What 4G and 3G speeds are considered good?

coldjeanzzz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 4, 2012
655
17
Using the speedtest app. Whenever I run the test I have no idea if the speeds I am getting are normal or ridiculously slow (i.e I need a baseline to compare them with).

What do you guys get?
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
What are you getting? Change it to MB/s btw.

Personally anything over 2 mb/s and I can't tell much of a difference since the phone isn't downloading massive files.

The ping is what determines how quick it feels. Sub 100 and the phone feels pretty quick.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
Using the speedtest app. Whenever I run the test I have no idea if the speeds I am getting are normal or ridiculously slow (i.e I need a baseline to compare them with).

What do you guys get?
Where I work, I get around 5-12Mbps down with AT&T and Verizon LTE.

Throughput and latency varies greatly depending on location and network congestion. As long as the internet speed is fast enough for the things you do, (e.g. web browsing, email, Pandora, YouTube, etc), I don't see much point in splitting hairs.
 

coldjeanzzz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 4, 2012
655
17
What are you getting? Change it to MB/s btw.

Personally anything over 2 mb/s and I can't tell much of a difference since the phone isn't downloading massive files.

The ping is what determines how quick it feels. Sub 100 and the phone feels pretty quick.
Ok so clearly my speeds are atrocious. I have Sprint though so I guess I expected that. I live in an area that still doesn't have 4G (kind of ridiculous considering I live in a large city not too far from Los Angeles) and I never get full bars either so my download speed is showing up as 0.60 MB/s with a 85 ping. Still have another year on contract with them so will have to tough it out.
 

Xenomorph

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,293
517
St. Louis
I get 3-9 Mbps on my iPhone 4S w/ HSPA+ and 10-50 Mbps on my iPhone 5S w/ LTE.

Anything over 2 Mbps w/ 3G and anything over 10 Mbps w/ LTE should be quite usable.
 

sviato

macrumors 68020
Oct 27, 2010
2,274
44
HR 9038 A
2Mb/s is pretty garbage, Sprint's data plans should cost next to nothing for speeds lower than that
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
2Mb/s is pretty garbage, Sprint's data plans should cost next to nothing for speeds lower than that

?

Verizon / Sprint CDMA 3G theoretical max is 3.1 mb/s download. 2 mb/s is garbage comparatively speaking to HSPA+ and LTE but to get 2+ mb/s real world on Verizon or Sprints 3G is pretty good.

Only time I think it's really noticeable is when tethering. It's not like it's an Android phone running a torrent in the background downloading a blu ray.

Be nice if they did discount your plan if they saw you were on 3G mostly though! :)
 

ValerieDurden

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2010
593
0
Philadelphia, PA, USA
2Mb/s is pretty garbage, Sprint's data plans should cost next to nothing for speeds lower than that
Anything over 1Mbps on Sprint or Verizon 3G is considered good considering the max is 3.1Mbps and no user is ever going to see that, the highest I have personally seen is around 2.7Mbps on Sprint but that doesn't happen often. 1.5Mbps is a good average number for when I am on 3G which is rare now, I am usually always parked on LTE.
 

Col Ronson

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2008
618
2
3G: ~1-2Mbps average is good

4G HSPA+: 5~10Mbps is good. I've had mine go to 18-19Mbps sometimes.

4G LTE: Anything over 30Mbps+ is good imo.

E: the speed test won't even work hahaha
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
Anything over 2 Mbps w/ 3G and anything over 10 Mbps w/ LTE should be quite usable.
Just curious, why have different tiers for what is considered usable? Personally, on my phone I don't really care if I'm connected via 3G, HSPA or LTE as long as latency/ping is low, connection is stable and I'm getting at least 2Mb/s.
 

jeffe

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2008
595
49
Ok so clearly my speeds are atrocious. I have Sprint though so I guess I expected that. I live in an area that still doesn't have 4G (kind of ridiculous considering I live in a large city not too far from Los Angeles) and I never get full bars either so my download speed is showing up as 0.60 MB/s with a 85 ping. Still have another year on contract with them so will have to tough it out.
Looking here, it seems Large cities surrounding LA should have lte before the years end.

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Just curious, why have different tiers for what is considered usable? Personally, on my phone I don't really care if I'm connected via 3G, HSPA or LTE as long as latency/ping is low, connection is stable and I'm getting at least 2Mb/s.
Yeah I can't really distinguish between 2Mb/s and 30b/s unless I'm downloading a file or something.

