EDGE vs. 3G

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Universal Truth, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Universal Truth macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2006
    I was going to wait till there was a 3G version of the iPhone available to get one but I saw the video and it's just so beautiful I don't know If i can wait 1-2 years to own one.

    That said I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with AT&T's 3G network and the EDGE network. Is the 3G network significantly faster? I don't often have access to WIFI and I'm worried about the data flowing like molasses when I'm not hooked up to one. Anyone out there who can give a fair evaluation of the services?
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I was on cingular with my Treo650 and when there is good reception, the data flows pretty quickly.

    Most web pages aren't huge, and emails aren't that huge. There are a lot of uses for data on the iPhone, but not an overwhelming need for lots of data throughput - at least for most "normal" useage. Given the geek-nature of this forum, others will probably disagree.
  3. gdesalvo@umail. macrumors member

    May 1, 2007
    2.5g (edge) is about 8-10kb/second in real life. 3g is about 5 times that (~40kb). That's just to give you an idea. I used to load pages on EDGE and it was rather slow depending on the page. youtube is definately a nono on 2.5g. the speeds listed above are in kilobites, not bits.
  4. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    From what I have read ATT's EDGE network pales in comparison to Verizon's and Sprint's EV-DO networks at this point in time. It seems that in my limited research, the EV-DO network is much faster than the EV-DO network.

    I may be wrong, but the EV-DO network should at this point equal low end DSL speeds. The EDGE network at best seems to half the speed...
  5. gdesalvo@umail. macrumors member

    May 1, 2007
    EV-DO is 3g-version 2. It increases the theoretical speed limit to 375kbps. This is what the iphone really should have. Not many phones actually support this. It is probably more likely another 5X jump over 3g which means we'll be seeing some 250kbps which is about the same as your home cable connection.

    3g-2 - 375kbps (EV-DO)
    3g - 50kbps (3g)
    2.5g - 8-10kbps (EDGE)
    2g - 5-8 kbps (GPRS)

    the speeds listed above are in kilobites, not bits. This means that EV-DO is the only one able to support streaming video at a decent resolution to take full advantage of the iphones gorgeous display.
  6. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    3G is actually much faster then EV-Do, I believe it can reach speeds of up to 14.4 mbits per second, yet this can not be found in the US.

    EDGE at its fastest speed could download a song in about 20 seconds.

    The fastest EDGE as of today is 236.8 kbits per second.

    8 kbits equals 1 kbyte. So 236.8 kbits per second would be 29.5 kbytes per second.

    So for weather and google maps(finding directions), EDGE should be fine.
  7. gdesalvo@umail. macrumors member

    May 1, 2007
    EV-DO is 3g-2 (various revisions) which can go up o 14.4mbits BURST, but is currently only at 3mbits (350kbytes) in the US. This is as a reliable and sustainable use.

    3g is slower than 3g-2...at about 50kbps

    2.5g - EDGE is theoretically 29.5kbytes BURST speed but i used it for over 6 months and realistically it never passes 12kbytes...actually most of the time it is between 8 and 10. Thats about 2x 56kbit modem speeds...ie SLOW. this is not fast enough for google maps, but thank god it has wifi.

    2g - GPRS is hell.

    This is one of the major pitfalls of the current iphone. doesn't mean i wont be getting one...drool...just means my wife will get an iphone when they release a 3g version ;)
  8. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    What I mean for google maps is that you could find directions in a few seconds, yet without satellite pictures. And I have used edge on a T Mobile sidekick, it was pretty fast(but I have never used 3G), yet I have used edge on a treo 650(worst ever).

    So I think you will be able to get by with EDGE under certain circumstances.
  9. gdesalvo@umail. macrumors member

    May 1, 2007
    It's a mobile device, of course you can get by with EDGE. Im just saying it would be nice to have something that allows you to stream those youtube suckers in
  10. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    Haha yeh, well I guess we can't have EVERYTHING. It just seems as they shouldn't charge us a lot for the DATA package if we can only get EDGE.
  11. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    I use a Sprint data plan with my macbook.. it's EVDO Rev-A and I get anywhere from 850 kbps onwards. It works even better when you're in major metropolitan areas.

