3G vs. 4G...does anyone see a difference

262Runnr

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 21, 2008
212
9
NC
I've been with AT&T for the past 4 years and recently noticed a 4G icon replacing the 3G but don't see any difference in download speed...what's with all the hype about 4G? ...just not seeing it
 

applefanDrew

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2010
1,437
4
I've been with AT&T for the past 4 years and recently noticed a 4G icon replacing the 3G but don't see any difference in download speed...what's with all the hype about 4G? ...just not seeing it
It's not really 4G. AT&T says it is and apple changed the indicator.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,297
7,854
Here(-ish)
I've been with AT&T for the past 4 years and recently noticed a 4G icon replacing the 3G but don't see any difference in download speed...what's with all the hype about 4G? ...just not seeing it
Pseudo "4g" & not LTE; it's no wonder you don't notice much of a change. AT&T is so awesome. :cool:
 

profets

macrumors 601
Mar 18, 2009
4,471
4,211
I get pretty good 3G/hspa speeds on my iPhone at home (usually 8 to 10 Mbps down and 3-4 Mbps up). Travelled in the US recently and used AT&T, couldn't believe it showed 4G for the indicator and speeds less than half of what I'm used to.

I feel for you guys who have to deal with AT&T.
 

applefanDrew

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2010
1,437
4
I get pretty good 3G/hspa speeds on my iPhone at home (usually 8 to 10 Mbps down and 3-4 Mbps up). Travelled in the US recently and used AT&T, couldn't believe it showed 4G for the indicator and speeds less than half of what I'm used to.

I feel for you guys who have to deal with AT&T.

That'll be solved with iPhone LTE in a few weeks. Verizon, here I come. :D
 

OceanView

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2005
1,094
39
The only way you're gonna see a real difference is when you get a Phone with 4G/LTE.
I bought a Samsung Note a few weeks ago and I am seeing 10-15MB/s +
I've never seen that kind of speed on my iPhone 4S ever.
 

Agent-P

macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
2,502
21
The Tri-State Area
I can't speak from an AT&T perspective, but to answer the question in general I can answer from the perspective of a T-Mobile customer. First, to clarify, no network has real 4G. That's just a marketing name. In the case of T-Mobile, what they call 4G is actually their HSPA+ network (4G sounds much nicer). Personally I noticed a difference going from a T-Mobile 3G phone to a 4G phone. The speeds are much better. I would assume AT&T is supposed to be doing the same pattern with their network in terms of 3G/4G (if we ignore LTE for the moment), however anecdotally I've heard from AT&T customers that it isn't actually any faster in terms of speed.

LTE on the other hand is actually faster, and I look forward to seeing it become the new standard.
 

infinity12402

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2012
84
0
NY
i have a verizon 4g phone, its def way faster than 3g. but, like others have said, the current iphones dont actually have 4g capability, so its only slightly faster than 3g.
 

nyc999

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2011
121
13
I've been with AT&T for the past 4 years and recently noticed a 4G icon replacing the 3G but don't see any difference in download speed...what's with all the hype about 4G? ...just not seeing it
i have a Verizon 4g lte droid. it is suuuuper fast. routinely hit 20+mbps download.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,404
At the iPhone hacks section.
I've been with AT&T for the past 4 years and recently noticed a 4G icon replacing the 3G but don't see any difference in download speed...what's with all the hype about 4G? ...just not seeing it
The only thing that changed was the indicator on the top left.
You're still getting the same speed as before.
Its a nonsense marketing trick.

The only way you're gonna see a real difference is when you get a Phone with 4G/LTE.
I bought a Samsung Note a few weeks ago and I am seeing 10-15MB/s +
I've never seen that kind of speed on my iPhone 4S ever.
And you never will.
The 4S HSPA+ GSM modem can reach max speeds of 14.4mbps. The CDMA modem forget it.
But at some places you can get 7-8mbps down with a 4S on AT&T.
 

cmckenica

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2009
13
3
New York
Well, AT&T's HSPA+ network does have its advantages in certain areas. This was my fastest speed I have ever gotten on my iPhone:
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,894
842
I can't speak from an AT&T perspective, but to answer the question in general I can answer from the perspective of a T-Mobile customer. First, to clarify, no network has real 4G. That's just a marketing name. In the case of T-Mobile, what they call 4G is actually their HSPA+ network (4G sounds much nicer). Personally I noticed a difference going from a T-Mobile 3G phone to a 4G phone. The speeds are much better. I would assume AT&T is supposed to be doing the same pattern with their network in terms of 3G/4G (if we ignore LTE for the moment), however anecdotally I've heard from AT&T customers that it isn't actually any faster in terms of speed.

