Is Apple doing the throttling LTE on the networks?

Status
Not open for further replies.

tigres

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 31, 2007
4,077
1,014
Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
Just ran across this story, and was thinking of putting on the carrier update this guy built for AT&T.

Good read, and I think there may be some truth to it. What do others think on this?

From iClarified


A new report from Joseph Brown says that Apple is intentionally throttling the data speeds of its iPhones and iPads for carriers.

Brown is the developer behind the Hacked Carrier Updates for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

Delving into the carrier settings that Apple provides for each individual carrier, Brown found that for AT&T Apple has limited the iPhone 5 to Category 10 (14.4Mbps) HSDPA, even though the network is capable of Category 14 (21.1Mbps) HSDPA+ and the iPhone 5 supports up to category 24 (42.2Mbps) DC-HSDPA+. In addition, the network settings file also defines throttling parameters.




There is no arguing or disputing that this is clear evidence you are purposely, 24/7, being throttled, even if you haven't used more data than your authorized to use or that you've purchased with your hard earned money.

In his report, Brown also details similar throttling parameters that can be found in the carrier settings file for Verizon and Sprint. According to his findings, only T-Mobile doesn't specify throttling settings.

Findings:
- AT&T limits HSPA+ and permanently throttles LTE (unless hack is applied)
- Verizon permanently throttles LTE (unless hack is applied)
- Verizon and Sprint throttle down 3G (unless hack is applied)
- Apple has band preferences set for T-Mobile and AT&T causing signal issues (very much fixable by Apple and the carrier and is currently being looked into, from I've been told)

Ideally, Apple would lift these restrictions but for now users can install one of the hacked carrier updates which depending on your area may offer significant speed improvements.

When we asked Brown if he was sure the throttled network settings weren't only there for users who'd exceeded their limits, he said, "I'm very positive. I've heard of "network controls" or "soft throttles" being put into place on devices before."

"The iPhone 5 I tested the other day was brand new. No LTE data used, so it wasn't being throttled," Brown told iClarified. "The 1st test was 13mbps down and 9mbps up. The 2nd was 17mbps (almost 18) down and 11mbps up." He notes that the test "was conducted around the same time frame and in the exact same spot of the house."
end/
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,897
1,125
Washington DC
iClarified said:
There is no arguing or disputing that this is clear evidence you are purposely, 24/7, being throttled
At what point do we not call it "throttled" and instead call it "the cellular companies have the right to manage their networks?"

If everyone's speed is being held to a similar standard than that's the carrier deciding what their network can handle with the number of users they have. It's their job to determine things like that.

That's not throttling, which is defined as specifically lowering a user's speeds under what they normally get.

It's impossible for everyone to be throttled 24/7. How can the average be lower than average? Then it simply IS the average.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
Just ran across this story, and was thinking of putting on the carrier update this guy built for AT&T.

Good read, and I think there may be some truth to it. What do others think on this?

From iClarified




end/
That just doesn't make sense. I have an iPhone 5 on Verizon and have only very recently had issues with LTE in my area. It was pretty solid when I got the phone in January.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
the headline/title is also misleading. Apple isn't doing this, the carriers are. They define the parameters on how they provision the devices and distribute carrier files with activation. That's not something Apple decides.

If Apple were running their own cellular network, and chose to push carrier files that throttle connections deliberately, then yes, THEN they would be responsible for throttling.
 

maxosx

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2012
2,385
1
Southern California
It's very difficult to believe anything when it comes to Apple's involvement.

Being the single most influential corporation in the smartphone space, I wouldn't put it past them to take control of any scenario within or outside of Apple Inc.

Never underestimate the power of Apple and it's money.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Being the single most influential corporation in the smartphone space, I wouldn't put it past them to take control of any scenario within or outside of Apple Inc.

Never underestimate the power of Apple and it's money.
Right. Make sure your foil hat wasn't made from recycled iPhone 5s. :rolleyes:

I don't understand what the motive is in blaming Apple, except that it's the easiest thing t point fingers at without really looking at what's going on here. Apple would have little motive to hamper hardware they've made and sold, when they can take full advantage of the hardware's capabilities to satisfy those who focus on specs. On the other hand, the wireless carriers have EVERY logical reason for imposing limitations on speeds and frequency usage.

