Over the past year, mobile data has become a topic in the mainstream media. The stories are mostly about AT&T’s network growing pains, how iPhone users are overtaxing the networks and are experiencing greatly reduced bandwidth as a result.
Carriers love talking about bandwidth. It seems to be the only thing that matters in terms of mobile data. When the iPhone 3G came out, the dumbed-down line that was used to describe the difference between 2G and 3G in Apple’s marketing was that 3G is “twice as fast”.
I have been trying to make heads or tails of this whole data speed thing for quite some time. I had noticed in more than a few instances that 2G is just as fast, and sometimes faster than 3G. With all this marketing about how much faster 3G is, I set out to do a few tests of my own to determine if 3G is a must-have, or if carriers are trying to oversell the technology as a giant leap when it’s really just an incremental step.
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