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Is Iphone 3G too old to test the network signal and internet speed?


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Old 23-04-2013, 14:23
Young Turks
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Hi guys,

A friend of mine has kindly given me his old Iphone 3G to test the various sim cards for signal and internet speed before signing my life away for 24 months

So far I have tested vodafone which usually gets 5 to 6 bars signal quality on 2G phone but can only get 1 to 4 bars signal on 3G phone.

T Mobile with EE logo however never goes down to 1 bar and gets 3 to 5 bars signal quality on Iphone 3G

All tested at home indoors. What is strange is on home Wifi it gets only 1 to 2.5mbps download speed of 6.5mbps I usually get on my laptop.

Is this the hardware restriction of Iphone 3G?

Next I am thinking of buying 3 sim card for signal and internet speed test but I am not quite sure if I should if the phone is too old for proper speed test.

I guess I could at least check the signal if not the proper speed.

What do you think?

Would the newer smartphone achieve better signal and speed test results?
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Old 23-04-2013, 15:04
jabbamk1
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Hi guys,

A friend of mine has kindly given me his old Iphone 3G to test the various sim cards for signal and internet speed before signing my life away for 24 months

So far I have tested vodafone which usually gets 5 to 6 bars signal quality on 2G phone but can only get 1 to 4 bars signal on 3G phone.

T Mobile with EE logo however never goes down to 1 bar and gets 3 to 5 bars signal quality on Iphone 3G

All tested at home indoors. What is strange is on home Wifi it gets only 1 to 2.5mbps download speed of 6.5mbps I usually get on my laptop.

Is this the hardware restriction of Iphone 3G?

Next I am thinking of buying 3 sim card for signal and internet speed test but I am not quite sure if I should if the phone is too old for proper speed test.

I guess I could at least check the signal if not the proper speed.

What do you think?

Would the newer smartphone achieve better signal and speed test results?
There is a hardware restriction on the 3GS. If you want to see how far a network can go in terms of speed tests/signal then you need a phone with capable hardware.

Also, bars on a phone mean nothing. You want to look at the dbm reading (which you can't actually do on an iPhone). You can have 1 bar of 2G and have great call service on one phone, and you can have 3 bars of 2G on another phone but with terrible call service.
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Old 23-04-2013, 15:49
djpalmer93
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You can actually look at the dbm reading on an iPhone by typing in *3001#12345#* and pressing call.
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Old 23-04-2013, 16:30
Young Turks
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There is a hardware restriction on the 3GS. If you want to see how far a network can go in terms of speed tests/signal then you need a phone with capable hardware.

Also, bars on a phone mean nothing. You want to look at the dbm reading (which you can't actually do on an iPhone). You can have 1 bar of 2G and have great call service on one phone, and you can have 3 bars of 2G on another phone but with terrible call service.
Thanks, I thought I would need something better than Iphone 3G for speedtest but at least, I guess, I can test the signal strength.

Anyway the sales guy from CPW has told me that for call and text I might not get the best reception from 3 network but internet it is really good then I asked him, how I could get good internet speed if the reception for calls & text is not so good and he told me internet and calls rely on different data and coverage that's why internet on the phone could be better than call & texts.

Is this true?
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Old 23-04-2013, 16:42
jabbamk1
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Thanks, I thought I would need something better than Iphone 3G for speedtest but at least, I guess, I can test the signal strength.

Anyway the sales guy from CPW has told me that for call and text I might not get the best reception from 3 network but internet it is really good then I asked him, how I could get good internet speed if the reception for calls & text is not so good and he told me internet and calls rely on different coverage that's why internet on the phone could be better than call & texts.

Is this true?
errrrr no.

If he's talking about 2G and 3G coverage then yes. But Three just have 3G coverage (and some 2G backup with Orange) so what the guy said doesn't really apply anymore.

To be honest a lot of retail staff still say Three is a bad network for calls and texts (because they were) but they've come a really long way now.
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Old 23-04-2013, 17:28
Young Turks
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errrrr no.

If he's talking about 2G and 3G coverage then yes. But Three just have 3G coverage (and some 2G backup with Orange) so what the guy said doesn't really apply anymore.