And quite frankly, faster speeds are hard to justify unless and until the carriers rethink their usage cap strategy. On a standard 3GB plan from AT&T/Verizon, even throttled down you'd hit the cap on LTE in mere minutes. And while you can ostensibly download and upload to your heart's content on T-Mobile and Sprint, their generosity stops when it comes to tethering, where speed is REALLY needed. Then you're back to low caps.

Pointing a finger at Apple is counterproductive. The pressure needs to be put on the wireless carriers to invest the billions of dollars they get in income on their networks, instead of pocketing the cash and continuing to run under-supported, bandwidth-constrained networks. Or worse, ditching networks altogether that could be used to help solve the spectrum problem.
 

maxosx

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2012
2,385
1
Southern California
Right. Make sure your foil hat wasn't made from recycled iPhone 5s. :rolleyes:

I don't understand what the motive is in blaming Apple, except that it's the easiest thing t point fingers at without really looking at what's going on here. Apple would have little motive to hamper hardware they've made and sold, when they can take full advantage of the hardware's capabilities to satisfy those who focus on specs. On the other hand, the wireless carriers have EVERY logical reason for imposing limitations on speeds and frequency usage.

And quite frankly, faster speeds are hard to justify unless and until the carriers rethink their usage cap strategy. On a standard 3GB plan from AT&T/Verizon, even throttled down you'd hit the cap on LTE in mere minutes. And while you can ostensibly download and upload to your heart's content on T-Mobile and Sprint, their generosity stops when it comes to tethering, where speed is REALLY needed. Then you're back to low caps.

Pointing a finger at Apple is counterproductive. The pressure needs to be put on the wireless carriers to invest the billions of dollars they get in income on their networks, instead of pocketing the cash and continuing to run under-supported, bandwidth-constrained networks. Or worse, ditching networks altogether that could be used to help solve the spectrum problem.
My foil hat is quite stylish thank you.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,404
At the iPhone hacks section.
I also think its set parameters that are defined and put there by carriers config files.
Not something that Apple does on purpose but its just the freedom that carriers have to enable and disable features with carrier updates and set speed and many other variables they want to tweak.
I don't think Apple has anything to gain by slowing down certain carriers customers that use its devices.
 

Spectrum Abuser

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2011
1,377
31
Pointing a finger at Apple is counterproductive. The pressure needs to be put on the wireless carriers to invest the billions of dollars they get in income on their networks, instead of pocketing the cash and continuing to run under-supported, bandwidth-constrained networks. Or worse, ditching networks altogether that could be used to help solve the spectrum problem.
I can't speak for every carrier, but if you just glanced at the Q4 report from AT&T you'd know that they have been investing BILLIONS of dollars into their cellular network and plan to invest several billion more over the next five years.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,886
3,415
Boston, MA
It's very difficult to believe anything when it comes to Apple's involvement.

Being the single most influential corporation in the smartphone space, I wouldn't put it past them to take control of any scenario within or outside of Apple Inc.

Never underestimate the power of Apple and it's money.
While I won't make any assumptions about your choice of headwear, I will ask a simple question. What possible motive would Apple have to throttle anyone, ever? They don't own any portion of any network you are going to connect to, except maybe wifi at the Apple store, if we want to get that ridiculously specific. You are right in that they could technically do something like this through their software, but we have no reason to suspect they do. Or, if we are going to assume this, we may as well assume they are also monitoring our every move via the FFC on our phones and are just waiting with enough blackmail evidence against most of the human race to accrue for them to enslave us all.
 

sjinsjca

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
2,063
400
Why blame Apple and not the carriers? ...That's not a rhetorical question; I'm genuinely curious why the handset manufacturer is being blamed rather than the entities who have a much clearer motivation to do the throttling. And does the same "throttling" not occur with other makes?

Really, this article raises more questions than it answers, not least among them the agenda of the author.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,886
3,415
Boston, MA
I can't speak for every carrier, but if you just glanced at the Q4 report from AT&T you'd know that they have been investing BILLIONS of dollars into their cellular network and plan to invest several billion more over the next five years.
These companies are damned if they do, damned if they don't. People expect uninterrupted, blazing fast service 24/7. They can have a network hiccuup once in a blue moon, but they are paying for that moment in time and therefore not actually getting what they are paying for. (to be clear, I am not making insinuations about anyone in this thread, just the snetiment of some who can never be happy. We have all seen these people).

