AT&T blamed for throttling uploads on its first 4G devices

AT&T blamed for throttling uploads on its first 4G devices
If you trust your common sense, it isn't hard figuring out that 4G is going to be faster than 3G, right?  Well, not always. Some AT&T customers have spotted something strange going on with their uploads, which doesn't seem to meet their data speed expectations.

A growing number of AT&T subscribers have started complaining about limited upload speeds on their otherwise 4G-capable handsets. Sounds a bit odd, but 3G smartphones currently running on AT&T's network seem to be achieving faster uploads compared to the carrier's 4G lineup. The speed limit is noticed to be imposed on AT&T's wireless USB modems as well. On the other hand, 3G cellphones boast uploads of 1 Mbps and above even though their 4G counterparts are theoretically superior. In other words, if you have just bought a new and shiny Motorola ATRIX 4G or the HTC Inspire 4G, your upload speed will probably be no more than a fifth of what the iPhone 4, for example, would get under the same network conditions. This coincides with the disappointing speed results that we mentioned in the reviews of both the Motorola ATRIX 4G and the HTC Inspire 4G.

It is good to know that upload speed is not always crucial to casual web browsing. However, it really makes a difference in video conversations where both upstream and downstream are just as important. Hackers have already been reported to be working on a solution to the problem, yet AT&T has made a slight hint towards a possible software update in the future.

Check out the video below, where a fellow YouTube member compares data speeds on the iPhone 4, the Motorola ATRIX 4G and the HTC Inspire 4G. The results are underwhelming, to say the least.

source: Android and Me


Related phones

ATRIX 4G
  • Display 4.0" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1930 mAh(9.00h 3G talk time)
Inspire 4G
  • Display 4.3" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 4 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1230 mAh(6.00h talk time)

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33 Comments

1. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

To qualify as Broadband the FCC requires 4Mbs download. How many broadband phones are out there? Not many.

2. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

LAWL at AT&T customers...

3. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

I'm actually not impressed with anything here. Even the download speed is lower than what I get on my iPhone 4, and barely more than what I get on my nexus 1. This is horrible att.

11. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Your iPhone 4 has HSPA+ speeds.... what AT&T Calls 4G

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

No, the iphone4 does not have HSPA+. Only the atrix and inspire do... hence why they are called "4g" and its just an "iphone4" as in series 4, not 4g. lol

4. Rich unregistered

Prolly some under the table agreement Apple made with ATT. Not suprised here. As many look at apple as advancers of technology, it might be just them that also holds it back.

10. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Not only that, but Apple is also working on keeping children hungry in Africa and shelters full of sad looking dogs and cats. Amazing what these people are capable of, huh? Rich will have a full article on these and other amazing stories in next months "MAD" magazine.....

12. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

LMAO!!!! Thumbs up for sure

36. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Rich is correct, Seems AT&T is purposely crippling their network to boost Iphone 4 sales... BWAHAAHAAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHA!

5. Hallucinator

Posts: 390; Member since: May 24, 2010

Rich, that is the dumbest thing I've ever read. You sir win idiot of the day.

6. Das70

Posts: 124; Member since: Jan 05, 2011

LOL. This is too funny.

7. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I thought I read that there was a software upgrade that needed to be implemented to the towers to give the faster upload speed.

8. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Plus, wouldn't it make more sense to throttle download speeds? Downloads would effect the network more than uploads since people are more likely to be getting data instead of sending it....

9. Phonearena User unregistered

I thought it was more to do with some sort of "tag" that the i4 uses (embedded in the browser or something like that) that allows it to upload at faster rates. The other phones/devices do not use this tag. I though PA did an article on this a while back?

13. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

No AT&T fan, but they waited to roll out 4G at the expense of looking behind the competition all last year. One would have hoped that they were prepared to hit the ground running. A few months to work out all the issues of any upgrade of this scale is fair. By summer, there should be no excuse for these types of reports.

