AT&T shows off "real-world" 28.8 Mbps LTE download speed

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
During a media tour at an AT&T research lab, the carrier demoed its upcoming 4G Long Term Evolution network, which appeared to be significantly faster than rival Verizon, reaching download speeds of 28.87 Mbps and 10.4 Mbps for uploads.



GigaOM's Stacey Higginbotham toured AT&T's Foundry space in Plano, Texas on Wednesday with Jon Summers, the company's senior vice president of application and service infrastructure. Given that the lab is home to one of AT&T's trial LTE networks, Higginbotham asked for a demo.



The lab's LTE download speeds were more than seven times faster than the 3.77 megabits per second rate reached on AT&T's current HSPA network. Uploads over LTE posted an even more impressive improvement, with more than eight times the current speed of 1.21 Mbps over HSPA.



The test was conducted using a Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna setup and two swaths of spectrum: 700 MHz and the Advanced Wireless Spectrum band. AT&T hopes to acquire more AWS band from its proposed purchase of T-Mobile USA.



AT&T engineers noted that the 28.87Mbps data rate is meant to model "real-world situations" for the Foundry lab, rather than the merely theoretical 150 Mbps speeds often demoed by carriers. However, the report did note that "sharing those speeds with others on a cell tower will bring them down."



Earlier this year, AT&T revealed plans to accelerate the deployment of LTE so that the network will be "largely complete" by the end of 2013.



By comparison, Verizon says its LTE network, which launched late last year, will have real-world data rates of between 5 and 12 Mbps downstream and 2 to 5 Mbps up. Verizon has also said its LTE network will be nationwide by the end of 2013.







Recent reports have suggested that Apple pushed back the launch of LTE-enabled iPhones to 2012 due to production issues with LTE chips and limited customer access to LTE. China Mobile announced Thursday that it had "reached consensus" with Apple to implement support for the carrier's 4G TD-LTE in a future version of the iPhone, but specific timing details remained unclear.



Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said in February that Apple is working on an LTE iPhone. "You'll see more coming from Apple on LTE," he said. "They understand the value proposition of LTE and I feel very confident that they are going to be a part of it."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    It'd be real nice if you could actually get those kind of speeds with AT&T's network.... That is if you could hold a signal with them!! j/k on a serious note will they be able to role out full coverage by the end of 2013 without the acquisition of T-mobile?
  • Reply 2 of 37
    chrispychrispy Posts: 17member
    Daily I'm seeing commercials by AT$T saying how much they've been improving their network in my area (Denver). I'm sitting at home right now looking at my phone which says No Service. What a joke. I call them the "Call Failed" company. Just waiting and waiting for the Verizon iPhone 5...
  • Reply 3 of 37
    chabigchabig Posts: 627member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chrispy View Post


    Daily I'm seeing commercials by AT$T saying how much they've been improving their network in my area (Denver). I'm sitting at home right now looking at my phone which says No Service. What a joke. I call them the "Call Failed" company. Just waiting and waiting for the Verizon iPhone 5...



    The quality of a network is more than just signal strength in your home. Where do you live in Denver, exactly? I know a at least one weak area near Cherry Creek where nobody in the neighborhood will let AT&T build a tower. It's a full court NIMBY press. Have you reported the low signal to AT&T?
  • Reply 4 of 37
    That would be great if they didn't charge up the ass for it. Seems like prices keep going up with phone service. We're paying the same, or more for 3G today than we were four years ago now that everything is capped. And text message plans are the absolute biggest rip there is. I could see the iPhone 6 coming out in a year and a half with 4G and everyone bumping the mandatory data plans another 10 bucks in addition to the already absurd prices.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    I always wondered why telecoms report these in bits and not bytes, as an aside.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,490member
    Of course, 10 seconds of use on such a high-speed network would probably bust your data plan.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    1) I’d like to hear about AT&T continuing to add support for higher HSPA+ categories (higher speeds) and expand their HSPA+ coverage into more areas, than to here about LTE at this point when the chips are power inefficient.



    2) I hope AT&T doesn’t use 1700MHz for LTE when Verizon is using 700MHz band. I especially hope they don’t plan to use 1700MHz for large, dense cities like SF and NY. Surely they’ve learned their lessons.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    jim5656jim5656 Posts: 12member
    And just get a different carrier. Not one provider is perfect or will be. Coverage will never be perfect nor will the price be so just get over it.



    I live in hawaii on the country side and its a little slow on the broadband side. It doesn't bother me much cause once I'm in the city, the speed is always in the 3mbs downstream.



    Also, I made a trip to Pittsburgh PA and the speed's were amazing!



    All I want is LTE gosh damn it in my Iphone. I'll be waiting for the 2012 Iphone if the rumors are true with the iphone 5.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    sofabuttsofabutt Posts: 99member
    This will make the couple people in the US happy that are able to actually receive the signal.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    chabigchabig Posts: 627member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by september11th View Post


    We're paying the same, or more for 3G today than we were four years ago now that everything is capped.



    I guess we're paying more because we're getting more speed. It's expensive for the carriers to replace their networks with each new wireless generation. And caps? Who's capped? Not AT&T nor Verizon.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by september11th View Post


    That would be great if they didn't charge up the ass for it. Seems like prices keep going up with phone service. We're paying the same, or more for 3G today than we were four years ago now that everything is capped. And text message plans are the absolute biggest rip there is. I could see the iPhone 6 coming out in a year and a half with 4G and everyone bumping the mandatory data plans another 10 bucks in addition to the already absurd prices.



