Tom Keys, chief of operations for MetroPCS said:
We didn't build this network or this device to be all things to all people. We did this is in a very methodical fashion. We didn't try to get everything in the beginning.
MetroPCS 4G uses AWS 1710 to 1755MHz spectrum
So how are the download speeds for the Samsung Craft on MetroPCS 4G network in Sacramento? Because the carrier's network is the AWS 1700 to 1750 MHz spectrum with 5 Mhz-by-5MHz bandwidth, they cannot compete with Verizon's fourth-generation LTE network.
Verizon has MHz of nationwide contiguous spectrum bandwidth – 10MHZ-by-10MHz downlink-uplink. The AWS 1700 MHz spectrum requires cell towers be placed closer together than the 700 MHz networks. Besides not going as far, 1700 MHz doesn't penetrate buildings and normal things like trees and bushes, as Verizon's and AT&T's 700 MHz spectrum does.
The Samsung Craft is also handicapped because it doesn't have Flash. Most of the speed test benchmarking software needs either Flash or Java. In part, this is because those applications take advantage of widely accepted data compression techniques. Thus, for download speed benchmarking we were forced to use DSLReports' Simple Mobile Speed Test that sends 8-bit text to the Samsung Craft. We saw data speeds under 270Kbps with just over 1.2 seconds latency.
We decided to compare a desktop PC using DSL and DSLReports' Simple Mobile Speed Test application Again, there was no compression of the data stream. We saw just over 1400Kbps, with latency of 0.291 seconds.
Next, we used DSLReport's Flash speed test with the DSL desktop. We saw 2502 Mbps download speed and latency of 37 milliseconds.
Overall, the Samsung Craft is reasonable for daily use if you have not been using a smartphone or something like the LG feature phones on a CDMA or GSM 3G network. We liked the high-resolution AMELOD display and the slide-out keypad was reasonable. However, if you have smartphone expectations, we cannot recommend purchasing this phone.
This comparison showed that MetroPCS needs to have a different handset so we can benchmark the throughput the same way we do with other smartphones. However, help may be on the way to show the 4G networks' speeds because MetroPCS is about to get its first LTE device, the Samsung SCH-R910, if Boy Genius Report is to be believed.
The carrier's next offering will be compared to T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ network that's due to be upgraded by the summer of 2011 with support for 42Mbps download speeds. MetroPCS 4G will be compared to Sprint's new 4G WiMax phones or HTC's three new smartphones for the other 4G mobile carriers.
Also bear in mind that MetroPCS does not have contiguous nationwide 4G coverage as they only operate in the cities where they bought 1700 MHz AWS licenses from the 2006 FCC auction. To help put things in perspective, we've included below the original map of the MetroPCS 4G coverage area in Sacramento.
Wrapping up, we want to thank all the people at MetroPCS who pitched in and made this review possible and we're looking forward to testing their next 4G phone.
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