By October 30, 2009

Are O2 prioritising certain types of data traffic for the iPhone?


Here is an interesting article from Intomobile. Something I believe would entirely plausible and have seen posts in the past concerning certain networks favouring platforms with preferential treatment when it comes to data.

….. or are certain apps on the iPhone just not very good at connecting to the network? Let me tell you my story…

The other day there was a particular track that I fancied listening to, but I was out and about – normally I use iTunes via the Mac, but on this occasion it wasn’t an option – so for once, I fired up the ITunes app on the iPhone.

I enjoyed the user experience (well done AGAIN Apple (NSDQ: AAPL)!) – finding stuff, previewing it, and buying is SIMPLE – the only criticism I could possibly level is that perhaps the fonts and graphical bordering are a bit big – it would be nice to get more results/text on-screen in once go.

However I then purchase the track I wanted (Britney, obviously…!), and waited for a sluggish download – but I was shocked – the rate of download was incredible – seemingly only 20 seconds after I hit download, 7MB had shot down to the phone!

But how could this be? When I use Safari and Mail, the rate at which the network connection is made, and then rendering/email download occurs is slow – in some cases almost intolerably slow – and I know I’m not the only person that thinks this, it’s widely reported.

For some reason though, iTunes download traffic seems to be prioritised on O2s network – and to test this theory, I had a go at downloading a 15-track album – oh my god – it absolutely flew!

So this tells me one of two things:

1)     Either iTunes data traffic is prioritised on the O2 (NYSE: TEF) network – via IP, APN, or even at HTTP request level – something is going on….


2)     Mail and Safari are really really bad at implementing their calls to network access / protocols for download

The disparity is quite amazing – I’d suggest you give it a go if you don’t believe it. Go to a 3G area (let’s at least give the network a chance to shine), and then try out collecting say 20 emails (or whatever is in your inbox to download), and then trying downloading a track. Now bear in mind a single iTunes track will probably be orders of magnitude larger than ALL the emails you download – what gives?!

Answers on a postcard, or better yet, in the comments to this post….!


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Posted in: Phones

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Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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