Unlimited Data VS. HSPA+ Speeds (ATT VS.Sprint)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by PPFee, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. PPFee macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Here is the deal, After thinking on a topic for too long i lose the ability to trust that I'm factoring the right conditions into consideration and not just hyper focusing. I said ill go with sprint because of the Unlimited data and that way at least i can get grandfathered in if they change it and have a nice fast 4g phone in a couple years with unlimited data. I keep going back to ATT and in new orleans they have really strong coverage and speeds already, i would likely average 10-12 down with ATT and the iPhone 4s. Im just hoping for some input on both sides of the discussion. Has anyone seen a good breakdown of about how much 2 gigs will get you. Im trying to justify the ATT faster speeds but 2gigs just seems so ridiculous. Thanks ahead of time for everyones help.
     
  2. bpeeps macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

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    #2
    Most users barely go over 200MB. I only go over when I tether, but my normal usage falls right under there. But it's prob a case by case basis.
     
  3. mrxak macrumors 68000

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    #3
    ATT does have a good breakdown of how much data you'd use for each of several categories of use for each data plan. How many photos, how many web pages, how much video, etc.

    The whole HSDPA thing is a bit of a bait and switch. You won't be getting 14.4 Mbps any time soon, certainly in most areas. The people who will benefit the most from the 4S being HSDPA live in Europe and Asia where cell carriers are actually good. When comparing the two networks, you should really consider coverage, not speed or data use. Your unlimited Sprint may not be that helpful if you can't find a tower in range, and wifi is everywhere these days, I use hardly any of my data plan.
     
  4. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

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  5. mrxak macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Yeah, being grandfathered in is nice, but even though I have unlimited with AT&T, I've used 2.9GB over the entire life of my phone. I could probably do with a 200MB/mo plan, though with iCloud, I'm sort of glad I have more room.
     
  6. zmulleni macrumors regular

    zmulleni

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    #6
    I have this as well, yet I have a feeling with the new 4S that I may see some throttling lol. Due to my work I'm always on my phone and within the last 6 months have average 4.2GB a month. One month even hit 8.9GB. I'm interested to see how much the 4S chews through especially when apps start updating to include more bandwidth to utilize the 4S capabilities.
     
  7. DravenGSX macrumors 6502a

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  8. PPFee thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    So did i mistype should i be asking about HSDPA and not HSPA+. Thanks for clarifying in a manner that doesn't act like my lack of knowledge on the topic is a personal attack against you, it really does make all the difference.
     
  9. kalex macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Lets see how much those iCloud backups and OTA updates will eat up
     
  10. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

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    #10
    It's been confirmed the the phone is actually running at 14.4 mb/s, which is HSPA+.

    I think Apple downplayed it because they're saving all their "4G" marketing for iPhone 6.
     
  11. mrxak macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Just to be clear, Wifi is still faster (assuming it's connected to a fat enough pipe) than HSDPA, and Wifi data won't count against you with your carrier. So, if you're really worried about your data usage, keep checking for those wifi hotspots for any heavy usage. You may want to load a movie onto your hard drive rather than streaming it if you're not going to be on wifi.
     
  12. mgmusicman94 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Most iPhones will be backing up in the middle of the night. As I've noticed from iOS5 Beta over the summer, it's backing up around 1:05 every night. Most people have wifi at home where their iPhone will be at that time.
     
  13. mrxak, Oct 7, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011

    mrxak macrumors 68000

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    #13
    HSPA+ gets up to 84 Mbps down, 22 Mbps up. That's not what we have here. Instead, it's HSDPA, which is a type of HSPA, but it only gets up to 14.4 Mbps down, 7.2 Mbps up. Both technologies are built on top of HSPA to help increase its life, but they are different things.

    Both are 3G technologies, sometimes called 3G+, though a lot of phone manufacturers are calling it 4G.

    Even LTE is not 4G. Only LTE Advanced is 4G, and we won't see that for a long, long time. One could argue Sprint's WIMAX is 4G, though it's a proprietary thing.
     
  14. DravenGSX macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    http://www.4gamericas.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&sectionid=247

    Seems to indicate otherwise. HSPA+ is an extended HSDPA and HSUPA capable of speeds significantly higher than 14.4 mb/s. T-Mobile has deployed it quite successfully.

    Interestingly, HSPA+ is still not technically 4G.

    There is a ton of confusion surrounding all of this and it probably doesn't really matter to this particular conversation.. just trying to help folks understand what they are purchasing.
     
  15. dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

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    #15
    So, I live in a suburb of Chicago and have a grandfathered unlimited AT&T iPhone data plan. Does that mean when I get my 4S, I'll have the capability to get the faster 4G HSPA+ speeds on it? If so, I'm even looking forward to this thing more next Friday!
     
  16. mrxak macrumors 68000

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    #16
    No. For the reasons stated above by myself and others, the 4S is neither HSPA+, nor is HSPA+ 4G. You'll get HSDPA speeds, where AT&T has it available, but primarily only Europeans and Asians have decent HSDPA networks. You'll get 3G speeds, and occasionally "3G+" speeds.
     
