If LTE Is So Fast, Why Does It Still Take Long to Download Stuff

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by kas23, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    Maybe I'm missing something here or looking at or calculating this wrong. When I test my LTE speed on Speedtest.net, I consistently get speeds of > 30 Mbps (or > 3.75 MB/s). However, when I try to download a file (even as small as 1-2 MB) on Safari on my iPhone 5, it takes about 10 seconds. That's an average of about 0.1-0.2 MB/s. What is the delay here? Shouldn't the DL be nearly instantaneous? It's not the website because I've tried multiple ones.
  2. EstaVidaLoca macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2012
    Because, speed tests don't truly reflect real world speeds.
  3. ckurt25 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    Grand Rapids, MI
    The server you're connecting to must have the bandwidth to enable you to download that fast too.
  4. sarcosis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2006
    These United States
    You also have to get the connection to the store's which requires several handshakes on both ends to gain a solid connection. Once your connection is achieved, the download should go fast. That usually takes a few seconds. You notice it kind of slow with small apps since that handshake takes a few seconds. If you download a larger file, you should notice a difference.
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    It's like when friends and family ask me if they should upgrade their wireless to N. I ask them what they do, and most of the time they just use their network to surf the internet. Great, so your bottleneck is still your internet speed and not your 54g wireless.

    Same with LTE downloads, just because you can connect at blazing speeds to a very close server (that probably has a ridiculous amount of bandwidth) does not mean that you will get that blazing speeds connected to every server. Apple has a ridiculous amount of bandwidth at their data centers, but you have to share that between everyone in the world who are trying to download music and apps....
  6. Geckotek macrumors G3


    Jul 22, 2008
    You might be on the Autobahn with the ability to go 270 mph, but if your engine is a Yugo....you ain't gonna hit that 270. ;)

    In other words, the pipe is only part of the speed formula. There are many points along the way that can throttle your speed, including the source server and every switch and router along the way.
  7. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
  8. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    How long does it take to download the exact same file from a computer?

    More than likely the problem is the server you are retrieving from....not LTE. I have been getting very fast speeds.
  9. ROLLTIDE1 macrumors 65816

    Sep 12, 2012
    Is that even possible ?:D
  10. jer9542 macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2010
    nah, don't listen to these people, you're downloading it wrong.
  11. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    There are a number of benefits to upgrading to N other than speed.
  12. kas23 thread starter macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    That's what I figured. Anyways, thanks for the replies.
  13. mnsportsgeek macrumors 65816

    Feb 24, 2009
    I download apps from the app store instantaneously on LTE. It takes longer to actually install than it does to download.
  14. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    OMG! 10 seconds! Throw that piece of junk in the trash!

    I do but jest, it's funny to think about the old days when we were on old dial-up modems and would wait an eternity to download the smallest file. A 2MB file download would be unthinkable. You might as well start it running and then go to bed and check in the morning. If you're really lucky, you didn't get disconnected. Oh the good old days...
  15. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Download speed is affected by
    - LTE connection speed - if you're too far away withuot good signal you won't get full speed
    - LTE cell congestion - too many users on one cell downloading stuff = bandwidth to that cell is over subscribed
    - network core congestion
    - remote web host congestion / throttling

    LTE is not a silver bullet.

    Where i am, we don't even get full speed 3G due to network conditions.
  16. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    Yep that's the exact reason why.
  17. ls1dreams macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    For small downloads, latency is almost always a bigger bottleneck than the download itself.

    This is why when people develop apps, the best practice is to try to reduce the number of server / API calls and try to grab everything at once as soon as you have a connection.

    Unfortunately, I don't think this is a problem wireless will resolve any time soon.

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