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Just curious, why have different tiers for what is considered usable? Personally, on my phone I don't really care if I'm connected via 3G, HSPA or LTE as long as latency/ping is low, connection is stable and I'm getting at least 2Mb/s.
Yeah I can't really distinguish between 2Mb/s and 30b/s unless I'm downloading a file or something.
 

Xenomorph

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,293
517
St. Louis
Just curious, why have different tiers for what is considered usable? Personally, on my phone I don't really care if I'm connected via 3G, HSPA or LTE as long as latency/ping is low, connection is stable and I'm getting at least 2Mb/s.
Well, I guess connecting with anything at 2 Mbps+ is fine.

I'd make note of the LTE speed though, because if it's lower than 10 Mbps, I'd consider something wrong (bad coverage, interference from something, etc). Definitely not "good" for LTE (based on the title of the thread).
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
Well, I guess connecting with anything at 2 Mbps+ is fine.

I'd make note of the LTE speed though, because if it's lower than 10 Mbps, I'd consider something wrong (bad coverage, interference from something, etc). Definitely not "good" for LTE (based on the title of the thread).
Since speed is dependent on signal strength and network congestion, what will you be able to do if it's less than 10 Mbps, anyway? Go outside the building or something?

The practical solution would be to switch to a service provider with better coverage and speed in locations where you need cellular connectivity.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
Keep in mind webpages and other things that you connect to aren't speed test. If you have 5+ mbs down on speed test you are exceeding most real world connection speeds.

How often do you download something on you PC/Mac and see 3000 kbs? Rarely and if you do it's generally a torrent, FTP, etc

That's why it's hard to see a difference between 5 mbs and 80 mbs on a phone which doesn't multitask downloads well.

Passed 2 mbs and I'm more concerned with ping.
 

DcGamer05

macrumors regular
Mar 27, 2011
210
50
Danbury CT
Speeds aren't the only factor. When I had sprint 3G it could sometimes run a speed test of 2Mbps but usually sub 1mbps if you would try to connect to a FaceTime call it would say connecting forever and never connect.

Since I've switched to verizon whenever I drop to 3G the speeds aren't fast and barely test above 1mbps but the pings are excellent and everytime I try to connect to FaceTime it connects almost instantly. Whereas sprint would never connect over 3G

Bottom line speed tests capture a small bit of the network over a very short period of time and is not an accurate measurement of data reliability.

Best way to figure out who's the best is to use the phone how you normally would and see what kind if results you get.

Verizon certainly ain't the fastest in my area but they are reliable and have coverage and building penetration which are more important factors.

Speed tests are bragging rights and a 50mbps speed test off a tmobile or sprint tower won't mean anything when your in a basement or concrete building and the phone reads 1x or EDGE.
 

dasx

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2012
1,098
17
Barcelona
I usually get aroun 20Mbps on 3G. Haven't run speedtest in 4G for some time now, mainly because it uses like 50MB, lol
This is one I took some time ago with my iPhone 5.

This is Vodafone in Barcelona.
 

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hummus

macrumors member
Nov 28, 2012
82
2
Quick test via the Speedtest app on my 5c with wifi off gave me 37Mbps down, 14.3 Mbps up with LTE. This is with three dots/bars of signal strength (not sure if that makes a difference).
 

coldjeanzzz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 4, 2012
655
17
Was at a restaurant a few miles from my house today, was getting full bars with 4G and these were my speeds with Sprint

48 ms
15.76 Mbps download
7.44 Mbps upload

Not bad at all. I think it's just where I live that it's crap because I live a bit up the mountains, but I have no need for data here anyway and I'll be moving in a few months to a different state where hopefully the coverage will be good.
 

Tthomas612

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2013
1,309
273
Was at a restaurant a few miles from my house today, was getting full bars with 4G and these were my speeds with Sprint

48 ms
15.76 Mbps download
7.44 Mbps upload

Not bad at all. I think it's just where I live that it's crap because I live a bit up the mountains, but I have no need for data here anyway and I'll be moving in a few months to a different state where hopefully the coverage will be good.
My sprint service is just spotty. At my house I get maybe 1 Mbps on 3G because I turn LTE off because I know it doesn't work at my house. When I have LTE enabled when I'm at home I may get .4 Mbps down. If LTE is enabled and you are getting spotty LTE then your phone keeps trying to pick that up, but once you turn it off your 3G becomes more dependable.

When I get LTE I get good service...
 

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Afbar1114

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2012
778
6
This is my speeds with out LTE on tmobile inside my work I was getting these speeds on verizon LTE
 

jfoley89

macrumors regular
Sep 1, 2013
122
1
This is my average on 4G, my LTE goes upto around 60/20, iPhone 5 on Telstra in Brisbane/Australia
 

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