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Thread: Correlating signal strength with up/down speeds

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    dparm's Avatar
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    May 2010

    Question Correlating signal strength with up/down speeds

    I am trying to understand if there is a problem with the coverage in my condo, my phone, or perhaps just a misunderstanding of how the OG Droid draws its signal bars. Ran a few "scientific" tests to see if I could make sense of things. Exact results at the bottom.

    What it comes down to is that anywhere inside my condo registers around -70dbm (showing 0 or 1 bars, maybe 2) yet I'm struggling to do better than 200kbps down/120kbps up. I live in a high rise on the 16th floor. If I go downstairs to the street, the signal is actually about 3-5dbm worse at -75dbm but the speeds are 4-5 times faster and I see "full signal bars".

    This is really frustrating because I'm forced to use wifi indoors and the call quality is only mediocre. I feel like the signal bars are totally worthless...and yes, I understand dbm is logarithmic. What am I missing here?

    Background info:
    OG Motorola Droid
    Stock FRK76 (Android 2.2.3), rooted
    C_01.43.01P baseband
    Peter Alfonso 1.2GHz SV kernel
    52644 PRL
    Speedtest.net app v2.0.8, Comcast server @ Chicago, IL
    Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS disabled
    3x back-to-back tests at each spot, rebooted before moving to the next spot

    (next to very large windows, 16th floor of 31 total, downtown Chicago, minimal obstruction from adjacent buildings)
    -65dbm, 0asu
    1 or 0 bars, "3G" icon
    125-159ms ping
    138-211kbps down
    116-165kbps up
    Note: I also stepped out onto the patio to see if the windows or blinds were somehow interfering. Signal strength, ping, and up/down speeds were identical.

    (interior-most room, no windows)
    -68dbm, 0asu
    2 or 1 bar, "3G" icon
    128-145ms ping
    190-262kbps down
    216-325kbps up

    Bus stop:
    (16 floors directly below my apartment patio)
    -73dbm, 0asu
    4 or 3 bars, "3G" icon
    101-153ms ping
    888-1834kbps down
    792-807kbps up


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