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Contributor
Evowned
Posts: 68
Registered: ‎24-07-2011

Has the fun really begun? 4G/LTE Review

Disclaimer:

I have been given a 4G USB Device by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed by me reflect my own user experience and personal opinion and are not made on behalf of Telstra.

 

I have never thought that Wireless - no matter how many acronyms - has ever been an alternative to a good Fibre connection. My local exchange is heavily congested and has been for some time, which results in disappointing speeds, to say the least. My single shred of hope, the silver lining, has always been the NBN. I mean, there's no way I can enjoy my favourite online games over Wireless; and I'm talking about games like Call of Duty, where a tenth of a second is the difference between a win or a loss. I'm sorry, but Wireless just doesn't cut it.

 

When Telstra offered for me to test the new LTE network, I was sceptical, at best. I know LTE can provide some insane speeds, but the Quality of Service - the stability of the connection - couldn't possibly be good enough to sustain a gaming session.

 

Upon receiving the device, the most apparent feature I noticed was that the packaging reflected Telstra's new brand image - the simple colour spectrum - in the blue variant (which is my favourite of the new colours).

 

 

Opening the box, I was greeted with a familiar sight, with an elegant twist. If you've seen Telstra's Ultimate USB modem, the 4G modem looks identical, except for a stunning piano black paint job, which loves fingerprints.

 

 

Installation of the device was a breeze, I simply plugged it into my laptop, it booted up the installer which proceeded to install the drivers. Fast-forward a minute and I was ready to go!

 

 

Now, when I was offered to be a part of the LTE trial, I was a little worried as my house falls outside the official "4G Coverage Area" as per Telstra's website, not very far out, but out nonetheless. So when the software said this, my levels of happiness increased exponentially.

 

 

I've been using Telstra's LTE network for almost 2 weeks now and I can say I'm thoroughly impressed. That skeptic in me is fairly quiet at the moment. I conducted a couple of really quick, simple tests so I could show you all some numbers.

 

The First Test

 

The first test consisted of a visit to SpeedTest.net and a download/upload test to the Melbourne mirror. But for comparison, I tested my home connection first. My home connection is a BigPond 200GB ADSL2 plan.

 

 

Take note of a couple things. Firstly, the grade (D) and the text "Slower than 67% of AU", this is abysmal. It isn't entirely BigPond's fault, but I still hate my connection. So, let's see how the 4G modem on Telstra's LTE network scored...

 

 

CHECK THAT OUT! "A+" grade and "Faster than 95% of AU", NINETY-FIVE PERCENT! I actually feel a sense of pride and privillege to be on the LTE network. It kills me a little inside to know that LTE's upload speed is FASTER than my home ADSL2's download.

 

The Second Test

 

The second test was a simple download test. Two identical files, both on the same computer, from the same server, right after one another. The file I used was Forza 4's "Endangered Species" trailer from Games.on.net, a gaming website hosted by the company "Internode", they have good servers hosted primarily in Adelaide.

 

So, again, here is my home ADSL2 connection for comparison. The image has been spliced together from two points of the download, this is to show the Quality of Service of my home ADSL2, one second it could be "rocketing" along at ~400KB/s, but the next it drops to ~100KB/s.

 

 

Now let's see how that exact same file did, 2 minutes later, the conditions are identical, the only change is that I have swapped over to the 4G connection:

 

 

1.2MB/s. Assuming 1 byte = 8 bits (9.6Mb/s) the eariler Speedtest might be inaccurate, or Games.on.net's servers are going slow. The main thing I'd like to point out is the Quality of Service that LTE provides, the speed did not fluctuate much, it would occasionally drop to 1.1MB/s, but then continue along at 1.2MB/s, this is astounding!

 

One thing to point out at this point is, I haven't even left my house yet. These speeds are indicative of the BORDERLINE coverage areas. So, there was one thing left to do, jump in my eVownedmobile and try to find the best signal to REALLY test the LTE network.

 

...Unforetunately, my "eVownedmobile" (read: '92 Honda Accord) had just recently broke and am in the process of getting a new car, so I have no way to get around to test the network. I did do some tests eariler at Melbourne Airport; and let's just say... I will be going back.

 

MY fun has most definately just begun.

 

I will update this with more tests as soon as I get my new car and I will also be doing a video review.

- eVowned
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Currently running a stock HTC One XL, and a Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean.

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Community Leader
Kalak
Posts: 2,119
Registered: ‎30-06-2011
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Re: Has the fun really begun? 4G/LTE Review

It's great to see some more positive feedback. My 4G modem is slated to arrive on Monday (according to my new friend Scott @ Telstra Live Chat).

I hope to be able to provide some feedback on how it goes when used in concert with the new Premium Home Network Gateway.

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New Contributor
vw_chan
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎07-10-2011
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Re: Has the fun really begun? 4G/LTE Review

Thanks for the review! I'm getting my modem in the middle of next week, and I can't wait to test it out. It shouldn't be too difficult to top my current ADSL connection though.. :smileyhappy:

Established Member
bwad
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
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Re: Has the fun really begun? 4G/LTE Review

Great review, I found out today I'll be getting one to test from Telstra too, quite excited about that :smileyhappy:  I just so happened to get my hands on one through work today for a few hours and got some amazing speeds. One speed test registered 69 Mbps down,  typical speeds between 50-55,  but its surely going to drop (as Next G once it became mainstream) - only time will tell I guess :smileyhappy:

Contributor
Evowned
Posts: 68
Registered: ‎24-07-2011

Re: Has the fun really begun? 4G/LTE Review

Thanks for the feedback guys, thought I'd keep you all updated.

 

I finally have my new car (LOVE IT)

 

The Magna Club are having their annual national meet this coming week, held in Victoria this year, so we'll be driving all over Victoria "cruisin' the roads", which will be a perfect time to test the 4G network as it drops in and out; and to simply show off my speed OUTSIDE of the cars. :smileytongue:

 

(Of course, do not speed when inside the car)

- eVowned
__________________________________________________

Currently running a stock HTC One XL, and a Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean.

Don't forget: a little Kudos goes a long way; and mark any replies as solved if they helped.
Valued Contributor
Juzman
Posts: 264
Registered: ‎01-07-2011
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Re: Has the fun really begun? 4G/LTE Review


Evowned wrote:

I finally have my new car (LOVE IT)

 


Nice. Enjoy. I have a '98 TF Solara. Wouldn't mind getting the Verada. :-)

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