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Thread: why is my Tracfone SIM(Verizon) suddenly getting speeds of more than 180mbps on 4G?

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    why is my Tracfone SIM(Verizon) suddenly getting speeds of more than 180mbps on 4G?

    I've been using it for at least a year and half on my old iPhone.(which obviously has no 5G capability) The speeds usually ranged from 10mbps to 23mbps(never seen higher)

    However, since about 2 weeks ago, I started seeing speeds of more than 180mbps almost everywhere in town.

    Is this Tracfone's doing or did Verizon upgrade their tower/equipment?

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    Considering that Tracfone doesn't own its own network, I would think you can thank Verizon.
    Just another day in paradise.....

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    Verizon might have upgraded your towers or installed a small cell in your town.

    The easiest way to figure which way happened is find out what tower you are connected to, and look at one of the cell phone tower maps like https://www.cellmapper.net/map

    Since I do not have an iPhone, I do not know how you would find out the eNB ID of the tower that you are connected too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serial Port View Post
    Considering that Tracfone doesn't own its own network, I would think you can thank Verizon.
    I did not even realize that 4G LTE, at least on Verizon, was capable of delivering such speeds.

    I went over to the Verizon section of the forum and apparently 180mbps is not that uncommon on 4G LTE.

    (which means I dont' necessary need to envy those with 5G service!)

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    Especially not Verizon Wireless' 5G service, such as it exists today.

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    You could look near your house for a small cell. A small cell might be a smaller cell tower. I have a small cell about a block from me.

    Here is a up close photo of the small cell near me:
    Name:  20200915_124950.jpg
Views: 62
Size:  13.0 KB

    I know other towns with small cells have them on water towers or other light poles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    Especially not Verizon Wireless' 5G service, such as it exists today.
    I definitely don’t have any 5G speed or congestion problems here.

    On Verizon I just pulled 247 Mbps down and 65.8 up with a ping of 24 on “nationwide 5G, same spot at right after that I pulled 261 Mbps down and 61 Mbps up with a ping of 25 on LTE. I’m about 15 miles from downtown Pittsburgh.

    It sounds like your local tower just got a nice upgrade!!!





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    Oh no! That's terrible!

    It means I can accidentally blow through my data balance in seconds!

    I only get one bar in my house, so safe there. But, I might drive by a tower with a strong signal and poof!

    Imagine the calls to TF support:

    Me: "I had 1GB of data this morning!"

    TF: "that can be gone in 30 seconds"

    and they'd be about right at 250Mbps!

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    In your example, that is not going to happen unless you are actively using your device to stream data (TV or movie download for example). Not likely to happen by accident and won't get much sympathy if it does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rchang View Post
    Oh no! That's terrible!

    It means I can accidentally blow through my data balance in seconds!

    I only get one bar in my house, so safe there. But, I might drive by a tower with a strong signal and poof!

    Imagine the calls to TF support:

    Me: "I had 1GB of data this morning!"

    TF: "that can be gone in 30 seconds"

    and they'd be about right at 250Mbps!
    The fact that your data speeds are faster does not mean you will use more data...unless you choose to use more. Depending on the app you use to measure data speeds, constantly running speed checks WILL chew thru your data. Some speed check apps push X amount of data thru the pipe and measure how long it takes. Some push data thru the pipe for X amount of time and measure how much is pushed. The second type will use more data with faster speeds.

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    IMHO, People are too fixated on speed. Unless your actually downloading (not streaming) movies to your phone 20mbps is way plenty and even over kill for most.
    The only benefit of speed to the average user is more system user capacity which means less deprioritization.

    You may tend to use more data because you start doing things you never did before (like download movies to your phone), but when everyone starts doing more the capacity will drift right back to where it started from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmandaCL View Post
    I did not even realize that 4G LTE, at least on Verizon, was capable of delivering such speeds.

    I went over to the Verizon section of the forum and apparently 180mbps is not that uncommon on 4G LTE.
    Not like that in my area, where Verizon signal has been deteriorating for some time. When the MVNO speed cap was lifted a few years ago, I was getting 40-50 Mbps download, now it is only 1-5. Strangely the upload speed has gone up inversely. The data signal is often not better than -105 dBm, depending on which band is being used. Does not affect my use, as the biggest draw is an occasional use of low-res YouTube. Verizon coverage is easily the best in my greater area. AT&T is only fair, and T-Mobile is miserable outside the towns. Not sure if Verizon is borrowing any of the LTE spectrum to fuel 5G.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cv91913 View Post
    The fact that your data speeds are faster does not mean you will use more data...unless you choose to use more. Depending on the app you use to measure data speeds, constantly running speed checks WILL chew thru your data. Some speed check apps push X amount of data thru the pipe and measure how long it takes. Some push data thru the pipe for X amount of time and measure how much is pushed. The second type will use more data with faster speeds.
    It's just those times when you forget and leave some "go ahead use cellular data" setting on. For example, I let Google Photos sync on cellular when I'm on vacation because I don't want to also lose my photos if I lose my phone. If I forget after I get home and take a video, that could burn though some data real quick.

    With a crappy connection, I might notice that the internet is kinda slow and realize what's going on in time to switch on airplane mode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rchang View Post
    Oh no! That's terrible!

    It means I can accidentally blow through my data balance in seconds!

    I only get one bar in my house, so safe there. But, I might drive by a tower with a strong signal and poof!

    Imagine the calls to TF support:

    Me: "I had 1GB of data this morning!"

    TF: "that can be gone in 30 seconds"

    and they'd be about right at 250Mbps!
    But that’s not how it works. Yes running a Speedtest can chew through data.

    Let’s say you are updating a app that is 500 Mb. It doesn’t matter if it takes you hours to download it over a 2 Mbps connection or 2 seconds to download it over a 300 Mbps connection. The amount of data to update the app stayed the same. You just accomplished your task quicker.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rpz1 View Post
    IMHO, People are too fixated on speed. Unless your actually downloading (not streaming) movies to your phone 20mbps is way plenty and even over kill for most.
    The only benefit of speed to the average user is more system user capacity which means less deprioritization.

    You may tend to use more data because you start doing things you never did before (like download movies to your phone), but when everyone starts doing more the capacity will drift right back to where it started from.
    I agree but I would actually drop that number even lower to 5Mbps. At 5 Mbps you can stream tv, music, and surf the web just fine. Maybe bump it up to 10 Mbps if you are streaming in HD. The 20-25 Mbps range will get you into the 4K streaming range.

    When browsing the internet or streaming TV or music, I can’t tell the difference between a 10 Mbps connection and a 300 Mbps connection unless I do a speed test.

    The only time I can notice the difference is if I’m hotspotting or updating a bunch of apps at once. And as you mentioned though the biggest benefit of fast speeds is the network has capacity as well. The faster everyone can download whatever they need the faster they can get off the network and free it up for other people.


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