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Strange 4G behavior with more than one device

Discussion in 'Verizon' started by jason559, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. jason559

    jason559 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Went in today and looked at every 4G LTE android smart phone at two Verizon corporate stores. When testing out phones via Ookla's speed test app they ranged from 13mbps-25mbps when running one at a time. The strange thing is that if we ran more than one at a time, the speed would divide up among the phones testing. For example 1 phone, 25mbps, 2 phones, 11mbps, 3 phones, 7mbps. All the way up to 6 phones going around 1-3mbps.

    The associate assumed that they were overwhelming the single test site so the speed test app was hard set to different testing servers/cities, no difference.

    Is having just 6 phones on one tower going to make this type of effect on speeds? Are them being within 1-2 feet from each other causing this? It does concern me that this small amount of LTE phones would make such a huge network difference, they had no answers, anyone on here know what could be going on?

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  2. gvillager

    gvillager Android Enthusiast

    The store probably has a distributed antenna system (DAS) in it which would have a limited amount of bandwidth. I wouldn't worry about it, I've been to baseball and football games with 50,000+ people and still got 7+ Mbps down.
  3. jason559

    jason559 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Would that be similar to an at home microcell? If so that would be pretty upsetting to know that in store speeds will surpass real world speeds. When I saw 25mbps at the store and I couldn't get better than 10-15 anywhere in town I thought something was wrong with my handset.
  4. gvillager

    gvillager Android Enthusiast

    The simplified answer is yes.

    VZW advertises typical LTE speeds of 5-12 Mbps. You honestly shouldn't expect much more than that in the real world.
  5. jason559

    jason559 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for that, can you send me a little more about how a DAS works for a store level system? I'm curious if this goes right to a hardline internet connection and that gets maxed out with multiple devices, etc.

    Since one store had a max of 6mbps and one store was 25mbps.
  6. gvillager

    gvillager Android Enthusiast

    Keep in mind I'm certainly not an expert when it comes to this stuff so I could be wrong.

    The store probably has a repeater or a DAS installed which would be connected to a Yagi antenna on the roof of the building which wirelessly transmits the signal to a base station (cell site). The data has to pass through a base station, and then back to the switch before it reaches the internet.

    DAS's that are typically installed in hospitals, stadiums, or shopping malls and are wired back to a base station (cell site). The cool thing about a DAS is that it can handle multiple carriers, frequencies, and technologies (including wifi) at the same time.

    Maybe the other store didn't have a repeater or a DAS installed.

    NextG is one of the better known companies that build DAS networks.

    Welcome to NextG Networks - Cost-Effective Wireless Coverage and Capacity Across the Nation

    Here's a couple of Youtube videos that gives an overview of a DAS.

  7. spookiewon

    spookiewon Lurker

    It's not like a femtocell, no. More like a wireless bridge on a router might work. 6 phones on a tower shouldn't behave the same way six phones on a single bridge might. And yes, I too find it problematic that real-world speed isn't what they're demonstrating in the stores. However, they do argue, and they're mostly right, that their stores usually have steel understructures that block much cellular activity and are not like the performance you might expect at your home or office.

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