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MacRumors
Jul 9, 2009, 12:21 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/07/09/iphone-3gs-upstream-transfers-limited-to-384-kbps/)

Macworld reports (http://www.macworld.com/article/141606/2009/07/iphone3gs_hspa.html) that while the iPhone 3GS does support the improved 7.2 Mbps download transfer speed now currently being deployed in the U.S. by AT&T and already available in other parts of the world, it will not support the correspondingly improved upload transfer speeds of 1.4 or 1.9 Mbps generally available on such networks and will be limited to the same 384 Kbps upload speed available on the iPhone 3G.I had supposed that Apple took the opportunity to build HSUPA on the upstream side, at either 1.4 or 1.9 Mbps speeds that are supported in many European networks that have already rolled out 7.2 Mbps HSDPA. But it turns out, Apple didn't. . .

After my HSPA article ran, reader Nick Dunklee pointed out in e-mail that a teardown at RapidRepair (http://www.rapidrepair.com/guides/iphone-3g-s-repair/iphone-3g-s-comparison-chart.html) of an iPhone 3GS shows that it has a UMTS/HSDPA chip. UMTS is the earliest 3G standard deployed on GSM networks, and it tops out at 384 Kbps. It's easy to test, if you have an iPhone 3GS. Go to any speed tester, like Testmyiphone (http://www.testmyiphone.com/) when you're outdoors with a good signal. Downstream, you might hit well over 1 Mbps; upstream, under 384 Kbps.Macworld's report is a follow-up to a previous article (http://www.macworld.com/article/141092/2009/06/iphone3gs_72mbps.html) that discussed the ins and outs of the High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network standard and how AT&T's offerings compare to that standard.HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) is actually two separate standards: HSDPA (for downstream) at a raw rate of 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA (for upstream), likely at raw rates of 1.4 Mbps or 1.9 Mpbs, the two most popular upload speeds deployed by existing 7.2 HSPA carriers. The 7.2 Mbps downstream and 1.4/1.9 Mbps upstream rates represent the full bandwidth available in a given HSPA channel, but don't translate to what an individual user will see.

For AT&T's current HSPA system, the company claims range from 700 Kbps to 1.7 Mbps downstream, and 500 Kbps to 1.2 Mbps upstream.So while the iPhone 3G was unable to even take full advantage of existing upstream transfer speeds, the iPhone 3GS suffers from the same limitation. But the limitation is not unique to the iPhone, as the new report mentions that other GSM smartphones are also utilizing the older UMTS standard at a maximum of 384 Kbps. Dunklee examined the specs on a number of GSM network smartphones, and found none included HSUPA. It's possible that there could be a firmware update from UMTS to HSUPA, but thatís unlikely. There's usually a reason for using an older standard, which is related to power consumption, chip size, or cost.Smartphones using competing CDMA technology, such as those on Sprint and Verizon, however, do take advantage of the full upstream capacity, suggesting that the limitation is related to the use of GSM technology as the basis for these cellular networks.

Article Link: iPhone 3GS Upstream Transfers Limited to 384 Kbps (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/07/09/iphone-3gs-upstream-transfers-limited-to-384-kbps/)



thegoldenmackid
Jul 9, 2009, 12:23 PM
I can't imagine it would make a significant difference to most if it was limited even at 600kpbs, after all most users are satisfied with 160kpbs.

kdarling
Jul 9, 2009, 12:39 PM
The problem, as others have pointed out, is that poor upstream bandwidth limits the ACKs going back... thus potentially limiting the downstream speed, especially for TCP/IP.

There are about a gazillion papers (and a few Internet RFCs) about the ack problem with unequal bandwidths.

aardwolf
Jul 9, 2009, 12:50 PM
Standard broadband from Comcast here in the Memphis metropolitan area tops out at 384kbps upload. Most people have no idea their "10Mbps" isn't both ways. I seriously doubt most people would notice a speed bump on their upload either... unless they're constantly uploading things.

I have my own web server, so I went with local DSL and am enjoying 3Mbps upload.