To be honest a lot of retail staff still say Three is a bad network for calls and texts (because they were) but they've come a really long way now.
No, he was actually talking about 3G coverage of 3 network saying that regardless of the signal, call & text quality, internet would be good because, apparently, call & text coverage is completely different than internet coverage!
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Old 24-04-2013, 02:54
jabbamk1
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No, he was actually talking about 3G coverage of 3 network saying that regardless of the signal, call & text quality, internet would be good because, apparently, call & text coverage is completely different than internet coverage!
I see where he's coming from. But that's still not true. If you get a 3G signal on your phone you'll have the ability to call/text/go on the internet.
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Old 25-04-2013, 00:36
DevonBloke
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Another typical load of bullshit by a sales rep.
3G is actually the most versatile tech out there at the moment. More so than LTE.
2G canít do data and calls at the same time and the data is crap anyway. LTE can't (currently) do data and calls.
3G however can do both, at the same time. If you have a working 3G Three signal, you can make a call. They still have a little EE 2G fall-back active but it appears to be in the highlands only. They've turned it off down here now.
Also iPhone 3G is not a good phone to do speed tests with as it's only an HSDPA 3.6 device so the fastest speed you're going to see is about 2.5 meg regardless of whether you are connected to one of the new-fangled DC-HSDPA masts.
FYI, iPhone 3Gs is 7.2, iPhone 4 is 7.2 and iPhone 4s is 14.4
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Old 25-04-2013, 02:54
jabbamk1
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Another typical load of bullshit by a sales rep.
3G is actually the most versatile tech out there at the moment. More so than LTE.
2G canít do data and calls at the same time and the data is crap anyway. LTE can't (currently) do data and calls.
3G however can do both, at the same time. If you have a working 3G Three signal, you can make a call. They still have a little EE 2G fall-back active but it appears to be in the highlands only. They've turned it off down here now.
Also iPhone 3G is not a good phone to do speed tests with as it's only an HSDPA 3.6 device so the fastest speed you're going to see is about 2.5 meg regardless of whether you are connected to one of the new-fangled DC-HSDPA masts.
FYI, iPhone 3Gs is 7.2, iPhone 4 is 7.2 and iPhone 4s is 14.4
I have to agree. I know to most people it's just a job to get by but the amount of crap i hear from sales reps is just ridiculous.

I once got told a year back that the iPad 3 would be compatible with LTE in the UK and i'd get it free when it launched.

None of that was true.

oh and nice to see you on the forum devonbloke.
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Old 25-04-2013, 17:01
Young Turks
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Another typical load of bullshit by a sales rep.
3G is actually the most versatile tech out there at the moment. More so than LTE.
2G canít do data and calls at the same time and the data is crap anyway. LTE can't (currently) do data and calls.
3G however can do both, at the same time. If you have a working 3G Three signal, you can make a call. They still have a little EE 2G fall-back active but it appears to be in the highlands only. They've turned it off down here now.
Also iPhone 3G is not a good phone to do speed tests with as it's only an HSDPA 3.6 device so the fastest speed you're going to see is about 2.5 meg regardless of whether you are connected to one of the new-fangled DC-HSDPA masts.
FYI, iPhone 3Gs is 7.2, iPhone 4 is 7.2 and iPhone 4s is 14.4
Thanks for the very informative post and I know what you mean by 'typical load of bullshit by a sales rep'

One shop tells me that Three network is not covered with network guarantee another CWP shop says it does within 14 days!

I agree Iphone 3G is not a good phone for speed test, as the fastest speed so far was only 2.8meg however it gives some indication to signal coverage.

What I find amazing is the battery life of Iphone 3G, it goes from 90% to 20% after just 90 minutes of web browsing that doesn't even include you tube or BBC Iplayer! I don't if people still use this phone but the battery wouldn't last half a day let alone all day if it was my main phone.

I am currently testing Orange payg and signal bar goes from 1 bar to 4 bars with screen displaying EE 3G

But I can surf with even 1 bar.

I guess I'll find out when I test Three payg card as well but In regards to what you say about having a working 3G Three signal, to make a call, then what happens if no 3G signal?

No calls, no internet? nothing to fall back to?
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Old 25-04-2013, 17:38
grumpyoldbat
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I guess I'll find out when I test Three payg card as well but In regards to what you say about having a working 3G Three signal, to make a call, then what happens if no 3G signal?

No calls, no internet? nothing to fall back to?
What happens if you're in an area with EE where they have no 3G or 2G fall back?

In my very recent experience of both EE (T-Mobile) and Three, having travelled around the UK a bit to various spots including some off the beaten track, I've found one place that had absolutely no Three signal whatsoever, and there was no EE coverage either.

Where there's coverage of both, the Three 3G is always faster than the EE(T-Mobile) 3G, and that's why, last week, I moved my EE SIM over to Three as well.
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Old 25-04-2013, 18:17
jabbamk1
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I guess I'll find out when I test Three payg card as well but In regards to what you say about having a working 3G Three signal, to make a call, then what happens if no 3G signal?

No calls, no internet? nothing to fall back to?
Like Grumpybat said, Three have enough of the UK covered with 3G that makes 2G irrelevant.

There are some areas with 2G backup on Three but they're rare. (although there is one near me)

Tbh if you don't get a 3G signal on Three it's rare that you'll have signal on another network.

But generally it does make sense to have 2G backup. But like i said, Three it's not as much of an issue as it was.
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Old 25-04-2013, 18:46
Anika Hanson
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Like Grumpybat said, Three have enough of the UK covered with 3G that makes 2G irrelevant.

There are some areas with 2G backup on Three but they're rare. (although there is one near me)

Tbh if you don't get a 3G signal on Three it's rare that you'll have signal on another network.

But generally it does make sense to have 2G backup. But like i said, Three it's not as much of an issue as it was.
In my house I get good Internet signal and speed on O2. My OH is on 3 and his signal is poor and when he can get 3G it's very slow.
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Old 25-04-2013, 18:49
jabbamk1
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In my house I get good Internet signal and speed on O2. My OH is on 3 and his signal is poor and when he can get 3G it's very slow.
That would be down to congestion. That;s a different issue to the one being discussed here.

All networks suffer from congestion in certain areas. If you mean he gets no signal, then again every network has different strong and weak signal areas.

The fact that you and him both are getting 3G means you don't need 2G backup in that area.
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