I, for one, find AT&T to have developed incredibly over the five years that I have been with them. I honestly think that there are people out there who simply don't understand just what it takes to get a netowkr up and running. They don't get the incredible manpower that is required for maintenance alone.
 

maxosx

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2012
2,385
1
Southern California
While I won't make any assumptions about your choice of headwear, I will ask a simple question. What possible motive would Apple have to throttle anyone, ever? They don't own any portion of any network you are going to connect to, except maybe wifi at the Apple store, if we want to get that ridiculously specific. You are right in that they could technically do something like this through their software, but we have no reason to suspect they do. Or, if we are going to assume this, we may as well assume they are also monitoring our every move via the FFC on our phones and are just waiting with enough blackmail evidence against most of the human race to accrue for them to enslave us all.
Here's my take on it.

Notice I did not specifically say I believe they were. I merely suggested that it's possible.

And why? That's easy.

Apple is nothing, if not a brilliant company that works very closely with their allies. If a carrier approaches them and makes a request for purposes such as helping them to support more phones on the network by throttling, then it's another opportunity for Apple to be paid handsomely for their ability to fill the carriers request.

There's nothing sinister here, simply business. :)
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
I can't speak for every carrier, but if you just glanced at the Q4 report from AT&T you'd know that they have been investing BILLIONS of dollars into their cellular network and plan to invest several billion more over the next five years.
And yet, we still have usage caps that limit a user's monthly data usage to that of less than half of a single-layer DVD-R. Because apparently, the network can't handle it.

----------

These companies are damned if they do, damned if they don't. People expect uninterrupted, blazing fast service 24/7.
Only because that is what carriers advertise. Tell the public that your network is blazing fast and super reliable and works everywhere, and guess what? That's what people expect to get when they hand over their money. Foreign concept, I know, but that's the reality.


I, for one, find AT&T to have developed incredibly over the five years that I have been with them. I honestly think that there are people out there who simply don't understand just what it takes to get a netowkr up and running. They don't get the incredible manpower that is required for maintenance alone.
Since we're making broad generalizations, I won't go into detail regarding my background, except to say that I have seen a good deal, enough that I have a generally good idea as to what the big two carriers like to spend their billions on, and what they would rather not spend their billions on.

I will gladly give kudos to AT&T for they things they do right. The AT&T of 2013 is immensely better than the AT&T of 2007, or even 2010 for that matter. Although I have the ability to choose any carrier I wish, AT&T has compelling factors that keep me on them rather than porting out to other carriers, something I did on a frequent basis prior to the iPhone era. But their policy restrictions, how customers are treated and billed, and stance regarding how much a user should pay in relation to what they use is not in any way correlating to anything but profit motives.

As such, I don't feel it's in any way inappropriate for a user to gripe about these restrictive practices, nor is it inappropriate for people to expose the methods by which carriers make the restrictions a reality.

And that said, I STILL think that blaming Apple is counterproductuve in this situation. Apple does shady things, but this one is squarely a carrier thing.
 
Last edited:

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,886
3,415
Boston, MA
Only because that is what carrier advertise makes the public expect.
Pretty much all advertisement has to be taken with a grain of salt. It's tough for a network provider to make an ad that will truly let you know how their service is to work on a device that is truly mobile, such as the phones we speak of, no matter where you go with it. But yes, there are idiots that that will expect such service, and they are the same idiots who believe that you can get a gourmet hamburger from McDonald's too, just based on the ads. I'm lovin' it!

----------

Since we're making broad generalizations, I won't go into detail regarding my background, except to say that I have seen a good deal, enough that I have a generally good idea as to what the big two carriers like to spend their billions on, and what they would rather not spend their billions on.

I will gladly give kudos to AT&T for they things they do right. The AT&T of 2013 is immensely better than the AT&T of 2007, or even 2010 for that matter. Although I have the ability to choose any carrier I wish, AT&T has compelling factors that keep me on them rather than porting out to other carriers, something I did on a frequent basis prior to the iPhone era. But their policy restrictions, how customers are treated and billed, and stance regarding how much a user should pay in relation to what they use is not in any way correlating to anything but profit motives.

As such, I don't feel it's in any way inappropriate for a user to gripe about these restrictive practices, nor is it inappropriate for people to expose the methods by which carriers make the restrictions a reality.

And that said, I STILL think that blaming Apple is counterproductuve in this situation. Apple does shady things, but this one is squarely a carrier thing.
Who is making broad generalizations? And for that matter, who said people don't have the right to complain? Complain about whatever you want, man. It's no skin off my back. I made a comment that I felt AT&T has gotten much better over the years. Apparently, you agree, but added a bunch more to your post that seems a bit irrelevant, when quoting me directly.

