What is 4G and how Vividwireless defines their 4G service?

Vividwireless claims that their service provides 4G internet. In comparison with other 4G ISP, Vividwireless's performance is not even closed to the standard 3.5G performance 3 years ago. As a consumer who lives near one of the Vividwireless's towers, I only experience 200-300kbps downloading and 20-30kbps uploading. I believe many other consumers out there are also experiencing slower performance and more regular outages for the last few months. So here are my questions:
1. What is the standard 4G speed (up/down)?
2. What is the 4G speed that Vividwireless promises to deliver?
3. If the standard speed vs Vividwireless speed are significantly different, would that mean Vividwireless is conservatively misleading the consumers?
4. Regular outages means upgrade for better performance or issues that will cause further inconvenience and downgrade in performance?

Thanks

Comments

#1

Meure wrote 2 years ago

I'll try to answer your questions as someone who doesn't have an expert knowledge of the system.

1. 4G refers to the 'generation' of wireless technology used to deliver content to and from an end user over the 'last mile' (the final connection between the user and the ISP).
In 2008, the International Telecommunications Union-Radio communications sector specified speed requirements for 4G as 100mbps down during mobile use, and 1Gbps down when under low mobility (ie. standing still). To the best of my knowledge, there is no currently available wireless technology widely available to consumers that conform to these requirements.
Two technologies emerged in the last few years of the previous decade that approached 4G standards, these being LTE and WiMAX. As clear upgrades over the previous 3G technologies, and being in line with other requirements for a 4G label (all-IP network etc.), these two technologies were considered '4G' by the ITU-R - this was under the assumption that the evolution of these technologies would steadily approach the original requirements.
Following this, the Clear network (I think, I am not sure on this) began marketing their WiMAX technology in the US. With no challenge to this claim, this set the precedent for the advertising of WiMAX technologies to consumers as a 4G technology (just as LTE did a short while later).

To answer your question in a more summary manner, the actual requirements of what constitutes '4G' were originally 1Gbps, but multiple technologies have been deployed that fill the space between these original requirements for 4G, and the older 3G technologies, and thus these are widely-marketed as 4G to consumers, even though they typically do not come near the requirements in terms of speed.

2. vividwireless, at present, does not promise any speed. There was previously some documentation available on this website that provided the average speeds that vividwireless offers - from memory, the quoted statistics were something like 2.5mbps to 5mbps. I've been doing some searching and can no longer find any reference to these numbers, but I do recall that they were from 2012 testing using a USB modem, so they may have been removed for their lack of relevance.
This means that at present, if you were to take up a vividwireless service and receive an acceptable RSSI and CINR, and receive a 64kbps download speed, and vividwireless is operating as their website indicates. This is a very extreme example - in my experience, most vividwireless customers get around 3-5mbps, but during busier times of the day, trend towards 1-3mbps. That said, I also see customers reporting speeds of 10mbps+. I don't think this is reflective of general use, however, rather users who have an exceptional signal and are lucky enough to connect to towers that see very little use.

Again, to answer your questions in summary, vividwireless offers pretty much everything between 64kbps at the minimum and 15mbps+ at the maximum. They don't commit to any speed a user might receive for a number of reasons, and a lot of ISPs do the same (giving rise to my pet hate of the advertising of the 'theoretical maximum', which I think might have been recently banned in Australia).

3. I interpret your questions as, 'If vividwireless offers a speed that differs greatly from 4G standards, is this misleading?'
I do certainly think that the justification for the advertising of vivid's network is very much based on the technology they use, and in no way is meant to be interpreted (from a legal perspective, at least) as an indication of the speeds one might receive. If it were necessary for vividwireless to stop advertising themselves as 4G based on their speeds, you would also find that Optus, Telstra, and essentially every other 4G provider in the world, would no longer offer 4G options.

I'm sure there are a number of vivid customers that have seen the 4G moniker and have jumped to a number of conclusions about what speed they might receive, but I would consider this the fault of the unwary consumer - a simple Google search will put you in contact with real customer's speeds on this very forum, as well as independent ones such as Whirlpool.

4. Outages cost an ISP money, and are usually either a last resort (if planned) or completely unexpected and a huge problem (when they're not planned). Towers are usually taken offline when work is being performed on them, and this is usually either maintenance (which will retain or restore an identical level of service) or upgrades (which should improve service).

