Brown is the developer behind the Hacked Carrier Updates for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
Delving into the carrier settings that Apple provides for each individual carrier, Brown found that for AT&T Apple has limited the iPhone 5 to Category 10 (14.4Mbps) HSDPA, even though the network is capable of Category 14 (21.1Mbps) HSDPA+ and the iPhone 5 supports up to category 24 (42.2Mbps) DC-HSDPA+. In addition, the network settings file also defines throttling parameters.
There is no arguing or disputing that this is clear evidence you are purposely, 24/7, being throttled, even if you haven't used more data than your authorized to use or that you've purchased with your hard earned money.
In his report, Brown also details similar throttling parameters that can be found in the carrier settings file for Verizon and Sprint. According to his findings, only T-Mobile doesn't specify throttling settings.
- AT&T limits HSPA+ and permanently throttles LTE (unless hack is applied)
- Verizon permanently throttles LTE (unless hack is applied)
- Verizon and Sprint throttle down 3G (unless hack is applied)
- Apple has band preferences set for T-Mobile and AT&T causing signal issues (very much fixable by Apple and the carrier and is currently being looked into, from I've been told)
Ideally, Apple would lift these restrictions but for now users can install one of the hacked carrier updates which depending on your area may offer significant speed improvements.
When we asked Brown if he was sure the throttled network settings weren't only there for users who'd exceeded their limits, he said, "I'm very positive. I've heard of "network controls" or "soft throttles" being put into place on devices before." Of course, these throttles aren't like the debilitating ones that users may experience when going over their data usage limit; rather, they are designed to "even out" the network.
"The iPhone 5 I tested the other day was brand new. No LTE data used, so it wasn't being throttled," Brown told iClarified. "The 1st test was 13mbps down and 9mbps up. The 2nd was 17mbps (almost 18) down and 11mbps up." He notes that the test "was conducted around the same time frame and in the exact same spot of the house."
Let us know in the comments if you experienced a disparity between your network speeds on an Apple device versus another brand of smartphone. Or, if you've installed a hacked carrier update, did you notice an improvement?
Verizon & Sprint 3G:
AT&T and T-Mobile