03-21-2014 12:03 PM
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  1. NSX38's Avatar
    Hello,

    I am currently with T-Mobile and am thinking of switching over to AT&T for the 1520 for myself and the 1020 for my wife. I've done what seems like endless hours of research on the phone(s) here on WP Central and watching YouTube reviews. I've come to the conclusion that I would love to switch over to the WP8 platform and ride out hopefully the good news with 8.1 here in less than a month! I hope this is the right forum to post this in as I am going to get the 1520 for my personal phone.

    My concerns are with the AT&T network. I have went to 5 different AT&T locations here in the Denver Metropolitan area and have been disappointed with the data speeds I have seen with doing a speed test on the phone. I am seeing an average of 4-5 Mbps on the down link and 2 Mbps on the up link side! Now T-Mobile isn't perfect and they have some coverage issues within certain parts of the city, but when you are in their LTE areas their signal is averaging 25-35 Mbps on the down link and 10-15ish on the uplink side. Does anybody here know what Denver operates on as far as the amount of current spectrum that AT&T operates their network here with (10x10, 15x15?) The employees and the stores just look at me with a blank stare when I ask them how much spectrum the network operates on here in town. If T-Mobile had access to the 1520/1020 I'd probably just stay put where I'm at currently, but they don't and I don't want to go the route of getting the RM-938 because I use tethering with my plan.

    I think by now some of the employees at the stores are tired of seeing me go in and play with the phone to make sure the size and apps etc.....are going to be what I can live with on a daily basis lol. I just don't take this lightly when I'm going to pay out of pocket for 2 phones up front and port over our numbers to AT&T. So the only thing now holding up my decision to get the phones is the network speeds in town. If anybody local here could chime in that would be awesome!!

    Thx guys,
    Hoping to join the WP community soon
    This my first post and definitely won't be my last as I probably will have a ton of questions that need to be answered by the community.
    03-18-2014 03:59 PM
  2. Curtieson's Avatar
    Well, you for sure sound like you have done your research, and welcome to the forums! Sorry I am not in Denver so I can't answer that question but was curious how you were doing the speed tests on AT&T? Just going to a speedtest.net on a demo model?

    Personally...in Columbus I see 16-18 mbps for the LTE...the last I tested (maybe a year ago now). I don't think I've ever noticed a data listing but that would be nice for these sort of questions instead of just believing AT&T's marketing hype.
    03-18-2014 04:25 PM
  3. NSX38's Avatar
    Yea just doing the speedtest.net app on the demo phones when I go to the store. Last night I was at the microsoft store and I asked one of the employees who had a 1520 to run a speed test for me so I can see the strength of the network where I was at and he pulled what I've unfortunately been seeing 4 Mbps down & 2 Mbps. I then pulled out my Note 2 on T-Mobile and pulled down 33 Mbps & 14 Mbps up. I showed him the phone when I was doing the speed test and he said "your phone must be on wifi?" I told him no, this is just how fast T-Mobile network is usually in town when your connected to their LTE signal. He said "wow! I don't even get those speeds on my home internet?" I felt sorry for him and that was probably embarrassing. I could deal with the speeds your seeing in Columbus at 16-18 Mbps, but I'm not seeing that here Decisions, Decisions................I love the 1520 and it's pulling me into it's vortex, but I don't know what to do with regards to AT&Ts network here in Denver??

    I really wasn't trying to have this be all about AT&Ts network, because I know this is a 1520 forum, but I appreciate the responses anyhow.

    Thx
    03-18-2014 05:06 PM
  4. G33kDaddy's Avatar
    I'm in Denver and I have a 1520 (and my wife has a 925) so I can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. While I occasionally see DL speeds in the double digits, it's typically around 5-7Mbps. UL speeds vary all over the place though with my best being almost 4Mbps and my worst being just over 2Mbps.

    That said, I never really feel it's limiting me honestly. It's more than fast enough for me and I'm your typical power user who works in IT and lives on his phone some days. I'm not streaming a lot of video or anything but I do stream Xbox Music quite often while doing other things and never have any issues with long pauses or load times.

    Hopefully that helps and you'll love the 1520... it's an amazing phone!
    paulxxwall and Curtieson like this.
    03-18-2014 05:32 PM
  5. NSX38's Avatar
    I'm in Denver and I have a 1520 (and my wife has a 925) so I can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. While I occasionally see DL speeds in the double digits, it's typically around 5-7Mbps. UL speeds vary all over the place though with my best being almost 4Mbps and my worst being just over 2Mbps.