LTE on the other hand is actually faster, and I look forward to seeing it become the new standard.
Verizon uses 4G LTE Advanced which is true 4G though, isn't it?
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
32
Just AT&T changing it to advertise a better network which really isn't different from before.

Before 3G stood for HSPA or HSPA+. Now "4G" logo stands for HSPA or HSPA+.

They should've kept it
4G = HSPA+
3G = HSPA
2G = EDGE
?? = GSM
 

ixodes

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2012
4,430
2
Pacific Coast, USA
My SGS III is much faster than my iPhone 4S both on AT&T.

That's to be expected since I'm in a very strong HSPA+ area & the Galaxy is setup for it. Once the iPhone is then it will run at similar speeds.

My wife's going to switch from Verizon to AT&T since it's so much faster in our area.
 

dw3bb10

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2008
278
3
Its insane how MISINFORMED people are.

In regards to At&T, the iPhone 4 uses HSPA. The iPhone 4s uses HSPA/HSPA+. If you're in an area with HSPA+ coverage, you will see significant data speeds compared to their traditional 3G service. THAT is why some people may see a "4G" icon on their 4s, because they're in an HSPA+ area. Keep in mind, data speeds are all relative to location, coverage, traffic, etc.

Verizon currently uses LTE for 4G. AT&T operates a LTE network as well, and totes their HSPA+ network as "4G" in addition to that (Its all marketing). TECHNICALLY, the current LTE networks arent "true" 4G, due in part because data speeds are supposed to be in the 100+ mbps range, among other things. Thats not needed for phones any how. NO carrier operates an LTE Advanced network. I imagine Verizon or Sprint to be first with that. But probably Verizon, since their LTE roadmap is so far along. Sprint's Network Vision towers that they're building are LTE Advanced "Ready".

LTE is amazing. And in most cases, its MUCH faster than MOST people's home internet connections. Im talking about pulling 30-40mbps with a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, its crazy. Just sucks that the carriers tier data. But hey, part of the blame for that is people who root/jailbreak their phones and tether!
 

lannisters4life

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2012
298
0
Sydney
Its insane how MISINFORMED people are.

In regards to At&T, the iPhone 4 uses HSPA. The iPhone 4s uses HSPA/HSPA+. If you're in an area with HSPA+ coverage, you will see significant data speeds compared to their traditional 3G service. THAT is why some people may see a "4G" icon on their 4s, because they're in an HSPA+ area. Keep in mind, data speeds are all relative to location, coverage, traffic, etc.

Verizon currently uses LTE for 4G. AT&T operates a LTE network as well, and totes their HSPA+ network as "4G" in addition to that (Its all marketing). TECHNICALLY, the current LTE networks arent "true" 4G, due in part because data speeds are supposed to be in the 100+ mbps range, among other things. Thats not needed for phones any how. NO carrier operates an LTE Advanced network. I imagine Verizon or Sprint to be first with that. But probably Verizon, since their LTE roadmap is so far along. Sprint's Network Vision towers that they're building are LTE Advanced "Ready".

LTE is amazing. And in most cases, its MUCH faster than MOST people's home internet connections. Im talking about pulling 30-40mbps with a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, its crazy. Just sucks that the carriers tier data. But hey, part of the blame for that is people who root/jailbreak their phones and tether!
I see
 

applefanDrew

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2010
1,437
4
Just AT&T changing it to advertise a better network which really isn't different from before.

Before 3G stood for HSPA or HSPA+. Now "4G" logo stands for HSPA or HSPA+.

They should've kept it
4G = HSPA+
3G = HSPA
2G = EDGE
?? = GSM
Yea I think Apple is using this as a model for what the symbols mean.

LTE = LTE
4G = HSPA+
3G = HSPA
2G = E
GPRS/1X = (the little circle)
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,542
171
Connecticut
Yea I think Apple is using this as a model for what the symbols mean.

LTE = LTE
4G = HSPA+
3G = HSPA
2G = E
GPRS/1X = (the little circle)
No. EDGE shows up at E, and GPRS shows up as G, on the off occasion that you see it (malfunctioning network or roaming).