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WiMax vs LTE vs HSPA+

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by IOWA, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
    Thread Starter

    Since I've got my EVO/EPIC, I'm also going to be picking up and LTE device, and an HSPA+ device, and compare results, observations, and research in this thread. Anyone is welcome to contribute. This is be an ongoing project of mine, sort of like a wiki. All information regarding my experiments will be posted in this post, at the very top of the thread.

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  2. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
    Thread Starter


    WiMax - Testing with EVO 4G & EPIC 4G.

    WiMax while stationary WiMax is exceptional. I get downlink speeds averaging about 5mbps, but I've seen it peak at 12mbps. The uplink speed it capped 1 1mbps, which has been fairly steady.

    WiMax in motion - Just like with 3G, while your in motion WiMax doesn't fair so well. At 30 mph I noticed a speed decrease of almost half.

    At 60+ MPH forget about it, It registers speeds at ~1.5mbps, which is right about where my 3G service sits. Oddly though, uplink doesn't seem to be affected very much if at all, and remains constant at 1mbps.

    Reception: Well this is kind of a "duh" but Clear @ home reaches much higher throughput vs my handsets. So this leads me to believe(speculation here) as the antenna quality, and WiMax equipment eventually refines, it will most likely double the speed/power in the same size handsets, using the same technology.
  3. OMJ

    OMJ Bazinga

    None of the current or first gen LTE actually meet the specs of 4g. That annoys me that they can go around claiming 4g anyway.

    LTE certainly has the most potential but we shall see what the carriers can do with it
  4. shawn1224

    shawn1224 Ex CEO-DNPSEA foundation

    At the end of your experiment I expect it to go

    1. LTE
    2. HSPA+
    3. WiMax

    But for now HSPA + should reign supreme.
  5. NYCHitman1

    NYCHitman1 Gun for Hire

    Since 4G just launched in NYC, I've noticed rather spotty coverage but that was expected. When you are in a 4G zone though, the speeds are nuts!

    Anywhere from 8.5mbps DS to 11mbps DS.
  6. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
    Thread Starter

    HSPA+ is a dog, and it is victim to the same network slow downs and crowding current GSM "solutions" are victim to, which needless to say, is not viable for a future long term high speed mobile technology.

    The real argument here is going to be between WiMax 2 vs LTE-Advanced. WiMax 2 is pretty darn close to hitting market, while LTE-A is still several years off, which may make a huge difference. In the grand scheme of things, and due to the sheer weakness of HSPA+ technology, it is nowhere near long range contender status, and I actually decided to throw it in this comparison to show how faulty it truly is, despite T-Mobile's recent marketing blitz.
  7. NYCHitman1

    NYCHitman1 Gun for Hire

    Can you enlighten me on the differences between current WiMax and WiMax 2? (besides the obvious speed and coverage alterations)
  8. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
    Thread Starter

    TBH besides the speed/latency difference, I really don't know, yet. This is also something I'll be looking into.
  9. NYCHitman1

    NYCHitman1 Gun for Hire

    Alright well if you get any extra info.. drop it like it's hot :)
  10. To be honest. Speed is not everything. Speed of a wireless device depends on many things.

    I will give you a small, non inclusive, list.

