3G reception in San Francisco Bay Area?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by hankuknamza, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. hankuknamza macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2008
    Like many people who have the iphone, my 3g reception spikes up and down. But most of the time its at 1 bar. I do get 3g coverage in my area. What's so annoying is I tried to make a call on 3g to see how much better it is than edge 2g phone i had, but everytime I press send and rings, it always changes to most of time to GPRS and sometimes edge. What is wrong with this crap reception? How is everyone's experience with 3g network in Bay Area???

    PS: I was at my mother's place in the east bay and I compared her new motorola v9 3g against mine. iphone 3g had 1 to 2 bars going up and down, and my mother's v9 had FULL 3G RECEPTION next to each other? o_O wassup with this..
  2. ZDDP1273 macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2008
    I want to hear other people's experiences too. I'm picking mine up probably by the end of the week and want to know what I'm in for.
  3. dlamin517 macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    ya i live 20 min away from walnut creek. my reception for 3g isnt great.
  4. Gonzo75 macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2005
    I live in Mountain View and my 3G reception is horrible. Went to a buddy's house in Santa Clara and got full 3G bars...but download speeds were about ~250 kbps.
  5. bluenoise macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2008
    I think it's rather misleading to go by how many bars you see on the display as there is no standard for how they're calibrated. I live near Walnut Creek/Danville and get 1-3 bars at home. I work in Foster City and get a few there, too. On the San Mateo Bridge this afternoon, I was getting full bars near the highrise. Regardless of the bar count, though, my call quality has been perfect so far and I've had no dropped calls. Data speeds range between 300 and 1450 kpbs.

    I picked up the phone last Thursday.
  6. joelcsf macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2007
    Bay Area
    I live near Caltrain in SF. Indoors I barely get 1 bar of 3G service and in the service test mode consistently get between -105 to -100db.

    On 4th/Townsend, outdoors, I got no 3G service today.

    On 4th/Berry, outdoors, I had five bars of 3G service today but only managed a pitiful 240kbps (kilobits) using the native network test app.

    I'm not too concerned about call quality. That wasn't the driving force in me buying a 3G handset; the data throughput I get is pitiful at best. It's non-existent in my office near the Embarcadero Muni station

    I've also had limited success on the 280 going south and in various towns between here and San Jose.
  7. agbot macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    Silicon Valley
    At the moment in Sunnyvale I get 1 bar on 3G and about 398kbps. Switching to Edge I get 4 bars and about 220kbps. This is testing with iphonespeedtest.com, which gives wildly different results each time I refresh. I just gave the highest result from 5 refreshes each. Even with 1 bar on 3G though, the calls are perfect and no drops. Still... I don't see a really strong 3G signal too often.
  8. Ride9650 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    Wow, I must have gotten a good phone cause I have pretty good and consistent 3g coverage from about San Jose to Palo Alto. The bars go down and spike every so often but the only time its switches to edge is on the first floor of my house and this one area in West Valley College. Have yet for to test for specific numbers regarding data, but it still seems pretty fast.
  9. jephersun macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Daly City, CA
    daly city here. usually 3-4 bars depending where I go. Downtown SF is horrible. Im lucky if I have 2 bars, I normally turn of 3g so I don't get disconnected when my phone goes to edge.

    just did a speed test, im getting 772kbps.
  10. Gonzo75 macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2005
    Just a little follow up...

    Went to Seattle for a trip this past weekend and I was able to get full 3G bars throughout most of the trip. My guess is that some areas in the bay just don't have great reception yet contrary to AT&T's coverage map.

    Interestingly enough, my home in Mountain View started getting better reception (2 bars of 3G as opposed to dropping back to EDGE) this past week.

    My main concern was a faulty unit but thankfully, my 3G "reception" issues seem to be tied more to location rather than defective hardware.
  11. brettinlj macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2008
    AT&T is the worst carrier to have within the San Francisco city limits. Other parts of the Bay Area, includeing the Peninsula are fine. I live on top of "Twin Peaks" which has a 180 degree line of sight view of all of downtown and have to turn off 3G. Otherwise it will switch back and forth between that and Edge. Not because of multiple towers being received, but because the one I can connect to has a very low signal strength.

    Calls also often drop. It's just the way it is... some areas are black holes with AT&T, others with Sprint, Verizon, etc... SF just happens to not be served well with AT&T in many parts of the city.

    BTW, the problem is not just the high concentration of 3G users. It's the actual reception and tower placements (I used to work on CDMA base station software).

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