Dropping calls with 4 bars on VZ?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Schlotkins, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Schlotkins macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    #1
    My wife and I moved over to Verizon yesterday after 2 years with AT&T. We are both having a strange issue where our phones are dropping calls around our house even though we have 3 or 4 bars of 3G. Is anyone else experiencing this issue? It hasn't happened once or twice but is a consistent problem. It doesn't happen all the time with 3 or 4 bars but it particularly bad around our house.

    We are also experiencing unstable reception levels in general. For example, sometimes the phone will have 5 bars and then 1 bar in the exact same location. This is not a death grip issue, but rather sitting on a table.

    Finally, the area in our house is in the 'best' coverage zone and even in an LTE zone so I'm not sure what to think.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  2. diegoesk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    #2
    what zip code are you in? Or one thats close to you...
     
  3. saving107 macrumors 603

    saving107

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    #3
    Bars tend not to mean much,

    Dial: *3001#12345#* in your phone app, then press "Call", that will then take you into Field Test Mode, the farther away from -51 the worst your Signal Strength is. Why do I saw that bars tend not to mean much, because sometimes when I am on WiFi, I will be on my front porch (far from my router), and it will still display 1-2 bars, but when I try to use it, I get nothing.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. BryanLyle macrumors 6502a

    BryanLyle

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    #4
    Unfortunately, *3001#12345#* doesn't work on the Verizon iPhone.
     
  5. saving107 macrumors 603

    saving107

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    #5
    Oh,
     
  6. Schlotkins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    #6
    I'm in 92617. If you put that into VZ's coverage map, I'll just say that I'm pretty darn close to where the pin is. In fact, I dropped a call essentially right on that pin.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  7. patp Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #7
    I was just in Irvine for dinner and i couldn't get any 3G signal at all at the restaurant. It's spotty around here for VZW.
     
  8. Schlotkins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    #8
    Thanks for the info.

    I guess I understand Irvine has crappy cell phone coverage (AT&T was also bad), but I am talking about dropping calls with 4 bars. If I drop a call with 1 bar, fine I understand. But 4 bars? 5 bars? 3 bars and can't make a call (call failed)? Argh.

    Chris
     
  9. mightygitis macrumors 6502

    mightygitis

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Location:
    Hampton Roads
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_6 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8E200 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Are you left handed? This isn't death grip related I'm assuming. I haven't been dropping calls at all. If it's happening on both phones it also can't be faulty hardware. There's an update number you can dial for Verizon. I think it is *228 and then send.
     
  10. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #10
    Unless they're doing something fancy utilizing the current call's error rate, most often the bars are simply the signal strength at the phone of the tower's pilot channel.

    That reception strength is fairly meaningless with CDMA (whether it's Verizon CDMA2000 or ATT WCDMA-3G) radios.

    With CDMA, all phones talk at once, which raises the cell noise floor, which causes people on the edge of the cell (or with less powerful phones) to drop because they can no longer get through to the tower over everyone else.

    So you could have one signal bar, but with few cell users, and have a great connection. Conversely, you could have a lot of bars meaning you can hear the tower really well, but it cannot hear you because of hundreds of other users at that moment. Of course, in theory your phone should at that point be talking to another cell(s) and never drop. But if something is going on in the whole neighborhood like a football game, all the cells could be loaded down.

    Or perhaps your roaming list is old. Dial *228 and pick the update option (2).
     
  11. Schlotkins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    #11
    I was dropping with the phone on my passanger seat using a bluetooth headset. My wife was holding hers but we have bumpers.

    I'm assuming at this point either the bars are overstating what the true reception is or there is just something weird with the tower near us. I actually did the *228 this morning for a number port so I should be hitting all of the towers.

    Oh well, I was hoping for decent cell phone service but it looks like a no go. We'll probably move back to AT&T then - save $40 a month and at least we know where it drops already.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  12. Schlotkins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    #12
    Thanks for that information - makes sense I guess. There wasn't anything special going on... it was pretty quiet in the neighborhood actually and it's happened a few different times.

    I'm guessing the signal is actually fairly weak here based on the unstable bars. I had a similar problem when I was on the border of getting HDTV reception many years ago.

    Thanks again,
    Chris
     
  13. JustLeft macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #13
    I just ported all my lines back to AT&T from Verizon, so I have no phones to check what I am about to tell you. On the iphone and droid x the signal bars represented the strength of the 3G signal (if you are in 3G service). On verizon data is over 3G, but not voice. Voice is over 1xrtt which is not shown in the signal bars. So the bars you are looking at are not your voice signal strength.

     
  14. martiansoldier macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #14
    It has been less than 10 days since Verizon started selling the iPhone and they have issues already?
     
  15. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #15
    A) all phones/service have issues.
    B) only people with trouble are posting for the most part. So, there's some major population bias.
     
  16. Schlotkins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    #16
    Ahhh, that makes a lot of sense!
     
  17. Schlotkins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    #17
    I wouldn't read too much into my situation... I'm just trying to figure out what's going on so I can make a call on whether to return these for AT&T iPhones or stick with Verizon. Highly likely I am going to AT&T on Sunday.
     
  18. gvillager macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #18
    They have sold hundreds of thousands of iphones in the past week. At least some of them are bound to have issues and they will post about it.
     
  19. martiansoldier macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #19
    A) If all phones/services have issues, I'm sure most of us would be smart enough to not use them.
    B) Agree, that is the case on every message board.

    What is going on is...the nations most reliable network ain't so reliable for you!

    The OP bought 2 phones. If only one had the problem, sure blame the phone. It is highly unlikely that the same household received two bad phones that would keep dropping calls. I'm willing to bet that those phones would work flawlessly at another location where Verizon really rules the air!
     
  20. gvillager macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #20
    Agreed, obviously the phones aren't defective. The OP just lives in an area that has sucky VZW service which I'm sure existed before the iPhone launch.

    Rule the Air?!? They need to fire the person who thought of that marketing campaign!
     
  21. jtp098 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Purchase
    #21
    Alway putting the blame on the carrier maybe it's apples fault they made a phone with signal problems...





    Ps. Steve don't send in a wet team to kill me I'm just saying
     
  22. Remmnever macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #22
    I've had my verizon iphone since Tuesday and I've used it all around my city and surrounding area and have not dropped a call yet. I vary between 3-5 bars depending where I am in the city (Reno, NV area). I don't have LTE coverage in my area but 98% of the time I have 3g coverage. Anyway just wanted to share my experience so far.
     
  23. jtp098 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Purchase
    #23
    Sounds good. How's the speed of the Internet? I assume you might have tried a iphone4 on AT&T in the past.
     
  24. diegoesk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    #24
  25. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    #25
    Did I screw this up?

    Having terrible AT&T reception I decided to try this test with both of my 3Gs iPhones. Although I got the test results and saw the number (-90 to -72 at different times) I never got the screen which the poster has shots of. ALSO, after ending the calls one of my phones is stuck on the number representation as opposed to the bars representation. Rebooting the phone does not seem to help. It probably makes no difference if a bar or a number tells me I have lousy reception, but I'd rather have the phone display bars as intended. Did I do something wrong? How can I get back to the bars representation?

    In the not too distant future I'll be eating the cost of my contracts and buying new phones with Verizon. When I put these up on EBAY I want to make sure the phones are in great condition . . . even if the service they are designed to work with rots.

     

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