3G question

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by JPS, May 16, 2008.

  1. JPS macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2007
    This may sound ridiculous to some here, but I'm wondering...does 3G simply increase the speed of data downloads on the iPhone, or does it also positively affect phone calls? I ask only because I'm moving to an area with minimal standard ATT cell coverage, but as the map indicates 3G coverage, the new iPhone, when it comes out, may solve all my issues.
  2. MattyK macrumors 6502a


    3G does indeed increase internet download speeds.
    if you move into a area with high 3G coverage then you'll be set.
  3. JPS thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2007
    But does it increase the ability to get a cellphone signal? My question (perhaps poorly-phrased) was really about the phone itself, especially as I'm moving to an area with poor standard AT&T coverage.
  4. MacsAttack macrumors 6502a

    Jul 2, 2006

    1. Potentially improves the data speed - YAMMV depending on a number of factors.

    2. Allow the phone to work while browsing (you can't receive calls while using data on the existing iPhone - 3G introduces bi-directional data capabilities)

    3. Degrades down to Edge when outside a 3G area.
  5. bacaramac macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    There was another thread on this. I think AT&T will keep voice on GSM and Data on 3G. That is how you can use data while your talking on the phone when you have 3G coverage.
  6. JPS thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2007
    So 3G won't improve the signal at all, then.
  7. MattyK macrumors 6502a


    Signal as in Reception?
    no i don't think it will, 3G is just a faster internet source and allows you to do more.
  8. JPS thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2007
  9. zephead macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2006
    in your pants
    A phone operating on 3G doesn't have the speaker buzz that happens when you're near speakers and your phone gets a text/call. GSM does that because it interacts with the towers on a connect/disconnect basis, while WCDMA is a continuous stream.
  10. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2008
    As for signal boosting, I think Griffin's ClearBoost has helped some people.
  11. MattyK macrumors 6502a


    it's quite alright
  12. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Sorry, this is simply not true. A 3G WCDMA signal is totally different from a 2G GSM signal. They are no where even close to the same, and you can only use one at a time. If you are on 3G, then the 3G signal is used for both Voice and Data. 2G GSM signals will not be used at all if on 3G.

    As for your question - will 3G improve your reception? Well, it all depends on your location, signal strength, and how the cell towers are built out. Technically speaking, 3G WCDMA signals have some advantage signal wise over older GSM (less multipath errors, better use of spectrum, etc), especially if its running on a full rate codec. However, if you get very poor to no signal in your house under GSM, then the chances of it being much better under 3G are only marginally better. It also depends on the frequencies being used in your area. GSM under AT&T uses both 850mhz and 1900mhz, depending on the area. 850mhz is considered to have better building penetration over higher frequency signals such as 1900mhz PCS.
    Now, MOST of AT&T's 3G runs over 1900mhz, with a select few cities in the US running on 850mhz. If the towers near your house run on 850mhz GSM and 1900mhz 3G, then chances are you may even get WORSE performance under 3G.

    Realistically speaking, it comes down to a ton of factors. The best thing you can do is either ask a friend with a 3G AT&T phone to see how reception is by your place, or to pick up a cheap 3G Gophone and see how performance is.
  13. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Jan 4, 2008
    the island
    Wow, I've never heard of there being 3G coverage but not EDGE.

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