- 12-02-2011, 10:21 AM #1
After extensive testing, I'm quite positive AT&T is artificially limiting network speed on their version of the Titan by limiting the HSDPA feature set to category 8. The phone hardware of course is able to support HSDPA category 10 features.
To be clear, enabling HSDPA category 10 features doesn't just raise the theoretical maximum throughput to 14.1 Mbps. HSDPA category 10 features should improve performance across the board, even when throughput is below the theoretical maximum of HSDPA category 8, which is 7.2 Mbps.
My theory is based on testing in multiple markets, with and without advanced backhaul, against an LG Thrill and Samsung Galaxy S II. On the two Android phones I am able to adjust and verify the HSDPA category. The LG Thrill set to HSDPA category 10 and the Galaxy S II set to HSDPA category 14 both get about twice the network performance of the HTC Titan in any given location using the same sim card.
If you're skeptical that AT&T would essentially disable HSPA+ on a phone they're advertising as HSPA+ 4G enabled, look no further than the LG Thrill. It has been proven by analyzing code and hidden settings that it was shipped with the HSDPA category set to 8. Setting it to 10 on the LG Thrill roughly doubles network performance for most people. AT&T does this to lighten the load on their network and they figure most people will never notice. Maybe you remember the AT&T HSUPA fiasco that gained wide media coverage early this year. So there are multiple cases of past precedent for this kind of behavior from AT&T.
Anyways, on Android phones it isn't a big deal because we can easily set the proper HSDPA category in our custom ROMs. Windows Phone, however, is closed and very locked down so we have no way (that I know of) to adjust, or even verify, this setting.
The international Titan is undoubtedly not restricted in this way, but apparently it doesn't support AT&T's 1900 MHz frequency so we can't compare performance directly to prove foul play. That said, if anyone has both phones I would like to see some network speed comparisons between the two, or maybe a comparison to other Windows Phones on AT&T's network (though AT&T could be limiting all of them).
If anyone is seeing speeds above 7.2 Mbps on their AT&T Titan it would prove my theory wrong, so please report if you've seen 8-12 Mbps on your AT&T Titan at any time on AT&T's network. These speeds may seem high, but they're fairly common now in HSPA+ areas with advanced backhaul.
The only other possibilities are poorly set TCP buffer sizes or just flat horrible radio hardware, but knowing AT&T the speeds we're seeing are artificially limited.
I used this site in the browser for most testing: http://www.ispgeeks.com/wild/modules...idth_Meter_DSL I also used the BandWidth app as well as several other sites to verify my findings.
edit: Forgot to give you an idea of how large the disparity is. At my house outside of Atlanta there is no advanced backhaul and I'm getting 2-3 Mbps on the Titan compared to 3-4 Mbps on my Android phones. In the city where there is advanced backhaul in place I'm maxing out around 4 Mbps on the Titan compared to 8-10 Mbps on my Android phones.
Last edited by gtg465x; 12-02-2011 at 10:36 AM.
- 12-02-2011, 10:28 AM #2
I do not have HSPA+ in my area yet, so I can't help you. I do however notice the speed increase, however minimal it is, between my Titan and my old Focus. But in all, I'm very happy with the speed so far 1.5mbps average. My Wi-Fi at home is only 4mbps!!!
- 12-02-2011, 10:35 AM #3
At my house outside of Atlanta there is no advanced backhaul and I'm getting 2-3 Mbps on the Titan compared to 3-4 Mbps on my Android phones. In the city where there is advanced backhaul in place I'm maxing out around 4 Mbps on the Titan compared to 8-10 Mbps on my Android phones.
- 12-02-2011, 12:03 PM #9
I am getting great speeds with wi-fi ON and cellular OFF. wo tests using Bandwith app were 1.05 and 11.5, respectively. With wi-fi OFF and cellular ON, I am not able to even load a page. I am in an area that shows 4G as my connection. Bandwidth test shows server timeout.
Something here seems to be bugger than speed limits, per se... but my Titan seems to be semi-functional at best right now. Started choking last night, now that I think about it (I use cell connection at home and wi-fi during the day).
- 12-02-2011, 12:06 PM #10
I was wondering how accurate the Bandwidth App was. I have a hard time getting solid Wifi speeds too.
I just did a Wifi test, same server location.
Titan: 10Mbps down, 2.8Mbps up. 120ms ping.
Playbook Tablet: 30Mbps down, 2.77Mbps up, 26ms.
I seem to get nearly half the speeds as my buddy with an iPhone 4 also on ATT.
- 12-02-2011, 12:16 PM #13
Wi-fi is sensational: highest download speed is 18.48 down, 6.44 up (others were 7.05 down 6.29 up; and 11.58 down 3.53 up)
On cellular only (I am in an HSPA area - connection shows 4G):
about half are server timeout. Zip.
Others are: 1.55 up / 0.79 down; 0.57 up/ 0.48 down; 1.53 up/ 0.76 down
Seems to support your theory...
- 12-02-2011, 12:16 PM #14
Doesn't that sound more like an HTC Titan thing versus an AT&T thing? You're able to get good speeds with AT&T devices, but different manufacturers.
- 12-02-2011, 12:18 PM #16
- 12-02-2011, 12:36 PM #19
- 12-02-2011, 01:15 PM #21
While I do wish I had legit 4G in my area that's not a huge concern to me. What is a problem is how weak the wireless antenna is on the Titan. I swear it reaches only half as far as my Focus. Not only that, the Titan seems to take longer to connect and appears to have a harder time staying connected.
It seems like I'm going to have to rely a lot more on ATTs fake 4G speeds for data even though I work in a building that has wifi on every floor. I don't use a lot of data so my 2GB plan should be good enough."Engineering is more than just the number of megapixels." - Stephen Elop
12-02-2011, 01:26 PM #22
- 38 Posts
I decided to give the Titan another try after everyone kept raving about it thinking I must have missed something when I tried it for a few days instead of my Focus S. I can attest to the fact that my Focus S averages over twice the speed of the Titan on the very same tests done at the very same place. Both my WIFI speeds and 4G are both slower on the Titan.
- 12-02-2011, 01:58 PM #24
Why would AT&T limit the speed on the Titan but not on the Focus S? I doubt HTC would willfully hamstring their device while their competition is unhindered. Considering how many people are complaining about signal strength, it would not be surprising if this was a hardware issue.
12-02-2011, 02:02 PM #25
- 31 Posts
I had the same unreliable/slow network speeds when I when I had the Focus S for two weeks. For me, if it works, it works fine. But most of the time, I'm getting network timeouts, i.e. completely non-functional data connection. It's become such a problem for me that I'm usually surprised when the data works.
EDIT: This isn't a signal strength issue; at least not for me. I can have full bars of "4G" and still be unable to use the data network.