    That said, I never really feel it's limiting me honestly. It's more than fast enough for me and I'm your typical power user who works in IT and lives on his phone some days. I'm not streaming a lot of video or anything but I do stream Xbox Music quite often while doing other things and never have any issues with long pauses or load times.

    Hopefully that helps and you'll love the 1520... it's an amazing phone!
    Thanks for the registering and replying to my post, I see that was your first post as well! Anyhow that makes me feel better that you feel that the download speeds have been sufficient for you to stream music. I wonder if those speeds are sufficient to stream Netflix without having buffering issues?

    Considering your speeds here in Denver on AT&Ts LTE network are lower than 10 Mbps I'm curious if they are bandwidth constrained here? I'm guessing since the acquisition of Leap Wireless (a.k.a. Cricket) went through I think last week, that they will use the spectrum acquired in the deal for expansion on their LTE network. Cricket had a decent network here in town, but I'm curious as too how much that's going to add to their pipeline? It sounds like AT&T has a lot of users on their network here in Denver, definitely more than T-Mobile which has a big pipeline and not as many users as AT&T, which leads to the better speeds that I have with them right now i'm guessing.
    03-18-2014 06:20 PM
  6. BobLobIaw's Avatar
    That's strange--I get 17Mbps in Reno and I travel to Colorado once a month for business and I've never noticed any slowdown. On top of that, I now tether my Surface Pro to my Lumia 920 in Colorado and it's much faster than WiFi at hotels and coffee shops. I've never tested the speeds out there but I will next week! Like the previous poster said, I've never had any problems with the existing speeds.
    Curtieson likes this.
    03-18-2014 06:46 PM
  7. NSX38's Avatar
    That's strange--I get 17Mbps in Reno and I travel to Colorado once a month for business and I've never noticed any slowdown. On top of that, I now tether my Surface Pro to my Lumia 920 in Colorado and it's much faster than WiFi at hotels and coffee shops. I've never tested the speeds out there but I will next week! Like the previous poster said, I've never had any problems with the existing speeds.
    That's encouraging to hear that you get those same speeds when you come out on your business trips. That'd be cool if you could update this thread when you come out to Denver for business and let me know what speeds you were seeing with the speedtest.net app. I can only go off of what I had been seeing speed wise at the AT&T stores I have visited in the last 3 weeks testing out the connection speed in those areas, so if I hear some positive speed increases in different parts of the city that'll be encouraging. I'm assuming you have the 1520? If so how do you like it?

    Thx
    03-18-2014 08:29 PM
  8. alphacc82's Avatar
    Cant comment about the speed since i live no where near that, but i will add my opinion on the phones. You may want to wait for the new 8.1 devices to come out and get one of those instead of the 1020, the camera is "Amazing" but i also think the 20MP ones are too. 41MP seem like over kill and I doubt most people actually need that. If I was signing up for a new 2 year agreement i would at least want some new hardware. Just my 2 cents...

    I have the 1520 and love it. Initially thought it would be too big but i i got use to it. Some times it is annoying as depending what pants i am wearing it is difficult to keep it in a pocket and sit down.
    03-18-2014 08:31 PM
  9. Morpheus Phreak's Avatar
    That's encouraging to hear that you get those same speeds when you come out on your business trips. That'd be cool if you could update this thread when you come out to Denver for business and let me know what speeds you were seeing with the speedtest.net app. I can only go off of what I had been seeing speed wise at the AT&T stores I have visited in the last 3 weeks testing out the connection speed in those areas, so if I hear some positive speed increases in different parts of the city that'll be encouraging. I'm assuming you have the 1520? If so how do you like it?

    Thx
    I know that in the AT&T stores there's usually a couple reps around with Windows Phone devices with their real accounts signed in on them.

    Ask them if they can install this app and test with WiFi turned off: Network Speed Test | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)

    Running a few tests on there back to back should provide a good average for the LTE speeds in the area.

    I'm having some issues with the Network Speed Test app at the moment (I think it's related to the test server nearest me)...but here's what I get living in Renton, Washington on service of about 3-4 bars on AT&T using the SpeedTest.net app

    wp_20140318.png
    03-18-2014 09:47 PM
  10. NSX38's Avatar
    Cant comment about the speed since i live no where near that, but i will add my opinion on the phones. You may want to wait for the new 8.1 devices to come out and get one of those instead of the 1020, the camera is "Amazing" but i also think the 20MP ones are too. 41MP seem like over kill and I doubt most people actually need that. If I was signing up for a new 2 year agreement i would at least want some new hardware. Just my 2 cents...

