer brag about having this feature as an advantage once CDMA networks and their 3G technologies gain this capability.

Actually several phones already offer that like the Samsung S3. ALl that was needed was two CDMA radios not unlike the way AT&T accomplishes this with two radios with GSM. One CDMA radio was used for voice and the other for data which could use either LTE or EVDO. There were a few CDMA phone that did this. The S4 skipped this since it was really a dead end with 1X advanced and VoLTE coming. 

post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Three years ago, the GSM standards were altered to allow that. We thought that it would be done for the iPhone's arrival on Verizon. But Verizon chose to not implement it, even though it's just a software upgrade.

I miss the capability, though most people don't seen to notice. I doubt Verizon is even thinking about it.

Apple would have needed to include a second CDMA radio like the S3 and some HTC phones to allow data and talking while not on wifi. There was nothing Verizon could do to turn this feature on since the iPhone lacked the hardware to allow for this. 

post #28 of 59
Great example of Apple. Airing fake stories. The only evidence they have is that Samsung has already done it with a Korean telecom so why wouldn't apple do it. What???
Why wouldn't Apple do NFC?
Why wouldn't Apple do larger screen iPhones?
Why wouldn't Apple do LTE back in 2010?
The list goes on and on.
And why would Apple even care about z technology only supported by a single Korean telecom? They wouldn't jump on this even if AT&T supported the tech.

This lie was proposed by an analyst and handed off to a blogger with Apple stock.
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by wigby View Post

Great example of Apple. Airing fake stories. The only evidence they have is that Samsung has already done it with a Korean telecom so why wouldn't apple do it. What???
Why wouldn't Apple do NFC?
Why wouldn't Apple do larger screen iPhones?
Why wouldn't Apple do LTE back in 2010?
The list goes on and on.
And why would Apple even care about z technology only supported by a single Korean telecom? They wouldn't jump on this even if AT&T supported the tech.

This lie was proposed by an analyst and handed off to a blogger with Apple stock.

This has nothing to do with a single Korean carrier. You are missing the big picture. More and more countries all around the world are adding LTE monthly. And there are far more variances in spectrum and bands than there ever was with 3G where a tri or quad  phone would allow you to talk on most of the networks around the world. Take a look at this list.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

 

So instead of Apple needing to make maybe a dozen different iPhone versions to support all those bands they can now make one iPhone to run on all of them. This is huge news!

post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by wigby View Post

Great example of Apple. Airing fake stories. The only evidence they have is that Samsung has already done it with a Korean telecom so why wouldn't apple do it. What???
Why wouldn't Apple do NFC?
Why wouldn't Apple do larger screen iPhones?
Why wouldn't Apple do LTE back in 2010?
The list goes on and on.
And why would Apple even care about z technology only supported by a single Korean telecom? They wouldn't jump on this even if AT&T supported the tech.

This lie was proposed by an analyst and handed off to a blogger with Apple stock.


I believe the Qualcomm 360 Front End Solution is the result of a dedicated effort to meet Apple requirements.
post #31 of 59

I was travelling around the US four months this spring with Verizon's LTE MiFi device.  While I was quite pleased with the coverage (low MHz frequency does make a difference), the performance was quite similar I was used to with HSPA+ back at home.

 

Last week, after returning home, I upgraded my phone to HTC One and changed my mobile subscription to include uncapped, unlimited 4G ($29/month with some minutes & texts).   While the 4G network is a bit spotty here due to the high frequency they use (800 Mhz 4G is supposed to start happening in 2014), if I have one bar (out of five), I get about 30 Mbit/s.   If I have two or three bars, I get 50-100 Mbit/s.  I can get 100 Mbit/s LTE sitting in my living room -- the same speed I get out from the fiber on my fixed internet.

 

There are obvious technical reasons for it but it feels like 4G in the US is what 3G HSPA+ is in rest of the world, and perhaps LTE-A in the US will be what 4G is elsewhere.

post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by wally626 View Post

The current LTE is twice as fast as my home cable modem connection, would 150 mbps really be of much use on the phone. I would just get the kindly txt from my carrier that I am about to hit 5GB of my unlimited download allowance and face throttling that much quicker.

 

As if faster data explicitly translates to more data...

post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

 

So instead of Apple needing to make maybe a dozen different iPhone versions to support all those bands they can now make one iPhone to run on all of them. This is huge news!

 

Agreed. Reduced manufacturing cost equates to higher margins. 

 

It also would be very Apple like for the iPhone to reach out to the tower and ask "what tech is available in my area?" If LTE is not, then the phone radios out in 3G and the 3G would continue to ask "what tech is available in my area?" and when LTE is, it switches. Presuming of course this is supported by the carrier. 

post #34 of 59

If this is true this is easily the biggest news yet about the next iPhone. One iPhone to rule them all. The elusive rosetta stone that a few years ago was thought to be impossible is finally here. Not that the iPhone will get it exclusively, I am sure Qualcomm want to sell this to to any and all companies with cash in hand. But I really see this as helping Apple more than anyone else since now they will be able to be used on literally every single phone network in the world. Even networks like DoCoMo or China Mobile that won't carry them officially people could still buy them at full price unlocked and it would work as long as the carriers will activate them. But most importantly one iPhone model will save Apple heaps of money and increase margins. 


