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Thread: AT&T 4G HSPA+/LTE Speedtests!, Round 2

  1. #1261
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    as this current iteration is trash and usually just leave it off, as LTE is faster 99% of the time.
    It's because they're limiting most deployments to 5 MHz. Even in my area with no CLR, they're using 5 MHz of PCS B instead of just running DSS with the 15x15 PCS A block. And maybe it's a CA limit, but I cannot use the LTE band in PCS A when I'm also using the NR channel on PCS B, so throughput really suffers. I thought 12 + 2 + 2 is an "allowed" combo, but perhaps not when mixing LTE and NR. Lately, it is actual congestion to the point that it's impossible to use data in some areas when you have 5G enabled even with QCI7/Unlimited Elite.

    Likewise, in "normal" markets with one of the CLR blocks, they could run 10x10 or more n66 using DSS, but they choose not to.

    LTE in my market is consistently 50-80 Mbps faster on the downlink. Upload speeds tend to be the same: abysmally slow, often 1 Mbps or less, on LTE and with NR. Not sure if or when that will ever change. Their lack of density in Ohio means I can't even pick up B66, so I have no expectation that I will be able to take advantage of C-band when it gets turned on.


  2. #1262
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    Any idea why AT&T’s uplink still sucks despite their having enabled uplink carrier aggregation?

    Maybe it’s because their preference for macros over small cells means sites are more distant and therefore UE can’t transmit to them as efficiently.

  3. #1263
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    I really would like to know for certain, but I feel like it's a case of two extremes -- one where Verizon is constantly challenged with keeping up with their majority share of the region's wireless customers and benefitting from an excellent spectrum-holdings position, while the other (until recently) has had no incentive to add capacity and avoids spending any Capex to improve beyond the minimum to keep up with their own national network standards.

    The best I can surmise is that Verizon's density lets them push modulation up to 64QAM in more areas and spread upstream traffic across far more cell sites. Couple that with holding both sides of B5 and a contiguous 20x20 B66, and Verizon has a ton of capacity that is eligible for ULCA.

    AT&T, meanwhile, has nothing contiguously larger than 15x15 on any band and often relies on B12 to fill in gaps where mid-band simply can't reach due to poor density. Sure, they have fewer customers, but it also seems like they have skated by doing bare-minimum upgrades when it comes to capacity and coverage -- especially when it comes to small cells.

    From what I can glean from the new iPhone field test mode, it looks like AT&T is more inclined to degrade modulation to 16QAM or even QPSK, which is likely due to distance from the cell site/low RSRQ, which is due to lack of density. After all, more density means you're more likely to be near a cell site at any given location. The end result is just a far more stark difference than you'd expect. Even when I aggregate 2+12 for 25 MHz of potential ULCA, I often push no more than 10-15 Mbps even with QCI7. I've got a Verizon small cell near me that does 40-50 Mbps on 20 MHz of B66 using a deprioritized SIM at all hours of the day and night.

    That being said, notwithstanding the modulation differences, I would expect 10x10 B12 + 15x15 B2 to be able to at least come close to what Verizon's doing with B66 (assuming contiguous 20 MHz B66 might be a little more efficient than 15 + 10 ULCA, and assuming AT&T's macro is probably serving more UEs than the VZW small cell). But even in better signal conditions and in the middle of the night, AT&T still doesn't come close.

  4. #1264
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    Quote Originally Posted by VVivian View Post
    Any idea why AT&T’s uplink still sucks despite their having enabled uplink carrier aggregation?

    Maybe it’s because their preference for macros over small cells means sites are more distant and therefore UE can’t transmit to them as efficiently.
    In Nokia markets, their uplink seems to be artificially capped to a little under 16QAM peaks at best. Sometimes I can do 1 Mbps over the 16QAM theoretical, but despite field test and NSG showing 64QAM, they’ve never allowed me to tap the prbs to their full potential. This is 20 MHz B4 PCC, and it’s definitely one of my better uploads as of late. I previously posted it in the speed test thread, but it is of relevance.

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    This is an NSG test of AT&T utilizing 256QAM uplink in San Diego and managing *literally* over double the throughput.
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    Also uplink CA combos are so limited and AT&T is so download heavy doing 4/5CA quite often that you never get the opportunity to see it. I’ve never seen it on my 12 Pro or 13 Pro Max.



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  5. #1265
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Well, from my experience traveling around.. AT&T just not like small cells as much as T-Mobile and Verizon, and have avoided using them unless “absolutely necessary” due to them having more spectrum than say Verizon.

