AT&T Really Slow LTE Speeds in Chicago Area or is it my iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by KevBuckeye, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. KevBuckeye, Oct 13, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #1
    When I first got my iPhone 5 I was easily getting at least 20mbps down, but now I can't even get above 1mbps! I don't know why all of a sudden it has stopped being so fast, does anyone know if At&T is doing work on their network or is this just me whose having this problem?
    As a side note my friend also has a iPhone 5 but he has Verizon and this problem isn't happening to him.
     

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  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #2
    Yes! I'm in the north burbs and a few days ago my speeds were fine. For the past 2 days I've been getting the same speeds as you (can't break 1 Mbit for download and very slow upload, with 5 bars of LTE signal). I went to the Apple Store in Old Orchard for a contract related issue with AT&T and asked them if they've heard anything about slow speeds over the past few days. They said that for the past 48 hours speeds have been wacky, AT&T is adding a bunch of towers and working on some towers in the area.

    **Edit: I am not throttled by the way and am getting these speeds. Data usage is 93MB out of 3GB limit.

    Who knows, it seems like this is *always* the excuse for slow speeds on AT&T. I'll give it a week, and if no improvement bye-bye AT&T.
     
  3. brian540, Oct 13, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #3
    Same problem here in Waukegan

    Was doing pretty well and noticed today it's hovering around .5 upload seems normal though

    Heavy packet loss suspected - couldn't download an app kept failing and asking to retry
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #4
    i had a huge issue with this exact thing over the past 3 weeks. LTE and H+ in my area was consistently under 1 Mbps. it actually made me take the phone back and switch to verizon. in fact, a bunch of my other friends noticed the same thing, even having no signal often as well and now they are switching too.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #5
    It's probably the network being highly congested. After all, AT&T only has 10MHz of spectrum available in the Chicago region.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #6
    It isn't congestion. See my screenshots below. The results on the LEFT were from when I was in crowded River North in the city Saturday night between 9-10 PM. Speeds were not super fast but not slow.

    The results in the RIGHT screen shot were taken from my drive back north last night, from skokie to glenview, mostly taken while stopped at various lights. Always showing 4-5 bars. The lone high score was actually on the Edens around Lake Ave. The latest result on the right screen shot was just done today right now at home in Glenview.

    Something is definitely up. I still have 3 weeks in my return period so I'll give it some time, but this is really bad.
     

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  7. macrumors 68020

    bowlerman625

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL area
    #7
    I'm in the near west suburbs and my speeds are very good and comparable to when I first got my iPhone 5

    Very common to get between 25 and 30 Mbps for downloads
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    It's good for me on the north side of the city and even downtown this weekend... but I work in Skokie, where the LTE has gone from great to working very poorly toward the end of this past week. Switching off LTE made for data to be much more usable. I hope they're just working on some stuff and will get things sorted.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #9
    Speeds remain poor on lte :( .7mbs down over 10 up switch lte off and get at least 5mbs down.

    Figured this would have been fixed by now
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    aricher

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #10
    I'm in the South Loop, getting 8.49 Mbps download and 6.91 upload, slower than it was a week ago but not as bad as some here.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #11
    Been getting pretty slow speeds. Highest being around 9-10 mbps down. My friend and I both have AT&T iPhone 5's and were getting killed by Verizon and SPRINT iPhone 5's
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    #12
    You'll never match Verizon's speeds because they have twice the spectrum in Chicago (AT&T could refarm it's AWS spectrum for LTE and match Verizon's, but it would only help reduce congestion -- the iPhone doesn't support LTE-Advanced to bond together spectrum). Sprint has random LTE in Chicago suburbs, so it's not comparable, and anything outside of their LTE network is horrific.

    While Verizon is faster on SpeedTest, in using a Verizon and AT&T iPhone 5 side-by-side for several weeks, there was marginal difference. Mobile websites and applications are still written for non-LTE connections and even standard web pages load extremely fast at 2 - 3 mbps. I stuck with AT&T because Verizon kept falling back to 2G/3G regularly and they don't plan to have full LTE covered until end of 2013.

    ----------

    I've had this happen a couple times after my phone sat all night on LTE, but putting the phone into airplane mode for about 5 seconds solved the problem (this was in downtown). It might not help at all with your situation, but it's usually my last ditch attempt to get a better signal.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #13
    Resetting network sometimes fixes the issue. i.e., Settings/General/Reset/Reset Network Settings or Settings/Airplane Mode Off->On->Off. ;)
     
  14. macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #14
    Could always be that you got throttled, or AT&T's horrible reliability. The 2nd option is the reason I switched from AT&T to Verizon and I couldn't be happier.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #15
    It's not the phone it's the network only at 2gb shouldn't be throttled not throttled on atts fake 4g mode
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #16
    FYI

    Was going to call to file a complaint but it mentioned long hold times due to data issues in my region

    So they must be aware and working on a solution
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #17
    Still can't break 1 Mbit down on LTE in Glenview area and Skokie. The good news is it appears to only be an LTE issue. Disabling LTE and using 4G in the same spot, I'm getting 8 Mbit down and 2.5 Mbit up. More than adequate for my needs but still not as it should be. Hopefully LTE gets fixed soon.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #18
    Same issue, similar area (Glenview, Northbrook, etc). For the last few days LTE download speeds have been maxed out around 0.5 Mbps (they were 12.0+ Mbps 2 weeks ago). Upload speeds have stayed strong around 8 Mbps. Disabling LTE and falling back to 4G (HSPA+) yields speeds around 5 Mbps download (as expected). Clearly there is an LTE issue in the area. The real question is it a temporary hardware related issue (towers being reconfigured, etc) or is it related to an overall capacity issue in the area?

