I understand that the colour of the signal indicator tells me whether or not I've got a connection to Google servers or not, but what is the "H" that sometimes pops up?


Usually my indicator says "3G":


But, in addition to having an "H" now and again, sometimes it has no letters at all:


I assume this is telling something about what kind of data network I'm on, or not on, but what exactly is happening?


It's HSDPA which if I'm not mistaken is referring to 3.5G.

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  • and you're using Cyanogenmod -- plain old Android doesn't display an H, at least mine doesn't. – offby1 Jul 11 '12 at 5:22
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    Actually, it does. Seems to depend on version. – Chris Stratton Jul 11 '12 at 5:25
  • @offby1 From my experience I have seen H since the first day I bought my first Android device, which was HTC Hero GSM. – Rashidi Zin Jul 11 '12 at 5:38
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    To be accurate, it means HSPA, which includes HSDPA (download) and HSUPA (upload). Also, if there is no letter, it means there's no data connection or it's trying to connect to one. – onik Jul 11 '12 at 9:25
  • or you're on wifi. – chromozonex Apr 3 '14 at 16:54

Let's state all the possible letters in the signal indicator, in descending speed:

  • LTE = Long Term Evolution (commonly and falsely known as 4G)
  • H+ = HSDPA Plus
  • H = either HSDPA (3.5G) or HSPA+ (3.95G), depending on your network provider
  • 3G = UMTS (3G)
  • E = EDGE (2.5G)
  • G = GPRS (2G)
  • (no letter) = voice only, no data connection

and also:

  • R = roaming (this means you're not on your home network)

(source for some of this.)

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  • There's also "4G" on my Nexus 5 running Lollipop (Optus, Australia). – Igby Largeman Nov 17 '15 at 6:15
  • My HTC One M7 also displays, 4G. I'm not sure if its LTE? – Zee Nov 18 '15 at 13:14

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