Will iPhone 5 improve 3G speeds?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gladoscc, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #1
    I use my phone's unlimited 3G as my internet. I'm in Australia, and I can't find any true unlimited LTE plans (I use about 20 gigs a month), and the speed over 3G is a bit slow. Will a iPhone 5 make 3G faster over my 4?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    depends on if your carrier supports speeds greater than 7.2mbps on its hspa network. If yes, then yes the iphone 5 will give you access to the faster speeds
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #3
    probably not. 55 miles per hour is 55 miles per hour whether your driving in a minivan or an F1 car. network speeds are mostly going to depend on your carriers network and its physical limitations, not the phones hardware. at least, not in the case of the most recent iphones. the 4 should be just as fast as the 5's 3G speeds.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    #4
    Incorrect to an extent. I can tell you for certain that my 4 to 4S to 5 all see different speeds on ATT due to the antenna range capabilities.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #5
    Who are you with? And where did you find unlimited 3G? I'm in Australia too.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #6
    How different? Except in marginal cases I wouldn't expcect a drastic improvement simply due to better signal.

    Best way for the OP to answer is to get the 5 and try it out before the return window closes. I wouldn't expect drastic improvements, if any.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    #7
    Each iphone release they change the antenna to work on different ranges.
    My 4 usually sees like 1.5-2mb. my 4s usually sees like 3-5mb and my 5 was seeing 7-12mb speeds all in the same spot side by side.

    Again this is on ATT. not sure if the other providers run HSPA+ in different ranges like ATT does
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    Jordan921

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area
  9. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    #9
    Same goes with wifi, sort of. My previous iphone 4 and razr maxx did not support 5 Ghz band, so my fastest speeds on my home wifi were around 25 Mbs. My iPhone 5 with exact same router has DL speeds near 60 Mbs which is the max speed from my provider.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    kaibex

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    East Sussex, UK
    #10
    I have definitely seen an increase. Max speed I got on my 4S was 6Mbps, with my 5 I have hit 19.86Mbps on 3G network :)
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #11
    Yes, the iPhone 5 is definitely faster than an iPhone 4 on 3G networks. First of all: it just supports higher 3G supports. The second thing is the CPU: as you probably know the iPhone 5 has a highly superior CPU compared to the iPhone 4 (and iPhone 4S) and this also helps with loading pages.

    As long as your carrier supports these high dataspeeds, than you'll see an increase in speed.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #12
    I hit 14MBit on 3G the other day. On my Galaxy S3 it was around 4Mbit at most and the iPhone topped out at 3Mbit.

    Oddly, the speed increased when I disabled LTE in the options. It's like if you cannot get it, it does limit you.
     
  13. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #13
    No. How can a device make your 3G network faster?
    Unless your network support HSPA+ 3G access then your iphone 5 will pull faster data than your old iphone 4.
    Call your carrier to find out if they have updated their 3G network in your local area to hpsa+. They should be able to tell you.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #14
    All 3 of our carriers and their resellers in Australia support HSPA+ 21, with two of these carriers (Telstra and Vodafone) supporting DC-HSPA+ (HSPA+ 42). If you are with one of these two and in an area with DC-HSPA+, then you will see a dramatic increase in speed. If you aren't in an area with DC-HSPA+, or are with Optus, then you will still see a speed increase, just not as great.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    #15
    If you mean loading webpages, then yes. The iPhone 5 loads web pages twice as fast as the iPhone 4S! I think it should be loading web pages then ~4 times faster than the iPhone 4. I have definitely noticed a difference since i got rid of my iPhone 4S and got the 5.
     

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  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    #16
    Actually, it depends on the network. For some networks, there has been a huge increase:

    Network: Three UK
    iPhone 4S: Consistently around 6-7mbps (HSPA+)
    iPhone 5: Consistently 14-18mbps (DC-HSPA+)

    Same time, same location.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #17
    Better designed antennas and other RF components can make a noticeable difference, such as by doing a better job of working around interference or making the most out of a weak signal.
     
  18. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #18
    Yes that will make your reception better but obviously it cannot Improve your network. :)
    If the carrier sucks and its slow then you can put all the high end antennas you want on a new cellphone. :D
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    #19
    I have seen a huge increase in speed on Swisscom network, double if not more.

    With my 4S I would get constant 7, max 10-11 Mbit/s with HSPA.
    With my 5 I can get up to 21 Mbit/s with DC-HSPA. That's pretty amazing.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    #20
    Exactly my feelings too!

    For those of us who don't have widespread LTE, DC-HSPA+ capability is a really nice upgrade.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    England
    #21
    Well considering the iPhone 5 supports dual carrier hspa and the 4 only supports 7.2mb/s HSPDA.

    If the network supports it, the iPhone 5 will be much faster.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    #22
    My T-Mobile UK speeds have gone from around 3.4mb down and 0.6mb up to 12mb down in urban areas so it has improved drastically for me.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #23
    You're correct that a handset can't overcome network deficiencies such as undersized backhaul. But a handset can enable the network to provide better coverage and capacity.

    For example, when the handset has a great front end, the network doesn't have to use as much power to maintain a connection. Lower power means less interference, which saps capacity. In the case of CDMA-based networks, when a cell site uses a lot of power, its coverage area shrinks, a phenomenon known as cell breathing. So if that cell site is serving a lot of devices with good front ends, then coverage holes are less likely.

    These are examples of why operators have months-long certification tests before allowing a new model of phone, tablet, modem, etc. onto their network. A gold-plated network can't overcome an installed base of crappy devices.
     

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