    I have the 1520 and love it. Initially thought it would be too big but i i got use to it. Some times it is annoying as depending what pants i am wearing it is difficult to keep it in a pocket and sit down.
    I have thought about waiting for the new 8.1 devices to be announced, but only because of the possible successor to the 1020? My wife said she would want the 1020 because it's smaller and easier to handle, maybe I can convince her to get the 1520 with me? I agree with practice and after looking at the sticky pic thread, it seems like you can do plenty with the 1520 camera if you know how to use it appropriately.

    We will be buying the phones out right to save on our monthly bill by not paying the subsidy every month, so I might end up with the 1520 & 1020 because it looks like I can find a good deal on craigslist if I'm patient.
    03-18-2014 11:36 PM
  11. NSX38's Avatar
    I know that in the AT&T stores there's usually a couple reps around with Windows Phone devices with their real accounts signed in on them.

    Ask them if they can install this app and test with WiFi turned off: Network Speed Test | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)

    Running a few tests on there back to back should provide a good average for the LTE speeds in the area.

    I'm having some issues with the Network Speed Test app at the moment (I think it's related to the test server nearest me)...but here's what I get living in Renton, Washington on service of about 3-4 bars on AT&T using the SpeedTest.net app

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yea that's what I've been doing lately, doing the speed test on the demo phone if they have a Sim card in it, and then asking a representative to run the test on their personal phone as well. That's what happened last night when I asked the MS store employee to run a test and his results were disappointing.

    Your speeds aren't bad and I can deal with those speeds as they would be plenty to stream Netflix and music if I chose to do so. Hopefully more people can chime in and give some real world speed test results and help me feel better about making the switch to AT&T solely for the WP platform. My wife trusts my decision to move us to whatever carrier I think is beneficial to us and will give us the best experience (also platform experience this time) overall. I'm glad that AT&T is all on board with WP.
    03-18-2014 11:43 PM
  12. Morpheus Phreak's Avatar
    Yea that's what I've been doing lately, doing the speed test on the demo phone if they have a Sim card in it, and then asking a representative to run the test on their personal phone as well. That's what happened last night when I asked the MS store employee to run a test and his results were disappointing.

    Your speeds aren't bad and I can deal with those speeds as they would be plenty to stream Netflix and music if I chose to do so. Hopefully more people can chime in and give some real world speed test results and help me feel better about making the switch to AT&T solely for the WP platform. My wife trusts my decision to move us to whatever carrier I think is beneficial to us and will give us the best experience (also platform experience this time) overall. I'm glad that AT&T is all on board with WP.
    That's why I mentioned asking one of them to install the other app and run it a few times. It would be pulling data from a different server than Speedtest.net and so may give different results.

    Sometimes the results you get on Speedtest apps isn't just from how fast the phone is, but also how fast or loaded that server is that's handling the tests.

    That's why it's good to use both to get a more accurate idea. If I were buying the current results I'm getting off the server on the Network Speed Test app right now (how I know it's having an issue) I would be reporting results of 4Mbit down with 0Mbit up due to an upload connection error.

    So I use multiple source apps that pull from different servers to take an average. :)
    03-19-2014 01:19 AM
  13. NSX38's Avatar
    I see what your saying, I'll try and run different speed test apps to get an average over multiple runs. This should give me more consistent numbers on the download and upload speeds in the areas that I'm visiting.

    Thx
    03-19-2014 09:51 AM
  14. Curtieson's Avatar
    That's why I mentioned asking one of them to install the other app and run it a few times. It would be pulling data from a different server than Speedtest.net and so may give different results.
    But if you were connected to the other app on two different phones, BOTH of the phones would show that error and it would still be comparing Apples to Apples.

    Your suggestion isn't completely off base, but I think it does add a level of redundancy that might reach the point of 'overboard' for your general AT&T customer service representative.


    Also, I do somewhat agree with the statement to wait on the 1020 purchase. If you want a Phablet, get the 1520 (it's 4 months old), that is as good as you'll get for ~6 months I'd say. But for their 4.X" phone with SUPER camera, I see a very close by refresh of the 1020 (it's 8 months old). Just wait 30 more days on it, and buy one if nothing is released. [And it sounds like she'd be OK with a 4.X" device w/ just the 20MP camera, and that is even more likely to hit the market]
    03-19-2014 10:11 AM
  15. Morpheus Phreak's Avatar
    But if you were connected to the other app on two different phones, BOTH of the phones would show that error and it would still be comparing Apples to Apples.