    EDGE was pretty horrid (from Cingular) It was tolerable if you could wait a few minutes for something to load .. but I absolutely hated my treo 650!
  12. Cleverboy macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2007
    Pocket Universe, nth Dimensional Complex Manifold
    Well, here's a problem. Some of the people talking here imply that EDGE is the same on every device, when its been markedly clear that according to many sources:
    The slots/classes break down like this:
    So I'm left wondering if the iPhone uses the best class of EDGE, whether its able to combine many slots, and/or whether Cingular/AT&T will be making said slots available for a single user. I've heard people in California say their EDGE connection has been able to get up to 200kbps. Gizmodo has commented that 40kbps was what was being clocked. AT&T has been quoting 70kbps-200kbps. For people in this thread to be saying "8 kpbs" almost crystalizes the fact that the device itself plays a huge role in what its capable of, despite someone "experience".

    I'm a little irritated that there is LITTLE authoritative information on this, and anecdotal information always seems to be horribly incomplete or spoken from the perspective of someone who might later say, "Oh! I didn't realize that about the service I was using!" I don't think irrational exuberance about the iPhone is smart, but on this particular point, which I think is critical, "cost/speed" of EDGE... I don't think they're going to bail on this. I don't think they can afford to screw it up. This is the best opportunity for the "new" AT&T to win back customers and switch new ones. If they treat it like a "trap" for suckers, they're going to be in for a rude awakening on sales after the 29th... 'cause news travels fast. Even on EDGE. ;)

    So, what was your "horrible" given what you said EV-DO was doing? I was looking at this page here on the Treo 650...
    Were typical data rates around 100 kbps? 'Cause I'm thinking thats around what I'd be happy with.

    ~ CB
  13. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    On the Treo they were usually 40-50 kbps..and at times, the data would simply stop transferring. Decent enough for email.. but for web based browsing or mail.. forget about it.

    This is was in 2004 .. in 2006 I signed up with a data card from cingular (the $79 unlimited plan) and with that I saw improved speeds compared to the treo.. but still, a paltry 100-120 kbps.

    I have no idea how good 3G is on the Cingular network.. but having just signed up with sprint.. their evdo-a speeds are fantastic.. just what I was looking for.
  14. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    my sony erricsson edge something or another w600 i think, it is dial-up speed. also i pay 19$ for unlimited data, its a good thing.
  15. David H Dennis macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2002
    Woodland Hills, CA

    A few years ago, when commercial use of the Internet was young, people started transitioning from dialup to higher speeds. I remember moving from dialup to a 56k connection and being pretty happy at how fast it was.

    People in this thread have commented that EDGE can actually be a tolerable speed. This is not surprising; the 200k bit throughput that's been mentioned is more than half 384k, and when I had 384k, pages sprumg instantly on to the page.

    Some of you may recall that when European adoption of the iPhone was discussed, a demand on Apple's part to put equipment in the telco data center was mentioned. I suspect this means we have a Sidekick like system where data is compressed before being sent to the phone. If this is so, and AT&T does its job in beefing up its network in preparation for iPhone customers, the system could be as fast as it needs to be to make picky customers happy.

    Web 2.0 HTML code is much smaller than previous markup, and its use of CSS instead of images to create visual effects makes the situation even better. Standards-based web sites are going to leap onto the page because you can pack a huge amount of information into a few k of size.

    I'm sure many of you have viewed YouTube videos and know that their transmission speeds are often poor even on cablemodem networks. It seems quite plausible that most of that sluggishness is on the server side and so YouTube videos will have a similar performance on the iPhone that they have everywhere else - not particularly good but a lot better than nothing.

    Between many sites and overloaded networks, it may be that most of us are still struggling with EDGE-class speeds without even realizing it. I think people will be pleasantly surprised about real-world performance in many situations.

    Just don't try and download the HD version of the iPhone tutorial video any time soon!

  16. gdesalvo@umail. macrumors member

    May 1, 2007
    "I've heard people in California say their EDGE connection has been able to get up to 200kbps. Gizmodo has commented that 40kbps was what was being clocked. AT&T has been quoting 70kbps-200kbps. "

    I said 8-10 kilobytes per second which equals 70-80kbps. I always talk in kilobytes because that's what matters when downloading. which is about usual for a edge device. even 200kbps is SLOW, it's at best 22kilobytes (and that's BURST speed).

    how many times do i have to repeat this?
    1kilobyte = 8kbps (kilobits)
  17. gdesalvo@umail. macrumors member

    May 1, 2007
    I'm sorry im used to my fat 17 megabyte per second pipe...but anything under 2mbit just doesnt cut it imho. while the markup in web2.0 is more efficent the web used to be mostly text with a couple (SMALL) images...usually gifs. Yes i used 56 k models, yes i used the 384k, yes i used the 512k yes i used the 768k, yes i used the 1.5mbps and yes i used the 3mbps. Today I have 5Megabytes per picture and i dont bother compressing it because my connection sends it in half a second. Not to mention that streaming decent quality video is impossible under 3mbps

    I know i would notice EDGE speeds because i have had to use it in the past as a bluetooth modem for a powerbook. just because of the size of todays pictures it took yahoo.com, a relatively small page, several seconds to load.

