iPhone 4S - Why 5 Bar 4G (HSPA+) But Can't Connect

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Tones2, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. Tones2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #1
    In the last 3 or 4 months or so I often times have a full 5 bar signal showing with 4G but I cannot connect to the internet at all using any app. I'm on AT&T and in Chicago USA.

    If the phone won't connect with a 5 bar signal, what does the 5 bar signal actually mean?

    Tony
     
  2. w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #2
    The cellular strength indicator just tells you how good of a connection your phone has with the tower. It's also dependent on the tower's connection to the network. It sounds as if the tower your phone is connected to is not connected to the Internet at the moment.
     
  3. Tones2 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #3
    Or like 50% of the time over the last 3 months. What would make the tower not be connected that often? I'm talking all over the city, not just one area.

    Tony
     
  4. VSMacOne macrumors 601

    VSMacOne

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    #4
    This may sound silly, but do you have Cellular Data turned OFF in settings?
     
  5. El3ctronics macrumors 65816

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    This happens in a lot of metropolitan cities during business hours. It's usually the result of too many devices connected to the same tower at the same time. Usually voice and text messaging will still work but the data network grinds to a halt due to the congestion.
     
  6. Tones2 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Got it. Thanks.

    Tony

    ----------

    Nope. :)
     
  7. musicman0725 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #7
    There are definitely major capacity issues in downtown Chicago which explains why many people (including myself) have experienced exactly what you've described. AT&T is aware of the issue and will even credit your account if you call to complain, however, there doesn't seem to be any ETA for when these issues will be fixed. The following thread on AT&T's support communities is specific to this issue (and may be good to mention if you call and complain as many other users are experiencing the same issue which no troubleshooting will resolve):

    http://forums.att.com/t5/Network-Co...-Data-and-Coverage-Issues-Thread/td-p/2995829

    This thread was over 7 pages long a couple days ago and mysteriously is only 3 pages now (although the posts at the end haven't changed). Hopefully this gets resolved soon as it is very frustrating!
     
  8. mrbutters macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    #8
    People still don't get that your signal bars are only relative to calls? It has nothing to do with your data you could have full bars on your call indicator and no data but one bar and perfect data. Signal strength meter is for voice, not data.
     
  9. Tones2 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #9
    Yep. I certainly didn't get that until now. :D So when you are on WiFi, does the bar meter still show cell strength or WiFi (data) strength? I always thought it was the latter which would be data strength.

    I wonder why there isn't a seperate signal bar for data? Is there an app for this - or is it even possible to monitor?

    Tony
     
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #10
    Its just shows signal strength.
    Like if you have full wifi bars then you must be pretty close to the router and a good connection. But the router can have a 1mpbs connection or be extra slow if others are connected and pulling data. Signal strength has nothing to do with data speed. There is no such thing as "data strength", you're talking about data download and upload speed?
     
  11. Tones2 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    It would be nice if a bar meter would reflect actual data usage criteria in some way. Having a 5 bar signal strength in and of itself means very little for data access and downloading. I'd love to see another meter that shows data capacity in some way - connection and speed - using some practical criteria and formula that reflects better / worse data usage availability. Speed certainly can be measured - not sure about signal strength as it relates to data, especially over the cellular network.

    Tony
     
  12. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #12
    It would be hard to display download speed with a 5 bar signal type.
    It would be easier to display a number such as down and upload speed but that would mean every time you connect to a particular router or different carrier tower it would need to keep doing speed tests to determine the average connected speed. Imagine doing that while in a car driving and you're switching carrier towers every few minutes. It would eat up resources and lots of battery and would be kinda pointless IMO.
     
  13. ValerieDurden macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    #13
    Toggle airplane-mode when this happens, should clear it right up. Does for me at least. :)
     
  14. xlost6, Apr 19, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012

    xlost6 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #14
    So this must also apply to when I see my data icon switch from 3G to "o" (1X)? It's telling me I dropped out of 3G coverage and has nothing to deal with the bars next to the carriers name?

    Never knew that.
     
  15. sulpfiction macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia Area
    #15
    Just think it's funny that you sign your name after every post.

    -anthony
     
  16. Tones2 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #16
    Old habit I got into like 15 years ago and can't seem to shake it. It's almost unconscience now. :D
     
  17. sulpfiction macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

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    Location:
    Philadelphia Area
    #17
    That's funny!
     
  18. jackassroomie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #18
    I'm in downtown Chicago during work hours also and it is terrible. I know exactly what you mean. I fortunately have iPhone 4 so I still have the "Turn off 3G" toggle so I can go to the Edge network and have crawling data speeds. It sucks but it's sometimes better than nothing.
     
  19. Spectrum Abuser macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

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    Aug 27, 2011
  20. imac9556 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    #20
    This is a shot in the dark but have you tried resetting all network settings?
    Settings -> General -> (scroll to the bottom) -> reset network settings.

    Do note, you will need to reconnect to wifi networks that are protected because it clears out the wifi networks that you have connected to in the past!
     
  21. Amazing Iceman, May 6, 2012
    Last edited: May 6, 2012

    Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    #21
    It probably means you didn't pay your bill on time :D
     
  22. Arnezie macrumors 65816

    Arnezie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #22
    Your timing was so bad it wasn't even remotely funny
     
  23. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    #23
    Probably, but still I'm sure I made some people laugh anyway.
    Also, I know why I commented this late, but you don't.
     

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