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BearerOBadNews

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 28, 2011
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Ran across this story this morning. http://thesmartphonechamp.com/att-secretly-throttling-their-smartphone-customers-video/

Now I understand why my phone seems like it's so slow when I'm on a call. I've been with AT&T since for a while and it wasn't always like this. lol I started to think it was just my imagination but now I know it isn't. Seeing that pisses me off. :mad::mad: The only reason I'm still with AT&T now is because Sprint and Verizon's 3g is too slow all the time.
 

pooleman

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Jan 11, 2012
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I remember AT&T making a big deal about how you could be on a call and still surf the web, check email, send a picture via MMS etc and Verizon could not do that. I guess we wont see those comercials anymore.
 
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BearerOBadNews

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 28, 2011
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AT&T was big on the whole talk and surf thing, and now they are throttling us. In the past I thought maybe it was just my imagination but now I see it's not just me. I remember I used to be able to send out a picture message easily even if I was on the phone. Now if I send a picture message, it takes forever to go out if I'm on the phone. I wish the iPhone was on TMobile, I'd switch in a heartbeat.

----------

I remember AT&T making a big deal about how you could be on a call and still surf the web, check email, send a picture via MMS etc and Verizon could not do that. I guess we wont see those comercials anymore.

Knowing AT&T they'd be cocky enough to still air the commercials knowing full well they're screwing everyone. lol or maybe they'll come out with a new data plan that gets you better in-call speeds :p
 
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El3ctronics

macrumors 65816
Mar 30, 2011
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Just tried this on my 4S and my in-call speed was 0.5Mbps FASTER than my off-call speed. I'd say this is a non-story.
 
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stephen1108

macrumors 65816
Sep 30, 2007
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

No this DEF has some substance behind it. I've noticed this for a while now, when I'm on a call, my data is practically unusable. iMessage is slow and sending any sort of file or web browsing is near impossible and incredibly tedious.

I never brought it up because it didn't bother me that much, and it never crossed my mind that it could be something new occurring. Now that it's happening to others, and AT&T is getting away with it, it's starting to bother me a bit.
 
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BearerOBadNews

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 28, 2011
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I don't think I'd worry about in-call throttling until some mainstream sites pick up the story and validate it.

They aren't mainstream, but they're the same site that broke the Google Wallet story (the security hole that effected all users not the root one) so they have credibility with me. After that, I started visiting the site daily. I have to admit even though they're small, they are pretty decent. Sometimes they have news before the larger sites get it. The site owner is a member here too. Really though, if you're an AT&T customer, it's pretty easy to check for yourself. In call data is almost useless.
 
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pooleman

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photo 1.PNG photo 2.PNG photo 3.PNG photo 4.PNG


1. In Photo 1 you can see that I performed 2 speed tests.
2. In Photo 2 you can see me performiong a speed test while on a call.
3. In Photo 3 you can see that the app doesn't even record the results of a speed test if conducted during a phone call. But you can see that I am still on the same call based on the time stamp in the top of the picture and the length of the call.
4. In Photo 4 you can see another speed test that I conducted after the phone call. The app did record this test.

The results show that my download speeds were virtually the same, however, my upload speed was dropped by over 99%, form about 1.1Mbps to 0.01Mbps. Ping also more then trippled during a call.

Bear in mind that I am currently being throtled right now so the results may be skewed. My throttling is lifted tomorrow so I will conduct the experiment again.

This website is going to get me fired. I spend way too much time here.;)
 
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BearerOBadNews

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Original poster
Nov 28, 2011
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

No this DEF has some substance behind it. I've noticed this for a while now, when I'm on a call, my data is practically unusable. iMessage is slow and sending any sort of file or web browsing is near impossible and incredibly tedious.

I never brought it up because it didn't bother me that much, and it never crossed my mind that it could be something new occurring. Now that it's happening to others, and AT&T is getting away with it, it's starting to bother me a bit.

I agree there's something to this. I didn't bring it up in the past because I thought maybe it was just in my head or something. Or maybe I just thought my speed had changed. It's nice to know it's not just me, but it's not nice to know AT&T is throttling me for no reason.
 
