I recently went on an 8 day cruise from NYC to the Caribbean that stopped in Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. My first stop was Grand Turk and there I opted for the free roaming. My S9+ automatically connected to Flow's (Cable & Wireless) LTE network where I received speeds of around 120kbps on average with boosts of up to 150kbps. Something worth noting is that on speed tests, the server prefers to default to Sprint's Miami server as opposed to local servers. Speeds were more than adequate for any amount of web browsing and honestly felt much faster than in reality. It helps that using Chrome will save you data by not loading pictures on certain sites unless you click them.
In Puerto Rico, I connected to Band 13 on the way into the port in San Juan but once I was in the city, my phone never left Band 41. While the phone was usable, speeds remained significantly lower than what I've come to expect from 3xCA in the mainland U.S. Data speeds peaked at around 25-30Mbos but on average were in the 5-10 Mbps range even on LTE+. Signal remained strong everywhere though.
Finally in the Dominican Republic, I entered in Amber Cover which is in Puerto Plata. My phone latched onto a weak Band 2 LTE signal in the port from Altice (called Orange Dominicana in SignalCheck). I had trouble loading pages though. Once off of the ship and out in the open, I had a much stronger signal which allowed me to browse the internet without a hitch. Because it was the last day of my trip, while at the beach I decided to purchase the 24 hour high speed pass for $5. My speeds went from 120kbps to 65Mbps in less than 5 seconds. In some areas speeds were slower, particularly at the port where it struggled to break 2Mbps. Now, back on the boat my phone is flipping between weak Band 4 LTE and overloaded Band 5 HSPA+ from Claro (called Verizon Dominicana in SignalCheck Pro). Here is the difference in speed from before and after purchasing the high speed pass.
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Send me a diagnostic report next time you run into that.. but based on what is on the screen, that looks like a legitimate T-Mobile connection. My Pixel 4 has a hard time letting go of T-Mobile LTE in some strong Sprint areas as well.
As an update to the 5G discussion -- I have received several diagnostic reports from users who noted they were connected to 5G at the time (thanks!), however I have not seen an example where the API is reporting any 5G data. Everything has appeared as regular LTE for now.
Please keep sending me reports, I am sure eventually we will have a device that reports it properly! At a minimum it will need to be on Android 10, because the 5G reporting routines did not exist in earlier versions.
No, its because Speedtest has considerably more servers to ping (meaning less hops and closer in proximity) from than any of those other servers you mentioned. Typically, the fastest speed would be considered the most accurate.
So I've noticed that my Speed Test app always seems to show faster speeds than what I'm actually getting. Just now Speed Test showed I was getting 14Mbps down. OpenSignal and Root Metrics were showing 4Mbps and 5Mbps respectively. My Twitter, reddit and Safari apps are running like I'm on a 5Mbps connection. Just this past weekend in Chicago, Speed Test was saying I was getting 5Mbps. OpenSignal and RootMetrics were showing <1Mbps and 1Mbps respectively and my apps were running like they would on a 1Mbps connection. Has anyone else noticed this? I wouldn't be surprised if they were prioritizing speed test connections.