Very Sporadic/Slow 3G Speeds on iPhone 4 and Delay on Speed Test

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mrFinder, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. mrFinder macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Ok let me start by giving you guys some background on this issue. Yesterday, I had my iPhone 4 and an iPhone 3GS side by side and I cleared the history, cookies, and cache on both. I fired up Safari and did a number of non scientific speed tests (just loading up a bunch of sites at the same time on each) and in about 90% of the tests, the 3GS was about 10 times faster than the iPhone 4 (5 second load time vs. 50+ seconds). I did some speedtests as well, on the app, and got relatively low speeds. On the iPhone 4, I averaged about 500 down, 200 up (often times they were both just 0). On the iPhone 3GS, I averaged about 1700 down, and 1500 up, which was pretty normal. Both phones had full 5 bars of 3G.

    Today, I am redoing the speedtest, and although my speeds are a lot better, they are also very sporadic. These are my test results:

    Test1: 612 down, 761 up, 8632ms ping.
    Test2: 400 down, 76 up, 1947ms ping
    Test3: 2857 down, 1173 up, 8805ms ping
    Test4: 1060down, 541 up, 3047ms ping
    Test5: 4034 down, 1676 up, 2250ms ping
    Test6: 1818 down, 1631 up, 1669ms ping
    Test7: 114 down, 0 up, 2622ms ping
    Test8: 0 down, 0 up, 1551ms ping
    Test9: 3019down, 153up, 314ms ping
    Test10: 1748down, 1241up, 21333ms ping.

    So as can be seen, very sporadic. And what I also noticed is that when I press "Begin Test," the meter will will just sit there for a good 4-5 seconds and then all of sudden start going up, and often times because of this, the test doesn't display the full potential because even though the meter is going up rapidly, it doesn't have enough time to reach the 3000+ mark because the test will end. There is a delay more often than not when doing the test. The ping times are very high, maybe this has something to do with it? What is the reason for this? The iPhone 3GS is very consistent on the other hand.

    Let me also mention that there is a delay even when loading webpages. I will enter the web address and press Go, and the bar will just sit there for a bit before it actually begins to load. This is NOT happening on the iPhone 3GS - it is very consistent with loading websites and in the speed tests.

    What could be the issue? Are you guys experiencing this as well on your iPhone 4s?
  2. Pinksteady macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    I have a similar problem. I'm on Vodafone in the UK. If I leave my iPhone 4 on the table with 5 full bars of 3G signal and repeatedly do speed tests, the results vary greatly.

    There are so many factors that could cause this though - e.g. the connection between Vodafone and the destination server, the state of the phone's 3G signal at the time, the congestion in Vodafone's network etc etc that is hard to pin down a cause but I certainly feel like there is a problem that could be addressed.
  3. mrFinder thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Shouldn't the factors that you mentioned affect BOTH iPhones, the 3GS AND the 4. In my tests, ONLY the iPhone 4 is affected. The 3GS is working flawlessly. That is what bugs me.
  4. randy98mtu macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    This is the biggest problem I have had with my phone. I read the sim thread this morning and popped my sim out. When I put it back in, I had a bad test. I don't know why, but I shook the phone and the data started flowing at the same time. As the morning has gone on, any time I got a stalled test I would tap the phone on my desk and the data would take off.

    Give it a shot and see if it does anything for yours? If mines keeps it up, I'm going to take it to the Apple store. I just feel better knowing I can get it to work. This thing SCREAMS when it works. I'm getting consistent 5000 down/1600 up when it's working. I've seen as high as 5700 down.
  5. mrFinder thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2010
    I did remove and reinsert my SIM. Doesn't help. I am going to take it to an AT&T store and get a new SIM. If that doesn't help then I'll take it to an Apple store to get a replacement. It seems like there are only a few of us that are having this particular issue. That makes me feel a little uneasy.
  6. xmtgx macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Started using my 3g more and noticed this as well, pretty crappy if you ask me, cant even use safari sometimes.
  7. Cubsfan macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2007
    I got off the phone with Apple about this an hour ago. Their proposed solutions: restore, then new SIM card. Haven't tried it yet. I'm not hopeful.
  8. Pinksteady macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    It is tempting to see two things happening and come to the conclusion that they are related. E.g. take something into an exam and do well, you may decide that item is "lucky". Other example, shake your phone/take out sim/stand on your head and see signal improve. Because they happen at the same time does not mean they are related.

    My hunch is that there is a programming bug in the iPhone 4 that is making it very bad at holding on to a decent signal. It has been publicised somewhere how Apple are using a new method of the phone choosing the best signal, and I think it is flawed. Maybe a software update will come out to fix this.

    I've ruled out the death-grip problem (my phone is on a table), and people in the same situation have also ruled out the problem affecting multiple phones, so it has to be a software fault. If there is a FURTHER hardware fault on the iPhone 4 then we are really in trouble.
  9. wpc macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2009
    I'm finding 3G speeds quite unreliable too... in fact, 3G in general has been quite unreliable since I got the iPhone 4. In my flat for example, with the 3GS I had issues with 3G coverage but generally the phone would cycle quite well from 3G to standard 2G... but with the iPhone 4 if the phone struggles with 3G and loses coverage, it goes down to no signal and doesn't switch to 2G - regardless if I'm holding it or it's sitting on the table. I've resorted to turning 3G off and I'm getting full signal strength now. It's odd.
  10. kwyn macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2009
  11. amirdieselx64 macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2010
    My iPhone 4 with slow 3G like a 56k modem

    I called AT&T and they were able to fix my 3G from being soo slow by readying the network information the phone uses to find cell towers. They said that the day of activation the towers were overloaded and the phones probably didn't get updated cell tower info. The csr sent a hit to my phone and reset it. I turned it off and back on and my 3G was blazing fast. Anyone else out there with a slow 3G iPhone 4 maybe you should try that as it worked for me.
  12. mrFinder thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Can you elaborate on this? Is it still blazing fast? Are the speeds consistent or are they still spotty/sporadic and occasionally shoot up, making you think that it's fast? Please let us know.

    What did you say to the AT&T rep that made him try this alternative method. Each time I tried speaking to an AT&T rep, they made me go through the standard troubleshooting procedures (reset network settings, restore, etc. etc.) and then ended by saying I should get the device replaced by Apple. Can you please go into detail about your conversation?
  13. reservedegotist macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2009
    I simply paraphrased what the other fellow said regarding resetting / updating the sim card with new network/tower information and my CSR did it for me. It did improve things (actually made my 3G usable, though it's nowhere near the 7.2 Mbps they advertise...I got more like 1 Mbps but at least I can surf the web / check email).

    I'll play around with it tomorrow morning and see if the improvement sticks.

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