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.

  • 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
  • 5
    Actually, it does. Seems to depend on version. 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. Jul 11 '12 at 5:38
  • 5
    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. Apr 3 '14 at 16:54

Let's state all the possible letters in the signal indicator, in descending speed (indicated speeds are roughly theoretical maximum):

  • 5G = 20 Gbps
  • LTE+ = 300 Mbps
  • LTE = Long Term Evolution (commonly and falsely known as 4G), 100 Mbps
  • H+ = HSDPA Plus, 10 Mbps
  • H = either HSDPA (3.5G) or HSPA+ (3.95G), depending on your network provider, 2 Mbps
  • 3G = UMTS (3G), 384 kbps
  • E = EDGE (2.5G), 40 kbps
  • G = GPRS (2G), 14 kbps
  • (no letter) = voice only, no data connection, 2.4 kbps

and also:

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

(source for some of this.)

  • There's also "4G" on my Nexus 5 running Lollipop (Optus, Australia). 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
  • Can you expand on why LTE is "falsely known as 4G"? Other sources I've seen indicate that these are synonymous terms, so an explanation of your contrasting position could be informative. Jan 23 at 19:50
  • @DanHenderson - "4G" is a marketing term, LTE is what it's actually called. Feb 5 at 15:57
  • Well, I'm not saying you're wrong, but it's odd that you don't make any such distinction for 2G, 2.5G, 3G, 3.5G, 3.95G, nor 5G. Is "4G" the only "G" that's a misnomer? Also, the one source that you cited directly contradicts your position. "4G, aka LTE - Long Term Evolution 4G, also known as LTE, offers speeds of up to..." Feb 8 at 19:03

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