  17. PPFee thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Also, just to be clear, In my zip( 70123-2046). New Orleans, LA, We actually have very good sprint coverage. So in my mind all things are equal when it comes to coverage, which might actually be making my decision harder. I am also wandering if its worth it just in the long term even to get on with the unlimited data now while its available. I guess another thing making it rough is it seems everyone is one extreme or the other( at least the vocal people). For the most part everyone says 200mb is way more than enough for them or on the other end its 8GB used in a month. I haven't had a iPhone since the first one came out. I purchased it the day it came out after waiting in line all day paid 600+ for the phone from the Cingular Store. They added it to my account for me, activated it etc. 4 weeks later(after the return period at ATT was thru), I got a phone call from a weird department at ATT saying that i had 1 week to either switch to a different phone or create a new account, but that it could not stay on my account because I got discounted Voice because I was an att Sales Rep for Radioshack and even though i was paying full price for the data/messaging it was against their policy to have iPhones on account with any discounts. I was furious, more than anything at the fact that i bought it at their own retail store and they put it on my discount ERP Plan for me, and waited till i couldn't return it to call and tell me i wasted 600 bucks. I guess if I am honest i still hold that against them, anyway sorry to rant on like that. I am slightly worried that 2gigs will seem like even less with 4x the speed i would have with sprint. I really do appreciate everyones input, thanks for y'alls time.
     
  18. dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

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    #18
    Thanks for the reply, but I guess I'm a little confused. When I go to the link below and tap the arrow to turn the pages to the right, I see Chicago listed for 4G and 4G LTE coverage (I know the 4S is not LTE of course).

    http://www.att.com/network/

    Also, when I go to the AT&T site for 4G phones, the 4S is the first one listed and says 4G.

    http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-ph...&fealte=lte&allManus=on#fbid=?sku5370402_a|||

    I'm just wondering if it will be faster for me from a data standpoint than my iPhone 4 and if so, how much.
     
  19. PPFee thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    It certainly is not Inappropriate for this thread though, I appreciate clarification on any aspect of the post, the day i consider expanding my knowledge a negative thing or "off-topic" just shoot me. Thanks for the info!
     
  20. Kyotoma macrumors 68000

    Kyotoma

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    #20
    That is correct.
     
  21. mrxak macrumors 68000

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    #21
    At this point, 4G has become a marketing term, rather than any real indication of the underlying technology. Most 4G phones I've seen advertised are using the same technology as the iPhone 4S does on AT&T's network. The rest are either Sprint's WIMAX, which is certainly fast, or LTE, which is also quite fast, but not actually 4G.

    It's unfortunate, but standards bodies and carrier networks have been very slow to adopt emerging technologies, so we're still quite firmly stuck with 3G, 3G+ technologies.

    The iPhone 4S is going to have faster data, under certain conditions, than the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G. It will always be faster than the original iPhone. These are good things. But, it does depend on your network, the towers you have nearby, and largely is a marketing term. AT&T has decided to use the 4G marketing term for this and other phones, but that's all it really is. HSDPA 14.4 Mbps is certainly better than regular old HSPA 7.2 Mbps. As long as you understand that, you can call it whatever you want, really. It is not HPSA+ though, that is considerably faster than both, and only really T-Mobile has adopted it, as I recall.
     
  22. PPFee thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I believe, If i understand mrxak correctly, that yes the iPhone 4s is capable of faster downloads than the iPhone 4, if its on a HSDPA compatible GSM providers network. However my thread is titled incorrectly because HSDPA( iPhone 4s's technology) is not the same as HSPA+. Also neither HSDPA nor HSPA+ is technically 4g( 3g or 3g+), regardless of what marketing terms ATT uses to describe it. Bottom line in your case is yes, the iPhone 4s is capable, when the stars align( in ideal network conditions) of 2x faster theoretical Download speeds than the iPhone 4.
     
  23. mrxak macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Exactly, you've got it.
     
  24. PPFee thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    For the time being, I've grasped that part at least. Now the next thing, Siri processing is done off-site on apple servers, wouldn't this greatly increase data usage?(or am I missing something)
     
  25. dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

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    #25
    I'm not doubting what you guys are saying...it is very helpful. But as I read the AT&T site in a couple places, it just seems to contradict that and indicate that it is in fact HSPA+.

    AT&T Coverage Map:
    http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/?wtSlotClick=1-0061J2-0-6#?type=data
    Then when I click on the 4G link below the map it states:
    4G: The areas shown in darkest blue represent AT&T owned HSPA+ network with enhanced backhaul. AT&T's HSPA+ network is capable of delivering 4G speeds when combined with enhanced backhaul. 4G device required. Learn more about 4G.

    Then when I go here and then click on the Details link below the image of the iPhone, then the Specifications tab, it does say HSPA+.
    http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/packages/packages-details.jsp?q_package=sku5370394#

    Based on the network description of HSPA+ and the iPhone 4S spec stating HSPA+, isn't it HSPA+?
     

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