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Does LTE *truly* use same amt of data as 3G on ipad3?

glittergirl

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Hi, this may be a silly question, or it may just be due to how I'm using data, but I keep hearing that LTE and 3G use the same amount of data on the new iPad, it's just that users may be inclined to watch more videos, load more web pages, etc. because it's faster.

So here's my main question: are speed tests different because of the nature of the test? I've speed tested my new Verizon 4G twice now on their 3G and LTE networks. Both times the 3G data test took about 2 Mb. Both times the LTE/4G speed test ate up 10 Mb per test! I only got the 1 Gb plan so now that I've tossed ~25 Mb towards satisfying my curiosity, I won't be doing many more. But I'm curious as to why the LTE is using 5x as much data; is this just because the test itself runs by trying to send as much data as possible as quickly as possible? And if it's nearly 27 times faster, why isn't it using even more data in the test?

I'm using the speedtest.net app. The Verizon LTE is smoking' here in Minneapolis, about 27 Mbs down and 9 Mbs up vs a little over 1 Mbs up and under 1 Mbs down on Verizon 3G. For once I'm glad I have AT&T for my iphone because I usually average 3-5 Mbs on their 3G network. So, I'm sorry if this is an obvious question, but I am curious.

I'm also wondering how it might affect apps like Netflix and Snagfilms or any app that auto-detects and adjusts for your connection. I don't envision myself watching much video on LTE, but what about video clips in apps like News360?
Thanks to anyone who as info or real-world experience with this.

p.s. So far I've had no wifi, LTE or 3G connection issues with my new iPad, although I haven't tried it in a weak signal area yet.
 

AQ_OC

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What does a test have to do with how much data you use on your plan? The test tells you nothing beyond what the test does. Don't extrapolate results from it to other apps and programs.
 

taylor.sheridan

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LTE eats data up, if you're doing a lot of streaming away from wi fi u definitely need a bigger data plan
 

ColtsSN

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I have to assume that the speed test measures how much data can be up/downloaded in a specific period of time. So it makes sense that it would use more data the faster the speed, right?

Other than that, I think your first paragraph is correct. You won't use more data with LTE unless you choose to use more data.

I've had the new iPad for about 3 weeks and find that my data usage is about the same as it was with my 3G on the 2.
 

twerppoet

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Yet another car analogy.

A speed test tells you how fast your car can go. You do not have to drive 60 miles to find out that your car can go 60 mph. The speed test didn't use 10MB to tell you that you can go 10MB/sec. It just measured how fast the LTE data uploaded/downloaded; the same amount of data it sent when testing the 3G connection.

How much data you use depends on how far you go. If you drive 30 miles to work each day, it does not matter how fast you go, the odometer is still only going to go up by that 30 miles; wether you got there in an hour or 20 minutes. If you do exactly what you did before on the iPad (only faster) with LTE, then you'll use exactly the same amount of data.

The problem is that when you can get to the beach in 10 minutes instead of two hours, you're more likely to jump in the car and get some sand between your toes.
 
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glittergirl

glittergirl

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Thanks for the replies, and the car analogies seem spot on. That's what I suspected. I suppose if I want to confirm this sometime near the end of the month I'll do some comparisons using one of the browsers, streaming video in a few different apps, etc. I mostly use my iPad on wifi but I love having data available while traveling or even waiting at the doctor's office. The main reason I even activated the data plan right away was simply to make sure it was working ok with no connectivity issues. Although now I am kind of jealous that it's faster than my own mid-speed-tier Comcast wifi at home! The only thing I'm missing is an untethered 5.1 jailbreak. I feel like an idiot with all my futile tapping for things like ActionMenu, f.lux and SBSettings...I'm so used to them that for a split second I catch myself thinking something's gone wrong before I remember I'm on a stock iPad. :) Having those currently installed on my iphone probably isn't helping with this adjustment either...

Thanks again to those who responded. It was more of a curiosity than anything. I should turn on the hotspot and see how well that works with my iphone. I'm curious to see if the 4G speeds drop in the next 6-12 months as more LTE smartphones roll out. Although even if it drops to half of what I'm getting now, it will still be awesome!
 

epb

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I typically used 2GB of data a month on my iPad 3G. Thinking as you did that I'd go download crazy with the faster speed, I went with the 5GB plan when I bought my iPad 4G. Nope, I'm still averaging 2GB/month.
 

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