ISPreview - How to Use Mobile Broadband - Vodafone
How to Use Mobile Broadband - Vodafone
By: Mark Jackson - March 2nd, 2009 : Page 4 -of- 6
"Latency is crucial for a number of reasons, although it is most commonly identified and referred to as lag in online multiplayer games"

Interestingly, even when in areas covered by HSPA (3.5G/3G+), the connection would often remain within the basic 3G (up to 384Kbps) service band and jump up to 3.5G only when there was a lot of web browsing and or download activity, before dropping back down to 3G at idle. This could be for the purpose of saving power.

Roaming outside of a 3G coverage area caused the connection to fall back on an older style GPRS (2.5G) connection, which is slower than a dialup modem and barely usable by modern standards. This often happened when travelling in a vehicle, causing some annoyingly frequent service interruptions.

Performance – Latency (Lag)

One often overlooked aspect of Mobile Broadband is the affect it has on latency. This represents the measurement of time that it takes for a piece of data to travel from one point (your computer), on to another (remote game server) and then back again. Latency is crucial for a number of reasons, although it is most commonly identified and referred to as lag (average ping times) in online multiplayer games.

Take the example of an online shoot-em-up - it takes just a split second for several bullets to leave the barrel of your virtual gun and travel towards a target. In this situation having a high latency would be bad because the server has to wait longer before it can reflect the fact that your gun has been fired. The on-screen result would be a very chopping game, with other players also appearing to judder across the screen.

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