I am always between East London and Port Elizabeth – I stay in East London and I study at Port Elizabeth. I recently came home for the December / January vacation break, and to my shock, East London now has LTE from Vodacom! I thought the mobile operators were going to make sure LTE was fully running in your big cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, etc.

The moment I saw there was LTE coverage in East London, I decided to play around with it, see how it performs with my kind of data usage (I use the Internet for YouTube, Torrenting, online gaming, anime and series downloads (In HD)). I must say, the results I had got were pleasing! Now I feel the need to integrate a LTE modem in my laptop 🙂 I am using the iPad Air as a modem (Wi-Fi hotspot) to play with LTE 🙂

Speed Tests, Torrents, and HTTP Downloads

The first thing I did was to run a few tests of the internet speed in my area. The results were great, although I was expecting higher speeds and a lower latency. Nice to see the latency was below 100ms – I typically get latencies of above 100ms, with my 3G mobile data connection. Other tests I carried out was downloading a file through uTorrent, and downloading a file using the usual HTTP download method.

International speed tests and ping were not disappointing, in fact, they were pleasing! I typically get a latency of over 300ms with ADSL and 3G. The transfer speeds (download and upload) were quite pleasing!

Speedtest Result 1 (this is a local speedtest)
Speedtest Result 1 (this is a local speedtest)
Speedtest 2 (this is a local speedtest)
Speedtest 2 (this is a local speedtest)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did a few International Speed tests – locations were not specific, I picked any area I could scroll my mouse to 🙂

International Speedtest 1
International Speedtest 1
International speed test 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as the downloading went, I cannot complain with the speeds I was getting. An awesome 1MB/sec with uTorrent, and anything between 1 – 3MB/sec with the usual HTTP download. With speeds looking so great, I have told myself I will definitely be sure to upgrade to a smart phone that has LTE support 🙂

An HTTP download using Vodacom's LTE network.
An HTTP download using Vodacom’s LTE network.

Online Gaming with LTE

As far as online gaming goes, I was left smiling…hell, I think the FPS I got with these games improved a little with a better internet connection :D. I am mostly a PC car racing gamer – I love my racing games to bits, I play these games most of the time. What I found so impressive with gaming over a LTE connection was the stability – I barely saw cars and other objects jumping around the track. Need For Speed has built-in VOIP – I can hear other players as well as talk to other players in the game. The VOIP quality was supurb – there was no choppy sound, I could hear other players perfectly. Using this connection just made me want to play for longer!

I am pleased with the speeds LTE provides, as well as the performance it has delivered. I really hope the performance doesn’t drop as more and more people get their hands on LTE capable handsets or modems. Data costs will be another issue – with such high speeds, a cap of 1 – 2GB could run dry in under an hour! I hope mobile operators do come up with bigger capped products at affordable prices. I really want to drop my current 3G connection for a LTE connection 🙂