    1. Interference. Breaks into two different types.
      1. Building and structure interference. With buildings the lower the frequency (mhz or ghz) the better it penetrates buildings. Up to 22%, depending on the thickness and density. But this is an generalization, because a normal 10 inch wood stud wall, the penetration of 2.5ghz is about 2% lower then 700mhz. A ten inch concrete wall the difference is about 22%, between 2.2ghz and 700mhz. We also see some very different between frequency in minor wavelengths. On a 9 inch wall wood stud wall, 2545mhz has a 3% better penetration compared to a 2500mhz. The reason why has to do with the fact that a 2500mhz wave is 12cm long, 2545mhz is about 11cm long, which makes it terminate shorter and not end in the wood of the wall. The ability to penetrate any given wall works on the wave form. For a 10 inch wood stud wall. 700mhz and 2545mhz both work through the wall about the same, leaving only about a 3% difference. But 700 compared to 1700mhz is about 15% difference, which is lower then the 2545mhz. So penetration has a lot more to deal with what type of walls and what frequency, but as a general rule lower is better, higher is not.
      2. Interference can come from other sources. Sun, radio waves, microwaves, power lines, and 101 other sources of energy. The Longer the waves, ie the lower the hz, the more interference you will get from other sources. For 700mhz, interference can come directly from other towers. When you are dealing with lower mhz, build design is very important. You can not have more then 3 stations overlap any given area, you also have to direct the signals so they have minimal over lapping. You also have to identify all sources of energy, like power lines, because lower frequencies are greatly effected all energy sources. With the higher mhz, ie 2.5ghz, interference is greatly reduce and you can place many stations right on top of each other. Of course if you do, the devices have to decide which source to use, which can lead to device panic as it jumps from radio to radio. 2.5ghz has very little problems with energy interference, but it degrades quickly over distance. If you have to place a lot of stations closer together, you should use higher frequency. If you have to place a few stations far away, a lower frequency.
    2. Connect to internet.
      1. Most towers have a connection that is slower then the average internet connection you have at home. Most cases, it is less then 5mbps. To cure this problem companies are building towers with fiber optic and using higher frequencies, like wimax, to connect tower to tower to fiber. If you have only a 15 mbps line, you can only give 5 people a 3mbps connection. Connections between the towers and the internet hubs can cause the data reduction.
      2. The second factor is how many people are connection to one tower at a time. For example, if you are at soccer game, there maybe 15000 people using 3 towers. If you have a 100mbps fiber connection to 3 towers. And you are using wimax or lte as the protocol. You can only offer each of those 15000 people a 20kbps data line. Bottom line, the more people you have on one tower the slower the tower will go because of the data connection between the internet and tower, not between the radio and the tower. For example, the pentagon, uses a 45mbps (ds-3) connection. With if you use that for cellphone tower would offer 45 people a 1mbps connection, slower then most will get on 3g.
      3. The last part of data speed reduction speeds from across the internet. Regardless of your internet speeds; hiccups, glitches, and bad routing cause 99% of all data to slow on the internet. You can have a 1gbps connection but on average only get about 15mbps accessing any given website. Which means if you only have a 15mbps connection to lets say facebook from your one given tower, you would only get 1 person at 15mbps, or 15 at 1mbps. Data speed reduction across the internet is varied and very disruptive. Many towers are limited by the fact that internet backbone is using 30 year old protocols and machines to control the speeds.
    3. Frequency at speed.
      1. As a general rule the lower the frequency the more power it takes to connect a faster moving object. Hspa+ and lte suffers from mobile degradation with speed of about 50% in current state. Wimax can suffer up to 33% degradation depending on speed. Iowa pointed out a difference of 50% with wimax, but that is caused by lack of tower coverage and not fulling using wimax 2 protocols, not the speed. At 30-45mph, 60-72kph, the average degradation of wimax should be less then 10%. But this is dependent on what frequency the tower is using, distance of object, and distance to nearest tower. In a good build out, you should not notice any speed declines until after 75mph with either lte or wimax.
    4. Battery, battery, battery.
      1. Regardless of what technology you use, how it is connected to the internet, and how fast you are going; if you have zero power, you are going to get 0mbps. At 21mbps, regardless of your protocols and technology, the average cellphone will be dead in about 20 mins. From full to fully drained. The power consumption of the device, how much battery is left, performance over time is the greatest factors in how fast your internet connection is. If you want to provide all day internet connection to a device, you should limit that device to less the 3-6mbps, maxing out at 10mbps. Have a mobile device, like a cellphone, to have speeds greater then 10mbps, decreases battery life to the point where it needs a power supply through the day. Having the plug it in through the day is not exactly mobile. So if you are hoping for a cellphone with greater then 10mbps connection and not plugging it in most of the day, wait about 5 to 10 years, for the battery technology to catch up.
    I have not made an all encompassing list, but have touched on the major issues when dealing with internet connection speeds and mobile phone.

    So what is really faster, well it depends on many factors, speed to any given device has to deal with interference, physical and energy based, tower density, how many people on the tower, the protocols used to connect device to tower, the hardware connecting tower to internet, the hardware and protocols used on the internet to connect server to server, how fast the object is traveling, and expected battery life of the device at full speed.

    I promise this is the last part I will bore you with. There is a difference between fastest and fast enough. For most people, in most cases, 15mbps is 3x faster then they will ever need for a cellphone. 20mbps is faster then they will ever need for a pc. At 20mbps, you are technology faster then any given connection across the internet.

    I will give you a real world example of this. Open T1 | Business Broadband & Voice Provider | Speakeasy Inc.

    Select the closest server to you, and do a speed test. Then select the furthest server from you. For my connection, I get 50mbps to the closest server, but only 1.3mbps to the furthest way. If I was in Washington DC, local content would be delivered as fast as the server could send it, but data in San Francisco, is limited to only 1.3mbps. My maximal speed could be greater then 1gbps, but any data on the other side of the state, continent, or world will be limited to that speeds available from server to server from here to there.

    Which is why I started with speed is not everything. You can go 210mph on the freeway, but usually due to traffic, weather conditions, and road conditions, you are better at 45-75mph. You are only as fast as the road, weather, and person in front of you will let you.

    In the real world, for the average cellphone user, hspa+ will deliver between 2-3mbps. In the real world, for the average cellphone user, lte and wimax will offer speeds between 6-18mbps. Which is about as fast as the average person needs them to be, and faster then most of the internet can deliver.
    OutofDate1980 likes this.
  11. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    so... why is real 4G rated at 100MB....

    what would be the point.. if the internet can not even turn that fast?
  12. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
    Thread Starter

    Because the ITU said so,. Basically.
  13. Yes, it is maximal/minimal theoretical speeds, not real world speeds. The reason companies use it, is because people will say things like this,

    Why did he say this, because marketing and "experts on the enterwebs" told him this. He has no more bases for this statement then saying Australia is a nice Eastern European country.

    We even see it in the moderators here.

    LTE is an unproven technology has only in the last 10 months had an agreeable asn.1 code. Wimax has had the standard approved since 2004. Why does one look better then the other, no reason but he believe the marketing.

    Bottomline. LTE and wimax are two different things. LTE was made to replace the data connection on your cellphone. Wimax was made to replace the data for you city, block, and house. They both promise the same speed, but it is like gunning your car out of the drive way, only to find the street has a traffic jam.

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