Diode
Jul 9, 2009, 01:03 PM
Standard broadband from Comcast here in the Memphis metropolitan area tops out at 384kbps upload. Most people have no idea their "10Mbps" isn't both ways. I seriously doubt most people would notice a speed bump on their upload either... unless they're constantly uploading things.

I have my own web server, so I went with local DSL and am enjoying 3Mbps upload.

Well here in DC and most of the NE you can get Verizon Fios with 25/25 for a reasonable rate (like 64/month) or even 50/25.

100 synchronous is already offered in some parts of the country.

I would say "most people" would be a poor statement. Not to mention this becomes a further problem when AT&T begins allowing tethering.

ibwb
Jul 9, 2009, 01:04 PM
The problem, as others have pointed out, is that poor upstream bandwidth limits the ACKs going back... thus potentially limiting the downstream speed, especially for TCP/IP.

There are about a gazillion papers (and a few Internet RFCs) about the ack problem with unequal bandwidths.

Ack bandwidth is important but you don't need equal upstream to your downstream to send out acks. Maybe more like 10%.

aardwolf
Jul 9, 2009, 01:05 PM
Well here in DC and most of the NE you can get Verizon Fios with 25/25 for a reasonable rate (like 64/month) or even 50/25.

100 synchronous is already offered in some parts of the country.

I would say "most people" would be a poor statement. Not to mention this becomes a further problem when AT&T begins allowing tethering.

Let me qualify that by saying "most people in this area".

str1f3
Jul 9, 2009, 01:13 PM
All this means to me is another reason for the iPhone to be on Verizon. I can't believe this is not a Page 1 story.

kironin
Jul 9, 2009, 01:16 PM
glad I will be not getting a new iPhone till the next upgrade

Full of Win
Jul 9, 2009, 01:20 PM
All this means to me is another reason for the iPhone to be on Verizon. I can't believe this is not a Page 1 story.

I was about to post the same point about this being page 1 material.

optophobia
Jul 9, 2009, 01:21 PM
All this means to me is another reason for the iPhone to be on Verizon. I can't believe this is not a Page 1 story.

Yeah because then when something goes wrong with it, Verizon has outstanding Customer service....oh wait...

MovieCutter
Jul 9, 2009, 01:33 PM
Well here in DC and most of the NE you can get Verizon Fios with 25/25 for a reasonable rate (like 64/month) or even 50/25.

100 synchronous is already offered in some parts of the country.

I would say "most people" would be a poor statement. Not to mention this becomes a further problem when AT&T begins allowing tethering.

Where the heck in DC can you get Fios? It sure as hell isn't DC Metro.

Shasterball
Jul 9, 2009, 01:38 PM
glad I will be not getting a new iPhone till the next upgrade

And then we will all complain about [fill in future complaint here].

The truth is, I have the 3GS and it is crazy fast. Most users won't notice the difference. Plus, with new, graphics intensive games/apps coming out, it's nice to have the extra horse power (CPU-wise).

aperry
Jul 9, 2009, 01:38 PM
For non-jailbroken phones this will only really affect tethering. And even within the realm of tethering it would only affect you if you need to host a website, use bit torrent, or upload and/or email large files somewhere.

That said, I'd be disappointed to be paying an arm and a leg for tethering only to have handicaps like this applied.

Howardchief
Jul 9, 2009, 01:49 PM
Yeah because then when something goes wrong with it, Verizon has outstanding Customer service....oh wait...

ZING! Well done. :D

I absolutely loathe Verizon customer service/support. Bunch of blue babies..

djellison
Jul 9, 2009, 01:50 PM
I've only found one place in the entire UK where 3G even threatens to get that fast, and that's central London. A total irrelevance.

juice
Jul 9, 2009, 02:24 PM
Where the heck in DC can you get Fios? It sure as hell isn't DC Metro.

