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Thread: What are the differences between APN settings?

  1. #1
    Default What are the differences between APN settings?
    So I did some quick research, and found at least 4 APNs for AT&T:

    phone
    wap.cingular
    isp.cingular
    proxy

    Are there any differences? Supposedly "phone" is only for iPhones; so that AT&T can make sure you have the iPhone Data Plan instead of a "MediaNet" data plan. "wap.cingular" is allegidly the default APN for all other phone. "isp.cingular" is supposedly for tethering and data cards. Not sure what "proxy" is for...

    I wonder if there are any differences in speed...
    ===========================================

    DFU Restore Mode - Quick How-To:
    1. Power phone OFF.
    2. Hold power + home for 10 seconds.
    3. Let go of power and continue to hold home until iTunes finds the phone.

  2. #2
    No difference in speed. They are designed for different phones, as they are different services that communicate differently.

  3. #3
    I decided to do some testing...

    When I used either the "isp.cingular" or "proxy" APNs, the iPhone comes up with the following error:
    "Could not activate cellular data network: You are not subscribed to a celluar data plan service"

    However, both "phone" and "wap.cingular" provided an internet connection, so I tested my 3G data speeds... Here were my results:

    "phone" APN:
    Download Tests:
    0.48 Mbps (480 Kbps / 59 kB/s)
    0.57 Mbps (570 Kbps / 70 kB/s)
    0.55 Mbps (554 Kbps / 68 kB/s)

    Upload Tests:
    0.24 Mbps (242 Kbps / 30 kB/s)
    0.24 Mbps (241 Kbps / 29 kB/s)


    "wap.cingular" APN:
    Download Tests:
    0.32 Mbps (320 Kbps / 39 kB/s)
    0.50 Mbps (500 Kbps / 61 kB/s)
    0.49 Mbps (486 Kbps / 59 kB/s)

    Upload Tests:
    0.10 Mbps (99 Kbps / 12 kB/s)
    0.23 Mbps (234 Kbps / 29 kB/s)
    0.23 Mbps (232 Kbps / 28 kB/s)

    I tried to be as scientific as possible... I used the same phone and had it sitting in the same position. Obviously, without two iPhones, I couldn't get rid of the "time" factor, so maybe the network was just slower at the point in time when I tested the "wap.cingular" APN...

    Woah! I just switched back to "phone" APN and got a whopping 1.12 Mbps (1118 Kbps / 126 kB/s)
    I'll take your word for now about the speeds being the same, but I wish I had two iPhones side by side to compare...
    Last edited by AndrewBucklin; 2009-09-15 at 01:02 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    ===========================================

    DFU Restore Mode - Quick How-To:
    1. Power phone OFF.
    2. Hold power + home for 10 seconds.
    3. Let go of power and continue to hold home until iTunes finds the phone.

  4. #4
    Well, all an APN is...is an "access point" if you will. The data can/could be "metered" although why they would Im not sure....hmmm.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cpjr View Post
    Well, all an APN is...is an "access point" if you will. The data can/could be "metered" although why they would Im not sure....hmmm.
    That's what I thought too... I thought maybe since the "phone" APN, supposedly specifically for people paying for the $30 iPhone Data Plan might have a higher priority on the network as compared to "wap.cingular" which people paying for the $15 MediaNet plans and people sending MMS are using... If I was AT&T I would give priority to the iPhone APN not only because they pay more for data, but also because they are more than likely actually waiting for a page to show up or an email to download whereas people sending MMS messages aren't actively watching their phone for an MMS message a friend just sent and people who have MediaNet don't have phones fast enough to process large website downloads anyways...

    Just a thought...
    ===========================================

    DFU Restore Mode - Quick How-To:
    1. Power phone OFF.
    2. Hold power + home for 10 seconds.
    3. Let go of power and continue to hold home until iTunes finds the phone.

  6. #6
    there's only three APNs for iphone. "phone" APN is for data and tethering. "acds.voicemail" is for visual-voicemail. "wap.cingular" is for sms/mms.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTomago View Post
    there's only three APNs for iphone. "phone" APN is for data and tethering. "acds.voicemail" is for visual-voicemail. "wap.cingular" is for sms/mms.
    What I was referring to was the "cellular data" section. --And in that section multiple APNs work... And I assume "phone" is the default but was curious as to the possibility of changing that to something else; and what effect it'd have on speed... --Maybe in areas where users are clogging up the network with iPhones, I wonder if there would be any change if you replace "phone" with "wap.cingular" ... It was just a thought.
    ===========================================

    DFU Restore Mode - Quick How-To:
    1. Power phone OFF.
    2. Hold power + home for 10 seconds.
    3. Let go of power and continue to hold home until iTunes finds the phone.

  8. #8
    nah. your approach wont work. the settings you can change through the cellular data section in your iphone's settings is only part of the settings. there are other things such as type-masks which plays an important role in how the APN functions. that part of the setting can be changed by editing the carrier.plist in your carrier.bundle.
    for example, on the carrier.bundle 5.0 file to enable tethering, visual voicemail may be disabled because the type-masks are configured correctly.

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