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LTE Speed Expectations vs, What we actually need


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Hey guys new around and i just want to toss something out there. I was talking to myself the other day (Yes, I do this quite a bit because no one I know cares about phones or networks) and was thinking what would I be happy with for speed with my network. That led me to what do I actually need for my speed to be to actually do the things I do. I know Verizon and AT&T are throwing around average speeds of about 14-17Mbps and maybe thats what we will get with Sprint but is it what we need? Just based on what I do which is downloading apps, watching some YouTube, and streaming music and internet radio what else are people doing that requires them to need 15Mbps and is what you need it for reasonable for a mobile network to handle?

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Hey guys new around and i just want to toss something out there. I was talking to myself the other day (Yes, I do this quite a bit because no one I know cares about phones or networks) and was thinking what would I be happy with for speed with my network. That led me to what do I actually need for my speed to be to actually do the things I do. I know Verizon and AT&T are throwing around average speeds of about 14-17Mbps and maybe thats what we will get with Sprint but is it what we need? Just based on what I do which is downloading apps, watching some YouTube, and streaming music and internet radio what else are people doing that requires them to need 15Mbps and is what you need it for reasonable for a mobile network to handle?

 

I see no difference in my smartphone performance from when I have a 2Mbps 3G connection, a 12Mbps WiFi connection at home or my 25Mbps WiFi connection at work. They all feel exactly the same doing the things I do on a smartphone. Even Netflix streaming. I only start to notice issues when speeds are sub 1Mbps for some things.

 

The only time uber fast speeds make a difference to me while using a smartphone is those rare times I download a large file. Occasionally, I may download a ROM update directly to my device. When I do something like that, then the difference between 5Mbps and 25Mbps is noticeable (for a few minutes). But I most often download large files via WiFi.

 

Really, these really fast mobile download speeds greater than 10Mbps just do not have any practical application than bragging. The only time they have a real use is when tethering. However, most Americans do not even have 10Mbps home internet speeds. The last time I checked, the national home broadband average was under 6Mbps. And the mobile operators are pricing tethering to try to discourage its use on a big scale, and blocking backdoor tethering, because of the demands it puts on their networks.

 

I think that LTE will be sufficient for a long time. I don't think consumers are going to care much about the differences between 10Mbps, 30Mbps and 60Mbps for the forseeable future (especially if they have to pay more for it). I think they are going to care more about consumption, once LTE networks provide ubiquitous coverage. That's my take.

 

Robert

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Sounds about right. As long as the connection is snappy and can stream HD Netflix (around 5 Mbps), that will be enough for 99% of people. For the tethering set, more is always better, but at what price?

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I agree seems to be a waste in most cases. Here's my follow up though. Does anyone think at some point we will see carriers start to tier speeds with gauranteed throughputs. 3-7Mbps -$20.00 a month unlimited, 8-10Mbps $30.00 a month unlimited.

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I agree seems to be a waste in most cases. Here's my follow up though. Does anyone think at some point we will see carriers start to tier speeds with gauranteed throughputs. 3-7Mbps -$20.00 a month unlimited, 8-10Mbps $30.00 a month unlimited.

 

It sounds reasonable at a glance. But the problem with tiered pricing that way, is that carriers have to try to deliver a very consistent experience to do that, which in a RF world and a mobile society gets very difficult...if not impossible.

 

If I pay for a plan that's 8-10Mbps and I am getting 3-5Mbps, because I am in a basement or at the edge of service, I am going to be an unhappy customer. And within a cell at any given moment, there are dozens of users that will be in less than ideal conditions...even in a very well run network. Magnify that by 38,000 sites and you have a million customers that are not getting their quoted speeds that they pay for. I think it could be very problematic and next to impossible to implement consistently.

 

Robert

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I agree seems to be a waste in most cases. Here's my follow up though. Does anyone think at some point we will see carriers start to tier speeds with gauranteed throughputs. 3-7Mbps -$20.00 a month unlimited, 8-10Mbps $30.00 a month unlimited.

 

The issue with guaranteed throughput is that the carriers would have to manage their networks more tightly than they do now from a capacity perspective. And theres the issue of edge-of-cell connections. Would you rather have your device prematurely disconnect from LTE because you paid for a higher plan (which at -110dBm the tower can't feed you the speeds for) or would you rather have whatever speed the network can provide?

 

It's a lot easier to just have a set-cost unlimited data option for the phone (to encourage users to get a Sprint phone over someone else's) and then charge a little for tethering (Sprint's $20 for 2GB is actually pretty reasonable). As capacity improves, decrease the cost per tethered GB (so maybe when LTE-A comes out you'll get 3-5GB for $20).

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most real world users that aren't streaming HD content or d/ling huge files (or torrents) won't notice a difference.

 

No carrier in their right mind would ever put a service level "guarantee" in place for speeds. When I went DSL after dial up, I was promised T1 speeds (subject to proximity to telco central office) and never once got even close to that, topping out usually around 512 which at the time was EPIC.