Uh... you can get it pretty much everywhere. I have it in Arlington, know people with it in Reston, Great Falls, McLean, Chantilly, Fairfax.... pretty much everywhere now.

aendaman
Jul 9, 2009, 02:38 PM
yeah thats really lame! i could not believe it when they were talking about uploading video content to youtube or whatever and later when i checked i could not find any HSUPA capable chip in the iphone specs.
i just did a quick estimation that a one minute video would take ten minutes to upload at that UMTS speed of ~50KByte/s... wtf?
not to mention internet tethering... thats when you would probably like to quickly email a X MB powerpoint/pdf file from on the road.
and dont tell me HSUPA will drain battery significantly more than HSDPA.

that said, i will get a 3gs this october :rolleyes:
just sad because where i live, t-mobile has great coverage for both HSDPA and HSUPA...

ChoMomma
Jul 9, 2009, 02:57 PM
Uh... you can get it pretty much everywhere. I have it in Arlington, know people with it in Reston, Great Falls, McLean, Chantilly, Fairfax.... pretty much everywhere now.

Yeah so that is not D.C. or Metro D.C... you are speaking of Northern Virginia.

Xian Zhu Xuande
Jul 9, 2009, 03:14 PM
ZING! Well done. :D

I absolutely loathe Verizon customer service/support. Bunch of blue babies..
I dislike AT&T... but I *hate* Verizon. They are by far the most cooked and self-serving company in an industry of self-serving crooks.

Diode
Jul 9, 2009, 03:23 PM
Where the heck in DC can you get Fios? It sure as hell isn't DC Metro.

FIOS is available in DC at a few Apartments in the Capitol Riverfront area. More areas will be available by the end of the year.

Most of DC metro (outside of the District itself) already has it.

Comcast already offers 50mbps in DC anyways so the bickering of in dc/out of dc is moot.

aristotle
Jul 9, 2009, 03:31 PM
yeah thats really lame! i could not believe it when they were talking about uploading video content to youtube or whatever and later when i checked i could not find any HSUPA capable chip in the iphone specs.
i just did a quick estimation that a one minute video would take ten minutes to upload at that UMTS speed of ~50KByte/s... wtf?
not to mention internet tethering... thats when you would probably like to quickly email a X MB powerpoint/pdf file from on the road.
and dont tell me HSUPA will drain battery significantly more than HSDPA.

that said, i will get a 3gs this october :rolleyes:
just sad because where i live, t-mobile has great coverage for both HSDPA and HSUPA...
You might want to look at the wikipedia pages showing where HSUPA is deployed versus where HSDPA is deployed. Most of the target markets for the 3G only have UMTS/HSDPA and even the current CDMA providers in Canada only plan on implementing UMTS/HSDPA as a stepping stone for LTE. LTE is just around the corner so I would expect that the next iPhone will support LTE rather than bothering with HSUPA.

SpinThis!
Jul 9, 2009, 03:39 PM
Ack bandwidth is important but you don't need equal upstream to your downstream to send out acks. Maybe more like 10%.
Yeh—I would estimate even less than that. I have no problems getting the full 15 mbps out of my twc connection and my upload is only 1 mbps.

Some of those RFCs were written decades ago too when modems were state of the art. Along with fatter pipes also comes less problems with latency which I would wager is a bigger factor in internet speed. Fatter pipes + less latency + faster processors = less dropped packets = less ack packets.

iPhoneNYC
Jul 9, 2009, 03:54 PM
Remember, ATT is supposed to deliver tethering by the end of the summer. Then this would really come into play.

FoxyKaye
Jul 9, 2009, 04:26 PM
I dislike AT&T... but I *hate* Verizon. They are by far the most cooked and self-serving company in an industry of self-serving crooks.
You said it.

Then again, whenever my AT&T service drops a call, interjects static, interjects cross-talk from someone else's phone, won't find the network in my apartment, or simply gives me a network busy error when trying to dial out, I remember my days with Verizon fondly.

MarkMS
Jul 9, 2009, 04:28 PM
yeah thats really lame! i could not believe it when they were talking about uploading video content to youtube or whatever and later when i checked i could not find any HSUPA capable chip in the iphone specs.
i just did a quick estimation that a one minute video would take ten minutes to upload at that UMTS speed of ~50KByte/s... wtf?
not to mention internet tethering... thats when you would probably like to quickly email a X MB powerpoint/pdf file from on the road.
and dont tell me HSUPA will drain battery significantly more than HSDPA.

that said, i will get a 3gs this october :rolleyes:
just sad because where i live, t-mobile has great coverage for both HSDPA and HSUPA...

