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  • djsvetljo - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    I have always thought that LTE will bring at least better latency. Comparing to T-Mobile HSPA+ network, I don't see any advantage besides peek downstream (I've seen T-Mobile getting 35 and it does average above 10 in urban areas, latency 150-250). Latency is the biggest factor of slowing you down on a mobile phone specially when browsing.

    Can anyone eloborate ? How about power consumption LTE phone vs HSPA+/UMTS ?
    Reply
  • A5 - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Sub-200ms latency on a mobile device at one of the world's busiest tradeshows isn't that bad. Reply
  • djsvetljo - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    I am not saying its bad, but it does not look like a big upgrade. Defenetly not worth the premium price they ask. Reply
  • A5 - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Well, I also completely disagree with your premise that latency is more important than bandwidth/CPU in mobile right now. I spend way more time waiting for the page to load after the connection to the site is made than I do waiting for the load to start.

    My original point was that comparing the latency of LTE at CES (pretty much the worst-case scenario) with best-cast HSPA latency is a bit silly.
    Reply
  • djsvetljo - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Why do you think that it is the worst case scenario? The antennas are as close as you can get + I am sure it was optimized to handle higher traffic. Reply
  • CZroe - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    When the signal travels the speed of light, distances would need to be a lot farther for that to be a factor! It's not like wired pulses travel faster than wireless. ;)

    In fact, if it went farther there could be less hops and, thus, lower latency.

    Congestion and number of hops contribute to latency. It's "worst case" because of these factors.
    Reply
  • A5 - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Because of the way wireless networks have to schedule access, it means that latency will go up as the number of users increase.

    In past years, the network at the LVCC has been completely unusable due to congestion.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Personally, as a gamer, I'm always interested in low latencies. We're getting to the point where online gaming on the go is quite viable. Better still is if the game isn't exclusively for phones, but rather the smartphone version is an extension of a PC/console game that can be played using the same account, while you're away from your PC. Reply
  • A5 - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Battery life isn't nearly good enough to worry about that yet, at least on any game that I would actually want to play. Reply
  • name99 - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    "I have always thought that LTE will bring at least better latency."

    That's because you get your understanding of cell technology from idiots.

    What is the difference between LTE and HSPA?
    One uses OFDM and the other uses WCDMA to modulate the signal onto a carrier.
    That is the ONLY essential difference. Everything else can be (and is) used by both technologies. 16QAM or 64 QAM. Both can use. Better FEC, or fancier HARQ. Both can use. Various MIMO or frequency combining techniques? Both can use.
    And specific to this: routing of how packets get from the radio-head to the internet proper can use exactly the same techniques (eg RRH, ePC).

    The difference between OFDM and WCDMA is that WCDMA is about 84% as peak efficient as LTE, and it's harder to hit peak efficiency with WCDMA because you need a fancier and fancier equalizer, whereas you can exploit the match between OFDM technology and the way physics degrades a signal to much more easily tailor an optimal signal to the path between the mobile and the tower.
    THAT's what all the arguing is about: 84% and better eq's !

    In future, when you read grand pronouncements about cellular (or any other technology, eg ARM vs Intel or, coming up soon, DDR3 vs DDR4) consider whether the poster gives any indication that he has a clue what he is talking about, rather than simply repeating an emotional position.
    Reply
  • djsvetljo - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Thank you for your reply. With that said, Verizon's upgrade to LTE (from EVDO) is trully justified , but I can not say the same for ATT. Is T-Mobile deploying LTE or LTEBAdvanced this year? Reply
  • name99 - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    It is not reasonable to say that ATT's upgrade was unjustified.

    At the business level, you have no idea of the costs involved, and the value of that extra 16% performance boost.

    At the tech level, LTE is the future. Sticking with HSPA+ saves money today, but it's just going to keep you locked in an obsolete path. It won't hurt immediately, but over time you'll lag more and more as the chip vendors put their A-team on improving their LTE capabilities, while it is the B-team that maintain the HSPA+ cells and give them minor tweaks.

    T-Mobile is desperate, we all know that. They delayed their LTE deployment because they don't have the cash flow, not on sound business/technical grounds.

