One of the ways I do to really measure the peak speeds of my 3G connection is run multiple downloads all at the same time, maximize network connection and monitor the cumulative download speeds.
The results are always mixed — from good to decent to slow. But sometimes, you bump into connections like this and you can hardly believe it’s true.
Yes, that’s a 2.3Mbps consistent/sustained download speed. I was downloading 4 files — one was getting 110KB/s, 2 more getting ~40KB/s and the last one getting just ~10KB/s.
From various tests I’ve made, I’d say the answer is all about location 99% of the time. I’d often compare the behavior of the signal strength to that of the AM radio.
There’s one trick I do that usually helps in speeding up the connection. In the dialer, go to Settings -> Network Settings and select W850M in the Band Settings.
Disclosure: Smart gave me this SmartBro micro-SIM with 6 months free subscription which I can opt to continue using and pay for after the trial period.