Running an Internet speed test on an LTE device is a great way to make sure you are getting all the bandwidth benefits from your 4 or 5G wireless service. It helps verify that your download speeds are actually faster than that of a 3G network. If you currently have both a wired and wireless account, a simple speed test for LTE might be all you need to negotiate a good deal from your Internet Service Provider!


How Fast Is LTE Internet?

Some mobile networks boast a whopping 36 Mbps download speed for their services. And peak data transfers have even clocked in 300 Mbps speeds on LTE (Long Term Evolution). For the average American, they won’t notice the difference between an LTE or true 4G network (or the mid stopgap which is 4G LTE). However, a great deal of connectivity for 4G LTE depends on location, coverage, and the device(s) you’re using.


A more standard high speed rate for LTE (or 4G LTE as is the common standard now) is 20-25 Mbps download. Upload speeds tend to be on the lower side of 10-15 Mbps. Each carrier is different and has a wide variety of options available–always check with your provider first.


The advent of 5G now introduces the idea of instantaneous speed. The idea that data could almost be transferred in real time–removing the data cap of transferring Megabits and instead moving into the Gigabit and Terabit range. Deutsche Telekom tested a 5G network live at this year’s IFA where they measured speeds of 3 Gbps (Gigabits per second). 


For reference, it would take anywhere from 13-15 minutes for a user to download 5 Gigs of data with an average speed of 50 Mbps. A 5G-enabled device would download the same content in just four seconds. 


Barring the fact that very few carriers are currently equipped to handle 5G at the moment, LTE boasts the fastest rates with the largest coverage in America currently.


Now that you know what LTE is, here’s how to test your internet and compare your results.


How to Check Your Internet Connection Speed


1. Disable Wifi

How fast is LTE compared to WiFi? Oftentimes, it’s not. To get the best readout for your LTE Network, you need to disable your WiFi connection, if present. If you’re testing your connection to your provider and your WiFi is on, the test will read the results of your wireless network, and not your phone provider’s data.


2. Choose Mobile Data

Once you’ve verified that you’re using mobile data, check the VPN for your highest available mobile data standard (on Android and iPhone, this will be in the settings, under Mobile Data–if have the option to choose between LTE and 4G, pick LTE).


3. Perform the LTE Connection Speed Test

Click the link above to access the HTML5 speed test and simply push the ”Start” button when prompted (HTML5 is the only test that will run on an iPhone, as opposed to Flash).


4. Record Your Results

Take a screenshot or write down your results. This information becomes useful if your Internet speed isn’t what it should be. Use the results to request a refund in your next billing cycle if speeds are not what you were promised. 


What Is A Good Download Speed For LTE

Now that you have your results recorded – check back with your billing plan to make sure they match what you’re paying.


Earlier we referenced typical advertised speeds, but each carrier is different and promises different rates. Be sure to check first what your carrier is capable of, and then of course your individual plan. In some cases you may simply need to purchase, or upgrade to, a new plan.


Why Is My LTE So Slow

If you’ve tested and found that your LTE is running slower than you’d like, chances are it’s simply a bad service area. Metropolitan area’s receive the best speeds with the widest coverage. The further away from metropolitan coverage and towers you go, the spottier your reception may become, the worse your signal gets, and the slower your speeds go.


Check your coverage and your bars. Make sure you’re in a well serviced area. Check to make sure that you’re not in a densely covered area (sometimes even large trees can get in the way), and check to read if you’re getting the 3G, H+, or E symbols. If that’s the case, it may be time to call your provider or switch to a new one, as most of these can’t be fixed by the user.


So is LTE better than 4G? For all intents and purposes, yes. Will the average user tell the difference? Probably not. 


Perform speed tests (using HTML5) whenever you’re unsure about the coverage that you’re receiving, and always relay the information back to your carrier to hold them accountable.

Unsure about your speeds? Not getting the service that your provider promised? Test your LTE network and see if you’re getting what you’re actually paying for. 

Paul Williams
Paul Williams

Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.