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bandwidth

Bad news for those of you who use the free app BandWidth for testing your internet speeds on your Windows Phone, the site SpeedTest.net has sent the developer a cease and desist letter.

Even though BandWidth doesn't advertise itself as a SpeedTest.net app nor uses their logo or name, it does use their servers for testing. Evidently the company decided to exercise their rights and they asked the developer Blake (aka 'microhaxo') to pull the app from the Marketplace. Blake has informed us that he'll do just that noting

"It was a great run, and I'm glad I was able to help so many people."

Indeed sir, it was a mighty fine app that we used regularly for our Windows Phone device reviews. The app was well designed, updated frequently, had no ads and was free -- what more could you ask from a developer?  (We've of course grabbed a XAP from the Marketplace for safe-keeping).

We could almost forgive SpeedTest.net if they were ready to roll out a Windows Phone app but so far we don't hear anything official coming our way.

Pickup Bandwidth v4.2 here in the Marketplace while you still can (ironically, it was just updated today) and check our the rest of Blake's apps here.

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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!

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6

BandWidth gets major overhaul with v3.0 [Mango]

We covered BandWidth back in January when it was v2.0. Written by XDA member microhaxo, the free app is a great little utility--sharp, to the point and it does its job well of nailing your upload and download speeds via 3G or WiFi. Allowing you to pick the server, file transfer size and more, the app has always been a staple in our tool belt for phone testing.

Version 3.0 is completely re-written and now Mango enabled, making it even more a must-have in our book:

  • Automatic server selection based on location (over 600 severs world wide).
  • Options to choose which file size you want for the server. (changes upload file size too!)
  • Option to pick how far out distance wise you want to load servers from (default 400 miles).
  • Ability to share your results on Twitter and Facebook! (text output at this point).
  • Option to turn off gps if not wanted (loads original static list)

Not a bad deal and since it's free, there aren't many reasons to not grab it (well, if you're not on Mango, we suppose). Small note: make sure you uninstall the previous version before you download/update to the new one--since the code is completely new, you can't just update the app. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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If you have experienced your upload speed being restricted on AT&T, which can occur after you've (finally) updated with official NoDo, there are some simple steps you can take to increase speed:

  • From the number-dial screen:
  • Enter ##634#
  • Diagnostics screen should open.
  • Enter *#32489#
  • Test mode screen should open.
  • Press back at the bottom (bottom right, not the phone's back button)
  • Press 5 for RRC (HSPA) control
  • Press 1 to view what yours is set at (Kyle's was Release 5 HSDPA only)
  • Press 2 to change it.
  • Press 3 to change to Release 6 HSDPA/HSUPA
  • Press [end] to confirm.

This will install a Diagnostics app on your device (that will be displayed on the installed app list), we are not currently aware if uninstalling the app will cause issues with the diagnostics tool itself. And if you need to know your speeds, there's an app for that: Bandwidth 2.x in the Marketplace. Hit us up in comments and let us know if this worked for you, we're still experimenting ourselves.

Thanks Kyle for the steps!

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For those curious as to what their mobile speed is, you can give BandWidth a shot. Developed by microhaxo from XDA, the app hits the usual servers for your upload/download rates. Pros fo the program included the ability to select servers based on location (including international), data size (small or large) and history for future comparison.

The app is free, no ads and is pretty sharp looking. Only issue we had was with our upload over AT&T's 3G--for sometimes it didn't work (but it did fine over WiFi). Anyways, if you think it's your thing, you can grab it here in the Marketplace.

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When iPhones congregate, it's not unusual to hear a sucking sound – from the mass amounts of bandwidth being digested. So much so, that AT&T cracked under all the Apple weight at South by Southwest.

But the iPhone's sole U.S. carrier reportedly is again beefing up its network – it did so for EDGE before the original iPhone (2G) launch and again before the iPhone 3G – and that would mean faster speeds for all of us.

So the next time you're multitasking with your WinMo phone on AT&T's network, and you see someone with an iPhone, go ahead and thank them. Better yet, give 'em a hug and tell 'em "Thanks, from Windows Mobile." Then back away slowly. You can't be too careful. :)

Via The iPhone Blog

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