Question 5g speedtest what does it mean and why is fast.com download so slow compared to ookla download ?

pcslookout

Lifer
Mar 18, 2007
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109
106
I am on AT&T Unlimited Elite with steam saver turned off.

Both tests are done in the same spot.

Is it because 5g or cellular data is never stable 99% ?
image 1.jpgimage 2.jpg
 

Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
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Not to mention ATT likes to lie to you which network tech you're using. There was quite a bit of a dust up when they were just putting the 5G icon on phones when they were connected to 3/4G signals.


Since your phone is only showing 5G and not 5G+ I suspect you're actually on the legacy LTE when it comes to speed..

.

Some of these speeds listed are just not the best but, they do show the differences between the 3 networks to an extent. One thing that does help if you're getting marginal results if to put the phone into airplane mode for ~30 seconds and then back to normal an it will force the phone to reregister with the cell site and possibly pick different channels if they're available. Most cell sites have multiple channels setup depending on the direction of the antennas.



If you want to test TMO in comparison a cheap option is a SIM from USMobile https://www.usmobile.com/plans

Just make sure you get the right sim as one is TMO and the other is VZW. Tello is another option but, more of a long term setup with their plans / pricing. They both have a 5GB for $15 option though and that's sufficient for running a few tests. When you're dealing with 5G a speeditst will consumer ~500MB per test easily due to the higher bandwidth and no throttling on the apps.

Netflix / fast.com is alright but, ookla is the gold standard though some of the partner servers lack capacity and provide slow results sometimes. If you find one that's quick on your laptop / PC try to pick the same one on the phone.
 
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pcslookout

Lifer
Mar 18, 2007
11,760
109
106
Not to mention ATT likes to lie to you which network tech you're using. There was quite a bit of a dust up when they were just putting the 5G icon on phones when they were connected to 3/4G signals.


Since your phone is only showing 5G and not 5G+ I suspect you're actually on the legacy LTE when it comes to speed..

.

Some of these speeds listed are just not the best but, they do show the differences between the 3 networks to an extent. One thing that does help if you're getting marginal results if to put the phone into airplane mode for ~30 seconds and then back to normal an it will force the phone to reregister with the cell site and possibly pick different channels if they're available. Most cell sites have multiple channels setup depending on the direction of the antennas.



If you want to test TMO in comparison a cheap option is a SIM from USMobile https://www.usmobile.com/plans

Just make sure you get the right sim as one is TMO and the other is VZW. Tello is another option but, more of a long term setup with their plans / pricing. They both have a 5GB for $15 option though and that's sufficient for running a few tests. When you're dealing with 5G a speeditst will consumer ~500MB per test easily due to the higher bandwidth and no throttling on the apps.

Netflix / fast.com is alright but, ookla is the gold standard though some of the partner servers lack capacity and provide slow results sometimes. If you find one that's quick on your laptop / PC try to pick the same one on the phone.
Thanks.
 

Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
2,149
741
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Of course!


Not to mention besides the network it depends on the phone as well. BTW we're int he same area as well for testing. (VPN says I'm elsewhere)

Here's my TMO FWA speed comparison....
1674522531553.png
1674522653367.png

So, you can see here ookla will use multiple servers when testing using the desktop app. Looking at my phone it shows the same. So, there's additional settings in the app to specify single / multi thread for testing as well or there used to be. If you're set to single thread it might make a difference to switch it over to multi but, probably not with ATT as it seems you're in a slow spot of town or just in general. When I tested Visible / VZW around town they sucked as well. Sometimes I might get 20mbps and other times it just crawled around 1mbps. The only perk was unlimited use for $30 and they had a promo for $100 back so it paid for 2.5 months. Looks like they're now running a promo for $15/mo for 12 months. Might be a good backup for data depending on how much you're paying ATT. Drop the data plan on ATT and pick up Visible for data.

I ported my # over to google to be able to switch carriers easier than dealing with their porting hurdles and issues. One time fee of $20 and it just works like another app on the phone or you can even use it in your browser.
 

Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
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I have a iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Though yeah AT&T cellular speeds suck sometimes.

Thankfully I have AT&T Fiber hardwire line at home!
I'm 2 blocks from fiber in any direction and it pisses me off. I tried some smaller known companies that run close to see if they would extend their lines and couldn't get any of them to consider it. I had Comcast gig though which was reliable but as you know it's pricy and uploads capped at 35mbps. Not to mention the data cap.

So I switched to T-Mobile and haven't looked back. Unlimited data and twice the upload speed for half the price.
 

DaaQ

Senior member
Dec 8, 2018
996
717
136
There is also cell tower breathing, which depends on the amount of devices connected to that particular tower. Just FYI.
 

Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
2,149
741
96
There is also cell tower breathing, which depends on the amount of devices connected to that particular tower. Just FYI.
It's all about capacity. ATT though tends to just be slower than other carriers.

Breathing = Prioritization

Depending on which form of subscription you have determines how your traffic is handled as well.

Native - full price = best priority
prepaid - next
MVNO - next
FWA - depends on the carrier and might slide in between any of the above

Active "calls" vs just standby pings from the handsets

Speed also depends on the backhaul the provider has for the particular site. Some use aggregate of multiple lines, some just use a huge pipe, some send things back via microwave.

I'd have to look at my site and double check but it's fiber to the cabinet just not sure if it's speed w/o looking at the labels on the cables. I know on the opposite end there's several different antenna arrays that feed back to the cabinet.
 
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