2 iPhone 5S on AT&T, different bars

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AndrewR23, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #1
    My dads phone gets 3 bars of LTE in the same spot of the house where my 5S gets 2 bars of LTE. Both 5S, 7.1.2.

    any reason why? both at&t
     
  2. techspin macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 21, 2014
    #2
    Tested them both without a case? Try running a speed test also.
     
  3. fedecape macrumors 6502

    fedecape

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    Oct 23, 2011
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    Miami, FL
  4. chupachup macrumors 6502

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    Sep 1, 2013
    #4
    bars suck. forget it.
     
  5. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    #5
  6. ineel macrumors regular

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    Jul 8, 2010
    #6
    There is most likely nothing wrong with your phones. at&t is currently refarming their PCS spectrum to LTE. This means that at&t has two LTE networks now in most places (700Mhz main LTE band & 1900Mhz PCS secondary band). It just seems to me that the phone with less signal likes to stick to the PCS band while the other phone is sticky with the 700Mhz spectrum.

    There is a quick way to tell if what I am saying is correct. You can go the field test mode by going to your dialer and dialing *3001#12345#*, click call, click on serving cell info, and then look at Freq Band Indicator. It should give you either 2,4,5,or 17 and this tells you what freq band your phone is on.

    17: 700Mhz (main LTE band)
    2: PCS 1900Mhz (found in refarmed areas needing additional capacity)
    4: AWS 2100/1700Mhz (found in areas where at&t does have spectrum and needs additional capacity)
    5: Cellular 850Mhz (a rare band, but usually found in areas where at&t doesn't own 700Mhz licenses)
     
  7. AndrewR23, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    AndrewR23 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #7
    Yeah my dads is 17 and mine is 2. does this mean his phone is faster?
     
  8. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #8
    Upgrade to iOS 8 as soon as you can. Safari will seem snappier no matter what kind of signal you have











    :rolleyes:
     
  9. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    #9
    No it means he probably paid for them. :p
     
  10. AndrewR23 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Lol well this is weird. Different signal same phone.


    Would another sim card help?
     
  11. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #11
    You could try but I doubt it. All iPhone may nopt have the exact same RF capabilities. It could be they signal is equal but the way the two phone are showing the bars might differ.

    As along as you phone is working and giving you good service, I would try to relax and just use it.
     
  12. AndrewR23 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #12
    Gonna have to replace it again. My phone says no service now. My dad's is at 3 bars of lte. At a friends house. Mine keeps going in an out of 3G and E while his stays at 3 bars of lte.

    Apples "refurbs" are still terrible after all these years.
     
  13. gaanee macrumors 65816

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    Dec 8, 2011
    #13
    That's good to know. I guess the chip automatically selects the bands or is there a manual override to choose the bands?
    Also, it may be possible that 2 identical phones select different bands to avoid congestion. If the first phone is already connected to a particular band then the second will choose another band.


     
  14. AndrewR23 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #14
    My sisters 5 connects to the 17 one in same spot.

    Gonna replace this phone. Has no service and my sister and dads has 3 bars LTE.
     
  15. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    Nov 5, 2009
  16. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #16
    Seeing similar signal issues outside of Philly. 3 bars at home when it was 4-5 and when it wakes up I sometime go to no service, then it returns. Been about 1 week or so now.
     
  17. ineel macrumors regular

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    Jul 8, 2010
    #17
    Both band 17 and band 2 LTE networks that at&t operates currently are 10x10Mhz meaning theoretically either band should give you the same max theoretical speed. Now there are other factors that may affects speed such as the number of phones at that particular cell site sitting on band 2 vs band 17 as well as your signal gain. Since band 17 is the main LTE band for at&t, this means that band 17 should have significantly more congestion than band 2. band 2 doesn't have the same great signal characteristics as band 17 so speeds may suffer there.

    Are both of the phones on the same iOS version and carrier as AT&T 16.0? The carrier file on your phone sets which bands to look for and which ones to prioritize. Usually during the day when the cell network gets congested, it starts to kick phones to other less utilized bands even if the signal gain is less. This is to help relieve congestion on the main band that most phones are on. All at&t LTE smart phones have band 17 support, but may not have support for other at&t bands such as 2,4,5 and thus the vast majority of phones will be on band 17.

    I'm not exactly sure why your phone is sticky to band 2 vs band 17, but you may try doing a reset on your phone (press and hold home button and power button until apple logo appears), and/or reset network settings.

    If you really want to be on band 17, you can trick your phone to hop on band 17. You can either toggle airplane mode on/off. Your phone automatically searches for band 17 first before any other band. You can also look for a spot in your home where there is little signal and then use your hands to cover the antennas to kill the signal, this should also make your phone jump back down to band 17.
     
  18. AndrewR23 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #18
    My dad's is on carrier 15.5 mine is 16.0.

    Also if I reset the settings will I lose my jailbreak? By resetting network settings? Thank you for your reply
     
  19. ineel macrumors regular

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    Jul 8, 2010
    #19
    Well the difference in carrier profiles pretty much tells us that 16.0 likes to prioritize band 2. If you update your dads phone to 16.0, his phone should start acting like yours.

    Resetting network settings doesn't remove a jailbreak, but don't quote me on that. Check around the forums if you can reset network settings when you are jailbroken.
     
  20. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
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    Jacksonville, Florida
    #20
    Be prepared to show your phone has no bars at the Apple store to get it replaced. As I remember I always get full bars in a Apple store.
     
  21. Ih8santa macrumors newbie

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    Aug 7, 2014
  22. AndrewR23 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #22
    I thought this too but my sisters iPhone 5 on carrier 16.0 connects to 17 and gets more bars or dots too.
     
  23. nixiemaiden macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2010
    #23
    My husband had an issue a few years ago with his iPhone 4. He always had 0-2 bars where other iPhones had full bars in the same spot. He was also always losing connection. He ended up taking it to the AT&T store and showed them that he had no signal meanwhile the display iPhone had full bars. There was something wrong with one of the antennas in his phone and they replaced it.

    Just saying it does happen...
     
  24. kupkakez macrumors 68000

    kupkakez

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #24
    I also had this happen with an iPhone 5. Mine wouldn't have hardly any signal and my dh would show signal. I took it to the Apple store they reset the network settings, which didn't help. They just replaced it. Took maybe 15 minutes.
     

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