4g Question (LTE vs. HSPA+)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by EHFink, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. EHFink macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Location:
    Kokomo, IN
    #1
    I live in a small-ish town in Indiana. 4g LTE is not available, and probably won't be in the foreseeable future. However, HSPA+ speeds here are actually pretty solid. My brother gets anywhere between 5-8 mbps down on his Samsung Galaxy s2 on an average day.

    My question is: Assuming that IOS 6 has a toggle switch for "enable 4g", if I toggle that off to prevent my battery from melting due to aimlessly searching for LTE all day, will that prevent me from being able to access HSPA+ data? Or, will HSPA+ finally be recognized as 3G while "enable 4g" is reserved strictly for LTE?
     
  2. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #2
    Depends on the software available from apple and your carrier. Right now AT&T does not give u option to turn off 3G. Other carriers do.

    AT&T does not give me option to turn off LTE from my Nokia Lumia 900.

    So it's carrier related whether AT&T will give u option to turn off LTE to conserve battery. But u always default back ton3G/HSPA etc when no LTE connection is available.

    Verizon I can switch off LTE to CDMA on my galaxy nexus LTE.
     
  3. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #3
    I doubt it would turn off HSPA+....a lot of the phones with LTE display a LTE logo, a 4G logo, and a 3G logo. Yours may fall back to the 4G logo or even if it does show 3G it will probably be HSPA+ speeds. If someone has a S3 or another LTE phone and could turn it off and test the speeds for you, that would be perfect.
     
  4. EHFink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 18, 2012
    Location:
    Kokomo, IN
    #4
    Actually, that's incorrect. AT&T does allow us to turn off 3g on the iPhone.

    Settings-->General-->Network-->Enable/Disable 3g.

    So that's encouraging if you're correct. My concern is that the iPhone 4s reads "4g" when receiving hspa+ signal. I just wasnt sure if turning off 4g meant turning off LTE radios only, or if HSPA+ will also still be considered 4g for AT&T..

    ----------

    That's good to know! And i agree, someone testing this on an AT&T Galaxy S3 would be great.

    Anyone?
     
  5. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #5
    The best guess is that it will probably be like how the iPad handles it. There is an actual toggle to turn LTE on and off. With LTE off the iPad uses hspa+/hspa.
     
  6. dotme macrumors 6502a

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    Iowa
    #6
    On the 4S? Not for me. I don't have that option.
     
  7. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    Jul 28, 2007
    #7
    Yep. On the 4S AT&T iPhone there is no option to disable 3G.
     
  8. Want300 macrumors 65816

    Want300

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    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    As far as I know... There is not much AT&T can regulate when it comes to the iPhone... Especially not when it comes to software. Apple wouldn't give them that power. My iPhone on AT&T lets me toggle 3G because it can fall back to Edge.

    What carrier do you have? Verizon and Sprint iPhones are only compatible with their 3G networks (I think), so you cannot toggle off 3G because then you would have no cellular data. Thus, they only give you a toggle for "Cellular" data. With AT&T, the iPhone can drop down to Edge when 3G is toggled off.

    My Sprint iPhone for work does not allow me to toggle 3G, only cellular data.

    ----------

    Can the 4S connect to the Edge network?? Could that be it?

    Thats interesting, I never looked at it on my 4S before I gave it to my girlfriend. The iPhone 4 I am using until Sunday has the toggle, and every other iPhone I have had before it allowed me to toggle 3G on/off.

    ADDITIONAL: Then it is not AT&T, it must be the 4S then, because mine is Sprint, and it does not allow it. I would guess for the new iPhone that it would work like the LTE iPads
     
  9. BFizzzle macrumors 68020

    BFizzzle

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    May 31, 2010
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #9
    as far as i know, hspa+ and 3g use the same radio, as the lte is a different one.
     
  10. dotme macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    #10
    Correct. iPhone 4 has the toggle with AT&T, the 4S does not. One of life's mysteries :) But the 4S happily seeks out an Edge connection if a 3G/HSPA+ connection isn't available.
     
  11. Want300 macrumors 65816

    Want300

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    #11
    Hmmm... That is a mystery :confused:
     
  12. EHFink thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 18, 2012
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    Kokomo, IN
    #12
    Wow, that's just silly. I stand corrected. I have an AT&T iPhone 4 which does have the "enable 3g" toggle. I had no idea that feature was left out of the 4s.. My apologies.

    However, that just makes me even more concerned now. Sure, The 4s will seek out an edge connection if 3G/HSPA+ isn't available, but all the while it will be searching for 3G/HSPA+ and wasting battery. That's my concern. If i'm in an area where I know 3g isn't available, I simply disable 3G so that my phone doesn't search for it.. I'll run into a big problem with the iPhone 5 if there is no switch to toggle LTE/4G off. My phone will constantly be searching for a better signal that doesnt exist anywhere near me, thus killing my battery for no reason.
     
  13. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #13
    Turning off LTE via software doesn't save too much battery, usually none at all. The physical hardware is always powered whether its being used or not. I've owned plenty of LTE devices and experimented with this quite a bit.

    The most obvious was my Motorola Xoom, it was 3G on purchase then sent back to Motorola for the LTE card installation. Battery life took a severe and obvious hit and since I knew what it was prior to even having the LTE card its very easy to compare. I've seen people remove the LTE card when they upgrade to a new tablet but still use the Xoom on wifi only since it gets better battery that way. Turning it off doesn't do squat...

    Now Apple may make some sort of tech to physically turn the power off but I find that highly unlikely because Apple like to keep it simple and everything stays on all the time. Plus their LTE chip will be a lot less of a power consumer then what's available today.
     
  14. yeah macrumors 6502a

    yeah

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #14
    Settings > General > Network > Enable LTE *off* on next iPhone. Then you will be on HSPA+.

    ----------

    What? So what you are basically summing up is that Wi-Fi doesn't turn off when you flick the "Wi-Fi toggle" in settings? The LTE does turn off.
     
  15. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #15
    Well there should be at least a way to turn off cellular data, which would turn off LTE since at&t uses LTE for data only, and 3G and edge for voice and data.
     

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