3G with 4 bars vs LTE with1 bar

Discussion in 'iPad' started by RMSko, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. RMSko macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    When I commuted home on Friday, there were certain times when my LTE signal strength was just one bar and it was in an area where my 3G signal strength was 4 bars. I was wondering if LTE with just the one bar will still outperform 3G with 4 bars. Anyone have any idea?
  2. lulla01 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2007

    I get 1 bar of LTE then it suddenly switches to 3g...with 4-5 bars. I am supposed to have great LTE coverage.
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Modern cellular connections are digital ones, not analog. Meaning they either have a connection or they don't. Analog ones could have a poor, good, great, best connection that resulted is different speeds. That said, a 1 bar LTE connection could be much faster than standing right under a 3G only cellular tower and having 5 bars.
  4. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Op. which iPad do u have?

    LTE 1 bar on Verizon will still give u 3-6mbps. While 4 bars on Verizon 3g gives 800kpbs-2mbps

    1 bar AT&T LTE gives u 3-7mpbs while 4 bars AT&T 3 G gives you 3-10mbps
  5. RMSko thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    I have the 64gb black AT&T model. It seems like there are some inconsistent posts above. One post says LTE is digital and you get the same speed regardless of the number of bars. But, your post seems to say speed deteriorates considerably with the number of bars and ends up the same or slower than 3G. If that's right, then it should automatically convert to 3G instead of LTE when it only has 1 bar and the 3G signal strength is stronger. The other thing I can say is that it did seem to go very fast when it was on LTE even with only one bar.
  6. astral125 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2011
    While it is true LTE is probably faster even at one bar, signal strength does matter. You lose speed when you lose packets over a weak signal.

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