I have a T-mobile web-n-walk that I use for connecting to the internet from my flat. It works pretty reliably, but I have noticed that it is slower in the evening. This week it has been driving me mad, so I thought I’d actually check the difference between the evening and the morning.
I tested it this morning, and at 7:30 I got 390 kbytes/s from www.speedtest.net and 3961 kilobits/s from http://resources.zdnet.co.uk/speedtest/. Viewed through the t-mobile transfer window, it is clear that it is running at full throttle – shown is a chart that has two peaks (scale looks out on the graph as an aside). The first was a BBC i-player session that ran at full speed – there is caching going on, then I think it is throttled from the BBC end whic seems smart bandwidth management by them. Second is a 25Mb file download, and it can be seen that it goers high and stays there until the file is downloaded.
Now, compare this with the performance at 11:30 in the evening :-
In the first graph the reported speed was just under 2 Mb/s. In the second, it wavered around, but was basically around 150kb/s – more than 10 times slower. The same speed tests show 186 kb/s from the first test site, and 498 kb/s from the second. The first was very fast and looks like an anomaly at only half the speed – the second was a bigger test and showed about a tenth of the speed that I had in the morning.
So, my perception seems right – it’s an order of magnitude slower in the evening, and doesn’t even really qualify as broadband
I am very impressed with T-mobile support (see here). They seem to have diagnosed and fixed the problem. They initially checked loading on the cell I was connected to, but it wasn’t over-loaded. He then asked me to put the system in 3G only mode, and the system would now shut down periodically rather than running slowly, indicating that what was actually happening was the 3G connectivity was dropping out and the system was going to 2G .. and then back again.
He suggested that it might actually be the cell controller being in some kind of odd state which sounds a little worrying, but he noted that it did happen very occasionally, and could be remotely rebooted … and that if that didn’t work then they’d send engineers to examine it. I’m not sure which they did, but it does now appear to be much speedier.