    For the poor part of the rest of the world, the situation is more nuanced. LTE requires more expensive chips which use more power (so needs more expensive batteries), it requires better RF engineering, it requires more infrastructure in the base station, etc. There's a reason WCDMA was the implementation choice 12 years or so ago, even though everyone knew about OFDM and its advantages.
    So if you're a poor country, it's probably a better tradeoff, for now, to implement HSPA, and allow your citizens to use cheap phones. In ten years or so LTE will be way cheaper, and you can upgrade, buying old equipment from the US which has moved on to LTE Advanced++.
    Reply
  • djsvetljo - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Well, what i was thinking is that it is better to stick with 16% slower network for another 2-3 years and then upgrade to LTE Adv, instead of what they are doing now and upgrading to LTE Advanced in 6-7 years.

    Of course, that is my opinion and I don't know anything about cost and profit, but from consumers point, paying premium for LTE does not make any sense today - the gain you get is not enough.

    Any major upgrade in the past was bringing massive increase in speed - GPRS to EDGE - ~5-6 times, EDGE to WCDMA - almost 10 times and so on.
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    There's also the advantage, that LTE is a true packet switch IP network, where UMTS and its derivates where mixed networks, with some components still being circuit switched.
    This should also help with latency.
    Real world latency should be around 30% of most UMTS derivates - which the numbers reflect. Getting below 300 ms in crowded spectrum with HSPA can be difficult.
    Reply
  • Zink - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    There is something to be said about the timeliness of mobile reviews. The big sites put up reviews a few days after the hardware comes out which leaves little time for measuring actual data, while you guys go to the opposite extreme and haven't posted anything for two months after Jason posted a hands on article. Even three weeks often seems like a long wait. I complain not because I want to read the DNA review, but because I hope month long review periods don’t become a permanent part of Anandtech. Any content that gets posted is awesome but I think much of the value of the reviews is lost every week it get pushed back. Reply
  • Taristin - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    How much of this comparison can be linked to individual phone performance? (Meaning, you didn't compare an AT&T iPhone to a VZW iPhone, but to a different device entirely.) Are they actually comparable, or could the different chipsets in both lead to different performance outcomes? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    So both are actually the same modem inside - MDM9615, which is UE Category 3. There are of course differences in filters / PAs / passive losses, but on the whole these two handsets are a pretty close comparison. I'd get two iPhones or compare with a One X+ but I forgot my One X+ at home.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Taristin - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Ok! Didnt know the specifics, which is why I asked! Reply
  • T2k - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    ...here in NYC (my tests easily run up to 15/5 anywhere in the city, even during busy weekday hours.) Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Of course, but there's a huge difference between NYC and CES... :)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • vshah - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    I'm curious if you ran any t-mobile speedtests since LV is a refarmed area. Last time I was in orlando i was getting consistent 20 down / 3 up tests. Would be interesting to see if 42mbps hspa+ could keep up with LTE downstream in the real world. Reply
  • Lord 666 - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Brian, Thank you for the speed tests. However, would be more interested in seeing VZW iPhone 5 vs AT&T iPhone 5.

    During my last trip to LV in the fall, coverage was challenging with my four VZW devices. Signal strength appeared strong, but connectivity even sitting on the balcony of Cosmo had frequent drops. Speed is test, but usability and consistency is more important.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    I completely agree, and coverage profiles in the hotel rooms themselves is often horrible I've noticed, partly because most of the base stations are very close to the ground and tilted very downward to get small cell densities. That and most of the DASes in the hotels focus primarily on the first couple of levels / conference center and nothing more.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • nidz109 - Thursday, January 17, 2013 - link

    These numbers are not impressive at all, and they only solidify my belief that LTE is just not worth the high cost, at this time. I have a Nexus 4 on T-Mobile's $30 plan, and I've witnessed over 22Mb down on numerous occasions over towers in different locations. By the way, all of my speed tests are done in a suburb. I'm about 35 miles away from a major urban area. I'd say I average about 10-15Mb down in my general area, and I'm very happy with T-Mobile's network. I'm sure the latency on LTE is a bit better, but I cannot justify paying over $100 a month for 2GB of data on Verizon's network. Also, I'd have to be locked into a two year contract, if I wanted to go the Verizon route. No thanks. Reply
  • flyguy29 - Saturday, January 19, 2013 - link

    I have service on Verizon for data and ATT for smartphone w/ data. In Vegas, voice is practically unusable in certain locations with AT&T. However, LtE were faster. I had less coverage issues with Verizon overall. Reply

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