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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

AT&T MediaNET bandwidth improved?

not too long ago (a few weeks perhaps) my AT&T EDGE network bandwidth was, lets say, pretty poor.

don't get me wrong, it worked. it had always worked. i'd been using it for a long time (i've been with at&t/cingular for about 7 years) and i'm familiar with the service. on my current device my typical EDGE connection averaged about 75kbit/s. and i got this speed on a regular basis: i ALWAYS seemed to get between 70 and 80 kbit/s.

this was their advertised speed, so i never complained or looked for much more. i've noticed that the MediaNET connection seemed to work better than 'AT&T Internet' - although they connect to the exact same access point...

now, mind you, last january there was some press regarding at&t upgrading their EDGE network, trying to bring the average speed across the network up to, well up to the exact speeds i was getting. so i didn't expect this to affect me. today i noticed some downloads were running faster than i expected, so i ran over to http://dslreports/mspeed and ran a test. for giggles, i've been running the test with 1MB downloads. here ar the results:

AT&T MediaNET: averages about 165kbit/s, with worst case over a dozen tests at 154kbit/s and the best case at 173kbit/s. thats almost 2x the previous performance i've grown accustomed to!

AT&T Internet: i thought i'd test this, since i've avoided it for the last couple years. the average was about 40kbit/s with max of 100kbit/s and min of a paltry 4kbit/s. i got tired of running this test, so i only sampled it 5 times. needless to say, it's not as good as MediaNET. i don't understand why - its the same APN but with a username/password added to it supposedly permitting features like VPN tunnelling (though i've found this works just fine using MediaNET).

so - all you AT&T users out there with real phones (Nokias), go ahead and connect with MediaNET and just delete the Internet access point from your available connections: it's useless.

(note: tests performed on a Nokia N95-1 with v30 firmware)

1 comment:

bitflung said...

FYI - though the purpose of this blog has changed entirely i thought i'd post a little something of a comment here since i see in my traffic log that people still come read this post.

i've upgraded to an N97-NAM and I can say that the AT&T Internet access point works admirably over 3G. the MediaNET access point uses a proxy server, which breaks certain features (like the Ozone webbrowser, which seems to fail at decompressing the proxy-compressed images at any site, even google).

I now only use the 'AT&T Internet' option, and I typically get 1.2Mbps bandwidth. that's testing at the same site as posted about above. I've seen this connection falter, sometimes it stalls for a few seconds, but when it kicks in again it seems I always get about 1.2Mbps.

so, here i am downtown, trying to download a large file over a public and over used wifi hotspot... i'm lucky to get 20kbps. i can use the bluetooth modem feature on my nokia, but better yet i've got JoikuSpot Premium which turns my phone into a mobile wifi hotspot. fire that bad-boy up and download at full speed over at&t, blowing the local free wifi out of the water.

yup. i'm happy about that. will still take a while to pull down a 3.2GB file (damn xilinx tools are huge) but at least it will finish before the coffee shop closes (download will take ~6 hours).