I’ve heard a few rumors recently from various sources that performance of the latest data cards varies considerably from vendor to vendor, so I’ve decided to put it to the test. I’ve got my mits on Voda’s three latest data devices:
- Option GlobeTrotter Express (‘Etna’)
- Huawei E870 ExpressCard
- Huawei E270 USB Modem
They’re all 7.2Mbps/HSUPA capable devices, all sharing the same Qualcomm 7200 chipset. My test setup consisted of the following:
- 17″ MacBook Pro, running:
- Transmit – an FTP client
- Safari – web browser
- Net Monitor – bandwidth monitor
I’m running the tests from my desk at home, in central Oxford. The signal here is reasonable – my Palm Treo’s showing 2 bars of 3G coverage. In order to run the tests, I started up an FTP download, then two HTTP downloads (linux distros again proving handy here) – I then used Net Monitor’s stopwatch feature to track the average and peak throughput for a fixed file size. I had to use multiple concurrent downloads in order to get the throughput up – downloading a single file rarely gave results over 800Kbps. Here’s a screenshot of Net Monitor in action:
|Device||Download (avg/peak)||Upload (avg/peak)|
|Option GlobeTrotter||1.3Mbps / 1.4Mbps||367Kbps / 425Kbps|
|Huawei E870||1.3Mbps / 1.4Mbps||367Kbps / 402Kbps|
|Huawei E270||1.3Mbps / 1.3Mbps||366Kbps / 380Kbps|
So all in all, pretty close to say the least! The E270 seems to have lost out marginally on peak data rates, but with all devices pushing 1.3Mbps average download speed, there’s not much in it. I’m running these tests on a network that’s not yet been upgraded to 7.2Mbps – stay tuned – once I track down some coverage I’ll repeat the tests.
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