Will iPhone 5 improve 3G speeds?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gladoscc, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. gladoscc macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2011
    I use my phone's unlimited 3G as my internet. I'm in Australia, and I can't find any true unlimited LTE plans (I use about 20 gigs a month), and the speed over 3G is a bit slow. Will a iPhone 5 make 3G faster over my 4?
  2. joeshmo2010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    depends on if your carrier supports speeds greater than 7.2mbps on its hspa network. If yes, then yes the iphone 5 will give you access to the faster speeds
  3. dictoresno macrumors 601


    Apr 30, 2012
    probably not. 55 miles per hour is 55 miles per hour whether your driving in a minivan or an F1 car. network speeds are mostly going to depend on your carriers network and its physical limitations, not the phones hardware. at least, not in the case of the most recent iphones. the 4 should be just as fast as the 5's 3G speeds.
  4. PM-Performance macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2012
    Incorrect to an extent. I can tell you for certain that my 4 to 4S to 5 all see different speeds on ATT due to the antenna range capabilities.
  5. ZacT94 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    Who are you with? And where did you find unlimited 3G? I'm in Australia too.
  6. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    How different? Except in marginal cases I wouldn't expcect a drastic improvement simply due to better signal.

    Best way for the OP to answer is to get the 5 and try it out before the return window closes. I wouldn't expect drastic improvements, if any.
  7. PM-Performance macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2012
    Each iphone release they change the antenna to work on different ranges.
    My 4 usually sees like 1.5-2mb. my 4s usually sees like 3-5mb and my 5 was seeing 7-12mb speeds all in the same spot side by side.

    Again this is on ATT. not sure if the other providers run HSPA+ in different ranges like ATT does
  8. Jordan921 macrumors 601


    Jul 7, 2010
    Bay Area
  9. darster Suspended

    Aug 25, 2011
    Same goes with wifi, sort of. My previous iphone 4 and razr maxx did not support 5 Ghz band, so my fastest speeds on my home wifi were around 25 Mbs. My iPhone 5 with exact same router has DL speeds near 60 Mbs which is the max speed from my provider.
  10. kaibex macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2010
    East Sussex, UK
    I have definitely seen an increase. Max speed I got on my 4S was 6Mbps, with my 5 I have hit 19.86Mbps on 3G network :)
  11. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    Yes, the iPhone 5 is definitely faster than an iPhone 4 on 3G networks. First of all: it just supports higher 3G supports. The second thing is the CPU: as you probably know the iPhone 5 has a highly superior CPU compared to the iPhone 4 (and iPhone 4S) and this also helps with loading pages.

    As long as your carrier supports these high dataspeeds, than you'll see an increase in speed.
  12. Damolee macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    I hit 14MBit on 3G the other day. On my Galaxy S3 it was around 4Mbit at most and the iPhone topped out at 3Mbit.

    Oddly, the speed increased when I disabled LTE in the options. It's like if you cannot get it, it does limit you.
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    No. How can a device make your 3G network faster?
    Unless your network support HSPA+ 3G access then your iphone 5 will pull faster data than your old iphone 4.
    Call your carrier to find out if they have updated their 3G network in your local area to hpsa+. They should be able to tell you.
  14. ZacT94 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    All 3 of our carriers and their resellers in Australia support HSPA+ 21, with two of these carriers (Telstra and Vodafone) supporting DC-HSPA+ (HSPA+ 42). If you are with one of these two and in an area with DC-HSPA+, then you will see a dramatic increase in speed. If you aren't in an area with DC-HSPA+, or are with Optus, then you will still see a speed increase, just not as great.
  15. Random 995K macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2012
    If you mean loading webpages, then yes. The iPhone 5 loads web pages twice as fast as the iPhone 4S! I think it should be loading web pages then ~4 times faster than the iPhone 4. I have definitely noticed a difference since i got rid of my iPhone 4S and got the 5.

    Attached Files:

  16. Furifo macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Actually, it depends on the network. For some networks, there has been a huge increase:

    Network: Three UK
    iPhone 4S: Consistently around 6-7mbps (HSPA+)
    iPhone 5: Consistently 14-18mbps (DC-HSPA+)

    Same time, same location.
  17. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    Better designed antennas and other RF components can make a noticeable difference, such as by doing a better job of working around interference or making the most out of a weak signal.
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Yes that will make your reception better but obviously it cannot Improve your network. :)
    If the carrier sucks and its slow then you can put all the high end antennas you want on a new cellphone. :D
  19. ManuCH macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2009
    I have seen a huge increase in speed on Swisscom network, double if not more.

    With my 4S I would get constant 7, max 10-11 Mbit/s with HSPA.
    With my 5 I can get up to 21 Mbit/s with DC-HSPA. That's pretty amazing.
  20. Furifo macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Exactly my feelings too!

    For those of us who don't have widespread LTE, DC-HSPA+ capability is a really nice upgrade.
  21. reclusive46 macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2011
    Well considering the iPhone 5 supports dual carrier hspa and the 4 only supports 7.2mb/s HSPDA.

    If the network supports it, the iPhone 5 will be much faster.
  22. Gunny011 macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2011
    My T-Mobile UK speeds have gone from around 3.4mb down and 0.6mb up to 12mb down in urban areas so it has improved drastically for me.
  23. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    You're correct that a handset can't overcome network deficiencies such as undersized backhaul. But a handset can enable the network to provide better coverage and capacity.

    For example, when the handset has a great front end, the network doesn't have to use as much power to maintain a connection. Lower power means less interference, which saps capacity. In the case of CDMA-based networks, when a cell site uses a lot of power, its coverage area shrinks, a phenomenon known as cell breathing. So if that cell site is serving a lot of devices with good front ends, then coverage holes are less likely.

    These are examples of why operators have months-long certification tests before allowing a new model of phone, tablet, modem, etc. onto their network. A gold-plated network can't overcome an installed base of crappy devices.

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