Broadband Speeds – Not All Modems And Phones Are The Same

If you are purchasing a USB modem, a MiFi or a smartphone, it is possible that what you do is just grab one that you like as long as it is labelled as HSDPA enabled. In this case, you might just be making a mistake. HSDPA devices have different speed ratings. In layman’s terms, HSDPA is an enhanced 3G technology. That is why it is called 3.5G. You get much faster speeds than you would get on basic 3G. At the moment, there are networks in Nigeria that deliver a maximum theoretical speed of 42Mbps. The question is, Does your device support 42Mbps? 21Mbps, 14Mbps, 7.2Mbps, or just 3.6Mbps?

Huawei E5830 MiFi

I hear and read some users complain that the 3.5G speeds they are getting are not what the network advertised. Sometimes, the problem is both the network AND your device. You may have a device that cannot take advantage of the network’s full speeds.

Yes; each user device has a maximum speed rating, and if what you have in hand is a smartphone or modem with a maximum rating of 3.6Mbps, don’t expect anything close to 21Mbps speeds and performance. Yes; I also know that no user will experience the theoretical maximum speeds advertised by any network anywhere in the world, but the higher the speed rating of your device, the better the speeds that you will enjoy.

Fr example, the Nokia Lumia 610 that I am using now has a maximum HSDPA speed rating of 7.2Mbps, while the Sony Xperia P that I am currently reviewing is rated 14.4Mbps. There is no way that I will get the same experience on both devices, except my network offers nothing more than 7.2Mbps. This same principle applies to USB modems and MiFi devices. Each mobile broadband device has a maximum internet speed cap, so if broadband mobile internet is important to you, be sure to ask questions and read up before making that purchase.


About Moverick
AKA Mister Mobility. Owned over 100 mobiles. Maverick. Techie. Blogger. Entrepreneur. Agony Aunt. Adventurer. Amateur musician. Ladies man. Follow him on Twitter @Mister_Mobility, on LinkedIn at YomiAdegboye, and circle him on Google+. Listen to his music on SoundCloud.

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15 comments for “Broadband Speeds – Not All Modems And Phones Are The Same

  1. obus.boss
    February 15, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Most of these telecom providers deceive subscribers with their adverts.

  2. February 15, 2013 at 11:05 am

    great tip, Mister!

  3. February 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Thanks for this information, I shall do a little research before buying any new device.

    • February 15, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Esta & EyeBeeKay,

      You’re welcome!

  4. emmaedeh
    February 15, 2013 at 11:21 am

    . You are right Mr mo. ast Sunday I got speeds on Glo as high 5.27Mbps, and on regular days I get an average of 1.5Mbps. The modem I use is rated at 7.2Mbps. It’s just
    down to both the device and network.

  5. bosun99uk
    February 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Nice post,

    People need to understand all these things.

  6. February 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    emmaedeh & bosun99uk

    Thanks for chipping in. Cheers.

  7. Sweetdoct247
    February 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Thank u very much Mr No for this informative piece.

  8. Harry Echemco
    February 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks Mr. Mo. In addition to the two chief factors that determine the speed you get on your device, ie your device itself and the network capacity, another subtle factor that does affect speed of the download you achieve on your device is the application itself.

    In my experience, UCBrowser does a lot better than Opera Mini when downloading files, but is nowhere near the results I’ve achieved with Crystal Downloader which can attain a peak download speed of about 90% of the rated speed of my phone. This app like some other download managers are designed to take full advantage of the available bandwidth of both the device and the network. In other words, they are designed to be network or bandwidth resource hogs when in operation.

  9. @nelsonisibor
    February 16, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I have a ZTE MF 61 mifi that is capable of speeds of upto 42mbps.
    I have tested it on all networks at different times in different locations.
    The highest download speed I ever got was around 5mbps on on 42mbps capable device. The wayo from these telcos stays the same.

  10. yemko
    February 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Lie! my n8 is capable of 14Mbps if am not mistaken, emmaedeh claims 5.27Mbps where best speed i acheive with n8 using Glo 3.5g na 250kbps SUCKS!

  11. February 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    thats true cos glo bolt is much faster than my glo netpro. You can learn how to unlock glo modem here

  12. bosun99uk
    February 17, 2013 at 9:17 am

    @yemko @yemko

    Do you and @emmaedeh Live, Browse and Dine in the same place all the time?

    Location matters you know.

  13. Emmy Akintunde
    February 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    How I wish I could fine in Nigeria HUAWEI E5756 (42Mbps) or HAUWEI E5776 – 150Mbps (A Mobile Wifi/Mifi Device) with a High Exceptional Speed of 42mb/150Mbps on either 3G Network or 4G Network! With either of these Divice, no Network can tell story if am unable to attain any of their advertised Speed!

    • February 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm


      You cannot attain the advertised speeds of any network anywhere in the world.

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