    Youtube videos load in a few seconds for me...Most of the network slugginesh probably comes from a ****** DNS server. use

    a 3MB attachment would take you 3-7 minutes...this is pretty usual, i get 6-10 of these a day.
    Basically downloading a 5MB photo, which is pretty usual in today's web world would take somewhere between 5-10 minutes. I swap 10-20 of these a day between computers.
    downloading a 20MB clip would take between 20 and 40 minutes...
    Downloading the iphone demo page would take you somewhere between 3 and 5 hours...

    If this is acceptable to you great...i'm sticking with wifi

    would love to see someone running http://speedtest.net/ on the iphone. I suggest picking a server far from your location.
  18. scamateur macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Verizon EV-DO, for comparison purposes...

    I get (this morning) 616 kbits/s - 77 Kbytes/s - on Verizon EV-DO on my Treo 700p. On the Treo, Google Maps is usable at this speed; it takes 3 to 7 seconds to load a new map (at 320x320) and 4-5 seconds to load each "zoom in" of a map. Satellite photos load a little faster, actually.

    Conventional web page loading and rendering are considerably slower, and generally tedious. (Browsers alternate to Blazer don't make it any better.) A specialty browser like Quikipedia, or special mobile-phone pages, do make it better.

    Perhaps a faster CPU and the presumably-better performance of Safari will make up for the slower connection speeds and larger display requirements of the iPhone. I doubt it, judging from the performance of Safari on my PPC Mini, but it might!

    I wish Verizon had the iPhone, so I could worry about it.
  19. PoitNarf macrumors 65816


    May 28, 2007
    Northern NJ
    Am I the only person in here with a comp sci degree that's bothered by some of you constantly using a lowercase "B" to refer to both bits and bytes? Please, if you're talking about bytes use an uppercase "B"... if bits then a lowercase "b".
  20. lilnyc macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2007
    This is the only thorn in my side. i'm using 3G right now, and not only am I satisfied with the page loads, it also allows you to get data while on a call.

    I noticed that in the new iPhone Tour video, the web pages take a little while to load. Did anyone else notice? They were probably using wi-fi for the sake of demonstration, but when I saw those pages with checkered areas delayed in loading, it made me worry about reverting back to dial-up. Will it be like going from a DVR to a VCR? But given what's being said in this thread, maybe the technologies/speeds between 3G and EDGE are closer than I am expecting. I hope so because I'm taking the plunge anyway.
  21. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've also heard that AT&T is cranking up their EDGE network, trying to make it twice as fast. Is this true?

    And about 3G: When I first heard people talk all about it, I was like "Man! What was Apple thinking? Why doesn't it have that? Maybe I should wait..." Then I looked at an AT&T map showing 3G locations. There are none in my entire state. The state right above me (Minnesota) has ONE city, Rochester, with 3G. Minneapolis doesn't even have it! Then I realized "What is the point in waiting when I won't even be able to utilize it?"
  22. AirmanPika macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2007
    Vandenberg AFB, CA
    Yea, seems they've been tweaking the network the last few months. Supposedly they've bumped EDGE up to 85kbps or so. This is all in preparation for the iPhone.
  23. pr5owner macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2007
    Edge is nothing in comparison with HSDPA, currently everywhere else in the world speeds are 3.6mbit and expected to be as high as 14mbit later this year, thats faster than telus's ****** "high speed" access for regular DESKTOP computers.
  24. Sox macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2005
    I noticed that too, but only really when they were zooming in and out on Google Maps. And even then, the checkers were only there for a second. It's not as if the disembodied hand was sitting there tapping its fingers waiting for the page to load:) . The other noticeable lag was opening the PDF attachment. But again, I don't think it was unreasonable.

    I agree with the sentiment that Att and Apple can't afford to screw this up. Whatever the true speed of the EDGE network is on the iPhone, it won't be egregiously slow.

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