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Old October 24th, 2012, 03:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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So about a month and a half ago I got a GS3 with T-Mobile, and I asked the rep about T-Mobile 4G and she told me that my area, Salt Lake would not have 4G until 2013, however my phone says I'm on 4G and downloads have reached 600 mb per second and even Sprint's 4G never got as fast as I've experienced on what now TWO T-Mobile reps have told me is actually 3G?!

What is going on here?! Does T-Mobile have 4G or not, and could 3G speeds be able as fast as I've experienced and what my rep claims is actually 3G and not 4G despite what my phone tells me?

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Old October 24th, 2012, 04:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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600 Mbps downloads? Nothing is that fast. Are you sure that wasn't 600 kbps or maybe another number?
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Old October 24th, 2012, 03:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have seen other phones (Exhibit 2 4G) say 4G up top when it is not even in a 4G area. I think it just says that by default, my G2X always says H+ or E when in the 2G, so I think it is just a software thing.

Also 600Mbs? Moving to Salt Lake!!!!!
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Old October 24th, 2012, 07:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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600 mbps would eliminate the need for my Verizon Fios
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Old October 25th, 2012, 12:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like you mean 600 Kbps rather than Mbps, that is a 3G speed (even though Sprint 3G rarely runs that fast). 3G speeds go up to around 1 Mbps.

As for 4G, the problem is the rather confusing, and constantly changing, definition of what 4G is. T-Mobile claims to have a nationwide 4G network but they are counting HSPA+ as 4G. When they say 4G isn't coming to Salt Lake for another year, they are using LTE as the definition of 4G.

In real life terms, HSPA+ is typically somewhat slower than LTE currently is, though in many cities the two run at similar speeds. The other LTE advantage is that connections tend to be more stable, the speed is more constant. I would expect that, when using HSPA+, you should be seeing speeds similar to WiMax speeds on Sprint (often 5 Mbps or higher) and much faster than the 3G speeds you had on Sprint.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 04:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Sprint 3G speed varies by area. I get between 1 and 2 Mbps downloads consistently.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Sounds like you mean 600 Kbps rather than Mbps, that is a 3G speed (even though Sprint 3G rarely runs that fast). 3G speeds go up to around 1 Mbps.

As for 4G, the problem is the rather confusing, and constantly changing, definition of what 4G is. T-Mobile claims to have a nationwide 4G network but they are counting HSPA+ as 4G. When they say 4G isn't coming to Salt Lake for another year, they are using LTE as the definition of 4G.

In real life terms, HSPA+ is typically somewhat slower than LTE currently is, though in many cities the two run at similar speeds. The other LTE advantage is that connections tend to be more stable, the speed is more constant. I would expect that, when using HSPA+, you should be seeing speeds similar to WiMax speeds on Sprint (often 5 Mbps or higher) and much faster than the 3G speeds you had on Sprint.
Great info, thanks. Hey do you know if they peak at different speeds, the HSPA+ and the LTE? My Tmo rep mentioned peak 4G speeds hitting somewhere around 42Mbs which I thought was incredible!!
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Old October 25th, 2012, 11:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey do you know if they peak at different speeds, the HSPA+ and the LTE? My Tmo rep mentioned peak 4G speeds hitting somewhere around 42Mbs which I thought was incredible!!
Speed with either HSPA+ or LTE will vary widely depending on your hardware, location, system load, etc. 42Mbs for HSPA+ is the theoretical max which you will never see. Real-world actual speed will probably max out at about half that, and that would be rare. I've never seen more than 15Mbs or so, but that is still pretty fast.

LTE is of course theoretically much faster than HSPA+. In actual practice it sometimes is, sometimes not. But the same applies to LTE in that you will never see theoretical max speeds. But when T-Mobile deploys their LTE network it will be faster, newer, better technology on newer hardware than VZW or AT&T.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info!!
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Old October 25th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great info, thanks. Hey do you know if they peak at different speeds, the HSPA+ and the LTE? My Tmo rep mentioned peak 4G speeds hitting somewhere around 42Mbs which I thought was incredible!!
As mentioned by CrashDamage, HSPA+ tops out at 42 in theory (most current phones are either HSPA+42 or HSPA+21 -- the number referring to the top speed in Mbps). T-Mobile has talked about adding an HSPA+ 84 -- which would essentially be dual band HSPA+ 42. it is unclear whether they will do it since they are planning their LTE rollout and, even if they did, your phone would need to support it.

Real life speeds, I find PCMag's test of the Fastest Mobile Networks interesting (click on a city name on the side of the article to see the results for that city). Their fastest LTE speed was on AT&T in Atlanta, 56.07 Mbps. They also got a 52.75 speed in Houston. It should be noted, though, in both cities the average LTE speed they had on AT&T was 18 Mbps.

In Salt Lake, T-Mobile actually had the fastest download speeds on PCMag's test. The fastest speed was 19.46 with an average speed of 9.01 Mbps; Verizon was second with a 14.9 top speed and an 8.22 Mbps average. They rated Verizon the winner, though, because of upload speeds: Verizon average upload speeds were 6.45 while T-Mobiles were only 1.71 Mbps.

Hope this helps.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It does, more info is more ammo for me to close a sale! Much thanks to both of you.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 02:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sprint 3G speed varies by area. I get between 1 and 2 Mbps downloads consistently.
You must live in a good area. I used to get 1 mbps on Sprint/Boost. Lately (on my wife's phone), it's about 50 kbps. Now, the next city over it gets 1.5-2 mbps but we don't go around that area for work or anything else.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Just ran a test and got 8.09Mbs down and 2.28Mbs up. Extremely impressed, that's almost what I use to get with my home ISP before I upgraded.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 09:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Sorry I meant kb, I know this thread is old but I forgot I had even posted this...but yeah my phone's download speeds top out at 1.2MB/s if I'm in a good location downloading a torrent. AT&T has pretty good 4G coverage here (but screw them, they suck, and they give you nothing of value) and I was always a little envious of the speeds but my roomate just got the GS3 on AT&T and mine outperforms hers even with all the clutter I've accumalated on it.

Also just want to say, I've never had 3G internet go up to 1MB per second, however when I had AT&T I lived in a different part of Utah and my next contract was Sprint, whom I loved despite the slow 3G because my usual hangouts had EXCELLENT 4G coverage (although according to a couple of friends it has slowed considerably).
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