Wind Mobile’s Terrible Mobile Data Speeds

Wind Mobile is hands-down the best voice alternative to replace existing cellular and/or land-line service. Plans starting around $25 a month get you the equivalent of a basic home phone line from Bell, at a couple dollars cheaper per month – plus unlimited text messaging and some data to boot. Go up to the $40 per month range and you’ve got yourself unlimited long distance and unlimited data too! What’s the catch?

I have been on Wind’s network for over a year and a half – since April 2011. I have watched as their network has grown from the GTA to amilton/Burlington/Niagra area, and extend further East and West as I travel on the 401 to Ottawa and Windsor repsectively and even towards Barrie heading North on the 400 (“Hey, look, I still have signal here” is something I frequently say). I was even surprised when I was in Windsor and noticed I was in a Wind Home Zone (that’s where everything is unlimited). Ironically or not, ‘Wind’-sor is my ‘Home’ town. I can live with the limited coverage area when it is unlimited usage but what I am not liking is their terrible mobile data rates.

Let me put one more thing out there, as we probably all know by now, only phones on the AWS (1700MHz/2100MHz) band work on Wind’s network so I was kind of limited to my choice of phones when I was adamant about getting a physical keyboard and Android OS (and my budget was around $100). Enter the Motorola MB502 CHARM. It is not by any stretch of the imagination a mobile powerhouse so I postulate that with better hardware I might get better speeds. Nonetheless, here is a comparison chart showing my download, upload and latencly values doing some speed tests on this phone at various times this year:

Date Connection Lat Lon Download (kbps) Upload (kbps) Latency (ms) ServerName
10/3/2012 22:19 Umts 43.84 -79.53 733 65 282 Toronto, ON
10/3/2012 22:18 Hspa 43.84 -79.53 1918 100 260 Toronto, ON
10/3/2012 22:12 Hspa 43.77 -79.47 1545 100 272 Toronto, ON
9/26/2012 9:29 Hspa 43.67 -79.42 471 896 251 Toronto, ON
9/25/2012 18:11 Umts 43.67 -79.42 311 58 569 Toronto
5/6/2012 0:10 Umts 43.67 -79.42 1428 97 289 Toronto, ON
5/6/2012 0:09 Hspa 43.67 -79.42 1428 98 139 Toronto, ON
5/3/2012 19:29 Hspa 43.67 -79.42 643 97 306 Wilson, NC

Really? Last month I had 58kbps upload and over a half second of ping. No, I wasn’t on dial-up; just Wind Mobile’s network,

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