Mar, 09 2011

AT&T, you got some ‘splainin to do. We should have seen this coming with the initial reports that the carrier was disabling HSUPA support on their 4G Android phones. Though the company touts the enhanced speeds of their 4G network, we are faced with the embarrassing fact that the iPhone 4 and its 3G radio is consistently outperforming the HTC Inspire 4G and Motorola Atrix 4G in terms of upload speed. How much faster is the iPhone’s uplink? Try five times.

Several sources have put the claim through its paces and each time the result is the same. The iPhone 4 is getting an average 1.5Mbps upload speed while the supposedly faster 4G network servicing the Inspire and Atrix is capped at 300kbps. That’s right, capped at 300kbps when the radios installed in the Android devices are capable of up to 5.7Mbps upload speeds. You can see it in the below speed test video put together by YouTube member EchoRelay. So what’s the deal?

AT&T won’t provide an answer, but they are promising future devices (and future updates to current devices) will allow faster uploads over 4G. The hint is whatever cap is in place on the Inspire 4G and Atrix 4G will eventually be lifted. The problem is AT&T is advertising enhanced speeds making better experiences for things like video calling when the enhanced speeds simply don’t exist. One need only to check our own AndroidForums to find the complaints amassing with one user even starting a petition against the service provider.

From the sound of things, AT&T got caught up in the rush to deploy 4G devices on their HSPA+ network and might not have the infrastructure in place yet to support heavy traffic and still provide a consistent quality of experience. That’s not what early adopters want to hear, but it may be the truth they have to live with.

[via Android and Me]

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