14. Itsnotthatserious unregistered

It seems every problem by every phone manufacturer and wireless carrier can be fixed by everyone buying an iphone 4. PA seems to give a plug for Apple in a lot of articles. It may be a nice phone, but it is not the answer all tech problems. All "4G" networks are in the developmental stage. It will take a few months to see who is doing what in the real world. Stop listening to the commercials - LOL

15. Phonearena User unregistered

http://www.phonearena.com/news/AT-T-to-support-HSUPA-on-all-handsets-within-1-2-months_id17034 PH did an article on this back in Feb 2011. See link above. It may have to do with the upload protocol other phones are using. In a nutshell ... i4 is using the "latest" and hence gets better speeds. Other phones need an "update" the prior article suggests.

16. jon345 unregistered

That WOULD make sense with those devices..if a device is faster overall..the bandwidth will be smoother..GPU/CPU/grafix card all have to work together to perform tasks

17. kcombs

Posts: 275; Member since: Dec 15, 2010

The Atrix and Inspire are both using HSDPA as part of the upload for the phone, HSPA+ is not implemented everywhere yet (about 85% complete) so when fully implemented you will have HSPA+ download and HSDPA upload which is basically 2G upload. I work for ATT and it's a shame they did that! I can tell you however that this user does not have HSPA+, I'm in the Orlando area which does have HSPA+ I get about 4.5mbps with my iPhone 4, with the Inspire and Atrix it's more.

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

HSDPA is not "2g", that would be 3g up to 7.2mbs.. or what ur iphone4's max is capabe of. Edge is 2g.

24. Tre-Nitty

Posts: 470; Member since: Nov 16, 2010

Wrong, Orlando doesn't have hspa+. I was just in Orlando for my anniversary and they had no hspa+ anywhere. Also if you go to ATT.com/network and scroll over Florida the entire state and nothing highlights for hspa+. I did speed test throughout the weekend and barely got 1.5 mbps download and 0.3 mbps upload. This is bs to the fullest that ATT is disabling hsupa on devices. I'm actually glad my phone is a data hog since they are being stupid about this. I've used 6.3 gb this month with 15 days left in the billing cycle. I hope I pass 10 gb.

26. kcombs

Posts: 275; Member since: Dec 15, 2010

I don't know what phone you have but I get 4mbps all the time, the least I've gotten is 2.5mbps, the most is 4.5mbps. I hover right around 3.5-3.9mbps all the time.

18. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

ok, so all you do is root your phone, and then download a different modem (software) from XDA.com...I have the captivate with a i9000 modem and I get 1.5 mbps upload and about 4-5 mbps download....problem solved - stop yer crying....

19. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

Is there an easy way to root the Atrix? Since we're at it, is there a way to get Chrome for Webtop? Come on Hackers, do your best and impress us.

21. zuno gyakusatsu

Posts: 257; Member since: Mar 16, 2010

why not just get a device that can do what android can do without rooting? theres plenty out there.

20. prdmshrl

Posts: 24; Member since: Jan 05, 2011

Why this user is not using a 4G or better said HSPA+ compatible SIM Card? He is using a micro SIM which is only compatible with 3G speeds.

25. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

AT&T's 4G phones do not use a 4G sim card as none has been created for AT&T yet - the microSIM card is a 3G card used on with the iphone 4. AT&T 4G is not LTE, yet, and is just a higher version of 3G - like 3.9GPP, or something of that nature...still my phone gives me great speeds (see above).

30. ChaCha unregistered

4G for at&t hasn't been released yet. Yes, they have been selling 4G devices but just to prepare for when the HSPA speeds are to be released. Clam down everyone.

32. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

What TRE posted is the truth, or you can root your android phone and enjoy some pretty sweet speeds now....well, if you klive where I live...

33. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

AT&T has said that a software update is due to speed up uploads...again, you can root your phone and not wait for AT&T....

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