    Do not get me wrong, it usually “just works” and they do not throttle video (unlike Verizon) so I’d rather have this - but I’m really curious to see if they finally start installing small cells to make C-Band 5G work, as this current iteration is trash and usually just leave it off, as LTE is faster 99% of the time.
    Atleast in the NYC market, they are putting small cells everywhere. Even in my residential area of northeast Queen's single and two family homes. They work with n5 off of the macros. 5 blocks away from Macro's, you'll find a small cell. B66,b2 (2) and b46 (3). T has really straightened themselves out in this market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeybutts View Post
    Atleast in the NYC market, they are putting small cells everywhere. Even in my residential area of northeast Queen's single and two family homes. They work with n5 off of the macros. 5 blocks away from Macro's, you'll find a small cell. B66,b2 (2) and b46 (3). T has really straightened themselves out in this market.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    That’s great to hear. I’ll be heading to the city tomorrow. They still haven’t added anything in the suburbs but based on what I hear at&t really pulled ahead compared to 2016-2017

  7. #1267
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    The mention of band 46 reminds me: Isn’t it ironic how people diss the range of millimeter wave but not LAA? LAA only goes what, fifty to a hundred feet max? mmW goes over a thousand feet. It has >10x the range AND >10x the bandwidth. Basically its only downside is the cost, but that’s coming down rapidly thanks to technological progress and economies of scale.

  8. #1268
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeybutts View Post
    Atleast in the NYC market, they are putting small cells everywhere. Even in my residential area of northeast Queen's single and two family homes. They work with n5 off of the macros. 5 blocks away from Macro's, you'll find a small cell. B66,b2 (2) and b46 (3). T has really straightened themselves out in this market.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    I've noticed them *finally* doing this in Chicago in *some* neighborhoods.. but usually AT&T is the first to die in a high rise or big store around here.

    I actually had a friend leave AT&T for T-Mobile here a few weeks ago then immediately comment how he's had service in every one of his friend's high rises that's actually usable, AT&T likes to die out or go to 1-2useless B17/B14 bars in a lot of those situations. T-Mobile was fairly dense around Chicago to begin with and Sprint was actually amazing there too due to having actually completed Network Vision early, so T-Mobile is one of the best choices in Chicago right now.

    Verizion is spectrum poor, but also incredibly dense so if you're in a slow spot, you could literally move a few hundred feet and be on a new small cell, and the issue goes away.. it's wild how much they've densified to make up for the lack of mid/low band spectrum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Well, from my experience traveling around.. AT&T just not like small cells as much as T-Mobile and Verizon, and have avoided using them unless “absolutely necessary” due to them having more spectrum than say Verizon.

    Do not get me wrong, it usually “just works” and they do not throttle video (unlike Verizon) so I’d rather have this - but I’m really curious to see if they finally start installing small cells to make C-Band 5G work, as this current iteration is trash and usually just leave it off, as LTE is faster 99% of the time.
    Interesting. T-Mobile has less small cells than Verizon and AT&T in Philly. But yes when I travel AT&T clearly doesn’t have many. I think they don’t care about mmw. They can claim they have it but they aren’t investing in it at all. Meanwhile Verizon has rural-ish mmw coverage in Delaware (but still has gaping 0 coverage areas shockingly).

    5G for me is faster in rural areas of Delaware PA and Maryland. Usually by a good bit. I’m citied though, it’s usually slower.
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    Telcel throttling remains. AT&T I can get two bars on my balcony but it works no where else. The hotels Wi-Fi is shockingly useless (& at this price I will be roasting on TripAdvisor, the place is only 2 years old). Telcel full coverage but I usually can’t hop on and it’s clearly still throttled to 3G and .5/.5.

    I’m in playa Mujeres. I must be picking up AT&T MX signal from isla Mujeres.

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    AT&T MX playa Mujeres. Literally only works 4 stories up sigh.

  12. #1272
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airb330 View Post
    Interesting. T-Mobile has less small cells than Verizon and AT&T in Philly. But yes when I travel AT&T clearly doesn’t have many. I think they don’t care about mmw. They can claim they have it but they aren’t investing in it at all. Meanwhile Verizon has rural-ish mmw coverage in Delaware (but still has gaping 0 coverage areas shockingly).

    5G for me is faster in rural areas of Delaware PA and Maryland. Usually by a good bit. I’m citied though, it’s usually slower.
    Well, out walking around today, I got mmWave a few new places I did not a few weeks ago



    So they must be putting small cells in with mmWave + C-Band around here, it'll be interesting to see how much faster the service gets pretty much overnight when this stuff is actually flipped on.

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