So when you connect to LTE on the iPhone 5 what really determines the speed?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by tymaster50, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    It can't be the reception since I've gotten 5 bars if I go up the street and get 22mbps, but a few miles away in another town I can get 43mbps. So what determines the speeds you'll get besides congestion?
     
  2. macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #2
    Level of congestion and how close to the mast you are.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

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    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    most people in my town have an iPhone 4 or 4S so there would be little Verizon LTE congestion.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    #4
    5 bars is helpful but there are many other factors including the carriers available LTE bandwidth on the closest tower. They could be congested or they might just choose to keep your speed throttled to what they want!
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    where can I find the location of the nearest tower? I feel like there is one right up the street but then I only get 2-3 bars of LTE, even though it's like a minute drive away.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    #6
    Carriers generally do not advertise where they have towers. Remember that "the tower just a minute away" may not be YOUR carrier's tower:(

    2-3 bars of LTE is more than enough to get all the speed that the congestion or carrier would allow you. I get blazing fast LTE speeds on my iPhone 5 with only 1-2 bars of LTE. The carriers do not guarantee any speeds, they only say they are faster than 3G, etc.
     
  7. Quu
    macrumors 68000

    Quu

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #7
    I bet there is 50 other iPhone 5 owners in your town saying the exact same thing.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Tyler23

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    There are other Verizon phones (android) that have LTE, it's not just iPhones..
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #9
    Sure it can. There are, however, other factors as well -- not just signal strength.
     
  10. paulrbeers, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2012

    macrumors 68040

    Joined:
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    #10
    The iphone was ine of the last major phones to get LTE. also As previously stated million factors come into play on the actual speed. I can have 5 bars and get 3mbps near my office during the day, but if I go in late to fix something I can get 20+. Congestion. On the other hand in the burbs where I live I get 3 bars but regurly 10mbps.
     
  11. tymaster50, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

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    Oct 3, 2012
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    New Jersey
    #11
    Out of all the people in my town about 50% have an iPhone so at max theres only a few people on Verizon AND using LTE. there are a few people with lte Verizon smartphones and they usually leave it off. In my part of town there aren't very many lte capable devices. So my statement is correct. There is little congestion on the tower.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #12
    LOL what, do you run a census in your town to determine how many have iPhones, are on Verizon, and have LTE switched on?!?!? :rolleyes:
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

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    #13
    It's not hard dude, if the tower was congested I wouldn't be getting consistent speeds, so it's not out there to theorize that there aren't many people on the tower. Also with the fact that only maybe 2 out of every 20 actually use LTE and that I live on the south side of a town that is 20 miles in area that the tower closest to me is not congested.
     
  14. scaredpoet, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    macrumors 603

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #14
    A whole bunch of things can affect speed:

    1. Reception (and that's often more than just bars)
    2. Signal to noise ratios
    3. Distance from the tower
    4. Whether you're moving or stationary
    5. How many other devices are on the network and at what levels they are actively using the network for data.
    6. Available backhaul: how fast the data connection is from the tower to the central office and outside world.
    7. Your phone's performance. The antenna and radio can affect things, and it's not unheard of that certain mobile chipsets don't play as nicely with certain base station vendors. An Ericsson-equipped cell site might interact differently with your phone than, say, an Alcatel-Lucent equipped site, a Nokia Siemens cell site, or a Samsung or Huawei site. Even a phone with a heavily loaded CPU can have adverse throughput as a side effect.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #15
    Also forgetting one thing, with LTE, you are not necessarily using the closest tower yet.

    You can have a scenario where your calls would be routed to a tower that is a mile or two away. Whereas, the LTE connection on the same handset could be traveling to a tower than is 4 to 8 miles away. Therefore, there are significantly more people using this one tower within the 8 mile radius (for example), than your closest tower.
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    BFizzzle

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    Location:
    Austin TX
    #16
    Classic tymaster50



    how small is the town? 100 people?
     
  17. macrumors regular

    evilrt

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    #17
    Wouldn't most of the people in town be using Wi-Fi instead of LTE? People that would be using LTE would be driving through.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #18
    Probably, see the people here think everyone is using LTE all the time when in my town there is wi-fi at most places. Maybe password locked but it's still wi-fi. With the storm a few parts of town have no power still or their wifi doesn't work so they use their phones network but I'm sure no one is like downloading movies and stuff. Maybe the most intensive data use is streaming netflix or pandora.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    sviato

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    #19
    Um aren't the bars just for voice/texting seeing as there isn't voice over LTE yet? So the bars would not be a good indication of LTE signal strength.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    #20
    Google
    is
    your
    friend.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    evilrt

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    #21
    actually, no. when in a Verizon LTE zone the bars represent the LTE signal strength. when in 3G the bars represent CDMA (voice/text).
     
  22. macrumors 68020

    sviato

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    Location:
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    #22
    so then what shows the calling signal strength?
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    yeah

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #23
    How many cell towers are in your area
    Spectrum amount in your city
    Congestion
    Cell tower performance
    Natural weather events (sunny, windy, rainy, etc....)
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    #24
    Good Question. Simple answer:
    your speed is determined by

    1,How far you are from the actual cell Tower
    2,How many people and how much Data are accessing the tower at the same time you are accessing the tower.
    3,Is your path to the Cell Tower obstructed by Glass windows, a case on your phone, Walls, Steel Beams etc.
    4, Electrical wires, transformers in the range of the Cell Tower you're accessing.
     

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