 

Then cable came around and they were "up to 3Mbps" download...and I consistently got over 2Mbps so I was happy. Now my cable is the 2nd lowest tier at "up to 22Mbps"...versus the 31Mbps and 50Mbps of the higher tiers...really, like I'm going to notice that my song download from Amazon is taking 3 seconds vs 4 seconds???

 

I see some of these speedtest numbers here and on AC and XDA with LTE pushing 10Mbps and think "damn I'd be happy with half that"... and the 20Mbps numbers (or higher) thinking "if i got 20% of that speed during peak usage times I'd be in love with Sprint again."

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I would love to have a consistent video conference experience on my LTE phone. What kinds of speeds are necessary for this? Seems like upload would be very important.

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

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I would love to have a consistent video conference experience on my LTE phone. What kinds of speeds are necessary for this? Seems like upload would be very important. Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

 

My experience for smartphone usage, video conference needs sub 200ms pings and about 1.5Mbps speeds minimum. On a tablet/laptop, more like 3Mbps speeds. Bad pings (latency) kill video conference performance.

 

Robert

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Personally for me, I could live with a consistant 4-5Mbps. The 2GB limit on some carriers, and the pricing on Verizon's new plans don't justify the higher speed for me. (I'll wait 15 secs longer for that song, and save myself $65.00 a month). It's like buying a Lamborghini, and only having two gallons of fuel each month.

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The faster the cell network speeds, the less time your phone spends Tx/Rx, which equals a greater battery life.

 

Part of a reason for poor battery life on my phone is terrible cell network, it spends much much longer updating playStore app, updating news/weather, 0.060 Mbps speeds really chew the battery up.

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I would love the fast speed so I can supplement my torrent download when I am at home.

 

Most important is that I need the fast speed for Skype.

 

This speed can last me a long time.

 

I heard that LTE can go all the way to 100 mbps.

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3-5mpbs is all I need. My home connection is only 5mpbs DSL line and I can't think of anything I can't do with it. I simply have no need for that much speed on my phone, and wouldn't know what to do with it.

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I guess I'm on the other end of the speed spectrum here. My connection here is 50 Mbps down, 15 Mbps up. WHen I move, my connection will be 50 down, 5 up (should be 25 soonish). I've used 4G on three networks so far, soon to be four (Clearwire, T-Mobile, Verizon and now Sprint, in order of when I got a device that uses the network).

 

Out of the above, my home connection will be fastest, and I'll use that speed (though the times when I fully utilize the connection are relatively few and far between). Verizon will generally be second-fastest. However not having to worry about streaming Netflix on my phone, or doing video calls, or whatever else I want to do while not on WiFi, if liberating. And as long as I can do what I want on my phone without the network slowing it down, I'm fine with whatever speed I end up getting.

 

What speed allows me to do everything I want on my phone? Unless I'm uploading HD video, 5 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up should be just fine. if I'm uploading HD video, 5 Mbps up would be nice. But usually I'll just be uploading photos...and surfing the web a lot :)

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The faster the cell network speeds, the less time your phone spends Tx/Rx, which equals a greater battery life.

 

Part of a reason for poor battery life on my phone is terrible cell network, it spends much much longer updating playStore app, updating news/weather, 0.060 Mbps speeds really chew the battery up.

That's actually a good point. Never thought about that. I have horrible battery life on my 3D, and my speeds are generally no more than 200 kbps. A lot of the times I will have low signal cause Sprint coverage kind of sucks around here, and other times it will drop to 1X in an area where I know I have 3G.

 

Sometimes I really wonder if staying with Sprint is worth the bad coverage and slow speeds for the promise of a better LTE network that's years off from being what Verizon has around here. I priced out a plan at Verizon a month or two ago and it was the same price as what I'm paying with Sprint, but it was a 2 GB plan. I use just a bit over 2 GB each month and I'm sure I would use more provided with LTE, so idk. Which network gets the next Nexus phone will probably sway me.

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The faster the cell network speeds' date=' the less time your phone spends Tx/Rx, which equals a greater battery life.

[/quote']

 

This is true in its basic form. But only so much when its actively in data use over a period of time. A phone sitting in standby mode, identical in every way, except one is connected to 1x data and the other to full speed EVDO, there will be almost no difference in battery consumed after 8 hours.

 

The same two phones over the same period with both having one hour of usage, there may be negligible battery life used difference. However, over eight hours of constant data usage, the faster device would have a noticeable battery life difference. But it wouldn't be catastrophically different.

 

The biggest killer of battery life in a device is screen. Not the radio. The exception being older devices that had two separate chips.

 

Don't get me wrong. I believe in your point. I just think over a full day of normal usage, the battery drain because of slower/faster speeds is not huge. But maybe noticeable over a long period of heavy usage. Then again, if your device is slow on the network, are you going to use it heavily? Probably not.

 

Robert via CM9 Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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As a power user, speed is everything, but when I look at what I do with my phone and tablet, I think I'm in the same boat as the majority of the folks here, that 5-8mbps is more than sufficient.

 

I want to be able to stream Netflix during my commute home, or watch Youtube HD, and I can't do that right now.