----------

And yet, we still have usage caps that limit a user's monthly data usage to that of less than half of a single-layer DVD-R. Because apparently, the network can't handle it.
This is their PR reasoning. It sounds better than "because we can charge you more, the more you actually use". My opinion, anyway.
 

Sparticu$

macrumors member
Dec 14, 2009
87
0
I don't know about you but I'm fine with my LTE speeds, and I'm on verizon. There is no need for any more, it's not like I'm running a server off of my iphone lol.


Sent from my iPhone 5 using Tapatalk 2
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Who is making broad generalizations?
Isn't this whole thread one broad generalization? :)

And for that matter, who said people don't have the right to complain?
I didn't accuse you of saying that, so, chill. I was just stating that there's plenty of good, but plenty of bad going on with carrier motives... which by the way, is the whole point of this thread: what carriers are doing to throttle iOS users on their networks.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,886
3,415
Boston, MA
Isn't this whole thread one broad generalization? :)



I didn't accuse you of saying that, so, chill. I was just stating that there's plenty of good, but plenty of bad going on with carrier motives... which by the way, is the whole point of this thread: what carriers are doing to throttle iOS users on their networks.
When you directly quote a person in a thread, it is generally safe to expect that your response is a direct response to what that person said (specifically a response to the quoted text). Not upset, no need to chill, just responding in kind.
 

tigres

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 31, 2007
4,077
1,014
Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
If I may...

Did all of you read the original article? (the quote I posted cut some of the portion of the article out).

The author claims that the carrier file is set to a lower LTE setting (Category 10) on AT&T for example (capped at 14.4mbps), vs his tweak which opens the 21.1Mbps (Category 14).

I have no knowledge of these technical terms, or what exactly they are indicating other than what the author of the settings tweak is explaining.

Lastly, what is the exact purpose of the devs. tweaked bundle if anything he claims is not true. As I too am suspect on Apple being in charge like the article states.
 

Shockwave78

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2010
1,077
58
Major issues here with Verizon. Speeds have been very slow for the last 3 months or longer. The only times I consistently will get over 10mbps now is before 6:00am or after 8:00pm. Before it was 24/7. My average speeds now around like 4-6 down and 1-3 up. 30% of the time I barely reach 3mbps down now.

I have unlimited and use anywhere from 10-15gb on average. Called Verizon about it today and they said they have no way to check if I am being throttled. I am sure once I port over to my AT&T iPhone 5 I just got a couple days ago and cancel they will try to so something about it. I did update the carrier with the hacked settings and that did nothing also
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,889
900
This is ridiculous to even claim. Why would Apple need to throttle their own devices?

I used to hit 50mbps+ on my iPhone5 regularly (not anymore because it's on TMo now)

Just because the dev tinkered with some settings doesn't mean they're being throttled. There are plenty of reports of diff't APN settings giving users different data speeds. It all depends on the proxy it is being routed through. One could be rate limited, whereas another one isn't.
 

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,067
6,333
New Hampshire, USA
If I may...

Did all of you read the original article? (the quote I posted cut some of the portion of the article out).

The author claims that the carrier file is set to a lower LTE setting (Category 10) on AT&T for example (capped at 14.4mbps), vs his tweak which opens the 21.1Mbps (Category 14).

I have no knowledge of these technical terms, or what exactly they are indicating other than what the author of the settings tweak is explaining.

Lastly, what is the exact purpose of the devs. tweaked bundle if anything he claims is not true. As I too am suspect on Apple being in charge like the article states.
I'm not sure why except that he wants people to download his tweak. Many people have been posting speedtest of their ATT LTE connections and they showed considerably higher speeds then what he claims the cap is at.

Possibly, the carriers are trying to manage their network bandwidth so are capping them during very high network usage times.
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,889
900
I'm not sure why except that he wants people to download his tweak. Many people have been posting speedtest of their ATT LTE connections and they showed considerably higher speeds then what he claims the cap is at.
and AT&T doesn't have HSPA 21 deployed in all areas, so his tweaks really don't mean much.

Possibly, the carriers are trying to manage their network bandwidth so are capping them during very high network usage times.
Every carrier runs some sort of QoS algorithm, but to claim that it is permanently throttled is ridiculous, especially with all the speed tests on this site showing 50+ mbps speeds on VZW/AT&T.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.