    I am on with AT&T tech support right now filing a case so that they can investigate. According to the rep there are currently no reports of issues in the area. I recommend that if you are in the area and you are experiencing similar issues you give AT&T a call to report it. The more reports they receive the higher the likely hood they will work to resolve it.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #19
    Same type of speeds here as the original poster in Skokie. Not much better on the north side of the city. Arragh! And yes. Switching off LTE is an improvement.
     
  20. jlp2979, Oct 21, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #20
    Just an update for those who care, as of today the issue persists. Around .50 to .70 Mbit/sec download in Glenview and Skokie. This is with 5 bars and LTE coverage. Called AT&T customer service and they said there are no issues reported in my area and said it is probably due to congestion. Went to local AT&T store and they confirmed the poor speed on another device in the store. They also had no answers.

    I went to the Apple Store and just returned the phone, I'm done with AT&T and don't want to wait it out to see if this will get resolved. Keeping my Verizon iPhone 5 that gets 20-30 Mb/sec download in those same areas I tested with AT&T. Sucks because I felt the call quality was better w/ AT&T than Verizon. Really wanted to keep it.

    **Edit- and no I was not throttled in case you didn't read the entire thread (usage was 100MB out of 3GB)
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #21
    As of 10/24 the issue still persists. Checked with AT&T again and they really don't seem to acknowledge a specific issue nor are they able to provide any definitive time table on any type of resolution. They closed the case I previously opened indicating everything was fine with their towers. I am asking them to continue to investigate the issue but I am doubtful much more will happen.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    jmgregory1

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago and Spooner (when it's not 20 below)
    #22
    Strange that you were having these issues. Sounds more like a phone issue than service, but it could be very location specific as well.

    I'm in Evanston, near downtown, and just got 18.25mbps down and 5.9 up and I've never had great service relatively speaking. It's almost a wash between my xfinity cable service and LTE speed-wise. I wouldn't/couldn't switch to Verizon as I too often use talk and data and just can't see going backwards if I switched to VZW.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #23
    It is without a doubt a service related issue and not a phone issue. As you pointed out it is in fact very location specific (Northbrook, Glenview, etc).

    I have tried 5 different LTE devices in/around the same area of Northbrook and Glenview over the last 2 weeks and they all have the same slow download speeds (under .5 Mbps) on LTE. Turning off LTE and falling back to 4G (HSPA+) yields speeds about 10 times faster. In these exact same areas just two weeks ago I was getting 12.0+ Mbps.

    Something happened to the AT&T hardware in this area that is effecting LTE data speeds. Either that or a mass influx of LTE devices in the area is resulting in poor data speeds. It just doesn't seem very likely that it would go from 12.0+ Mbps to .5 Mpbs overnight as a result of too many LTE devices in the area. Also, if this was the case I would expect to see fluctuations in speed at different times of the day which is not happening.

    Unfortunately, it does not seem like AT&T is willing to acknowledge that there is an issue or do anything about it at this time. If you are in this area and you are experiencing these same issues I highly encourage you to CALL them and report the problem. Maybe if they get enough reports that there is an issue they will be more likely to attempt to resolve it.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #24
    It is most definitely NOT a phone issue as the poster above me stated. I do visit downtown Evanston for work and had no problem with AT&T LTE speed. If you look at my earlier post with pictures, my speeds were fine in downtown Chicago too. It is just those north suburbs mentioned above for some reason and AT&T refuses to acknowledge it. I cancelled AT&T service this past Sunday. So glad I decided to wait to port my Verizon number.
     
  25. ghostshell77, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    #25
    I called exactly a week ago to report this problem. Told them I've gotten 10-35 Mbps down in Northbrook, Park Ridge, Wheeling and Chicago, yet in about 30 speed tests in Glenview (and Highland Park, for some reason), I can't get over 1 Mbps. They ran me through some resets on my phone which I agreed to only because I hoped they would start taking me seriously once they eliminated some issues. Instead, I got passed along to three different "tech specialists" who all admitted they couldn't figure out the issue, said there were no problems in the area, and "hoped my issue would resolve itself"... WTF.

    I'm going to call again today, tell them that I have evidence of even more people with this issue (last time I told them I ran speed tests on 4 different phones, both iPhone and Android, and clearly it wasn't an issue on my phone), and tell them that they need to investigate or I will take my entire family plan to another carrier.

    This is unacceptable. I tried being nice and complimenting them on their speeds and was nice with all their support people, but I was treated like an idiot, with them asking if I had enough available memory and to make sure I wasn't running too many programs, blah blah blah. One person even admitted I probably knew more than she did. AT&T, you really piss me off.


    [EDIT] PLEASE keep calling and complaining about this. I think they won't take it seriously until enough people harass them about it. Also, would love to hear back about how your experiences go or if speeds get better for you.
     

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