Doesn't T-Mobile use a different 3G band than AT&T? You'll be on Edge anyway.

iphones4evry1
Jul 9, 2009, 06:44 PM
What this means: If you want to send a video MMS or upload a video to Youtube through AT&T, it will take exactly ... 2 years, 5 months, 36 days, 25 minutes, and 42 seconds. :eek:

iphones4evry1
Jul 9, 2009, 06:53 PM
Remember, ATT is supposed to deliver tethering by the end of the summer. Then this would really come into play.

AT&T said MMS by end of summer, and tethering "later this year" (which means Dec.31st) or they might just wait and hope we forget about tethering. Most likely though they will offer tethering, but charge a ridiculous fee for it.

jayducharme
Jul 9, 2009, 07:23 PM
I guess that's why the iPhone has WiFi. If someone has to upload large files, it wouldn't make sense to use EDGE or 3G. My home WiFi connection gives me about 517 kbps upload. My cell connection can often top out at about 9 kbps.

djdole
Jul 9, 2009, 07:32 PM
So that means by "unlimited data" AT&T actually means you can only upload a MAX of 120.38GB per month?
Whaaaa?! I guess that means no iPhone web-server app for me (once background tasks are released) :(

aristotle
Jul 9, 2009, 07:43 PM
So that means by "unlimited data" AT&T actually means you can only upload a MAX of 120.38GB per month?
Whaaaa?! I guess that means no iPhone web-server app for me (once background tasks are released) :(
I sincerely hope that you were joking.

aristotle
Jul 9, 2009, 07:45 PM
What this means: If you want to send a video MMS or upload a video to Youtube through AT&T, it will take exactly ... 2 years, 5 months, 36 days, 25 minutes, and 42 seconds. :eek:
If you want to send what video? How long is it? The video uploaded from the phone to Youtube will be scaled down before it is sent to YouTube anyway. The only way to send the full 640X480 version is by saving to your computer and uploading from there.

djdole
Jul 9, 2009, 07:46 PM
All this means to me is another reason for the iPhone to be on Verizon. I can't believe this is not a Page 1 story.

Um, driving your scooter on the autobahn or on a Nascar track won't make it any faster.

djdole
Jul 9, 2009, 07:46 PM
I sincerely hope that you were joking.

:D Indeed I was.

daxomni
Jul 9, 2009, 08:31 PM
So that means by "unlimited data" AT&T actually means you can only upload a MAX of 120.38GB per month?
Whaaaa?! I guess that means no iPhone web-server app for me (once background tasks are released)
I thought "unlimited data" meant something like 5GB per month before overage fees started kicking in. Or is that only for tethering plans?

Bubba Satori
Jul 9, 2009, 11:28 PM
I can't imagine it would make a significant difference to most if it was limited even at 600kpbs, after all most users are satisfied with 160kpbs.

How do you know this ? Is there a survey or study that show that people are happy with 160kps ?

LEStudios
Jul 9, 2009, 11:53 PM
Standard broadband from Comcast here in the Memphis metropolitan area tops out at 384kbps upload. Most people have no idea their "10Mbps" isn't both ways. I seriously doubt most people would notice a speed bump on their upload either... unless they're constantly uploading things.

I have my own web server, so I went with local DSL and am enjoying 3Mbps upload.

Comcast here in Houston with the Top plan with a 16Mbps Speed Boost. I guess this just raw speed without the Boost. :confused:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/514147574.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

LEStudios
Jul 9, 2009, 11:55 PM
ZING! Well done. :D

I absolutely loathe Verizon customer service/support. Bunch of blue babies..

AT&T isn't much better either. :D

KapilNarain
Jul 9, 2009, 11:57 PM
I had supposed that Apple took the opportunity to build HSUPA on the upstream side,:o

Diode
Jul 9, 2009, 11:58 PM
Hmm I seem to be hitting the wall for upload.

Just did several tests and it seemed to average around ~350kbps for upload.

