how-to block ads
New York, NY
Sprint 4G WiMax Connection Tests
A few days ago I read a thread in which ispgeek discussed his experience, as a user, with Clear. The thread is located at »Clearwire Tampa - A First Impression - SOLVED . While the thread was primarily focused on his experience as a whole as a customer with Clear, part of his posts consisted of some detailed stats from the Clearwire 4G WiMax network, using test tools located on the ISP Geeks site at »www.ispgeeks.com/wild/modules.ph···pipSpeed . ispgeek pointed out that his tests tended to indicate that "watching even the most basic of videos" would be "a painful experience" on this network, if others were to get the same stats that he did.
I looked at the stats he posted in the first message on the thread. Unfortunately I was largely ignorant of what they meant. In particular, I did not know which one of those stats were the parameters that warned of an unsatisfactory video streaming experience. In addition, I was somewhat surprised, given the fact that I've been regularly watching high-speed videos for several weeks on my Sprint 4G WiMax connection, which uses the same Clearwire network of course, and I had not experienced any problems.
ispgeek suggested I try the test applets for myself on the ISP Geeks web site, which I did. While I am still fuzzy over which of those parameters are the ones to watch to evaluate possible streaming issues (though I gather jitter is one of them), I do know that the overall assessment I got from my connection was rather better than the one that ispgeek got. I pointed out these rather encouraging results to ispgeek, who responded, in part, as follows:
said by BHNtechXpert:I then theorized to him why I was one of the lucky ones. I mentioned the possibility that since the service has only been on in my Manhattan neighborhood since November 1st, it might be that it is not very heavily used yet. ispgeek then offered an alternate explanation:
Consider yourself lucky and enjoy it You aren't the norm if we are to listen to the majority in this forum section. I was unable tyo obtain similar results and if I was any closer to the tower I could have spit on it.
said by BHNtechXpert:This struck me an interesting and reasonable suggestion. So I just ran the same test again.
Keep in mind that you tested at 2:31am...what did you expect at that time in the morning...everyone is asleep. Try that during peak hours and lets see what you get.
And I got the same result. The overall summary assessment was one green and two yellows, just like the other morning. The first paragraph (green) stated that my speed "will support...streaming videos." And the third paragraph (yellow) stated that my connection "can produce a relatively constant stream of data", and that "streaming video" is "possible," again the same assessment as the other day.
Unfortunately I have still been unable to figure out how to post the above summary as a URL for others to examine. However the full statistics on which the above summary is based was posted at »188.8.131.52/myspeed/db/report?id=324951 .
So I have two questions for anyone who wants to take a crack at them:
1) I'd still like some education as to how to read »184.108.40.206/myspeed/db/report?id=324951 . Which are the parameters that should be meriting my closest attention in terms of evaluating my connection's potential performance with streaming videos?
2) The relative superiority of my experience with the Clearwire WiMax network as compared to ispgeek's results, in what should be a very busy and crowded metropolitan area, continues to intrigue me, and I am still interested in possible explanations for it. It appears possible that it is not related to the time of day, inasmuch as my latest test was conducted Monday afternoon, presumably a relatively busy time in the 24-hour life cycle of a tower. Might this therefore be related to possible improvements in the Clearwire network since ispgeek conducted his tests back in November? Or might this be related to what I had previously hypothesized, a tower which has only seen two months use and does not yet have a full complement of customers? Or might this be related to some other factor, which has not occurred to me?
I look forward to any observations and comments which forum members may choose to offer. Thanks!
There are a number of factors that can dictate your connection speed. Just to name a few...
2. Distance from tower
3. Geographical features (hills, skyscrapers can block a signal)
4. Tower congestion (often correlates to time of day since more users are on the towers during peak times)
5. Modem location (RSSi can change even by moving the device a few feet)
6. Network enhancements (additional towers added between testing periods)
The number of factors make it difficult to isolate a single cause, but I hope this helps you get your research off in the right direction.
New York, NY
Hmmm. At this point, none of those factors appear to be playing a role.
Weather: Not likely since I've been getting consistently good high-speed video streaming from the day I first started using the Sprint 4G WiMax service in this neighborhood (November 8th). And meanwhile the weather has been all over the map, including these record-breaking snow storms.
Distance from tower: Again, doesn't seem to fit. ispgeek reported problems when he was close enough to a tower to spit, as he put it. Yet he gets bad and I get good. What up with that?
Skyscrapers and so on: I'm surrounded by skyscrapers and yet I'm getting good. I don't know whether ispgeek's area was also festooned with skyscrapers, but again that would not seem a factor, given his saliva-close testing of the network with a particular tower.
Tower congestion: Yes, perhaps ispgeek's tower might have been more congested than mine, but that is odd, if that's the case. I'm in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The idea of a tower like mine NOT being in a high percentile when it comes to congestion is, to put it mildly, surprising.
Modem location: Again the facts of this case seem to contradict that. While it may be that I'm quite close to my nearest tower, I can scarcely be closer than ispgeek's reported "spitting-close" location to his. So that factor would also appear to have been eliminated as a reason for his inferior experience to mine.
Additional towers added: Again, that would not seem a factor given that ispgeek reported inferior results while right on top of the tower.
About the only explanation that would appear to be plausible, considering all of this, is that, for some reason THE SAME CLEARWIRE NETWORK behaves better under the ministrations of Sprint for its customers than under the ministrations of Clearwire for its customers.
And yet is that even technically possible?
I just checked out the test site linked above. I have sprint 4G w/desktop modem. I was in the green for download, in the yellow for upload, and in the red for quality of service - yet similar to you criggs, I have no problems with streaming.
Before going to Sprint 4G I did a lot of research and while not scientific, Sprint customers seem generally pleased (emphasize - generally) while there is a fair amount of inconsistency with Clear customers. It's why I went with Sprint. I have no idea what's up because it's all the same network...or is it? I sure would like to hear from an insider on this cause man, some of those Clear customers are grumpy.
New York, NY
I'll tell you, I think if you run the test again there's a good chance you'll get yellow for quality of service. In my own case, I ran the test about 20 times, and got red a few times on QOS but mainly yellow.
Your observation that Sprint customers seem significantly happier with performance than Clear customers, despite the undeniable fact that it is the SAME NETWORK, is spot on, and only deepens the mystery for me. How can vendors using the same network furnish their customers such a starkly different experience?
The fact that others have also noted this discrepancy in satisfaction and apparent performance between Sprint and Clear increases my suspicion that there is either something fundamentally different and RIGHT about the way Sprint is implementing its 4G service for its customers, or that there is something fundamentally different and WRONG about the way Clearwire is implementing its 4G service for its customers.
|reply to criggs |
said by criggs:Not all towers have the same backhaul capacity. Some of them have traditional telco circuit backhaul, some of them are using microwave link backhaul, and some of them have fiber handoff at the site. So one issue is that the network quality to each tower is variable.
ispgeek reported problems when he was close enough to a tower to spit, as he put it. Yet he gets bad and I get good. What up with that?
The more I read that thread, the more likely scenario is he got a bad device. Getting a device with a defective radio would explain a lot of things in that thread -- no coverage when the map indicated he should have had signal and little improvement as he got closer to the tower.
New York, NY
Okay, I agree, that sounds like the most likely explanation I've read so far. Okay, so I'm putting this question to bed then. Of course, others are still welcome to chime in on this thread, if they wish.