I've upgraded my basic call and text plan to the $45 6.5gb 3G plan.
Do I set my phone on LTE or 3G for maximizing speed on this data plan? (Rural Ontario)
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@Garry, the answer to your question is that it depends on local network conditions. On 3G, the speed is not throttled. However, the latency on 3G is generally higher than LTE. Calls only work on 3G. Depending on the load level of 3G and LTE in the local area, performance may be unpredictable. Results can vary with time. My suggestion would be to stay on LTE and selectively go to 3G for large download.
Where I am, the HSPA+ network is fantastic, with speeds never below 10Mbps and as high as 30Mbps. The pings are sometimes even better for me than the LTE network. What I will say also say about the pings on LTE is that it's more consistent. While I'll sometimes get pings as low as about 20ms on the 3g network, it's normally around 35ms. There are times that the LTE gives me pings about that 35ms, but more often then not, it's around 25ms, at least in the locations near me.
For web browsing, I don't think you'll notice any difference between the 4G LTE and 3g plans. This even includes SOME graphic intensive websites. When loading up this week's grocery store flyers at smarcanucks or redflagdeals, I don't notice any difference and those contain pictures that need to be downloaded to flip through the flyer pages. There is a little bit of delay and lag, but that's there even on full speed LTE, leading me to believe that for most web browsing, the phone hardware (cpu, gpu, ram) might be a main bottleneck.
Even youtube is fine for me with zero delay, but that's probably because many youtube videos are only clips that are seconds or a few minutes. I loaded a music video on 3Mbps LTE (3g plan) and it loaded instantly and played back in full quality.
The one thing that I do notice a difference is watching tv shows or movies, but that difference isn't that much. If I'm watching a 1 hour tv show on CTV, setting my phone to throttled 3Mbps LTE means that if I fast forward, it maybe takes 3 to 5 seconds of watching the spinning "please wait" wheel before playback continues while the app downloads enough of the video to ensure smooth playback. With my phone set to WCDMA only, that delay is more of like a 1 count, while on my 50Mbps home internet connection or full speed LTE cellular, it was completely instant.
For me, I found the best results by locking on to WCDMA, but experiment for this yourself. Most people probably won't notice that much difference from full LTE, full 3g, and throttled LTE.