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Old 01-15-2010, 12:33 PM
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Slightly OT: Universal Voice Lag in all Cell Phones?

By far my biggest dislike in relying on Cell Phones for talking with people is the lag between when I say something, and the other person hears it. The net result is we're constantly talking over each other - starting to say something at the same time, each hesitates, starts over, etc., and it's just so incredibly frustrating.

Is this an inherent limitation in all U.S. wireless systems? I was on Alltel for more than a decade, and this always annoyed me. We have now been swallowed by Verizon, and the lag is just as bad. It has been present with every phone I've used, most recently the Razr V3c and now the HTC Touch Pro 2.

It's easily demonstrated - just call from your cell phone to another cell or land line at your location. Say something, and you can observe the significant lag before your voice is heard on the receiving end.

I never see this discussed, and it is by far, to me, the greatest limitation in using cell phones. Or is this more of a problem with Verizon (CDMA in general?), is it universal, am I unusually sensitive to this, or have I just happened to have bad phones and service for the last decade?

Comments, experience welcome.
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:48 PM
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Re: Slightly OT: Universal Voice Lag in all Cell Phones?

My service seems normal,as in no delay.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:44 PM
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Re: Slightly OT: Universal Voice Lag in all Cell Phones?

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Originally Posted by w7excursion View Post
My service seems normal,as in no delay.
Interesting - have you objectively tested for it? The best way I've found is to call a landline at your location, and hold up the regular phone to your ear while you talk into the cell phone. On mine, and every cell phone I've had, there is a very noticeable delay.

If you objectively find zero delay, and you're using the same phone, it sure makes it seem as if it's a Verizon thing, or at least an Alltel/Verizon service issue around here, because it is really disruptive to normal conversation.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:58 PM
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Re: Slightly OT: Universal Voice Lag in all Cell Phones?

I can only test with another cell phone since I dont have a landline and do not know anyone with one. If you have access to two landlines with different numbers try your test and see if there is lag.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:14 PM
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Re: Slightly OT: Universal Voice Lag in all Cell Phones?

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I can only test with another cell phone since I dont have a landline and do not know anyone with one. If you have access to two landlines with different numbers try your test and see if there is lag.
Actually cell phone to cell phone would, if anything, accentuate the lag if it is present, since both phones would be subject to it. What do you find if you do that - do you speak and hear simultaneously between the 2 phones?

I don't have 2 land-lines to test it out, but I know that I'll sometimes use Google Voice to place phone calls to land-lines (using my land line as well), and there is definitely no noticeable lag. There is no 'talking over each other' as I definitely experience with our cell phones.

I can't believe I'm the only one with this problem, but again maybe there's something funky in the unholy Alltel-Verizon union in my part of the country (NC). It really drives me crazy and makes me not want to talk on my cell.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:29 PM
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Re: Slightly OT: Universal Voice Lag in all Cell Phones?

I changed my answer but my response didnt post. North and south sides of my city seem to make a difference. North has no delay but the south did. Both calls were made to people with sprint phones. One was a tp2 and the other was a tp. The tp had the delay. Its not very noticable IMO.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:35 PM
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Re: Slightly OT: Universal Voice Lag in all Cell Phones?

I appreciate your taking the time to look into this.

Given the lack of response here, it seems more likely that it's a local issue. I can go to the local VZW store and demonstrate the problem, but it seems unlikely they'll be able to do anything about it. Perhaps when the VZW/Alltel merger in terms of towers and system is complete, things will improve.

Anybody else with this problem, especially if you're former Alltel or just plain Verizon?
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:34 PM
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Re: Slightly OT: Universal Voice Lag in all Cell Phones?

There is inherent lag with voice calls on cellular phones, and it's compounded when both sides of a conversation are cell phones. In that scenario there's about 300ms delay from one phone to the other. For cell to land line it's half that.

Also, things like Wifi and VoIP calling tend to add more lag.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:01 AM
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Re: Slightly OT: Universal Voice Lag in all Cell Phones?

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Originally Posted by strung View Post
There is inherent lag with voice calls on cellular phones, and it's compounded when both sides of a conversation are cell phones. In that scenario there's about 300ms delay from one phone to the other. For cell to land line it's half that.

Also, things like Wifi and VoIP calling tend to add more lag.
Thanks for the reply. Interesting in that it's been 3 years since I posted this, but this problem is just as bothersome now as in the past.

I am still with Verizon, although no longer on an Alltel-grandfathered plan, but the lag hasn't changed at all.

Again, perhaps I'm more sensitive to it than others, but I hate calls on my cell phone because of it - we are constantly talking over each other, and I'm tempted to say "over" to indicate whose turn it is to speak...

I read about possible "HD" quality voice transmission coming. I wonder if this will make the lag better or worse!

Edited to Add:
Ironically, we now have Time Warner's Digital Voice, which presumably is a flavor of VOIP, going through our Internet Connection, but the lag here is dramatically better than with my cell phone, and seems essentially comparable to a conventional land line.

Last edited by DLCPhoto; 03-02-2013 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Add info about TWC Digital Phone
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