Self-testing mobile data speeds

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As a result of thinking about how Internet (fixed line and mobile) usage is impacting Canadian and global society, I’ve been starting to look a lot closer at the services I’ve personally been using and how they rank against international standards.

With the whole 3G/”4G” network question around mobile data speeds, I wondered how my current provider stacked up. I’m in Canada on the Fido network using an iPhone 3G. According to the 3G Mobile Internet FAQ on Fido’s site,

Just how fast is it?
3G high-speed is the latest evolution of GSM, the dominant world-wide standard for mobile wireless communications. It provides downlink speeds 8 to 10 times faster than Fido’s EDGE network. Maximum peak speeds are as high as 3.6mbps with our current line of phones.

I downloaded the Mobile Speed Test [iTunes link] app and tested my connection. I’ve run 3 tests over the past hour, all after midnight on a Wednesday evening using the Oakville, ON server. Downloads clocked in at .59 Mbps, .83Mbps and .83Mbps; uploads were .17Mbps, .16Mbps and .20Mbps.

I’m currently in Toronto on vacation but will start running some more tests at different times of day when I get home to Vancouver and use the export function on the app explore the data generated. It obviously won’t be scientifically valid but is important to me as an individual consumer to see if I’m getting any more than 23% of my theoretical top speed.