4G, 3G, H and H+, Why do some cellphone data ‘levels’ simply not work?

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5G, 4G, sometimes I’ll be able to browse on 3G, but once I get to H or H+ nothing loads no matter how long I wait. What does H even mean? And surely it implies data is still moving, so why do browsers just give up instead of loading something slowly?

In: Technology
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H is short for HSDPA, high speed downlink packet access. It’s a 3G technology that is useful where there are long distances between cell towers.

The strength of radio communications is related to distance and frequency. HSDPA uses relatively low frequency to manage longer distances without dropping the communication. The pay-off for that is limited data carrying capacity. Great if you need to make a call while in a rural area, terrible if you want a graphics heavy we page to load.

Phones give up because it just takes too long.

You can do simple things over it, but it’s really not a data transmission service – it’s retained as back up for cell technology that prioritises data (4G, 5G etc).

5G, 4G, 3G, H, H+, etc are all different technologies. While they ultimately do the same thing (carrying data) they do it in different ways. If you want a comparison, they’re different fuel sources. One is your everyday fuel, another is diesel, another is rocket fuel and the final one is the fuel you use to heat your house. They all do the same thing, but you can’t use the same engine to run them. You need to make sure the engine is properly calibrated to handle the fuel.

Well here is the same. You need a properly calibrated device to handle the technology. Furthermore, your assumption is wrong to begin with: It’s not the browser that handle which technology is in use. It’s the device. So, when the browser ask for something, if that thing isn’t delivered, it can’t just change engine. It has to wait for the device to change.

Furthermore, since they’re different technologies, they are not distributed from the same source. You can have an antenna for H+ close by, but not 5G. Even if it wanted to change, your phone couldn’t.

Sinc other posters have already answered what every 4g,3g, etc me I will answered why browsers give up.

It’s actually not your browser giving up but rather the server. When you ask a resource to a server it puts a timer of how long is going to be paying you attention. Why? Because if it didn’t it would be susceptible to a DDOS attack. Imagine a fast-food restaurant(the server) and you send few people that take a lot of time to place their orders, eventually the queues are going to be very long. Closing the connection would mean that if you take too long to place your order you have to start again.

Think of them like gears on a bike, some are for slow speed, some are for high speed.

Modern websites need more data, which is why many sites won’t load on slower connections.