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Verizon Unlimited Data Plan for Jetpacks

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20 hours ago, docj said:

My WiFiRanger keeps track of usage by each device on my network.

I have multiple jetpacks with each performing a different function(s) and one of the 7730's is running a program that requires six specific opened ports and a static IP.  I only have 1 of the 7730's running  my router, but I am going to add the router to the new 8800L probably sometime today.  So far I'm amazed at the difference in the speed of the 8800L vs the 7730's even though they are rated virtually the same.  More will become obvious as I have had it longer I'm sure.

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Because I'm a "techie" and have nothing better to do this morning (it's cold and overcast in south TX), I just ran back to back speedtests using several well-known test sites. What I was after was validation or disproof of the contention that the new Verizon unlimited prepaid plan limits streaming to 720p.

Here are the speed test engines I used and their respective measured download speeds:

Fast.com 9.5 Mbps
Speedtest.net 23.4Mbps
TestMy.net 18.3Mbps
SpeedofMe 22.6Mbps

Note that there is reasonable consistency between all the tests except Fast.com which was developed by Netflix and, presumably, provides a measure of how good your internet connection is for streaming video.

To test that assumption I then switched to my Verizon Pixel's hotspot and repeated the tests:

Fast.com 30Mbps
Speedtest.net 21.8Mbps
TestMy.net 25.7Mbps
SpeedofMe 29.58Mbps

Notice that Fast.com is no longer an outlier, in fact, it's showing the fastest measured speed in the group. This rather large difference leads me to believe that Fast.com'ssured speed is being constrained by a restriction on streaming resolution and, hence, speed. I don't know enough about how "streaming" is detected compared to other data uses, but there seems to be a difference and it is very repeatable.

As for the fact that the average speed measured using the phone hotspot is significantly faster than with the hotspot on the prepaid plan, I assume there are two explanations, both of which may have some validity. First of all, my Pixel 2XL is a relatively new device which may be inherently faster when used as a hotspot than my 7730l Jetpack. In addition, it may be that Verizon doesn't give the prepaid plan full access to maximum network speed even when it isn't being used for streaming. Either or both of these could contribute to the measured differences.

Joel (AKA docj)

Edited by docj

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Joel, I am confused. Mostly by the large difference in results on the first test you listed and why the big difference in the speed test sites....also is there any way to determine which of your theories may be more or less correct? Is there anything else that could cause that big of a difference? 3 sites are relatively close to the same and Fast.com is way lower? 

Edited by Big5er

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Speed test sites each use their own algorithm to rapidly test and calculate the results.  It's not all that surprising to see variations between their reported speeds  Furthermore, there are minute to minute variations in a cellular carrier's effective speed so the fact that I didn't do these tests simultaneously means that some differences result from normal variance.

As for whether there are other explanations, the "small print" in my online terms and conditions for my prepaid unlimited plan clearly states that streaming is limited to 720p.  On forums and Facebook, some people had challenged this and were claiming that they were getting 1080p resolution. Since I don't know of a way to obtain resolution from a video directly, this was the best way I could think of to try to measure the actual streaming speed.

I'm not an expert in this.  I posted it with the hope that someone more knowledgeable than I am might provide a more complete explanation.

Edited by docj

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It is my understanding that fast.com is a test designed to gauge what speed you can connect to Netflix.  In the past, even while net neutrality was in effect, it was suspected that certain ISP's were throttling customers' connection to Netflix and fast.com was created to validate/dispute those claims.

I could be totally mistaken.

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35 minutes ago, chirakawa said:

The new Verizon Prepaid Unlimited Plan is advertised as delivering 1080p.

 

This is what appears in the small print on my account; notice that the circled text refers to Full HD streaming and HD-quality streaming but uses 780p and 720p as the resolution.  It is true that 720p is a form of HD video.

 

verizon.JPG

Edited by docj

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I think many people are finding Verizon is actually throttling these plans to 720p even though they originally weren't advertised as such. I'm betting this is another case that this plan ended up a lot popular than they expected. 

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10 hours ago, BlueLghtning said:

I think many people are finding Verizon is actually throttling these plans to 720p even though they originally weren't advertised as such. I'm betting this is another case that this plan ended up a lot popular than they expected. 

Our largest TV is a 43".  On that the 720p picture is just fine IMHO.

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1 hour ago, docj said:

Our largest TV is a 43".  On that the 720p picture is just fine IMHO.

For sure. 720p isn't bad on TV's of that size or smaller. 

I've been on the fence about picking up this plan as I'm pretty well set, but it's very tempting. 

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On 12/6/2018 at 8:50 AM, docj said:

Our largest TV is a 43".  On that the 720p picture is just fine IMHO.

That is the same size as my largest set and it looks great to me.

I have had my new unlimited plan with the 8800L jetpack for 2 weeks now and have used 67gb with no apparent slow down even this time of evening.  Time will tell.  I'm hitting it hard this first month to see if they are serious.

