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  1.    #1  
    Looking for some info on the real world use of the various GSM data technologies. I'm familiar with GPRS because I've used it enough. E-mail is quick and most web pages render fast enough. Even Google Maps displayed my neighborhood in relatively good time.

    Soooooo.....

    If I'm just checking e-mail, going to a few specific web sites, doing a little Google Maps once in awhile, what am I looking at in real world comparisons?

    For instance, if a Map or web page takes 10 seconds on GPRS, how long will it take on EDGE? On UMTS?

    My GUESS is that I'd notice a difference between GPRS and EDGE, but that EDGE is fast enough that I'd not really notice the difference between EDGE and UMTS unless I started streaming audio or video. Does that sound about right?

    If I'm not streaming audio or video, does it really matter? And if I am streaming audio, is the difference gigantic? Tolerable? Dealbreaker?

    Thanks for any insights!!
  2. #2  
    I've had The Treo 600 (GPRS), The Treo 650 (EDGE), The Cingular 8525 (HSDPA), and Treo 750 (UMTS)
    First the numbers. My experience has been the followin TYPICAL average speeds:
    GPRS: 35 kbps
    EDGE: 80-120 kbps
    UMTS: 250 kbps
    HSDPA: 600 kbps
    These aren't max speeds, these are what I typically get most of the time with brief moments or more or less data speeds.

    I would say GPRS to EDGE is a pretty significant upgrade.(4 to 5 times faster)
    But EDGE to UMTS is only about 100% faster. Where you get the speed boost is that UMTS has low latency. So browser to web server round trips and responses are nearly 1 full second less, which is quite a bit when downloading a web page with 20 images on it. So a web page that takes 20 seconds to load on EDGE will do it in about 10 seconds on UMTS.

    So is the question weather UMTS is a significant enough upgrade to EDGE? I'd say it's not enough of an upgrade if you'll be making scarifices. But if you get HSDPA the difference is night and day. It's the difference between using internet on a 'cel phone' to using internet on an underpowered broadband speed laptop (EDGE to HSDPA that is.)

    What device(s) are you considering? The device make a difference as well. For exmaple the Treo 750 with UMTS is disappointing. While UMTS feels significantly faser than EDGE (about 2x the speed) it really needs HSDPA. I've instlaled the HSDPA hack on the Treo 750 (until the real upgrade comes out) and it makes a BIG difference. With HSDPA the Treo 750 is SWEET!

    But if all you do is email (which really doesn't need fast data) and just a few web pages, then it's not a big deal. Especially if you browse your web pages through a page squeezer like skweezer.com or use a compression browser like http://mini.opera.com/
    Both of those things take the sting out of slow data speeds.
    Last edited by taylorh; 01/18/2007 at 01:00 PM.
  3.    #3  
    Thank you! This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for! Very, very helpful and much appreciated!
  4. #4  
    Having gone from a Treo 600 (GPRS) to Treo 650 (Edge) my experience has been that you can't tell the difference. Now keep in mind I'm a light user - about 10-20 emails a day, 10 mins of web browsing or so. I don't have objective numbers but subjectively they felt the same to me. From a web browsing perspective, the bottleneck isn't the network connection, its Blazer. I dunno who named this browser, but it blazes about as fast as molasses.
  5. ksoliz's Avatar
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    #5  
    One other thing to consider is with UTMS/HSDPA you can do voice and data at the same time which is not possible with GPRS/EDGE.

    The thing I find frustrating with UTMS is the coverage is just not all there yet... I live in Houston a major market for Cingular and my 750 is constantly switching between GSM and UTMS signals. With UTMS being an upgrade/overlay for GSM we have to keep in mind there will be some growing pains associated with that transition. Weak coverage issues are to be expected and will only improve as Cingular makes more and more towers 3G/UTMS capable.

    By comparison on Verizon, EVDO is everywhere and with EVDO Rev. A which will also do voice and data at the same time.

    Bottom line, Cingular and T-mobile have some serious catching up to do coverage wise.
  6. #6  
    In a market like San Jose, CA (where I live) UMTS coverage is pretty solid in most places. The Treo 750 will fall back to GSM when the UMTS signal gets weak (like 1 bar) so I locked mine to the UMTS band and I hardly ever lose service (only when I go in to my work's deep parking garage.)

    As I mentioned before, the device makes a big difference. Even with HSDPA, loading some web pages on the Treo 750 can seem "slow." At least a lot slower than with the same bandwidth on a PC. That's processing power. IE has to render that web page and that's where it's slow.