Unplanned outages are often the result of equipment failure or power outage. If the power goes out in an area, the base stations will switch to battery power, but this will only last a few hours at most.

I hope this answers some of your questions. Frosty might be the best source for information regarding speeds, as he can collect it straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

#2

Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 2 years ago

There's very little I would add to Meure's excellent and thorough answer.

My recollection about "maximum speeds" is that in the first few months of the network when there were light loads, some customers were getting 20-30Mbps on speed tests, but once the network came under full load, this dropped down to maybe 10-15Mbps at the high end. Some customers do still get speeds like this, on the lightly-loaded towers, however its not common and typically you won't find them posting here in the forums, as they get great speeds and therefore don't post about speed problems...

#3

runningcommentry wrote 2 years ago

This seems to be an issue that's pretty much driven us away from Vivid as we're now sadly all but ready to pull the plug.

We used to get pretty acceptable speeds of around 9 or so mbps, which while not being very fast it was at least usable and reliable (Didn't go down once even, or that we noticed, in the first 9 months or so!).

These days though, it's become not much better than dialup and has absolutely nothing to do with tower connections! I must say that's one thing that I've learnt over the years, faults are virtually NEVER at our (the clients) end. Tech support always tries to fob people off with the whole 'try restarting the modem' or 'maybe you can't get a very good signal' etc etc, but that's always a load of hog wash and really irritating!!!

An honest company has become a rarity, from the likes of Vivid through to Dodo or TPG, customer support always blames the customer rather than fronting up to their own faults and being honest.

The fact is, Vivid wireless is completely misleading the public. I'd dare say 80% of vivid wireless customers struggle to achieve more than 5-6 mbps, most often it struggles to get more than 1 or 2 mbmps in the evenings. This really doesn't constitute '4G' or 'Broadband'. I guess according to Malcom Turnbull maybe it does, but then again to him Australia will probably be 'leading the world' if we were to have even 128kpbs connections as that would be 'more than enough'!!

Anyway, clearly I'm frustrated as months and months of sitting on a couple meg speeds is taking its toll, and to now have nothing at all is extremely frustrating.

The towers seem to regularly go down at least once every month or two, and the speeds just aren't there. The speed COULD be there if Vivid were to upgrade the backbone connectivity from the towers, or better yet install a few extra towers to share loads, but that's just not happening due to greed and wanting to make as many dollars as possible.

It's unfortunate this doesn't get reported either as Vivid is from memory now owned by one of a good old media companies (Something that shouldn't be allowed!). Imagine if Western Power were only delivering 10 volt connections when they were supposed to be doing 230-240 volt connections, and imagine if whole suburbs were stuck with those voltages!! That would hardly be over looked by any news organisation worth their salt!

It's exactly the same issue here, speeds that should be far far greater but simply aren't being delivered. Instead of promising the world (unlimited) and delivering nothing, vivid should simply charge a fixed per GB rate, something fair and reasonable. That would keep heavy users off the network and let us other users make the most of it. 50 cents per GB should be fair enough, maybe 60! Just a thought anyway.

Anyway, hopefully Midland will have it's Vivid tower back running again soon!

#4

random guy wrote 2 years ago

Yep,I've been getting worse speeds lately, been with vivid for years cause I can't get broadband through phone line
It started off great but now during the day its soo slow my gaming is difficult.
I've rung up several times and get the run around

#5

Frosty-MODERATOR wrote 2 years ago

I agree with you about the unlimited usage issue. That has been an issue with ISPs ever since the early days of public internet access in Australia in the mid-1990s.

#6

Tonyburke wrote 2 years ago

When I first signed up I was getting excellent speeds, I could watch a HD movie in real time and be downloading 2 others simultaneously without a hitch. Nowadays I can't watch ONE movie on its own without hickups. I'm going to cable broadband next month but the main reason isn't lousy speeds it's the health issues associated with wireless technology and they are very serious. We are swimming in a sea of electromagnetic radiation, our brains operate at a frequency of 0.1 to 1 Hz. The Earth itself operates at a similar vibration but because we are surrounded by all this foreign radiation there's no connection with her and we get sick. Until they develope a better, safer wireless technology I'm out of here.

#7

Meure wrote 2 years ago

Aluminium sheeting of over half a millimeter thickness will block frequencies of over 20KHz, and even at thinner densities will substantially attenuate the signal at the frequencies the gateway transmits at.

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