Shame :-(

Michael CM1
Jul 10, 2009, 12:23 AM
Does this really affect much? I'm thinking about what things I do with uploads, and I can only think of using Facebook and potentially uploading videos there. It is a shame that the hardware is tapped out at 384k, but I think it's quite a minor thing for most users.

slpdLoad
Jul 10, 2009, 12:28 AM
I've only found one place in the entire UK where 3G even threatens to get that fast, and that's central London. A total irrelevance.

This.

I'd love for this cap to be an issue, because I almost never see upload speeds of over 50 Kbps on my 3G AT&T connection.

DB2k
Jul 10, 2009, 02:06 AM
Im sorry but what a stupid article.. you might as well go one about how Apple has limited the mega pixels in the camera or doesn't ship iphone 3GS with a free milkshake maker.

Its a hardware restriction not a software one and if nowhere supports it (although I know a lot of networks in the UK do, albeit with rather limited coverage) then what's the point? They can't completely future proof these devices without absurd cost to us. And now when the next one comes out the cost of implementing HSUPA will have decreased significantly.

str1f3
Jul 10, 2009, 02:26 AM
Yeah because then when something goes wrong with it, Verizon has outstanding Customer service....oh wait...

And ATT is the standard of customer service? Both suck. At least with Verizon I will have less reason to call customer service. Go look at the telco ratings. Verizon blows out ATT in virtually every category. With this story you can add another one which they blow out ATT.

str1f3
Jul 10, 2009, 02:30 AM
Um, driving your scooter on the autobahn or on a Nascar track won't make it any faster.

This limitation wouldn't have been put on with CDMA. It is only GSM smartphones that have it capped. You can make an argument that it would be capped for battery life but there are a whole lot of other phones that can do what the iPhone can do with similar battery life and not be capped.

bigjohn
Jul 10, 2009, 02:44 AM
The "S" is for "stymied"

Full of Win
Jul 10, 2009, 05:42 AM
The "S" is for "stymied"

I could think of a more appropriate expletives for 'S' than you have suggested.

djellison
Jul 10, 2009, 06:16 AM
This.

I'd love for this cap to be an issue, because I almost never see upload speeds of over 50 Kbps on my 3G AT&T connection.

It's like saying "This car has a limiter at 155mph. It'll only do 103 though"

mattster16
Jul 10, 2009, 07:48 AM
I don't know how accurate it is, but I used the speedtest app on my 3GS. Over 3G I got 1708 kbps download and 329 kbps upload with a ping of 270 ms.

miniConvert
Jul 10, 2009, 07:50 AM
Early 3G was 384kbps DOWN and 64kbps UP.

If we're getting 384kbps up then, IMHO, that's completely acceptable. Better upstream would be nice, obviously, but with current 3G networks you're not going to get much more than 384kbps up in real-world situations anyway.

Especially not on O2 UK :)

Means you're looking at about 43 seconds to upload a 2MB file.

3247
Jul 10, 2009, 08:10 AM
All this means to me is another reason for the iPhone to be on Verizon. I can't believe this is not a Page 1 story.
Exactly! An iPhone on Verizon would get you a whopping 0 bit/s download and 0 bit/s upload.

For Apple, it does not make sense to make hardware to support a dying air interface (CDMA2000) that isn't available worldwide.

aendaman
Jul 10, 2009, 08:14 AM
see below...

aendaman
Jul 10, 2009, 08:15 AM
You might want to look at the wikipedia pages showing where HSUPA is deployed versus where HSDPA is deployed. Most of the target markets for the 3G only have UMTS/HSDPA and even the current CDMA providers in Canada only plan on implementing UMTS/HSDPA as a stepping stone for LTE. LTE is just around the corner so I would expect that the next iPhone will support LTE rather than bothering with HSUPA.

Doesn't T-Mobile use a different 3G band than AT&T? You'll be on Edge anyway.

T-Mobile Germany... 7.2 Mbit HSDPA and 2.0 Mbit HSUPA in metropolitan areas.

jinjo235
Jul 10, 2009, 09:24 AM
I have uploaded a 35-minute clip of fireworks on the 4th of July in less than 4 minutes to MobileMe. I'm just fine with that - in fact the iPhone will do it in the background while I take care of other tasks!