    Your suggestion isn't completely off base, but I think it does add a level of redundancy that might reach the point of 'overboard' for your general AT&T customer service representative.


    Also, I do somewhat agree with the statement to wait on the 1020 purchase. If you want a Phablet, get the 1520 (it's 4 months old), that is as good as you'll get for ~6 months I'd say. But for their 4.X" phone with SUPER camera, I see a very close by refresh of the 1020 (it's 8 months old). Just wait 30 more days on it, and buy one if nothing is released. [And it sounds like she'd be OK with a 4.X" device w/ just the 20MP camera, and that is even more likely to hit the market]
    A 30 second app install followed by 2-3 minutes of app usage is too much time for a salesman to spend with a customer?

    Also it is not redundant. Both of the apps mentioned use different servers. That's the point of it, to provide a different server pool to help eliminate issues caused by a busy test server.

    It should provide a more accurate result than using just a single point of data.
    03-19-2014 11:08 AM
  16. camaroz1985's Avatar
    Since you are buying outright anyway, why not buy unlocked phones and use them on T-Mobile?
    03-19-2014 11:41 AM
  17. BobLobIaw's Avatar
    That's encouraging to hear that you get those same speeds when you come out on your business trips. That'd be cool if you could update this thread when you come out to Denver for business and let me know what speeds you were seeing with the speedtest.net app. I can only go off of what I had been seeing speed wise at the AT&T stores I have visited in the last 3 weeks testing out the connection speed in those areas, so if I hear some positive speed increases in different parts of the city that'll be encouraging. I'm assuming you have the 1520? If so how do you like it?
    Thx
    I will definitely update after my next visit on March 27-28. I have a 920 but am pretty dead set on a larger screen size, especially after looking at the Icon (5" still looks a bit small to me). I considered getting the 1520 about a month ago but I want to see the 8.1 devices first and I'm saving quite a bit right now by using my 920 which is a very fine phone in its own right. I chose ATT for its outstanding coverage in more rural areas and fast speeds in urban areas even though it is a bit more expensive, so I'm interested to see the actual speeds in Denver. Thanks for bringing this to our attention and good luck with your decision.
    03-19-2014 11:46 AM
  18. NSX38's Avatar
    Since you are buying outright anyway, why not buy unlocked phones and use them on T-Mobile?
    I thought about that route initially until I read the thread about the 1520.3 version for $657.50! Since we are paying for the phones outright I am trying to save some cash where I can. Here is what I found I can buy the phone at the AT&T store for $585; MS store kiosk at the mall for $549; or buy one off of craigslist that I've seen some going for $425 possibly $400? The 1020 is going for $300-325 on craigslist as well? Also from what I read that model doesn't allow you to tether on T-Mobile which sucks big time because I use my Note 2 right now to tether to my Surface RT. Believe me if it was easier to do it that way I would because that would allow me to try out the 1520 on T-Mobiles network and let my wife decide if she wanted the 1520 or 1020 based on me having the phone first.
    03-19-2014 12:27 PM
  19. NSX38's Avatar
    I will definitely update after my next visit on March 27-28. I have a 920 but am pretty dead set on a larger screen size, especially after looking at the Icon (5" still looks a bit small to me). I considered getting the 1520 about a month ago but I want to see the 8.1 devices first and I'm saving quite a bit right now by using my 920 which is a very fine phone in its own right. I chose ATT for its outstanding coverage in more rural areas and fast speeds in urban areas even though it is a bit more expensive, so I'm interested to see the actual speeds in Denver. Thanks for bringing this to our attention and good luck with your decision.
    Thanks for doing that when you get here, maybe that'll help some people out who are on the fence like me? I am also waiting on the 8.1 announcement and hopefully they'll announce new handsets as well? What I'm also struggling with is the fact that the $100 per line port in credit ends March 31st. So if I wait for the announcement in April for 8.1 then I'll lose out on a $200 credit on my bill in a few months if I jump over in April as opposed to by the end of this month.
    03-19-2014 12:30 PM
  20. BobLobIaw's Avatar
    Thanks for doing that when you get here, maybe that'll help some people out who are on the fence like me? I am also waiting on the 8.1 announcement and hopefully they'll announce new handsets as well? What I'm also struggling with is the fact that the $100 per line port in credit ends March 31st. So if I wait for the announcement in April for 8.1 then I'll lose out on a $200 credit on my bill in a few months if I jump over in April as opposed to by the end of this month.
    Right, I forgot about the new line credit--that is certainly a good enticement. I think the 1520 is very future proof and the only question would be whether the 1020 is as well. I think the specs might get outdated but the operation might remain fairly state-of-the-art for another year or so. There is an interesting thread on whether the 920 is future-proof and most people seemed to think it is unless you are absolutely looking for the best specs. I guess it depends on your wife's personal requirements.
    03-19-2014 12:55 PM
  21. NSX38's Avatar
    Yeah your right, I think the 1520 is future proof for at least the next 18 months hopefully? On the 1020 front, yeah I don't know if it'll be slow in another 18mo compared to the successor or not? I think the camera will be relevant for a long time to come, but as long as the OS doesn't get slower over time with updates then she might be ok with the phone itself for at least 18mo?
    03-19-2014 01:58 PM
  22. Citizen X's Avatar
    The 1520 is solid. I have it on contract with at&t. I haven't been to Denver for years to I can't say what the at&t network is like out there. You also have to take into account the at&t network is more popular than TMobile which in the US means more iphones swarming on the thing. Having said that I have never gotten an at&t speed test below 20 Mbps... till today! I got 13.91 down and 14.74 up! I am in BFE New England at the moment for work. Usually my speeds are in the 20 something Mbps range. I have no problems streaming video or surfing the web.

