AT&T LTE in Washington, D.C.?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by JayDH, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. JayDH macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    Hi all - I was surprised to see no line and plenty of stock at the Clarendon Apple Store in Virginia this morning, so I picked up a 32GB white AT&T model. AT&T's LTE coverage map says Arlington and DC should be covered by LTE.

    At home in Arlington, I have no LTE, only "4G". Just got to work in downtown Washington, and also no LTE. I signed up for the data plan thinking that might activate it and still nothing. Anyone else having a problem? If I can't get LTE, I'll probably exchange it for the Verizon model. Thanks.
  2. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    Maybe the Ipad does not indicate when it's on LTE.
  3. JayDH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    From the screenshots I have seen it says "3G" when on HSDPA, "4G" when on HSDPA+ and "LTE" when on LTE. Is this correct?
  4. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Download iphone app on your iPad.

    Check speeds. It may just get the iPad provision of showing 4G.

    If you get crazy 10-40 mbps speeds you know you are on LTE network.

    Anyways, I have both ATT and Verizon for cellular service and am in DC quite often. You are better off getting Verizon LTE iPad because Verizon is king in Washington DC. ATT has gotten better the past 5 years but not in same league as Verizon.

    Plus Verizon iPad can double as an "ATT iPAD on HSPA network" and that's been confirmed to work on ATT's 3G network.
  5. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    Just remembered, make sure that LTE is enabled in your cellular network settings.
  6. JayDH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    Thanks. I have the LTE enabled. It is restoring now and when it is done I'll try out the speed test.

    If it doesn't work, looks like I'll be going with Verizon.
  7. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    AT&T sucks in the DC area.
  8. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    This. I can't wait for my iPhone contract with AT&T to end.
  9. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    Verizon is better in the DC area due to government contracts and local legislature. Go with Verizon because you can even get signal in the metro. Also AT&T towers are normally located up high with no ground transponders. Government building normally have CDMA transponders on the ground or in buildings.
  10. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    Yeah they do. Verizon is definitely the way to go in DC.
  11. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    Did your Ipad come with a new sim? Can you please tell me the 9th and 10th digit on it?

    If it's 25, it's the newest LTE compatible card.

    Settings >> General >> About >> ICCID
  12. surferfb macrumors regular


    Nov 7, 2007
    Washington DC
    I'm in Alexandria and getting "4G" as well. Haven't signed up with AT&T yet though.
  13. JayDH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    I understand that Verizon is better in the D.C. area, however, that is usually said for voice. Most of the tests I've seen show AT&T performing faster than Verizon for data where they are both available. If I can get faster data speeds on AT&T LTE, that's worth it to me. Plus, when on 3G, AT&T has faster data speeds.

    That being said, if AT&T isn't faster, I'll go with Verizon. Right now, my AT&T iPad isn't connecting to LTE at all.
  14. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    AT&T is faster sure but if you can't get the signal you need, why bother? If you were anywhere else but DC, I would recommend AT&T. Check the AT&T 4G coverage map to see if you're in the area. Also, as said above, check your SIM card or get a new one.
  15. JayDH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    I checked the map, and I should be blanketed in LTE both at home and at work. I live and work very close to the city center. Maybe there's an outage right now or something. I'll give AT&T a call after lunch and see what is going on.
  16. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    Did you conduct a speedtest? AT&T's version may not indicate when it's on LTE.

    Another poster said that they're in Dallas, ATT country, and it also does not illustrate LTE.
  17. JayDH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    UPDATE: Went to lunch and when I came back it was showing "LTE". I did a speed test and am getting 20Mbps down and around 16Mbps up. My friend with Verizon LTE is getting 10Mbps down. Looks like AT&T LTE is faster than Verizon LTE in downtown DC at the moment.
  18. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Good to hear, I bought both, now if the FedEx guy would just show up to my DC office...
  19. bosscrab macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2010
    Same here

    I have both AT&T and Verizon models coming today as well.... It will be interesting to test speed at work downtown DC and at home.

    Also I will have to decide whether to keep my unlimited plan on AT&T or switch over to Verizon. Verizon's $20 plan and hotspot sounds pretty tempting.
  20. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    Gratz with LTE finally kicking in. I would still recommend switching to Verizon for DC though just for metro access. It's not a big deal for me but I split my time between places on the planet so I can't justify Verizon myself.
  21. MikeyTree macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2007
    Why? Both models work equally well on 3g networks in the rest of the world.
  22. vegastime macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2010
    This is what I am debating, also. Pretty hard to give up the unlimited, so am leaning towards sticking with AT&T. I am in DC area and go to Vegas often. Both have LTE.
  23. bosscrab macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2010
    Downtown performance

    Have been able to test both the Verizon and AT&T Ipads in my office:

    AT&T: 1.5mpbs down, 0.2 up
    Verizon: 8.3mbps down, 9.1 up

    I have been testing them several times from about 3pm to 7pm. I will test again at home and post again. It could be that my office just does not get good (or any) AT&T LTE coverage.
  24. Scuba-EMT macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2010
    Solomons Island, MD
    I still have the AT&T unlimited plan from my IPad 1, so I stuck with it. But my IPhone is Verizon, so I WiFI Hotspot the IPhone in the areas where AT&T s***s. It seems to work well. I am in Southern MD, but travel to DC weekly.
  25. Swampthing, Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012

    Swampthing macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2004
    I've lived in the DC area for over 25 years now, and never had any problems with AT&T wireless service. Arlington, Crystal City, and a couple different places in Prince William County. In fact, before AT&T sold out to Cingular, that used to be the best cellular service I had in this area, including Tmobile and Verizon.

    But in Manassas, I've been using AT&T plans on my iPad and iPhone with great success, no dropped calls, and almost always with 4 bars or more. Perhaps it might be different in downtown DC, but the suburbs are doing just fine. I also do a sixty mile commute each day into Fairfax and AT&T seems to work well there too.

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