3G speed in Chicago Illinois vs other US cities?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by ninethirty, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. ninethirty macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #1
    Hi all..

    I'm taking my phone in to the Apple store in Chicago tonight because my 3G speed is painfully slow. I'm not sure if I perhaps have a phone with a faulty 3G radio, or if the speeds in Chicago are that bad. On average I get about 180kbps which I'm told is worse than EDGE speeds even.

    Anyone in Chicago able to give me a reading on what kind of speed they're getting?

    For the record, the speed I get is on full bars 3G... so I really am convinced something is wrong.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #2
    Yes, that's slow.

    Testing around Washington DC, my averages are:

    EDGE (weak): 75 -150
    EDGE (strong): 120-200

    3G (weak): 600-800
    3G (strong): 1000 - 1200

    And for comparison, my wi-fi at home ranges between 3,000 and 6,000.
     
  3. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #3
    Wow... mine is really screwed then! I've never seen a speed over about 350kbps! I'm on the phone with AT&T now, although I'm sure they'll not recognize speeds recorded on any of the sites I'm checking. Do you know if there's a way for AT&T to measure my speed to see if something is wrong or not?

     
  4. crowdedstr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4
    The speeds here are awful... it's not just you.

    My feeling is that it's a combined problem... part ATT (low signal strength), part iPhone (dropped calls, etc.)

    I have an appt at the Loser Bar at the Michigan Avenue store today, so I'll report back to let you know how it goes.
     
  5. shevi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #5
    I asked about my slow speeds at the Genius Bar in Columbia, MD since the Baltimore area (including at my house, where I get at most 1 3G bar standing outside) is supposed to be covered in 3G. I was told, "AT&T is just beginning to add more 3G towers; there are only like 3 for the entire city. But they'll probably add more soon." I am not sure why I have to pay so much for service that I don't get. (And since none of my apps are currently working, I'm not sure why I spent so much for the iPhone.... :mad:)
     
  6. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #6
    Ha I do as well actually (6pm). I'll also report back.

    For the record, I show good signal strength almost always (full bars, or less one) but the speeds are horrible. Voice calls don't appear any better than the original iPhone, however when I was in Canada last week and piggybacking on Rogers I noticed HUGE improvement in the quality of voice calls. It was crystal clear. Makes me think more and more that it's just crap quality coverage here in Chicago :(

     
  7. iphoneisGesus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #7
    No Bars But Good Speed

    Well i called and asked about my speed about 3 days after release date and att said it was apple and apple said it was att soo i just turn off 3g and everything is great but i get slow speeds......To day i turned on my g3 and the speeds are 4x better then thay where. still only 2 bars but i was geting about 200-250 kbps and no bars. and i tryed it to day and it was good. Over 1000 here is a screen shot i took i am in worth, Il southside of chicago

    p.s. i found a 3G Mobile Router (DIR-450) with a usb and i called d-link and thay say it works with the 3g i phone. I hope soo ill let you know if it does iam dropin my dsl. :apple:
     

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  8. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #8
    Damn I would kill for that kinda speed! No luck here though... I called AT&T today and they don't know whats up. Guess I'm heading to the Apple store tonight, gonna tell em about all the problems I've been having and we'll see what happens I guess..

     
  9. iphoneisGesus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #9
    been there done that

    thay will tell you thay are hearin about it alot and there's nothing thay can do because its att.
     
  10. iphoneisGesus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #10
    ooo ya try this

    gooo to the store and try the speed test on there demo phones and if its way diffrent. Then its your phone if its close then its att good luck
     
  11. manchoi44 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #11
    I work in the Loop and have the same issues (slow speeds with 3G). I also have GPS issues as well. However, just outside of the Loop, I find that I get great speeds and full 3G service. Maybe it's just a case of 3G towers being overloaded in the Loop area?
     
  12. crowdedstr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #12
    Well, just got back to the office from the Apple Store... my appointment was at 12:20pm... I got there five minutes early and wasn't even helped until about 1pm, so it wasn't a good start.

    So one of the guys finally calls me up there, I explain my problem, and there is a kid sitting next to me (no idea what he was in there for -- he wasn't an employee) who interrupted, and recommended turning off the 3G to "fix" the problem. I felt like I was reading MacRumors forum... ;)

    Needless to say, he was ignored and the Apple employee plugged my phone into his PC. They ran that analysis software, and it said that I've been dropping 29% of my calls. Wow! So the "genius" first tried to re-seat my SIM card and pretty much expected me to go on my merry way. I suggested that we swap the phone out cause I was skeptical that this was going to actually work, and plus, I only have about a week left on my ATT trial before I'm completely locked into my contract (I switched from T-Mobile).

