iPhone 3G constantly going from Full Bars to Searching/No Service

mastershakess

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
498
3
Bel Air, MD
Hello guys,

I tried searching but I couldn't find this exactly issue. My phone doesn't move from its stand at work, but it starts the day at Full Bars 3G and occasionally I look at it showing Searching . . . or No Service. This has happened a bunch of times at work and when I look at it later it will be Full Bars 3g again and I will have 5 emails and 4 texts (since it was out of service so long). Its been Searching . . for over an hour and I know there is service at work because I make phone calls and use the internet all the time (when the bars come back).

My question is, Is this just AT&T's service or is there something wrong with my phone?

I have reset the network settings and I've done a restore before, same issues.
 

nonocei

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2009
77
0
Los Angeles, CA
I have had that issue once or twice before, my phone was brand new so I doubt it's the phone...

I would call att and see what's up.
 
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mgamber

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2008
817
0
1966
Take it to Apple or AT&T and let them figure it out. Anything else is just guessing which doesn't fix the problem.
 
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mastershakess

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
498
3
Bel Air, MD
I have had that issue once or twice before, my phone was brand new so I doubt it's the phone...

I would call att and see what's up.
I wish I had service to call AT&T, lol I will try calling them

?

Take it to Apple or AT&T and let them figure it out. Anything else is just guessing which doesn't fix the problem.
Appointments at the Apple Store are such a pain in the butt, I'll have to make one I guess
 
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alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,167
1,212
NYC
Try and remove the SIM and see it that fixes it; otherwise try to get a new SIM card.
 
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Mischka07

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2009
166
0
Just wondering, but could it have anything to do with the number of AT&T users in your area? The Genius who replaced my first 3GS (for unrelated reasons) told me that the signal strength will fluctuate even if you don't move, because the numbers of AT&T users can fluctuate. He illustrated the point by saying at a concert he went to, everyone and their mother had an iphone and was trying to call/email/text/etc at the same time, and no ones service worked.

I'm not sure how valid this statement is, but if you're in a highly populated area with a large number of AT&T users, this might make sense. I work in downtown San Francisco and the signal strength is really hit-or-miss.
 
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iPhone doc

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2009
4
0
I've been having the problem of intermittent "no signal" for a few weeks now. I have an iphone 3G about 1 year old, no prior problems, 3.1.2 software. My wifes phone is only a few months old but is working fine. Hers will have 5 bars/3G while mine says no service while 3 inches away.

I tried swapping SIM cards with my wife's iphone 3G and my problem persisted.

So, I've been playing with the phone and I've noticed something. When I have full signal/3G/wifi, everything humming, and I disable 3G, I lose all bars immediately and get "no signal" within 2-3 seconds. If I re-enable 3G the problem persists. However, if I go into airplane mode for 15 secs or so and back, everything comes back perfectly. I've tried this about 10 times and always works.
Does this help narrow down the problem for anyone???
Waiting to hear back from my Apple rep; I'll keep you posted...
 
Comment

JosephDuffy

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2009
152
0
Great Britain
You've just described my iPhone.
I'm always dropping connection, up to 6 times a day, after restarts (My only fix).
HOWEVER, I'm in the UK.
I've contacted o2 around 10 times. They've told me nothing.
I've got my iPhone replaced, and the SIM replaced twice, it's a joke now.
I've no idea of a solution, sorry. Did yours do this all the time? Or did your phone just start doing it/do it more recently sort of thing, which would go along the "There's too many connections to the mast".
I'm sorry I can't be any help, but I would love a solution. The last update (I think) *seemed* to fix this issue, yet it didn't do it for me :(
The ONLY thing I can think of is a carrier update being glitched, as my YouTube doesn't work either, which CAN be to do with the Carrier Update, odd.
Hope you can get some help, I posted this around 5 months ago (When it started), but got no definite answers :(
Thanks
Joseph Duffy
 
Comment

techound1

macrumors 68000
Mar 3, 2006
1,977
7
Does this help narrow down the problem for anyone???
Waiting to hear back from my Apple rep; I'll keep you posted...
I'm having the exact same issue. How did the apple call go?

[ADD ON: I restored to 3.1 (from 3.1.2) and still had issues when I restored the apps. I then restored to 3.1 again, this time NOT restoring any apps, music, movies, etc and it seems to have cleared up the issue. This leads me to wonder if the issue was caused by a problematic app or if it was just coincidental]

[LATER THE NEXT DAY: I was too optimistic. A reboot of the phone rendered it back to the same issue.]
 
Comment

j2048b

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2009
769
13
Cali
had the same issue:

I was sitting at work and two guys around me both had the 3gs with full barrs and i had 1 and it would drop to no bars and start searching for service!

I went and upgraded to the 3gs and problem was solved! I think it is the 3g, almost like they are droping bandwidth or something for older versions? Wierd that both buddies had full bars and mine kept searching for service eh?

I just upgraded AND now we all get full bars when around each other and have not had the problem since.
 
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iPhone doc

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2009
4
0
Went to apple store and they thought it sounded like a firmware problem. He did a DFU reset and, per routine, the phone worked fine for 2 hours and then on waking from a period of sleep went immediately from 5 bars/3G to zero bars to 'searching' to 'no service' and stayed there until I powered off/on, all the while my wife's slightly newer 3G was perfectly fine.
Called AT&T tech again, he pretty much just blamed apple, said the network was fine.
I noticed that my wife's phone had carrier 5.5 vs my 5.6 which came out in early October around when my problem started; tried restoring and declining the update, but I'm still having the problem with carrier 5.5.
If anyone has a fix for this it would be my Christmas Miracle.
 
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JosephDuffy

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2009
152
0
Great Britain
Alright, rang o2 again...
They deleted my account, and re-enabled it.
It was fine, kept going for around 12 hours. It lost connection temperaly for around 30 mins, but that's all.
I then Synced it, and it just fell apart. The issue is coming back just as fast.
It can;t be carrier updates I'd imagine, I'm on o2.
The lady said "Ring back if it still persists, and we'll take it to the 'next level'", so we'll see how that goes.
Lets keep this topic going guys.
Joseph Duffy
 
Comment

iPhone doc

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2009
4
0
So, I may have gotten that miracle.
Shortly after my last post I called apple support and caught them up on my issue, things I had tried, discussions with AT&T, etc. The gentleman said that I had clearly done a lot to sort it out and he had no easy answer on what to do next, and despite my first call to them occurring about 2 weeks after warranty, he would have them send me a replacement phone and wave any charges.
I was truly stunned. I had been planning to argue for this given that my phone had been exhibiting the "no service" problem prior to the warranty end, but I initially attributed it to weather/network/interference etc. (I gave Apple the benefit of the doubt).
He speculated that it may be an antenna problem, but not sure.
So, my new device (which I assume will be a refurb; forgot to ask) should arrive Monday. If this goes well I may actually pop for that Macbook I've been looking at.
I'll keep you posted.
 
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