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Some AT&T Users Seeing Much Improved 3G Speeds with iPhone 4S

One of the new features of the iPhone 4S has been the faster HSDPA (14.4Mbps) data support for GSM networks. This theoretically allows the iPhone 4S to see much faster download speeds when on the right mobile carrier.

In the U.S., AT&T is the only network that could take advantage of the advanced capabilities of the new iPhone 4S communications chip, though there had been some debate about how much of an improvement users might see on AT&T's network. AT&T is purposefully vague about how fast their network can run, and the rollout for the faster speeds remains limited.


Two previous iPhone 4 users have emailed us with speed results that show significant improvements with their new iPhone 4S. The first reader located in New Jersey (image right) was able to obtain 7.71 Mbps down. He reports previous speeds on his iPhone for in the 1-2 Mbps range. Another reader in Iowa (image left) shows speeds up to 5.45 Mbps. He had only previously seen as high as 4 Mbps on his iPhone 4.

The improvements may only be seen in very specific geographic areas depending on AT&T's network support. Others have seen no significant change in their network speeds after upgrading from the 4 to 4S.

AT&T has even been calling this faster HSDPA support "4G", though there is some debate on the correctness of that term. Still, AT&T's present network is capable of much faster speeds than both Sprint's and Verizon's.



Top Rated Comments

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97 months ago
Ok, so AT&T is faster in the tests.

Then why in real world use does Verizon load web pages faster than AT&T often? Is it because AT&T is just prone to packet loss, and has a slower back end?

BTW the above is a question, not a statement...
Rating: 3 Votes
97 months ago
"Still, AT&T's present network is capable of much faster speeds than both Sprint's and Verizon's."

OP should add "only when using an iPhone 4S".
Verizon's EVDO rev. A 3G network that iPhone 4S connects to is in theory much slower than AT&T's 3G (even though AT&T calls it 4G) 3.1mbps to 14.4mpbs.
But when looking at the whole network, Verizon's 4G LTE dominates AT&T in all but 4 markets where they are even in terms of LTE spectrum deployed (San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta) In Chicago Verizon deployed 10x10Mhz LTe vs 5X5Mhz on AT&T's which gives Verizon 73.6mbps vs 39mbps theoretical throughput advantage. In real world testing Verizon's year old LTE network performs on par or better than AT&T completely unloaded LTE network.
Verizon has over 160 markets blanketed with LTE and 5 LTE mobile smartphones vs AT&T's 5 markets and zero smartphones at the moment.
Rating: 3 Votes
97 months ago
I did the big upgrade; from a 3G to a 4S.

In Manhattan, I was lucky to see 700k with the 3G, but I've been getting 2.5M regularly since Friday with the 4S. So I'm now getting about 1/3 of the theoretical max of 3G with my new "4G" iPhone 4S....

It's a lot better than it was, but where's my 14.4M? Maybe inside an AT&T laboratory...
Rating: 3 Votes
97 months ago

speedcat


Now try that without being connected to wi-fi :)
Rating: 2 Votes
97 months ago

Ok, so AT&T is faster in the tests.

Then why in real world use does Verizon load web pages faster than AT&T often? Is it because AT&T is just prone to packet loss, and has a slower back end?

BTW the above is a question, not a statement...


Verizon compresses the images and videos on web pages. On Verizon when you request a page it goes to Verizon's servers, they request the page, compress the images/videos and then send it to your phone. So say that you request a page with 4MB of pictures and Verizon is able to compress that down to 0.5MB. Then unless AT&T is more then 8 times faster then Verizon, Verizon will seem faster.

Personally, I don't like Verizon's approach. I don't like the idea of a man-in-the-middle altering a page's content.
Rating: 2 Votes
97 months ago

Care to pull anymore BS out your ass?


Uh what?

http://www.macstories.net/news/verizon-to-throttle-data-speeds-compress-images-videos-to-keep-its-network-up/

https://ecache.vzw.com/imageFiles/Myacct/nda/images/docs/VerizonWirelessServiceInformation.pdf

http://support.verizonwireless.com/terms/network_optimization.html

TL;DR Verizon compresses the images and videos...
Rating: 2 Votes
97 months ago

I'm not getting very spectacular improvements. From 1mbps on AT&T with my 4 to 3mbps now on my 4S.


thats a 300-400% increase.
Rating: 2 Votes
97 months ago

I'm not getting very spectacular improvements. From 1mbps on AT&T with my 4 to 3mbps now on my 4S.


Amazing that a 200% increase in speed isn't "spectacular" to you.

I'll agree that 3 mbps is much slower than what I'm getting, but you were getting 1 just a couple of days ago!
Rating: 2 Votes
97 months ago

Care to pull anymore BS out your ass?


Uh what?

http://www.macstories.net/news/verizon-to-throttle-data-speeds-compress-images-videos-to-keep-its-network-up/

https://ecache.vzw.com/imageFiles/Myacct/nda/images/docs/VerizonWirelessServiceInformation.pdf

TL;DR Verizon compresses the images and videos...


I wish I remembered where I saw this, but there was even an article comparing graphics downloaded on sites on Verizon and AT&T, each on an iPhone 4. The Verizon side had noticeable color banding and compression artifacts in the images.
Rating: 2 Votes
97 months ago
Verizon v. AT&T

I suspect that there will always be regional differences to factor in, but I am one who, with the arrival of the 4S, have switched from AT&T to Verizon. Here in the Bay Area, comparing the two is perfectly exemplified by the story of the tortoise and the hare. AT&T's network, in places, is indeed capable of multi-megabit speed, but it has so many holes in it that it's almost useless. And Verizon has LTE *today*, and it works really, really well. I'm going with an LTE MiFi instead of tethering for now. I suspect I'll be much happier than I was.
Rating: 2 Votes

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