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4G vs. 3G vs. WiFi Throughput For Samsung's Epic 4G 103

Posted by timothy
from the taste-of-things-to-come dept.
MojoKid writes "Some of the most popular Android smartphones currently available are members of Samsung's Galaxy S line. Powered by Samsung's own 1GHz ARM Cortex A8-based Hummingbird processor with a four-inch Super-AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, it's no wonder Samsung has sold over 5 million Galaxy S phones. The Epic 4G variant of this phone, available through Sprint, is also one of the scant few 4G capable devices on the market currently. Sprint's 4G network utilizes WiMAX mobile broadband, with a theoretical maximum throughput of 40Mbps. Sprint claims that the average download speed on its 4G network is between 3 to 6Mbps, with peak download speeds above 10Mbps. The performance figures seen here actually show solid throughput for the Epic, besting competitive 3G devices and even versus some with a Wi-Fi connection. 4G WiMAX service is still rather limited geographically, but hopefully devices like these will help to kick the roll-out into gear a bit."
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4G vs. 3G vs. WiFi Throughput For Samsung's Epic 4G

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  • by mattcsn (1592281) on Friday October 15, 2010 @08:41PM (#33914576)

    What good does ever-increasing speed do if I just end up blowing through my data cap that much faster? I can live with lower speeds, I just want reasonable prices per GB.

  • Slashvertisement? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cidolfas (1358603) on Friday October 15, 2010 @08:56PM (#33914646)

    This reads like an ad with just enough to make it slashdot-worthy... but the line at the end makes me think it's just necessary gadget-lust spec gushing. I can't tell if he copy-pasted bits of the article from a press release, or just chose their writing style.

  • Re:LTE (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2010 @08:57PM (#33914654)

    That slowpoke dsl will probably have a latency of less then half the wireless... (Damn the faster and faster speeds, fix the latency. Whats the point of gigabit internet if you have a ping of 2-3 seconds?)

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday October 15, 2010 @10:41PM (#33915070) Homepage Journal
    How many 4G phones are out there right now? It has to be a tiny number compared to 3G handsets. It seems like it should be trivially easy for the phone to rip through data because there's little to no competition for the airtime at the moment. I'd be more interested in what this looks like in a couple of years when there is a million iPhones/Androids/etc... on Sprint all competing for the bandwidth.
  • by bm_luethke (253362) <luethkeb@@@comcast...net> on Friday October 15, 2010 @11:39PM (#33915292)

    It depends on what you are doing - there are applications that need speed but will rarely push much data on a monthly basis.

    For instance we have a product that runs on phones that can use the 3g connection for public safety communications back to the home base for communications (this particular application includes visual elements too - if they simply need voice there is a telephone connection that avoids this). It is basically unusable for that application in the vast majority of the country even as a backup let alone for a primary means of communication. Connections are spotty, dropped packets happen quite often even on good solid connections, latencies are atrocious, basically unusable. It works great through a WiFi connection - no problems whatsoever. It doesn't use a lot of data monthly because it is only use when an ongoing incident is happening, lots of data over short periods.

    It becomes truly important in some areas like that - the classic example is if someone is asking permission to shoot and kill someone and the response is "don't shoot" and the "don't" gets cut off - it is a real problem. There have been times where it takes over a minute for the message to reliably get there. Most of us will never have that occur but if you are in a security and disaster response arena it is quite important - people can and will die over that type of thing. Smart phones (and the resultant data networks) are so geared towards web browsing and checking e-mails where those things are irrelevant they have basically made it impossible to use for a great number of applications that it would be ideal for.

    I haven't been able to test any 4G networks, but some of the other engineers I work with (a different company than the one I'm on - we resell and do custom software on some of their products) has basically said that while the 4G networks they have tested are quite a bit better and you can really tell the difference whilst "normal" internet tasks, it still is so focused on non-mission critical tasks that the carriers simply do not care about anything else and have made no attempts to make it better. We have seen that too in our other line of products (storage and disaster recovery products for mission critical transactional machines - credit card processors, 911 call processing, and a few stock exchanges) and some of even the server class hardware accepts error rates that we simply can not. It can be tough to find providers that truly understand that some people can't accept problems that are just fine for video games, web browsing, and using a word processor. In all of those cases the question is "If you have been shot and are calling 911 would you want your call going through that?". That is why voice connections are so heavily regulated and downtime is heavily fined - data not so much.

    So yea, care about speed too - it could potentially one day save your life. There are many more applications that for these data pathways than just web browsing and streaming video.

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