Vodafone 3G Broadband latency

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 9-Jan-2007 19:07

I've just spent the last hour or so playing with some various settings and it's interesting to see the differences between Vodafone APN's. Traffic is even being routed differently depending on the APN which explains the ping times.


The ping times of under 100ms are sensational but aren't constant, I received ping times in the low 100's on average testing the Vodem on several occasions. Traffic using www.vodafone.net.nz however is being routed differently as the tracert results show and the latency suffers big time.

Obviously if you are a Vodafone 3G data customer and lower latency is an issue for you then changing APN's may be a wise move.

Details of Vodafone NZ's APN's are here


Using APN direct.vodafone.net.nz

Tracing route to wlg.italk.co.nz [203.184.16.6]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1   114 ms    99 ms    99 ms  172.27.74.33
  2   106 ms   119 ms    99 ms  172.27.65.1
  3   104 ms    99 ms    99 ms  172.27.65.124
  4    98 ms    99 ms    99 ms  172.27.65.188
  5   107 ms    98 ms    99 ms  172.27.86.33
  6   127 ms    99 ms   109 ms  172.27.86.1
  7    97 ms    99 ms    99 ms  203.167.225.157
  8    97 ms    99 ms    99 ms  g9-927.u12.brh.telstraclear.net [218.101.61.4]
  9   115 ms   109 ms   109 ms  g1-926.u11.pnr.telstraclear.net [218.101.61.33]

 10   106 ms   109 ms   109 ms  ggis-gige-v906.telstraclear.net [203.98.18.67]
 11   107 ms   109 ms   109 ms  g0-1-0-4.akcr8.global-gateway.net.nz [210.55.202
.49]
 12   106 ms   129 ms   109 ms  attica-dom.akcr8.global-gateway.net.nz [202.50.1
16.198]
 13   126 ms   109 ms   109 ms  f0-0.5.cpiak1-r1.tranzpeer.net [202.180.64.71]
 14   106 ms    99 ms   119 ms  vip1.italk.co.nz [203.184.16.6]

Trace complete.


Pinging geekzone.co.nz [210.48.73.74] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 210.48.73.74: bytes=32 time=103ms TTL=112
Reply from 210.48.73.74: bytes=32 time=101ms TTL=112
Reply from 210.48.73.74: bytes=32 time=89ms TTL=112
Reply from 210.48.73.74: bytes=32 time=88ms TTL=112

Ping statistics for 210.48.73.74:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 88ms, Maximum = 103ms, Average = 95ms


Using APN www.vodafone.net.nz

Pinging geekzone.co.nz [210.48.73.74] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 210.48.73.74: bytes=32 time=242ms TTL=102
Reply from 210.48.73.74: bytes=32 time=250ms TTL=102
Reply from 210.48.73.74: bytes=32 time=229ms TTL=102
Reply from 210.48.73.74: bytes=32 time=247ms TTL=102

Ping statistics for 210.48.73.74:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 229ms, Maximum = 250ms, Average = 242ms


Tracing route to wlg.italk.co.nz [203.184.16.6]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1   124 ms   169 ms   139 ms  172.26.74.33
  2   128 ms   149 ms   139 ms  172.26.65.1
  3   147 ms   149 ms   119 ms  172.26.65.124
  4   157 ms   149 ms   159 ms  172.26.65.188
  5   148 ms   139 ms   158 ms  172.26.86.33
  6   146 ms   149 ms   149 ms  172.26.86.1
  7   147 ms   148 ms   150 ms  vodafone-customer.gw2.akl1.alter.net [203.110.9.
21]
  8   137 ms   139 ms   119 ms  so-3-0-0.XR2.AKL1.ALTER.NET [210.80.38.149]
  9   136 ms   159 ms   159 ms  so-3-0-0.BR1.AKL1.ALTER.NET [210.80.38.138]
 10   317 ms   298 ms   299 ms  atm3-1-0-2.sn1.optus.net.au [202.139.18.17]
 11   317 ms   310 ms   289 ms  AsiaNetcom.sn1.optus.net.au [202.139.18.2]
 12   316 ms   310 ms   308 ms  so-2-0-3-0.gw4.akl1.asianetcom.net [202.147.55.1
45]
 13   326 ms   288 ms   329 ms  ip-202-147-46-234.asianetcom.net [202.147.46.234
]
 14   296 ms   310 ms   309 ms  vip1.italk.co.nz [203.184.16.6]

Trace complete.



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Comment by juha, on 9-Jan-2007 19:31

That's a massive difference. And why is Vodafone tromboning traffic to Italk via Australia? Crazy.


Author's note by sbiddle, on 9-Jan-2007 19:45

I've just been informed that this may be the case because Vodafone's optimisation server isn't located in NZ hence the high latency using an APN with optimisation. I've noticed the Vodem tends to jump between HSDPA and 3G mode a *lot*, is this normal on anybody else's? Here I'm within line of sight of 2 3G sites both about 1km away.


Comment by johnr, on 9-Jan-2007 20:05

You are only allocated a HSDPA when moving traffic when idel you are handed back to 3G WCDMA


Comment by johnr, on 9-Jan-2007 20:06

You are only allocated a HSDPA when moving traffic when idel you are handed back to 3G WCDMA


Comment by alasta, on 9-Jan-2007 20:54

I have found that mine tends to roll over to regular UMTS after a period of inactivity, then flick back to HSDPA when traffic resumes. I suspect that this may be a power or bandwidth saving feature rather than a symptom of poor radio performance, but I'd be very interested to find out for sure.


Comment by cokemaster, on 9-Jan-2007 21:45

My vodem while I had it... exhibited similar performance to what Alasta describes.


Comment by johnr, on 9-Jan-2007 22:56

This normal and meant to work like this


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Steve Biddle
Wellington
New Zealand


I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.


I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

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