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This is true in its basic form. But only so much when its actively in data use over a period of time. A phone sitting in standby mode, identical in every way, except one is connected to 1x data and the other to full speed EVDO, there will be almost no difference in battery consumed after 8 hours.

 

The same two phones over the same period with both having one hour of usage, there may be negligible battery life used difference. However, over eight hours of constant data usage, the faster device would have a noticeable battery life difference. But it wouldn't be catastrophically different.

 

The biggest killer of battery life in a device is screen. Not the radio. The exception being older devices that had two separate chips.

 

Don't get me wrong. I believe in your point. I just think over a full day of normal usage, the battery drain because of slower/faster speeds is not huge. But maybe noticeable over a long period of heavy usage. Then again, if your device is slow on the network, are you going to use it heavily? Probably not.

 

Robert via CM9 Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

 

I will mention that not speed but signal quality with, particularly the GNEX, had a substantial impact on battery life.

 

Newer phones with 28nm qualcomm and associated parts seem to care much less.

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3-5mbps throughout town would make me a happy camper. There are a few friends with houses that I barely get signal in, I would be happy if I could just get a reliable signal in there at times.

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I will mention that not speed but signal quality with, particularly the GNEX, had a substantial impact on battery life.

 

Newer phones with 28nm qualcomm and associated parts seem to care much less.

 

I will agree with you and cannot wait for phones utilizing the 28nm process for all chips... but to your other point: If you are getting slower speeds because you are in a fringe signal area, then your phone will be searching for signal constantly which could drain your battery faster. The connection uses the same amount of power as long as you have a good signal, but the way that a better signal and faster speeds would help is that if you were doing the same activity. This would be because it downloaded faster, using power for a shorter period of time to transmit the data, and the screen could be shut off sooner because you are finished with the task. Now the problem with this is that BECAUSE you can stream youtube faster, you might tend to watch more youtube clips and end up draining the battery more than you would with a slower network...

 

Its a double edged sword, pick your side, lol...

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While I may not need 15Mbps down on my phone, a network that's designed for 15-20Mbps is more likely to still give me 2-3 Mbps or more when I'm on the fringes of a cell, and/or as the network becomes overburdened. Kind of like how Sprint's 3G network is designed for 600K-1.4M, but really only delivers 20-100K to many users today. I'm not suggesting the NV network will get as bad as the legacy 3G network as far as theoretical max vs actual speeds, but I'd still like to see a network that is capable of significantly more speed than I could practically need, because I don't expect to get anywhere near the max speed depending on location and as users in the cell increase.

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While I may not need 15Mbps down on my phone, a network that's designed for 15-20Mbps is more likely to still give me 2-3 Mbps or more when I'm on the fringes of a cell, and/or as the network becomes overburdened. Kind of like how Sprint's 3G network is designed for 600K-1.4M, but really only delivers 20-100K to many users today. I'm not suggesting the NV network will get as bad as the legacy 3G network as far as theoretical max vs actual speeds, but I'd still like to see a network that is capable of significantly more speed than I could practically need, because I don't expect to get anywhere near the max speed depending on location and as users in the cell increase.

 

I am waiting for Clearwire to make an official announcement when they will start launching LTE. Check out their story.

http://www.clearwire.com/company/featured-story

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Here in Mansfield Texas I'm getting download speeds of about14 MB per second and upload speeds up about 9 MB per second but it's only in small areas I live not to far away in Arlington (about 3miles) but I haven't got a connection anywhere else yet. My At&t diverse I think max out around 56 mbps so I feel that's what I need of course that connection handles three hd streams one sd stream a dedicated voip stream and my 5 mbps internet stream I really feel the only reason we will see a push into LTE advanced is so the carrier can offer more services. At 100 mbps Sprint could then compete with Uverse and Fios in these services with a tiny dish/antenna that mounts on the side of your house and experiences none of the interference of dish based systems plus they don't have to pay that 100$/ft cost of wiring neighborhoods with fiber imagine one 500gbps/hardline to the towers could support 5000 subscribers or more at once

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Here in Mansfield Texas I'm getting download speeds of about14 MB per second and upload speeds up about 9 MB per second but it's only in small areas I live not to far away in Arlington (about 3miles) but I haven't got a connection anywhere else yet. My At&t diverse I think max out around 56 mbps so I feel that's what I need of course that connection handles three hd streams one sd stream a dedicated voip stream and my 5 mbps internet stream I really feel the only reason we will see a push into LTE advanced is so the carrier can offer more services. At 100 mbps Sprint could then compete with Uverse and Fios in these services with a tiny dish/antenna that mounts on the side of your house and experiences none of the interference of dish based systems plus they don't have to pay that 100$/ft cost of wiring neighborhoods with fiber imagine one 500gbps/hardline to the towers could support 5000 subscribers or more at once

 

Sprint is not likely ever to offer a full Home ISP solution. It would require too much valuable spectrum. And if they did, they would have to do like Verizon with their home service and have Draconian usage limits. I think the days of wireless home ISP solutions are over for large scale urban deployments. There is, however, enough spectrum to pull this off in a lot of rural areas though.

 

Robert

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