    You are right about this. It is not just the phone/data/sms plan that costs money in a household... need a family plan. Then there are the cable bills, fixed line if any, plus internet, other utilities, etc. All add to a ton of money. A few need it for work, but most of the time it is just a waste of money and time.



    If I had to, I could ditch it all. except for the internet and VoIP... use antenna for TV. But I would have a civil war with the rest of the household.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    object-xobject-x Posts: 42member
    This should go nicely with my new data capped plan
  • Reply 13 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post


    This will make the couple people in the US happy that are able to actually receive the signal.



    Problem will be when the third person tries to access the network and AT&T complains about abusing their network.



    Of course I heard a rumor they were planning to roll out a tin can and string network as a fallback since it would provide basically the same service level they have now...
  • Reply 14 of 37
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,317member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chabig View Post


    The quality of a network is more than just signal strength in your home. Where do you live in Denver, exactly? I know a at least one weak area near Cherry Creek where nobody in the neighborhood will let AT&T build a tower. It's a full court NIMBY press. Have you reported the low signal to AT&T?



    Let's see how important it is to crispy by actually answering your question.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,317member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by september11th View Post


    That would be great if they didn't charge up the ass for it. Seems like prices keep going up with phone service. We're paying the same, or more for 3G today than we were four years ago now that everything is capped. And text message plans are the absolute biggest rip there is. I could see the iPhone 6 coming out in a year and a half with 4G and everyone bumping the mandatory data plans another 10 bucks in addition to the already absurd prices.



    You somehow envision Telcos absorbing several billion and reducing their fees to you? Seriously?
  • Reply 16 of 37
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Darkstar2007 View Post


    It'd be real nice if you could actually get those kind of speeds with AT&T's network.... That is if you could hold a signal with them!!



    Telcos are scum.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    theoboldtheobold Posts: 74member
    Typical "LAB RESULTS". Not real time. I get this is AT&T crying out to whomever will listen that they are still ligit. Lte will be released for Verizon in 3 parts...Phase one, what we are seeing today. Phase 2. 50 megabytes per second. Then Phase 3. Terabytes. I imagine that this is the same more or less with At&t...and the rest of the world that are all turning to LTE. I've seen 24 megabytes per second on my LTE android phone. (not in a lab). (also where I'm envious of the iphone... my battery could be better).
  • Reply 18 of 37
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    I always wondered why telecoms report these in bits and not bytes, as an aside.



    I guess fixed-line data standardised around 14.4kbps to 56kbps for a good few years in the years where the Internet really started taking root for consumers and businesses.



    Ever since 2G data the numbers would be way too low if they reported it in bytes since they were comparing it to dial-up and DSL... Given that in most parts of the world (including the US and Europe) where you do not have 3G coverage, it drops to EDGE where ~500kbps(?) is the average you'll get. That's 0.5mbps (roughly) and a craptastically low megabyte/second number.



    So the serious answer to your wondering is, it's a legacy thing. The less serious but probably also valid answer is, it's a marketing thing.



    The business answer would be that with the amount of money pumped into 4G there is no way the telcos will move away from megabit/sec numbers, if they switched now to megabyte/sec everyone would get confused. Most people don't even know what "mbps" really is. That's why everything is marketed as "2" "3" or "4" "G". Even worse is that within that nomenclature your actual "real-world" speeds vary a lot. Everything is marketed as "up to" blah blah "mbps".
  • Reply 19 of 37
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    I guess fixed-line data standardised around 14.4kbps to 56kbps for a good few years in the years where the Internet really started taking root for consumers and businesses.



    Ever since 2G data the numbers would be way too low if they reported it in bytes since they were comparing it to dial-up and DSL... Given that in most parts of the world (including the US and Europe) where you do not have 3G coverage, it drops to EDGE where ~500kbps(?) is the average you'll get. That's 0.5mbps (roughly) and a craptastically low megabyte/second number.



    So the serious answer to your wondering is, it's a legacy thing. The less serious but probably also valid answer is, it's a marketing thing.



    The business answer would be that with the amount of money pumped into 4G there is no way the telcos will move away from megabit/sec numbers, if they switched now to megabyte/sec everyone would get confused. Most people don't even know what "mbps" really is. That's why everything is marketed as "2" "3" or "4" "G". Even worse is that within that nomenclature your actual "real-world" speeds vary a lot. Everything is marketed as "up to" blah blah "mbps".



    Here in Germany, traditionally many of the ISPs refer and market their speeds in the thousands, as in: 2000, 5000, 16000, etc. mainly due to the psychological effect similar to 0.99 cents: "16000?! OMG! Is that ever fast!" and "...0.99 cents?! What a deal, but I'll never pay a buck for it!"



    However, they are starting to get with the program and advertise in MB's recently. If anyone is curious, here are the speeds and prices for LTE from Vodafone Germany (in German).
  • Reply 20 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    You somehow envision Telcos absorbing several billion and reducing their fees to you? Seriously?



    You realize, they are also making several billion? And I am a paying customer? Technology advances. They build 4G towers so they can keep their customers and stay competitive, NOT so they can charge more to everyone. Whose koolaid are you drinking? Apple will spend hundreds of millions developing an iPhone 5, but they wont charge 250 for it because its a new model. You pay a certain price, they upgrade, you get their upgrades and keep paying that adopted price. That's how most tech works. But the telcos keep bumping their prices not because they need to, but because they can get away with it because everyone needs a phone. If you cant come out with 4G at reasonable prices, don't roll it out yet and make it mandatory for users to pay more. People are not going to be able to keep buying these phones.
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