iPhone 4 802.11n, only 2.4Ghz, why?!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by frosse, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. frosse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    According to :apple:'s specs page iPhone 4 only runs 802.11n on 2.4Ghz, why not 5Ghz?! :mad:
  2. gb7 macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    It doesnt need it and besides its one of the only phones on the market that even has 2.4 N.

    I cant believe some of the things people are finding to bitch about on iPhone 4.
  3. McBeats macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2007
    Isn't 2.4 ghz much more standard than 5? While it is kind of a buzzkill, I think 2.4ghz should do a great performance nonetheless... although 2.4ghz is more prone to RF interference.

    as for range, doesn't 2.4ghz have better range than 5ghz?

    is 2.4ghz wireless-n MIMO?
  4. arubinst macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2008
    Lausanne - Switzerland
    I actually agree with the OP on this particular "bitching". The thing is that all my computers at home are 5 GHz capable and I have an airport extreme configured on 802.11n 5 GHz only. I kept an old 802.11g router only to service the iPhone 3G. I was hoping to be able to finally get rid of it!

    And there's no way in hell that I will be changing my 5 GHz only setting so that the new iPhone can connect. I rather leave things the way they are and continue enjoying an interference free network for my laptops.
  5. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    The only problem with 2.4GHz 802.11N is that most routers that support that band most likely support the 2.4GHz 802.11G band as well. Meaning that if a G device connects to the same network your N device does, it drops the entire 2.4GHz network to G speeds, and G ranges.

    5GHz N would have been nice, although battery life could probably be the factor in leaving it out.

    And to arubinst, that's why the dual band airport extreme is so handy :D pretty much two routers in one. I have G set up for all the iPhones in the house, and then 5Ghz N for all the notebooks.
  6. Lara F macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2005
    Montreal, Quebec
    I have an airport extreme circa 2007 IIRC. I suspect I just missed out on 802.11n but where do I tell?

    I have turbo Time Warner ISP so my home wifi is great regardless - just curious.
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Yeah I use 5ghz too. I also got G only for the iPhone 3gs.

    Now I just have to figure out whether I want to do an early upgrade to iPhone 4.

    For you and most people, G / N will not matter because they are both faster than your internet speed.
  8. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Model number A1143 or higher has 802.11N. :)
  9. frosse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    1. What is the main difference between the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz band?
    2. Is it true that if you have a router with G/N capability, and a G device connects, the entire network drops down to G?
  10. doubleatheman macrumors 6502a


    May 27, 2009
    2.4 is crowed, 5 has less range...

    My linksys E2000 has my iPhone on it, and two older laptops with G,

    But my laptop here is connected on N @ 150mbps (it only has 2 internal antennas, so no 300mbps), but I will add N gives me zero more range. I am disappointed I still have dead spots in my tiny town house. I want to blame the E2000 for having no external antennas.

    I have one desktop with a usb n, that connects at 300mbps, but the range when on 300mbps is lame, and has only 3 bars (out of the 5 in the start bar in windows 7) when 20 feet away...

    the range at 150mbps is the same as I had with G.

    over all wi-fi N has been disappointing to me in general.

    My laptop will drop down to 65mbps at times, but thats when I have it in power saving mode, which the adapter is set to save also.
  11. wrkactjob macrumors 65816


    Feb 29, 2008
    I cann't believe it's not better!
  12. ChrisGonzales90 macrumors 6502a


    May 29, 2010
    Hillsboro, Oregon USA.
    Because the iPhone (and anything in life really) will never be perfect. :rolleyes:
  13. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    Well, you are welcome to try and find another cellular modem which has 5Ghz 802.11n integrated.

    As far as I am aware they do not exist in the form factor used in the iPhone 4.

    Besides, you could always buy the AirPort Extreme that operates in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously.
  14. sonofpismo macrumors regular


    May 20, 2002
    Orlando, Florida
    5GHz does NOT necessarily have less range. Maybe given the same transmitter power... but quality 5GHz routers typically have more power.

    My Apple Time Capsule reaches further in 5GHz mode than 2.5GHz... although I am sure lack of interference has something to do with that as well.
  15. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Is it a fairly safe bet to assume that working on the 5Ghz band would also need another antenna / radio in the handset? I'd be fairly willing to bet there's not a vast amount of free space in the new iPhone as it is so that might be a big part of the reason.

    Frankly I think 802.11n isn't really required in a smartphone at the moment anyway. It strikes me more as a nice-to-have so if you're running a normal N router (i.e. not dual network) at home you don't drop every device down to g speeds when your iPhone connects up. Certainly after playing around with my iPod I'm not convinced that being on an N network offers any speed benefits whatsoever for the tasks you do on thos devices.
  16. arubinst macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2008
    Lausanne - Switzerland
    I know! Unfortunately, my old airport works so well that I need to find a better excuse to buy a new one ;)

    This is true for most people who use the wireless connexion with the sole purpose of using a crappy Internet connexion. On the other hand, 802.1n networks become very interesting if you share resources on your LAN. For example, sharing large video files or streaming HD video from one computer to another.

    "Old" WiFi technologies use the 2.4GHz band. This means that you need to share the frequency with 802.11, 802.11b and 802.11g equipment. But also, many other things use the same band. Wireless phones, medical equipment, RF remote controls, Bluetooth... even microwave ovens produce interference on this band!!!

    Some wireless phones use the 5GHz band, but it is true that this band is less crowded.

    Not entirely true. In the presence of legacy systems, 802.11n uses a mechanism called "protection". What this mechanism does is that it uses some extra control frames that allow older systems to know that the frequency is being used so that coexistence is assured. These extra frames will have to be sent using 802.11g/b modulation and speeds so that those old systems are able to understand them. The overhead produced by these extra (slower) frames is what causes an impact on the throughput.

    Actually, I'm quite happy with my N network. I can stream full HD (1080p) videos from a shared disk to my MBP without a hitch. I should also note that I live in a tiny apartment.

    The number of antennas plays a very important role in speed AND range. The star of the game here is called MIMO.

    Indeed, you would need to have another radio and antenna.

    Again, speeds do not drop to g thanks to the "protection mechanism".
    Wireless sync of video, music and apps would make nice use of 802.11n. Otherwise, it is true that it isn't really required in a smartphone unless you find a 802.11n network that blocs all non-n access (mine for example ;))

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