Cell Phones

Rogers Infinite Capped (256kbps) Real World Tests

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 25th, 2019 10:11 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 14, 2005
15 posts
22 upvotes
Toronto

Rogers Infinite Capped (256kbps) Real World Tests

Using the developer mode in iOS (enabled via Xcode) I throttled the downstream / upstream speed on my iPhone 8Plus (for all apps and functions) to 256kbps.

Short story: actually more or less usable. Better than I expected after reading many of the comments here essentially implying an unusable device.

Long story:
  • SiriusXM app, normal music quality setting. Roughly a 10 to 20 second delay before streaming but then worked fine without pauses. There were a few "you aren't connected to the Internet" warnings but didn't seem to materially affect things.
  • GMail app. Refreshed inbox to show one new email from my Nest camera. This took maybe 3 seconds. Clicking on the email showed with embedded image in about 8 seconds.
  • Spotify, with "data saver" turned on. Roughly a 10 to 15 second delay before streaming but then worked fine without pauses. I'm no audiophile but I couldn't really detect a quality difference with "data saver" turned on through my AirPods.
  • Loaded CBC News site in Safari. Never fully loaded with all images for some reason (likely relying on multiple servers and one or more timed out) but text was readable in about 1.5 minutes. Clicked on an article and it was readable in about 10 seconds. Navigated back, clicked on another article which was readable in about 10 seconds again.
  • Loaded RFD "Hot Deals" forum main page - took 30 seconds. Any one post loaded in about 5 seconds.
  • iMessage with text, emojis - no real difference from LTE. Sending a random image from my photo roll took 80 seconds.
  • Facebook worked oddly really well. A few seconds delay here or there, definitely more when lots of images involved.
  • Youtube. Search for Gangnam style loaded results in 15 seconds. Clicking on top hit (3.3 billion views - good lord) resulted in ad playing in about 5 seconds. Video started right after, stuttered on / off for 10 seconds then played non-stop at 144p... not great looking. Never went above 144p. Damn it, this is going to get stuck in my head.

So, there you go. Let me know if you want to test something specific and I'll do my best.

Personally, I think I'm going to sign up for the plan. I have the $60 / 10 GB plan from last Christmas (now $65) and I'm always hovering around 9 to 9.5 GB usage with a week left in the billing cycle and then stressing out about overage. I think this is preferable.
31 replies
Newbie
Apr 25, 2019
73 posts
22 upvotes
Do you use Google Chrome? Their app sucks up so much data, I use Opera browser, it saves up to 50% data and I use about 3-4 GB per month despite having 7 GB. Opera works well unlike Chrome's poor excuse of a "data saver".Their data saver would be in the single digits of savings. Would recommend Opera for those who are worried about data overages.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
16982 posts
3846 upvotes
Toronto
kneecarrot wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 8:26 pm
Using the developer mode in iOS (enabled via Xcode) I throttled the downstream / upstream speed on my iPhone 8Plus (for all apps and functions) to 256kbps.

Short story: actually more or less usable. Better than I expected after reading many of the comments here essentially implying an unusable device.

Long story:
  • SiriusXM app, normal music quality setting. Roughly a 10 to 20 second delay before streaming but then worked fine without pauses. There were a few "you aren't connected to the Internet" warnings but didn't seem to materially affect things.
  • GMail app. Refreshed inbox to show one new email from my Nest camera. This took maybe 3 seconds. Clicking on the email showed with embedded image in about 8 seconds.
  • Spotify, with "data saver" turned on. Roughly a 10 to 15 second delay before streaming but then worked fine without pauses. I'm no audiophile but I couldn't really detect a quality difference with "data saver" turned on through my AirPods.
  • Loaded CBC News site in Safari. Never fully loaded with all images for some reason (likely relying on multiple servers and one or more timed out) but text was readable in about 1.5 minutes. Clicked on an article and it was readable in about 10 seconds. Navigated back, clicked on another article which was readable in about 10 seconds again.
  • Loaded RFD "Hot Deals" forum main page - took 30 seconds. Any one post loaded in about 5 seconds.
  • iMessage with text, emojis - no real difference from LTE. Sending a random image from my photo roll took 80 seconds.
  • Facebook worked oddly really well. A few seconds delay here or there, definitely more when lots of images involved.
  • Youtube. Search for Gangnam style loaded results in 15 seconds. Clicking on top hit (3.3 billion views - good lord) resulted in ad playing in about 5 seconds. Video started right after, stuttered on / off for 10 seconds then played non-stop at 144p... not great looking. Never went above 144p. Damn it, this is going to get stuck in my head.

