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Claro says their internet speed is 1G, 2G, 3G, up to 5G.  How do you convert this to Mbps which is the terms used on internet speed calculators.

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There is no direct conversion.   The "G" stands for "generation".   So 3G would mean 3rd Generation standard for mobile communication.   Unfortunately, the standard does not designate a data rate, so it can vary widely.   Each progressive standard adds additional frequencies and additional data rates (speed).   So you can say that 3G is faster than 2G but you can't say that 3G = xxx Mbps.

It is generally accepted that the 3G data rates are near 2 Mbps for stationary communication and 384 kbps for non-stationary communication.   Again, this is what is generally accepted but can vary widely because the standard does not specify a set data rate.

I suspect those numbers are download limitations for a time period. I doubt if all of Panama has 5Gig, 5,000 Mbps of bandwidth

As the owner of a technology company, I can assure you there is currently no such thing as 5G.   That is a future generation standard.   Remember, the "G" stands for Generation not for Gigs.   It is not a measure of speed. 

Each "G"eneration takes about 8 to 10 years to develop and deploy universally.   Panama currently has 3G (third generation technology) and is progressing to 4G.   In addition, not only must your local cell tower have that particular capability, your phone must too.   So having 4G from Claro does you no good unless both your phone is 4G and the tower you are getting service from has 4G enabled.   As you might suspect, not all cell towers have the same capability.

So, the conclusion is do not be fooled by ads or promises of 3G, 4G, 5G.   Those numbers simply measure how far along the company is with deploying the latest technology.  They have little to do with the service you will actually get.   Do not expect more than 3G at the current time despite what is advertised.   

I defer to you. The 5G threw me and the fact that many carriers do cap downloads made me think like a Datacom person not a cell phone person. :)

It feels like there is some apples-and-oranges discussion going on here.

Juan's question related to speed being advertised by Claro.  I am not sure, but I do not think he was asking about 2G, 3G, or now 4G which are generations of the cellular network being discussed by Twin Wolf.  Panama has 3G (third generation) cellular in most places that will provide data communications over your WiFi equipment at approximately 2-3 Mbps.

Most ISPs are not using the cellular network for internet connections.  Since I do not live there, I have no idea what Claro is using as a backbone for their home delivery service.  But, it is highly doubtful that they would use a cellular network for a home computer network.  

In my opinion, Juan's mistated question relates to the speed of the internet connection.  The Claro advertising for internet speed should actually be in Mbs from between 1 Mbs - 5 Mbs of data rate depending on what you pay.  If they are using a cellular network backbone, they could never  achieve more than 3 Mbs on a 3G network.  If they are advertising a speed greater than that, their service would have to come in over DSL, cable, or a dedicated RF bandwidth that is distinct from the cellular network.

I can already feel the joy that everyone has with this answer.



Excellent point.   If Juan is talking about home Internet service and not cellular Internet, then we are talking apples-and-oranges.   I am unaware of non-cellular Internet service to the homes by Claro but that certainly does not mean it is not being offered.   Perhaps others could jump in here if they are getting non-cellular Internet service from Claro.   I am anxious to hear their experiences.   (and thanks Bill for a great observation)

I have home internet service with Claro...the speed is "okay" (non-tech terms from me). As my children also work in the tech field, I was advised when I signed up (no cables in my area etc) about no 4 G and also to look at the speed but their sales people didn't even know the difference, hence difficult to understand their marketing. Kbits/mbits..two bits a dollar works well enough...rarely  have to wait and I'm pretty much type A.

I looked at the Claro site. Should have done it before opening my mouth in the first place. They are providing home internet over their cellular network. They indicate that they are installing 4G in Panama and with a modem at home you will get 5 Mbps (the minimum needed to stream HD video). The check's in the mail. Don't hold your breath waiting for it.


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