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mysterioustko

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2011
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Please post data like pooleman. Clearly this is not affecting all users.

B

Clearly it isn't? I haven't seen anything that suggests otherwise. If you're referring to pooleman's screenshots, his download speed is already managed. So it wouldn't change. AT&T drops your download speed to around 1Mbps during calls so if he's already below that then that's where he will stay. As for upload, they drop it down to the 24k area, which you also see in his shots. I have literally tested this across hundreds of devices in different areas over a span of months. I asked for some people's input here in the forums back in December (though only one person did), though I did get input from other places. This has been tested and tested and tested some more. What we put in the video is just a summary of the what we did, but what we did lasted over a period of time over a large number of devices with a large number of different sim cards.
 
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El3ctronics

macrumors 65816
Mar 30, 2011
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Some download screen shots. First is on a call. Second is not on a call. As you can see my speeds in NYC always suck midday but definitely not being throttled.
 

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mysterioustko

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May 7, 2011
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Some download screen shots. First is on a call. Second is not on a call. As you can see my speeds in NYC always suck midday but definitely not being throttled.

What you're not understanding is that you're already in that range, so there's nothing for the network to change. They couldn't throttle you because your speed is already in the area they would have changed it to. The speeds you're knocked down to when they throttle you is around the 1mbs area. It can range from around 800k to 1.1, sometimes slightly higher and sometimes slightly lower. So what you're seeing there doesn't change anything, because you're already there. Had you let the upload finish, I guarantee you would have seen a throttled upload, because no matter how bad your signal is, nobody's upload is 24k off call. But when you run it on call, it will be somewhere in that area.
 
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El3ctronics

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Mar 30, 2011
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Here's two more screen shots after the tests completed.
 

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mysterioustko

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May 7, 2011
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Here's two more screen shots after the tests completed.

So basically you are already in a very bad area anyway. No offense, but you couldn't draw anything from your speedtests because your speeds are already very poor. You have to at least be at a speed high enough for there to be an actual difference. If your connection is already bad then there's nothing to see. It just looks like your area has poor connections and they are fluctuating. You'd at least need to be able to establish a quality connection first before trying to draw any sort of conclusion.
 
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El3ctronics

macrumors 65816
Mar 30, 2011
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NYC
So basically you are already in a very bad area anyway. No offense, but you couldn't draw anything from your speedtests because your speeds are already very poor. You have to at least be at a speed high enough for there to be an actual difference. If your connection is already bad then there's nothing to see. It just looks like your area has poor connections and they are fluctuating. You'd at least need to be able to establish a quality connection first before trying to draw any sort of conclusion.

Totally agree...mid day in NYC I'm happy just to be able to connect.
 
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LSUtigers03

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Apr 9, 2008
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I did two tests while making a call and two without a call.
 

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BearerOBadNews

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Nov 28, 2011
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Throttled on call
 

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El3ctronics

macrumors 65816
Mar 30, 2011
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Is there any way to know if this is deliberate on AT&T's part or if it's just a normal effect of HSPA technology while on a call?

EDIT: I just don't see the benefit to AT&T for them to throttle data while users are on a call. It's not like people on calls are utilizing such a great amount of data that there would be a need for this.
 
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balamw

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Aug 16, 2005
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Thanks to those who have brought screenshots and data in to the thread itself.

Is there any way to know if this is deliberate on AT&T's part or if it's just a normal effect of HSPA technology while on a call?

EDIT: I just don't see the benefit to AT&T for them to throttle data while users are on a call. It's not like people on calls are utilizing such a great amount of data that there would be a need for this.

Being that there's only one RF chain in the hardware, I would suspect that this is a design issue. It's not like there are separate antennas and transceivers for voice and data.

Of course there is also an obvious workaround. Use VOIP.

B
 
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pooleman

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Jan 11, 2012
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Thanks to those who have brought screenshots and data in to the thread itself.



Being that there's only one RF chain in the hardware, I would suspect that this is a design issue. It's not like there are separate antennas and transceivers for voice and data.

Of course there is also an obvious workaround. Use VOIP.

B

What is VOIP?
 
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