So, there you go. Let me know if you want to test something specific and I'll do my best.

Personally, I think I'm going to sign up for the plan. I have the $60 / 10 GB plan from last Christmas (now $65) and I'm always hovering around 9 to 9.5 GB usage with a week left in the billing cycle and then stressing out about overage. I think this is preferable.
Thanks for doing those tests. IMO, that's almost unusable. You might be better off getting the 15 GB plan from Telus or something instead.

For me, having the $65 13 GB (10 + 3 bonus) on Fido with additional 5 hours of DataBytes is good for my usage. The Rogers plan is worse for more money. If they upgraded the throttled speed to say 2 Mbps then that would be much more useful.

BTW, you mention that iMessage text/emojis is no different from LTE. I get what you mean but I suspect that's because it is LTE, just capped. For such low bandwidth messaging it's not surprising it would be fine. However, as your tests showed, a lot of other things are just too painful to use.

A friend pointed out that this roughly the speed of 2G EDGE. Not even 3G. 2G EDGE was too slow even a decade ago. I got my iPhone 3G 11 years ago actually, and trying to use 2G EDGE on that was just terrible. You HAD to use 3G for it to be OK.
Member
Feb 22, 2013
493 posts
257 upvotes
Thanks OP. This isn't that bad of an experience because it's not going to be anyone's experience for the entire month. I assume its going to be only for less than a week if you've used up 10 GB during the first 3 weeks of the month.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 13, 2006
3262 posts
2735 upvotes
Muskoka
This is good and thanks

The only thing that may not be the same in the real world is that your phone is doing the cap for the test so you are probably getting the full 256kbs. When Rogers is doing the cap and you may not have the strongest signal or in a busy area, you may not get the full capped speed.

I do think this is a step in the right direction. Certainly room for improvement and I would expect that over the coming months.
Koodo
Public Mobile
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
16982 posts
3846 upvotes
Toronto
spotts01 wrote:
Jun 15th, 2019 8:53 am
This is good and thanks

The only thing that may not be the same in the real world is that your phone is doing the cap for the test so you are probably getting the full 256kbs. When Rogers is doing the cap and you may not have the strongest signal or in a busy area, you may not get the full capped speed.

I do think this is a step in the right direction. Certainly room for improvement and I would expect that over the coming months.
In some ways it’s actually a big step backward. Others throttle to 3G speed but that 3G speed is 1-4 Mbps, or even higher. That 1-4 Mbps is a HUGE difference in speed, and fast enough to be a pleasant experience.

That’s why I say that for many people, a 15 GB $75 plan would be a much better solution.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 13, 2006
3262 posts
2735 upvotes
Muskoka
I was referring to the unlimited part. That is the step. I can see 256kbs cap being moved up to 1MBs or 1.5 as companies can use this to differentiate. They must have done something over the past year or so to increase overall data capacity. Even though they are pricey (too pricey for me) these data plans were not available previously.
Koodo
Public Mobile
Member
Jan 13, 2017
455 posts
525 upvotes
Toronto
Imagine when you're used to full speed, then slow down to a crawl. It must be pretty irritating, and the delays adds up overtime too.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 13, 2006
3262 posts
2735 upvotes
Muskoka
Could you try a VOIP test?
Koodo
Public Mobile
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 14, 2005
15 posts
22 upvotes
Toronto
spotts01 wrote:
Jun 16th, 2019 8:00 am
Could you try a VOIP test?
Sure, hopefully Skype fits the bill. Will report back.
Sr. Member
Feb 28, 2012
530 posts
479 upvotes
Edmonton
spotts01 wrote:
Jun 16th, 2019 8:00 am
Could you try a VOIP test?
I've tested Freedom's 256kbps over-quota throttle extensively, particularly VoIP and streaming music.

