Sunday 17 January 2010

O2 Mobile Speed

Just ordered a Google Nexus One, and have upgraded my O2 contract to include Unlimited data access.

Unlimited is a term that really should not be used, as there are limits: You have a 1G/month download limit, and there are other limitations in the Ts&Cs, such as not being allowed to use VOIP.

Once I changed over, O2 sent me some new phone settings, which I applied to my E90. By default, the browser access point was "O2 Postpay WAP". I also tried the "O2 Mobile Web" settings - see below for details:

Speed Testing With A Nokia E90, and O2 3G and 3.5G connections

Performing the speed test with, at 14:30 - 15:00 on Sunday 17th January:

With the "O2 Postpay WAP" access point, I initially had a 3.5G connection, but it soon dropped back to 3G:
200K file: waited 2 minutes & gave up
200K file: 347kbps, 1.054s latency
400K file: 761kbps, 0.583s latency
1M file: waited for 8 minutes & gave up
400K file: 688kbps, 0.567s latency
200K file downloded in 2.7s: 608kbps
200K file: 738kbps, 0.611s latency
With the "O2 Mobile Web" access point, I have a 3.5G connection:
100K file downloaded in 2.2s: 372kbps
1M file: 247kbps, 0.641s latency
1M file: 265kbps, 0.787s latency
100K file downloaded in 3.2s: 256kbps
400K file: 211kbps, 0.675s latency
400K file: 144kbps, 0.695s latency
1M file: 531kbps, 4.564s latency
Back to the original settings "O2 Postpay WAP":
100K file downloaded in 1.594s: 514kbps
400K file: waited 3 minutes and gave up
100K file downloaded in 2.096s: 390kbps
200K file downloaded in 3.138s: 522kbps
400K file: 541kbps, 0.629s latency
1M file waited 3 minutes and gave up
And finally, back to "O2 Mobile Web"
1Mb file: 448kbps, 0.644s latency
400K file: 576kbps, 1.136s latency
400K file: 377kbps, 0.704s latency
Now, it looks like there is a choice between slow or un-reliable:

"O2 Mobile Web" Average Speed 343kbps, 100% success
"O2 Postpay WAP" Average speed 638kbps, 66% success

What I don't currently know is how much of the page loads is attributed to the E90 and the server at the other end, and how much is attributed to the network connection.

Expected Performance

The different capabilities of the protocols / connections are as follows:

GPRS = 2G - up to 114Kbps
EDGE = 2.5G - up to 560Kbps
UMTS = 3G - up to 2Mbps (believe O2 is a maximum of 384Kbps)
HSPA = 3.5G - 1.2Mbps to 84Mbps (supposedly 3.6Mbps for O2 as of today)

Performing the same tests with a Google Nexus One

The following tests are going to be performed ...

Before, and after the Google Nexus One tests were performed, the E90 was used to benchmark the network capabilities at the time of the test.


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