Samsung Focus S Bandwidth Test

There's an interesting discussion going on in the WPCentral Forums concerning HSDPA speeds on the AT&T HTC Titan. Forum Member gtg465x is witnessing faster bandwidth speeds on Android based phone than his HTC Titan. Speeds of 2-3Mbps are being witnessed on the Titan while the Android phones are experiencing 3-4Mbps. In areas where there is advanced backhaul in place the Titan tests at 4Mbps while Android jumps to 8-10Mbps. Likewise, Rob41664 & jawesome are reporting faster speeds with the Focus S over their Titans. According to the discussion, 

After extensive testing, I'm quite positive AT&T is artificially limiting network speed on their version of the Titan by limiting the HSDPA feature set to category 8. The phone hardware of course is able to support HSDPA category 10 features.  

Turns out AT&T has a history of doing this, specifically with the LG Thrill, a "4G" phone set at category 8. People evidently bumped it to 10 and nearly doubled their data throughput. The theoretical maximum throughput for category 10 is 14.1Mbps. The theoretical maximum throughput of category 8 is 7.2Mbps.

So the question is: What is the HSDPA category of AT&T's Windows Phones? We can't actually know, because unlike Anroid, we can't see let alone alter that information. Still, we wanted to see if the Titan was slower than the Focus S.

Dan (NYC) and I (Alabama) both tested out AT&T Titans up against the Samsung Focus S and T-Mobile's HTC Radar (we don't have any Android's here). We both used Bandwidth for the testing and the tests were conducted indoors with the phone untouched during testing. Here's our test results (first number is download speeds, second is upload speeds).


  Dan's Titan George's Titan Focus S T-Mobile Radar
Test 1 2.29  / .91 2.39 / .57 2.18 / .46 3.73 / 1.01
Test 2 2.06 / .84 2.34 / .54 2.46 / .42 3.86 / 1.10
Test 3 2.23 / .88 2.45 / .78 2.63 / .47 4.33  / .47

From these results, we so no difference between the Focus S and the Titan--the main concern of the original forum thread. It might not have been a fair fight comparing the Radar with the AT&T Windows Phones but it is clear that AT&T's "4G" speeds pale in comparison to T-Mobiles--important if you're considering a new network. Moreover, it is obvious that AT&T "4G" Windows Phones don't really get very fast speeds, whatever their settings may be.

However, if Android devices are testing at 8-10Mbps, or even 4Mbps, could AT&T be dialing back bandwidth on Windows Phone in general with a lower HSDPA category? Or is it something else?

Thanks goes out to Tommy for tipping us on this!