256kbps is sufficient for VoIP.
A VoIP voice call will use roughly 80kbps on each stream (G.711, VoIP.ms), less with the Opus codec (GV, Signal, Whatsapp). G.711 is universally available on VoIP services and offers carrier grade audio. Modern voip apps are using Opus, which offers HQ audio on about 1/3 the bandwidth of G.711, and more adaptable to challenging network conditions.
The standard bandwidth recommendation for video calls is 1Mbps.

Internet music URLs streaming at 128kbps, AAC encoded, sound excellent with rare dropouts after the initial buffering.

I've watched hours of SQ Netflix with few dropouts after lengthy initial buffering.

I've used GBs of throttled data, with surprisingly acceptable results.
A nominal 256kbps is one thing, the quality of connection another.
My testing was done with strong, stable signal.

Kudos to kneecarrot for the extensive, methodical testing and detailed report.
VoIP offers flexibility, economy, carrier independence
VoIP.ms / CSipSimple / VoIP.ms SMS / Groundwire
TCP for reliable mobile VoIP, low battery impact
Member
Dec 4, 2017
378 posts
139 upvotes
kneecarrot wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 8:26 pm
[*]Loaded CBC News site in Safari. Never fully loaded with all images for some reason (likely relying on multiple servers and one or more timed out) but text was readable in about 1.5 minutes. Clicked on an article and it was readable in about 10 seconds. Navigated back, clicked on another article which was readable in about 10 seconds again.
[*]Loaded RFD "Hot Deals" forum main page - took 30 seconds. Any one post loaded in about 5 seconds.
Thanks for reporting on this swatch of mobile experiences.

For complex Web pages, I find that having NoScript on Firefox tremendously helps. The CBC mobile website is a great example. It's probably pulling in all manner of outside content to no user benefit. In fact, the main page content loads very quickly, but then the progress bar lags for several seconds. It can even interfere with trying to accept the Cookies pop-up, as doing so can sometimes be interpreted as tapping on the content underneath... when it eventually finishes loading. Using NoScript, none of this rubbish happens. It just loads quickly.

With NoScript, some pages won't work right and one must selectively re-enable scripting for certain domains. But these occasional steps are well worth it to improve the overall experience.
[*]Facebook worked oddly really well. A few seconds delay here or there, definitely more when lots of images involved.
For those who don't like the privacy-invading and battery-eating Facebook app, there are two mobile Web pages that work well:

m.facebook.com, which is the main mobile page, but they took away Messages functionality some time ago

mbasic.facebook.com, which is the low-bandwidth version. It still preserves Messages functionality, so there is no need to install Facebook Messenger either.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2006
17593 posts
1693 upvotes
Woodbridge
I will take it. Better than getting charged overages.

I can imagine customers cancelling their Rogers Home Internet if they gave us more than 256. LOL
"I'll put up color bars before I'll put you in front of our cameras."

- MacKenzie
THE NEWSROOM (HBO)
Newbie
User avatar
Oct 18, 2013
51 posts
17 upvotes
CANADA
EugW wrote:
Jun 15th, 2019 9:42 am
In some ways it’s actually a big step backward. Others throttle to 3G speed but that 3G speed is 1-4 Mbps, or even higher. That 1-4 Mbps is a HUGE difference in speed, and fast enough to be a pleasant experience.

That’s why I say that for many people, a 15 GB $75 plan would be a much better solution.
Or simply move up to the 20 or 50GB plan. I got the 50GB. $50 more for 500% more LTE data. No brainer.
FIDO $60/10GB (+5 hours unlimited data)
WIND $15 AITF unlimited data (10GB soft cap)

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