Originally Posted by FreakyLocz14
Actually, T-Mobile's HSPA+ has better latency that WiMax and LTE. I just wish they'd get those upload speeds aboves 1 Mbps on average.
Verizon LTE vs T-Mobile HSPA+ vs Sprint WiMAX - Phone Arena
And speeds above 5 Mbps matter if the user downloads files and tethers. Most of the 4G smartphones out come with some form tethering functionality.
I'm not so sure T-Mobile has better latencies than Sprint's WiMAX and Verizon's LTE, though your link does suggest otherwise. That wasn't really my point though. I was saying that HSPA+ is at an inherent disadvantage when it comes to latency.
WiMAX and LTE both use OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing), which allows large groups of users to transfer data simultaneously by splitting a frequency band between each user. It drastically improves latencies by sacrificing some individual bandwidth. HSPA+ leaves the entire frequency band intact, giving users much more bandwidth, but forcing them to take turns sending packets.
Both WiMAX and LTE have the potential to reach latencies as low as 20ms, even under significant network saturation. HSPA+ will have a hard time achieving sub-70ms latencies even under ideal network conditions, and as T-Mobile's network becomes more saturated (which I'm sure it will with all of the new 4G and FFC phones being advertised) latencies will increase drastically.
As for my saying 5mbps is fast enough for any mobile application, please note that I said "mobile application." Of course a faster connection makes a difference when downloading individual files, but how often does one really download large files to their phone. At 5mbps, a music file will download in under 10 seconds, a 10 minute video in less than 90 seconds. A full length movie would take 20 minutes, at which point a faster connection would help, but if you're streaming it (ala Netflix for example), it would make no difference.
You're definitely right about tethering though. That's really the most prevalent place that a faster mobile connection would help you, but how often are you tethering such that internet speed matters? I know when I'm tethering, it's generally for things like RDP and VNP which rely more on latencies than bandwidth. I do sometimes do a bit of web design on the go, but that relies more on upspeed, which rarely gets over 1.5mbps regardless of being on HSPA or HSPA+.