    "Uhhh, sorry, but our system is down, and there's no physical way I can give you another iPhone right now".

    So basically the whole experience was yet another run-around where nothing really got accomplished, and I'm sure I'll be back there wasting another lunch break before the week is over. He suggested an intermediary step in going to an ATT store to get a brand new SIM if the re-seating didn't work before coming back to get a replacement phone. I expressed my disappointment in having to run back and forth wasting so much time just trying to get a phone to work the way it's supposed to, and he appeared to sympathize, but I suppose that's what he's paid to do.

    So, an hour and a half wasted, nothing resolved. Looking forward to another evening of dropped calls at home before I go try ATT or Apple Store again. Hope you guys have better luck.
     
  13. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #13
    Ok, well this makes things even weirder, but I tried my co-workers iPhone 3G with testmyiphone.com and he got 1000kbps vs my 50-250 on different tests. So I'm not sure what to tell the guy at the Apple store, because to me that confirms the problem is my phone... I want a new one. I'll report back with what happened although I hardly ever speak on my phone so I doubt he'll be able to see a large call dropped #.

     
  14. bd24627 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #14
    I find that I'm having significant problems getting e-maild indoors -- both in River North and Wicker Park. And quite a few dropped calls in the two days I've had the phone. Worried that I made the wrong choice switching from Verizon. 3G is ok in the loop when I'm not in a building.
     
  15. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #15
    This has been a common thing with the iPhone 3G. Your area may be covered, but there may be only 3 towers for thousands of subscribers. They are upgrading other towers (and that is what the extra charges are for), so that they can reduce the number of subscribers per tower so that the speed will improve.

    TEG
     
  16. manchoi44 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #16
    2.0.1 vs. 2.0?

    Which firmware version are you using? I've noticed a sizeable drop in 3G speeds in the loop after I upgraded to 2.0.1
     
  17. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #17
    2.01, and yeah I also noticed a huge drop in 3G speeds. Infact, I'm sub-edge speeds now. That and my phone would rather be connected to the EDGE instead of 3G most of the time.

    Also in the loop... west loop to be specific.

     
  18. DamnDJ macrumors regular

    DamnDJ

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #18
    Just did this test in Littleton, CO, in my office, inside a building. I know this is a Chicago thread, but wanted to give a comparison of a different city.


    [​IMG]
     
  19. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #19
    Damn! That's insane... I've never even come close to that kind of speed. You would think that in a city like Chicago that this wouldn't be an issue. You and I own completely different phones, and have completely different experiences!

     
  20. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #20
    Just did this test. I'm on the 20th floor, Michigan Ave, right next to a window facing the sky... terrible.



     

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  21. bd24627 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #21

    Right there with you on Wacker. Can't get 3g at all and Edge is .08kbps.
     
  22. manchoi44 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #22
    No 3G speeds where I'm at either (Boeing building).

    Slower than EDGE at 43kbps
     
  23. rkocher13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #23
    153.8 in the River Center (just next to Boeing Building).

    I have had more problems with dropped and failed calls in the past 2 days than ever.

    If you switch off 3G, problem isn't near as bad. Problem is once you get used to 3G, EDGE is just painful.
     
  24. ninethirty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #24
    Ok... so I saw apple. Here's what happened. They gave me a new phone based solely on the crashing I had been experiencing. They didn't know what to say about my speeds other than 'yes, those are very low'. With the phone the first speed test I did was 350kbps (up from before) but still dissapointing. While walking home down wacker, I finally got 1035kbps, which was awesome. Now that I'm back home (and oddly enough, I live in Randolph place apartments, right next to the Boeing building also) I have 250kbps... so I guess it was a combination of the phone and the network. Clearly in certain areas this phone is capable of higher speeds, but also, it looks as though AT&T just flat out sucks :(
     
  25. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #25
    I wouldn't necessarily say that "at&t flat out sucks", as I said before, and others have also said, it is likely that not all the towers in your area are 3G capable, so you are sharing your connection with more people than normal, especially if you are near the Boeing Building, or any corporate building. As they increase the percentage of their towers that are 3G the speeds should improve, as fewer people will be trying to use the 3G on each tower, freeing up bandwidth.

    TEG
     

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