# 3G vs HSDPA

#### wordhog

##### Active Member
1. Can anyone tell me whether there is a way of finding out which areas are covered by 3G and which by HSDPA or HSPA+? I have looked at the Vodacom coverage map on their website but it only differentiates between GRPS, EDGE and 3G.
2. What (typically) are the download and upload speeds a Vodacom customer can expect from (a) 3G, (b) HSDPA and (c) HSPA+?

#### NeonNinja

##### Neon Resident
2. (1) 384Kbps = ~42KB/s D, ~20KB/s U.
(2) 3.6Mbps = ~200KB/s D, ~64KB/s U.
(3) 7.2Mbps = ~350KB/s D, 112KB/s U.
(4) 21.1Mbps-42Mbps = 1MB/s D, ~512KB/s U.

My estimations. You'd have to be in a city or suburb though.

#### wordhog

##### Active Member
Hi Khanya,

Thanks for the reply. We're not in a city or suburb, so presumably we're looking at the bottom end of the HSDPA spectrum and wouldn't get HSPA+? Is HSPA+ only rolled out in cities?

I'm assuming (1) is the 3G speed and (2) & (3) are HSDPA, while (4) is HSPA+?

#### NeonNinja

##### Neon Resident
Hi Khanya,

Thanks for the reply. We're not in a city or suburb, so presumably we're looking at the bottom end of the HSDPA spectrum and wouldn't get HSPA+? Is HSPA+ only rolled out in cities?

I'm assuming (1) is the 3G speed and (2) & (3) are HSDPA, while (4) is HSPA+?

Well, it depends on the towers and the distance from your nearest tower(s). Apparently HSPA is 14.4Mbps, and HSPA+ is 21.1Mbps.

Obviously; what would be the point of rolling out high speed in a RuRal area, a township or some shady town, other than a city, where they're likely to have more recipients, customers and users, and where it's really needed.

Google some more, maybe you'll find something...

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#### Ivanr

##### Expert Member
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1. Can anyone tell me whether there is a way of finding out which areas are covered by 3G and which by HSDPA or HSPA+? I have looked at the Vodacom coverage map on their website but it only differentiates between GRPS, EDGE and 3G.
2. What (typically) are the download and upload speeds a Vodacom customer can expect from (a) 3G, (b) HSDPA and (c) HSPA+?

3G=HSDPA=WCDMA They are all the same thing. Try looking at Wikipedia. Termalogy is used for branding and sales Bulldust.

#### wordhog

##### Active Member
Thanks again, Khanya. I did Google quite a bit but maybe I Googled the wrong things. Clearly nobody's interested in writing about the rural/semi-rural areas so there doesn't seem to be much information about what we're getting for our money. It galls me, actually, that we pay the same as the city folk but our potential speeds are generally about a tenth of theirs, if not worse.

Proseal, thanks for clarifying. I didn't realise those were the same.

#### nuyork

##### Expert Member
Remember those are all theoretical speeds. The actually speed you get from a tower will depend on a number of factors.

Signal strength you are receiving.
The amount of users currently attached to that specific tower.
The amount of backhaul (bandwidth) that tower has been allocated.

The tower can support 42.2 mbps speeds, but if there is not enough backhaul and that tower is extremely busy, then you're not going to get those speeds.

And I don't think it's just limited to the rural areas. Even in the cities, people struggle with speeds even if the tower supports super fast speeds. If the tower is busy and there is only limited bandwidth available, it's going to give slow speeds no matter who you are.

I think for rural areas, the problem lies with getting backhaul out there, as there are no fibre links or piping to provide the bandwidth to the towers in those rural areas. Those towers usually rely on microwave links to connect all the towers to a signal tower that is connected to a fixed line backhaul.