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I have some OTA channels that are digital but SD 480. They sure look fuzzy for the first 30 seconds but once I get into "The Honeymooners" or "The Real McCoys" I stop seeing the blur and enjoy the show. Yes I enjoy 4k for SFX, and have state of the art in my main home theater. But given a choice between 720 p and nothing or just a few local OTA channels 720 is pretty HD for me too. They look great from more than 12" away. Sure there are advantages to tech and resolution /speed increases. But let's not look a gift horse . . .

Remember it was just a few years back that instead of streaming Sling TV there were no wireless or wired consistent TV stations except for satellite from an RV if the trees weren't too thick, or a mountain in the way in the great white north.

5g is coming soon too. We are living in the best time for TV and movies in an RV. Or a stix n brix.

Most 4k TVs upscale 720 if you have a 4k TV, or 4k BluRay player. SD does not upscale well. So if you have a 4k upscaling TV with a decent upscaling engine like Vizio and TCL top TVs

I am glad to see that the cable bundlers are getting competition from cell phones now too. Cells rarely go out because of rain or mountains just a lack of towers. We all may be doing cell like satellite services through cell like phones and repeaters.

You go guys!

 

Edited by RV_

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15 minutes ago, RV_ said:

Most 4k TVs upscale 720 if you have a 4k TV, or 4k BluRay player. SD does not upscale well. So if you have a 4k upscaling TV with a decent upscaling engine like Vizio and TCL top TVs

The TV in our casita (at our place in TX) is a 43" 4K Samsung.  Even when watching a 1080p DirecTV channel, it has a decidedly better picture than does the 40" Samsung HDTV in the MH.

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 We've been hitting the 8800L jetpack hard, streaming to the Playon desktop media server (playon.tv). Verizon throughput  dies around 4 pm and comes back up at around 9pm everyday; that correlates to everyone getting home and turning on their devices. In my area there's one tower and lots of new population. The thing's working fine.

I use a low-power12v-5v plug and leave it on; nothing gets hot.

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37 minutes ago, jbh said:

Verizon throughput  dies around 4 pm and comes back up at around 9pm everyday; that correlates to everyone getting home and turning on their devices. In my area there's one tower and lots of new population.

Since my phones are on Verizon postpaid accounts, if the prepaid throughput drops too much I switch to the phone's hotspot.  The 15GB/phone/month is more than enough to get me through the slow periods on the prepaid plan, at least so far.

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 Big change...

  I moved from Floral City to near Waverly, Fla. and download bandwidth is crap. Currently I have -96dB RSRP and 1dB SNR, a better signal than I had at Floral City, but average download bandwidth is 200kbps to 400kbps. Upload is 4Mbps or better. Obviously streaming isn't happening. Since prepaid non-contract accounts are stated to be lower priority I must be at the bottom of the totem pole and all Verizon traffic along the US-27 corridor in central Florida is above me.

  Since I intend to homebase here for a year or more I just signed up for Spectrum hardwired broadband stated to be 100Mbps with no data cap or throttling for $44.99/mo. For any significant travels I'll restart Verizon.

Edited by jbh

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1 hour ago, jbh said:

 Since prepaid non-contract accounts are stated to be lower priority I must be at the bottom of the totem pole and all Verizon traffic along the US-27 corridor in central Florida is above me.

 

Verizon Prepaid is not the bottom of the totem pole.  It's above Verizon MVNO Prepaid accounts.  Congested towers is the reason that this plan is not the end all beat all for everyone at every location.

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Yes I agree that the problem is tower/network load; US-27 is a major highway through this area plus there's continuing new growth.

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3 hours ago, jbh said:

Currently I have -96dB RSRP and 1dB SNR, a better signal than I had at Floral City, but average download bandwidth is 200kbps to 400kbps. U

I'm sure you realize that the signal strength is completely independent of the plan your  using.  Are you measuring the RSRP and SNR on the Jetpack or on your phone?  I have an app on my phone that will give me that info but I don't know of a way to get it from the Jetpack itself.  

All that notwithstanding, what you are reporting is a very poor SNR ratio.  It's no wonder that your download speeds are poor; the system can barely distinguish signals from the surrounding noise!  I'm not sure your slow download speeds have anything to do  with the prepaid plan.  Have you tried measuring download speed with the phone itself?

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The RSRP and SNR are reported on the second page of the "About Jetpack" section of my 6620L display. I don't know where or if the newer Jetpacks might display it.

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1 hour ago, Dutch_12078 said:

The RSRP and SNR are reported on the second page of the "About Jetpack" section of my 6620L display. I don't know where or if the newer Jetpacks might display it.

You're right, it's on my 7730L also.   You learn something new every day!  

My comments stand, that a SNR of 1dB is horrible and is likely the cause of poor download speed.  

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20 minutes ago, docj said:

You're right, it's on my 7730L also.   You learn something new every day!  

My comments stand, that a SNR of 1dB is horrible and is likely the cause of poor download speed.  

Oh, no argument there at all! ;)

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Although low SNR would usually indicate to me the problem, while at Bushnell I could count on 20+ Mbps overnights with the same low SNR. Odd. The nearest Verizon tower is about five miles away, across a big lake and orange groves.

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