Does the cellular Air do 4G?

Discussion in 'iPad Air Forum' started by jwt873, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. jwt873

    jwt873
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    My new Air gets blinding download speeds on LTE.. But, unfortunately I live in the country and I'm just outside of my provider's LTE coverage area. (by 15 miles or 24 Km) I have a nearby tower that only has 4G speed. My Android phone shows 4G in its status display, but my new Air only shows 3G up on the top left corner.

    I did some speed tests using the Ookla speed test app. They were done on the same server... My Air seems to be getting 3G speeds which are about 2 Mb/s slower than what 4G offers.

    I know 4G isn't really a fixed standard and carriers have some latitude in what they call 4G... I'm just wondering if anyone with an Air that lives in a 4G coverage area has seen 4G displayed on the connection status on the top left corner of their screen.
     
  2. AQ_OC

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    Where do you live? I have not heard of any 4G that is not LTE in the states. So, your post is confusing without some more info.

    Also, is the AIR and android tablet on the same carrier?
     
  3. jwt873

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    I'm in Canada using Rogers.. Both devices are on the same plan and the same account.. (They draw from the same data pool).

    If you look at the map in the link below, you can see that they have LTE in the larger cities and 4G HSPA+ elsewhere. (I'm in the 4G zone). As I say, my phone reports 4G, but the Air says 3G.. (Which isn't even on the coverage map)...

    Rogers Coverage Map
     
  4. AQ_OC

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    I don't think the iPad supports HSPA+. Well, I take that back. I just checked the apple.com website and it does offer hpsa+ support, maybe not worldwide or something.
     
    #4 AQ_OC, Dec 24, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  5. jwt873

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    I've looked at the specs and it sure supports a lot of formats :) .. But I guess it doesn't like Rogers' iteration of 4G/HSPA+ at non LTE speeds... Just for interest, I took a shot of my Galaxy Note II sitting on top of the iPad Air. See below. -- The phone shows 4G and the iPad shows 3G.. When I'm in the city, both the phone and iPad show 'LTE' on the status line and both get the same download speeds.

    When the holidays are over, I'm going to give the local Apple store 'geniuses' a shout and see what they have to say....
     

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  6. twerppoet

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    I know that Apple decided (with iOS 6 I believe) to start showing AT&T as 4G when on HSPA+. Before that they showed as 3G. Apple probably did this because all the other carriers and many Android devices took the liberty of showing any 3G enhanced services as 4G. Instead of 4G meaning a next generation jump in speeds and abilities it became a marketing term for "just a bit faster than 3G."

    My thinking on this is that the change is a tweak that happens based on the carrier plus the signal, not just a signal thing. If that is the case you very well might be using HSPA+, and the phone just doesn't show it, because the software wasn't tweaked to show it when Rogers is the carrier. The discrepancy in speed tests could be due to many, unrelated, causes; slight differences in signal strength (varies by phone), differences in data processing speeds, or even differences in how well the speed test app works on both platforms.

    However; I can't think of anyway to test this theory.
     
  7. jwt873

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    That's kind of what I'm thinking.. There isn't a huge difference between the phone and the Air. Actually 3G is acceptable to me for what I do when I'm not near any WiFi point. I just wish they'd hurry up and get the full blown LTE extended out here where I live. It really screams on the Air. It puts my home DSL connection to shame :)
     
  8. AQ_OC

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    Just keep in mind that screaming LTE will burn through your data allotment so fast your head will spin and your wallet might get sucked into a blackhole! I try my best never to get LTE crazy as it as a serious downside.
     
  9. jwt873

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    Yes.. That's the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the data throughput. :) I've only got a Gig of data and I normally only use about 750 Mb a month.. I'm planning staying away from movies and other high bandwidth activities etc while on the cellular network.
     
  10. Zugzwang

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    Not to mention LTE rapes batteries.
     

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