Also, I have tested my iPhone in Boston and I get 3.3MB/second download with a 2.5MB/second upload. I'm not seeing the issue...

darylj
Jul 10, 2009, 09:49 AM
Yeah because then when something goes wrong with it, Verizon has outstanding Customer service....oh wait...

i hate Verizon customer service as well... have for years.

knewsom
Jul 10, 2009, 11:10 AM
...not now, not when I can get a newly subsidized one, not ever.

Too many disappointments - the only real bonus is a faster CPU, which most of the time doesn't matter, and I'm certain I'd be just wishing for a faster one as soon as I got used to it.

Holding out for a REAL upgrade. Get off your asses, apple. Make the next one COUNT if y'ant mah monay!

maokh
Jul 10, 2009, 11:20 AM
The PMB 8878, which is inside the 3GS, is flash upgradable to higher HSDPA rates as well as HSUPA... its also funny to note that the "rapid repair" article is showing the baseband part number of an EDGE-only chip.

im sure once that is available and PTCRB certified, and their large customers are actually ready for an influx of HSUPA handsets, the baseband will be upgraded by apple and we will all be uploading our youtube videos of utter crap with lightning speed.

kdarling
Jul 10, 2009, 11:58 AM
For Apple, it does not make sense to make hardware to support a dying air interface (CDMA2000) that isn't available worldwide.

It makes a lot of sense if we look at actual sales to date.

While 10% of USA customers with availability have bought iPhones (~7 million), only about 0.8% of the rest of the iPhone world has (~13 million).

If 10% of the 130 million North American CDMA users bought an iPhone (13 million phones), the number would meet or exceed total sales so far in the rest of the world.

People keep trying to bring up "billions" of GSM potential sales that just aren't there in real life. Either because of lack of money for a data plan, 3G coverage, or just plain availability.

thestaton
Jul 10, 2009, 12:17 PM
oh, AT&T is continuing to **** it's customers. nothing new here.

djdole
Jul 10, 2009, 12:47 PM
oh, AT&T is continuing to **** it's customers. nothing new here.

Did you even read the article?
It's the chipset chosen for the phone that is the limiter, not the network.
So it was Apple that ****** it's customers (and AT&T, kinda. Since people like you blame AT&T for Apple's implementation snafu).

Bad Paper
Jul 10, 2009, 02:55 PM
Also, I have tested my iPhone in Boston and I get 3.3MB/second download with a 2.5MB/second upload. I'm not seeing the issue.....via 3G or via wi-fi? I think you're talking about a different transfer rate than everyone else here.

winterspan
Jul 10, 2009, 03:21 PM
The problem, as others have pointed out, is that poor upstream bandwidth limits the ACKs going back... thus potentially limiting the downstream speed, especially for TCP/IP....

I pointed this out a long time ago, but it needs repeating:

HSUPA is NOT just about throughput, it has far lower latency than the regular old UMTS 3G. So while the download side is fast, every packet going upstream has a high latency. It's not as bad as EDGE, but is it far worse than the newer HSUPA technology.

This could be important for real-time applications like VOIP, multiplayer gaming over the network, video conferencing, etc ---- not to mention it slows down web browsing as all the TCP packet notifications going upstream have a far higher latency.

maokh
Jul 10, 2009, 11:55 PM
I
This could be important for real-time applications like VOIP, multiplayer gaming over the network, video conferencing, etc ---- not to mention it slows down web browsing as all the TCP packet notifications going upstream have a far higher latency.

These are all applications the carrier has no interest in supporting right now...and maybe some of the traffic/chat-heavy applications once LTE is available.

doodads
Jul 11, 2009, 07:25 AM
Yeah so that is not D.C. or Metro D.C... you are speaking of Northern Virginia.

Duh.....Northern Virginia is part of Metro D.C.

stylinexpat
Jul 12, 2009, 03:57 AM
..via 3G or via wi-fi? I think you're talking about a different transfer rate than everyone else here.


Most likely via wifi lol...