    Networks are a funny thing. Overall the at&t network is fast and has good coverage, but that doesn't mean local anomalies don't occur. On network alone I say at&t>>T-mobile. But if at&t doesn't work for you locally that is of little consolation.

    If you aren't signing a contract you may want to just buy and if it doesn't work for you return. I mean if you have hard objective evidence such as speed tests to back up your decision I can't imagine you not being able to return the phone for a full refund. I personally use an app called network speed test. It's a Microsoft app.
    03-19-2014 02:03 PM
  23. drbanks's Avatar
    Around the Boston metro area, I consistently find T-mo, at least in the places where there's coverage, to be faster than both Verizon and ATT. Can't beat Verizon's coverage, and you can't beat ATT's arrogance, but if T Mo is a viable option, they're consistently faster and cheaper than the competition.
    03-19-2014 02:59 PM
  24. NSX38's Avatar
    The 1520 is solid. I have it on contract with at&t. I haven't been to Denver for years to I can't say what the at&t network is like out there. You also have to take into account the at&t network is more popular than TMobile which in the US means more iphones swarming on the thing. Having said that I have never gotten an at&t speed test below 20 Mbps... till today! I got 13.91 down and 14.74 up! I am in BFE New England at the moment for work. Usually my speeds are in the 20 something Mbps range. I have no problems streaming video or surfing the web.

    Networks are a funny thing. Overall the at&t network is fast and has good coverage, but that doesn't mean local anomalies don't occur. On network alone I say at&t>>T-mobile. But if at&t doesn't work for you locally that is of little consolation.

    If you aren't signing a contract you may want to just buy and if it doesn't work for you return. I mean if you have hard objective evidence such as speed tests to back up your decision I can't imagine you not being able to return the phone for a full refund. I personally use an app called network speed test. It's a Microsoft app.
    I understand that T-Mobile is in fourth place subscriber wise (approx. 46 million subs compared to AT&T 109 million I think?) that's why I agree with you that AT&T more than likely has more subscribers here in Denver. If they are operating the same amount of spectrum (10x10?) although on different frequencies that would attribute to T-Mobile having the faster connection here in Denver (less people on their pipeline).

    I guess that's an option as well if I buy the phone at the store, then I could return it if I'm not having the best speeds where I travel to within the city. What's the return policy on buying the phone outright at the store then returning it within the return window and cancelling service worst case scenario?
    03-19-2014 03:33 PM
  25. NSX38's Avatar
    Around the Boston metro area, I consistently find T-mo, at least in the places where there's coverage, to be faster than both Verizon and ATT. Can't beat Verizon's coverage, and you can't beat ATT's arrogance, but if T Mo is a viable option, they're consistently faster and cheaper than the competition.
    I agree with you, there is no doubt that T-Mobile has a blazing fast network, I just wish they had a wider selection of WP models (1520) to choose from. There are also some minor coverage issues that we are dealing with as well, but nothing major. If I don't switch over by the end of the month with the 1520, then maybe the stars will align and they will announce the 1520 coming to T-Mobile with 8.1 installed??? Or maybe I'm just dreaming.......
    03-19-2014 03:40 PM
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