Edited by gwmac - 7/1/13 at 10:28am
post #35 of 59

This is great news for Apple as far as managing inventory of handsets and bringing on future network partners. However I think that high end smart phone sales have slowed because most people just don't feel they need or utilize the additional bandwidth. This is why the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s sales have continued to be so strong. LTE simply isn't a killer feature for most people. Apple will see a much greater spike in sales (aside from the potential of a China Mobile deal as a result) when it gets a secure digital wallet or other killer feature on a new iPhone.

 

Hopefully LTE-Advanced will be the tech that finally makes the China Mobile deal happen. Once this deal goes thru AAPL should benefit and move higher hopefully removing some of the pessimism that has surrounded the company.

 

So again this tech should help improve margins as fewer models of phones need to be created but I don't see how the additional speed of handsets is a percieved benefit to most people and drive sales. How will we use this bandwidth? Unless you use a ton of streaming video like Netflix or other video apps on the go (which most people aren't) and have unlimited data and not worried about hitting data caps I don't see how this is a huge benefit to USERS but rather just to Apple and other handset makers.

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post #36 of 59
Who has the best LTE Network speeds? Is it Verizon or AT&T? And I told you guys it would be a Qualcomm chip... yay.

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post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleTechSpot View Post

This is great news for Apple as far as managing inventory of handsets and bringing on future network partners. However I think that high end smart phone sales have slowed because most people just don't feel they need or utilize the additional bandwidth. This is why the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s sales have continued to be so strong. LTE simply isn't a killer feature for most people. Apple will see a much greater spike in sales (aside from the potential of a China Mobile deal as a result) when it gets a secure digital wallet or other killer feature on a new iPhone.

 

Hopefully LTE-Advanced will be the tech that finally makes the China Mobile deal happen. Once this deal goes thru AAPL should benefit and move higher hopefully removing some of the pessimism that has surrounded the company.

 

So again this tech should help improve margins as fewer models of phones need to be created but I don't see how the additional speed of handsets is a percieved benefit to most people and drive sales. How will we use this bandwidth? Unless you use a ton of streaming video like Netflix or other video apps on the go (which most people aren't) and have unlimited data and not worried about hitting data caps I don't see how this is a huge benefit to USERS but rather just to Apple and other handset makers.

 

In the U.S. at least this will benefit Sprint the most by far once their network vision with multi-mode LTE advanced is complete by early to mid 2014. Since Sprint is the only carrier that will offer LTE on 3 separate bands I really had doubted Apple would support any band other than the one they currently support which is 1.9GHz. But if they can support all 3 and along with unlimited LTE I can see a lot of defectors from AT&T and Verizon wanting unlimited data as long as they get good coverage in their area especially since the plans are also cheaper. 

post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

 

In the U.S. at least this will benefit Sprint the most by far once their network vision with multi-mode LTE advanced is complete by early to mid 2014. Since Sprint is the only carrier that will offer LTE on 3 separate bands I really had doubted Apple would support any band other than the one they currently support which is 1.9GHz. But if they can support all 3 and along with unlimited LTE I can see a lot of defectors from AT&T and Verizon wanting unlimited data as long as they get good coverage in their area especially since the plans are also cheaper. 

Again this will benefit handset manufacturers and networks as you point out. I guess this should have the added benefit of giving consumers more choices as to which network they use, however, I don't see people running out to buy a new phone for this reason. Hardware manufacturers need to offer something new and useful to consumers.

 

Most people already see speed of their phone as adequate, quality of photos as adequate etc. Apple has been pushing battery life with the new MacBook Air and Mavericks and certainly handset battery life is a place a meaningful difference can still be made.

 

What is really needed is something new feature wise (hardware/software combo) to make a virtual wallet (extension of passbook) easy and secure and I think Apple has the best chance of pulling this off. Just making an iPhone 5s or 6 with an A7 chip and higher MP camera is a given but a new service will really differentiate the iPhone from it's competitors and even it's lower cost brethren if in fact we do get a more economical iPhone model to replace the 4 and 4s since Apple doesn't seem to think differentiating based on screen size is the way to go (and I agree).

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post #39 of 59
darkdefender View Post
Who has the best LTE Network speeds? Is it Verizon or AT&T? And I told you guys it would be a Qualcomm chip... yay.

 

Highly depends on your location, and I mean very specific location. Best I can suggest is to ask your local friends what works well for them.

 

Where I live, Verizon is only speedy on the west side of town; Sprint can have five bars and no actual throughput; AT&T drops to Edge mode at my apartment and workplace.

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post #40 of 59

As far as coverage, I agree with the previous poster that is a highly localized question.

 

I find that these two offer the best answer since they are user reported

 

http://www.sensorly.com

 

http://www.rootmetrics.com

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