    That's one reason why I use opera mini. I scrunches pages before download. it's not perfect, but it's great for zipping around web sites. So I go back and forth between IE and Opera Mini.
    By the way to get opera mini to work on the Treo 750, you have to install a Java Midlet Manager like this one:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=286857
    Treo 750 (AT&T)
    Treo600->Treo650->Cing8525->Blackberry 8700c->Treo750->AT&T Tilt->Treo750->iPhone 3G
  7. #7  
    Is high speed internet available for T-Mobile yet? If and when it does become available will it be an automatic upgrade, or are they going to soak us for more money?

    ken
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by khawn View Post
    Is high speed internet available for T-Mobile yet? If and when it does become available will it be an automatic upgrade, or are they going to soak us for more money?

    ken
    T-Mobile is at EDGE. They did not upgrade to UMTS because they didn't have enough frequency bandwidth. But last year they bought up a whole bunch of licesenses in an FCC auction for next generation wireless service. It appears they may have started upgrading late in 2006 according to this article:
    http://www.betanews.com/article/TMob...way/1160151079
    Just google "T-Mobile 3G" and I'm sure you'll find more info.

    Typically carriers do NOT charge more data for data speed increases. Cingular went from CSD to GPRS to EDGE to HSDPA all without changing data plans (in fact they went down over time, but price changes did not coincide with network upgrades.) You just automatically get the higher speed with the same data plan. Cingular even dropped the laptop plan by $20 to compete with Verizon that did the same.
    Same with T-Moble, they upgraded from GPRS to EDGE and the existing data plans automatically got the higher speed (if you had a phone that could do it.)

    Generally because of competition between the carriers (thank God for that) data prices don't increase. They upgrade thier networks to increase capacity as well as stay competetive, but don't raise the price. I'm sure if there wasn't competition they would raise the price for higher speed data.

    So "3G" high speed data on T-Mobile hopefully in your area by the end of 2007? I know little about that except what I can google.
    Meanwhile, T-Mobile does remain one of the least expensive carriers.

    What I like about T-Mobile is the UMA technology (Use of WiFi home broadband when at home, wireless cel when away.) But because they are pushing to have UMA capable phones and Treos don't have WiFi, it's possible Treo may never make it to T-Moble. That is unless Palm has something planned with WiFi that we don't know about.

    But you could get an unlocked Treo and use it on T-Moble. You should just automatically get UMTS when they activate it in your area.
    Treo 750 (AT&T)
    Treo600->Treo650->Cing8525->Blackberry 8700c->Treo750->AT&T Tilt->Treo750->iPhone 3G
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cascade View Post
    Thank you! This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for! Very, very helpful and much appreciated!
    I should add that no mater how much bandwidth you have (even if you're using a WiFi card,) web browsing on a Treo is still somewhat slow. The limited processor power trying to render a web page on such a small screen means that it is the speed bottleneck. As I said before, use of Opera Mini and skweezer.net (with Pocket IE) can reduce that burden on the processor with an up-front hit off server side processing.

    What were you considering upgrading to? Or did you just want to know in general?
  10. milkham's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by taylorh View Post
    T-Mobile is at EDGE. They did not upgrade to UMTS because they didn't have enough frequency bandwidth....
    ...But you could get an unlocked Treo and use it on T-Moble. You should just automatically get UMTS when they activate it in your area.
    Here's the thing, T-mobile bought a different frequency for their 3G network (they had to cingular already owns the relevant air), this means that in all likelihood, current 3g phones will not work with a future t-mobile 3g network and future phones will have to have support for t-mobile explicitly built in.
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by taylorh View Post

    What were you considering upgrading to? Or did you just want to know in general?
    Curious in general. I have a 680 and am quite happy with it. I have a friend who thinks he wants a GSM 3G Treo running Palm OS. I've told him it doesn't exist, but that EDGE is probably just fine for what he wants to do (e-mail and quick web stuff) and that the jump from EDGE to UMTS wouldn't be really noticeable unless he was streaming a lot of music and video. These replies pretty much confirm that - thanks!!
  12. #12  
    I'll throw in my 2cents here. I went from the SMT5600 (GPRS) to the Treo 650 (EDGE) to the 8125 (EDGE) to the 8525 (UMTS/HSDPA) to the Treo 750 (UMTS). The difference between the 5600 and the 650 was huge. The difference between the 650 and the 8125 was noticeable because Blazer just sucked. The move to the 8525 really opened my eyes - THIS is what you should be able to do on a mobile data device! The move to the 750 hasn't changed much - websites load very quickly, and I can still stream videos. Opening up simple sites like mobile versions of WSJ or Google open in a snap. Took 5 seconds + sometimes on my EDGE devices. Even though the 750 is UMTS only, most of my internet experience is the same except for streaming video. I had to decrease the streaming speed so it wouldn't be choppy, but it's still more than watchable.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by taylorh View Post
    I should add that no mater how much bandwidth you have (even if you're using a WiFi card,) web browsing on a Treo is still somewhat slow. The limited processor power trying to render a web page on such a small screen means that it is the speed bottleneck. As I said before, use of Opera Mini and skweezer.net (with Pocket IE) can reduce that burden on the processor with an up-front hit off server side processing.

    What were you considering upgrading to? Or did you just want to know in general?
    hmmmmm
  14. #14  
    I want to know the diference between GPRS / EDGE / UMTS / HSDPA implementation wise...

    I want to give support of HSDPA also to my platform. I am using android as my base platform.

    would you please help me.. what all i need to do,... ??

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