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ahmad

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#39150 10-Aug-2009 15:01
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It took me a whole day of running around on an empty stomach but I've completed a test of XT vs. Vodafone 3G speeds in Dunedin on Friday 7 August 2009.

http://buttonmasher.co.nz/ahmad/2009/08/10/xt-faster-in-more-dunedin-places-for-iphone-3g/

It was performed around various Dunedin landmarks, and the results as published show XT ahead of Vodafone for speeds using an iPhone 3G.

I have been since informed that there may be problems with the validity of this data because apparently there is a known problem with the iPhone when used on the Vodafone network, but in my defence I have asked for clarification before and not received any answer.

Therefore I went ahead with earlier plans to do this speed test, and the test was done with the information available to me as a lay telecommunications user.

Comments welcome.

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johnr
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  #244757 10-Aug-2009 15:17
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Many sites in Dunedin are W900

John

ahmad

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  #244770 10-Aug-2009 15:36
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Sorry John but you know that I am a telecommmications "n00b" and many of your responses to me about this topic have required a decoder to understand.

I wonder if perhaps you could form a response that would allow "normal" users to understand it?

Is your post meant to suggest that if the iPhone supported 900Mhz that it would be faster? As that doesn't exactly help me or other iPhone 3G/3GS users.

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  #244782 10-Aug-2009 15:46
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Basically johnr is saying that in Dunedin you will get limited 2100 MHz WCDMA - which is what the iPhone supports. Most of the sites there are 900 MHz WCDMA, which are not supported by the iPhone 3G/3G S so in effect you will notice slow speeds around that town.




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ahmad

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  #244794 10-Aug-2009 15:55
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Excellent! A reply that an end user can understand!! Thanks Mauricio.

So does that effectively make the XT network the faster option for iPhone users in our city?

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  #244796 10-Aug-2009 15:56
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You draw your own conclusions. It all depends on what you use the phone for (which I'd conclude is "data") and where.

If you use the phone for voice or SMS only then a) you don't need an iPhone or b) you shouldn't need an iPhone.






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  #244798 10-Aug-2009 16:00
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Perhaps I can help with explaining this as I use the following analagy regularly with reasonable success.

Did you know that mobile phone networks work on on or more frequencies, a little bit like Radio stations work on one ore more frequencies. i.e MoreFM wellington is 94.7Mz but in Auckland it is on 91.8MHz.

What happens is that each mobile phone is build to work on a set of frequencies a little bit like some car radios cannot work on FM stations above 90MHz.

The iPhone 3G/3GS works on the 850/900/1800/1900 GSM "radio stations" as well as the 850 & 2100 WCDMA "radio stations".

The iPhone 3G/3GS does not work on the 900 WCDMA "radio staion" which is what Vodafone use for their Extended 3G coverage.

This is the most common issue with people trying to use a mobile phone brought in one country and trying to use it in another. new Zealand is quite unique as we have mobile phone networks working on most of the "radio stations" available. GSM 900/1800, WCDMA 850/900/1200 are all available in NZ.

Hope this helps.




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ahmad

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  #244800 10-Aug-2009 16:01
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I note that XT has slightly better signal in my bedroom (3 bars vs 0-2) but that hardly matters to anyone else :p



ahmad

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  #244813 10-Aug-2009 16:13
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NealR thanks. I actually understand that but I am sure it will help others.

I have read freitism's excellent XT FAQs so understand the frequency concept but johnr's comment was a little too jargony for me.


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  #244842 10-Aug-2009 16:46
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freitasm: Basically johnr is saying that in Dunedin you will get limited 2100 MHz WCDMA - which is what the iPhone supports. Most of the sites there are 900 MHz WCDMA, which are not supported by the iPhone 3G/3G S so in effect you will notice slow speeds around that town.


So are Vodafone rolling out sites that are ONLY 900 capable? Because not only would this disadvantage iphone users, but I imagine a whole stack of other older 3G phone owners.

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  #244844 10-Aug-2009 16:52
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Many sites support 900 3G only example Waldronville Dunedin

John



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  #244846 10-Aug-2009 16:55
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Ah, ok.
Is that likely to be the way moving forwards or just a select set of sites?

Just trying to guage the importance of 900MHz capability when its time for a phone upgrade.

ahmad

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  #244897 10-Aug-2009 18:29
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johnr - the testing I did was at sites all within the central city area. Waldronville (I appreciate that this was just an example) is at least 15km away.

For all the Vodafone tests, you will note from my screenshots that 3G signal was *always* available and fairly strong except when in the basement of the Meridian Mall (food court).

I presume this means that all my tests were done in 2100Mhz (and 3G capable) areas?

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  #244943 10-Aug-2009 20:20
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Thanks ahmad. Great work. The vodafone speeds you were observing match up with my observations (300-500 kbps download), except when my iPhone 3GS drops down to 116 kbps and stays there indefinitely until I "airplane mode" on and off again. Your vodafone 3G signals are on the 2100 MHz frequency (and XT on the 850 MHz frequency) in central Dunedin, as pointed out by others. Obviously your relatively slow speeds (compared to XT) are not due to an absence of a 3G signal, as 2G doesn't deliver 300-500 kbps. The comments made by others about 900 MHz are irrelevant to the iPhone 3G service, and I'm not sure why these comments were made. It's not like this is the cause of the slow speeds.

I've been toying with the idea of buying out my contract with vodafone and switching to a plan on XT, but decided not to for the following reason. I only need higher speeds for video clips, such as our local channel 9 TV news. The slower vodafone speeds are fine for web browsing and e-mails. The channel 9 news is a 150 MB download, so this would chew up a considerable amount of the data cap provided by Telecom. For the next thee months at least, vodafone are significantly more generous with their data cap (3 GB per month).

event2
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  #244975 10-Aug-2009 21:28
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I Listen to internet radio on my way home from work in Mosgiel threw to northeast valley on vodafone i have 3g coverage from saddle hill threw to home but can only listen stations with a bit rate 32 to 60 with the odd stuff up and buffer. Got a XT sim and can listen to stations with bitrate of 120 with no problems. Very frustrating when paying $80 a month for something that doesn't work as claimed. will change to XT after this "free" 3 gig of data is finished as i have used a bit and i think if i cancel contract now i will get charged for the data i have used. Just looking at the t'cs on voda site.

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