I was able to use LIME’s edge network for a day and decided to compare it with Digicel’s which is the current champ. Since few people will use EDGE on a PC these days considering the price and the availability of 3G I did all tests on my trusty e71. The s60v3 family of smartphones lack a speed test application and the flash player in browser only supports up to flash 8, speedtest.net requires flash 9. This short coming forces me to use screenshots of the connection manager to display the speed but this shouldn’t be a big problem.
Well as everyone might know, Digicel was the first network to offer edge with Claro and LIME subsequently following. Edge is a 3G ITU standard which is currently known as 2.75g since it lacks some features of UMTS, that is thought of as the first true 3G system. UMTS in itself is original 3G supporting all the 3G features such as simultaneous voice and data and a maximum data transfer rate of 384kbps uplink and 384kbps downlink. EDGE provides speeds in the region of 273kbps with 4 simultaneous timelots*, or in other words 4 different data lines adding up to one. I managed to exceed that with EDGE on Digicel several times before doing this test with a maximum speed of 41 kilobytes per second or 328Kbps, in the range of UMTS 3G. I have a simple idea of why this happened; Digicel might be using more than 4 data lines, however my phone only officially supports 4 so I am not entirely sure.
Tests were done at midnight and were carried out while downloading a 250MB file which minimizes slowdowns that may be a consequence of the browser.
I started off with LIME and got quite spectacular results at first:
I was singing praises, it was even more spectacular when I noticed that I never got a single fallback to GPRS. Edge signal was superior and the speed is right up there, what possibly could go wrong? Well these went wrong:
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