iPhone 5s (att) seems to prefer 4G over LTE

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by shenan1982, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #1
    It's been driving me nuts. I got 2 iPhone 5s on AT&T Friday and my friend got one. We both live in San Francisco. Coming from iPhone 5, these new phone seem like they're constantly dropping from LtE down to 4g.

    We both live in San Francisco and the Bay Area and it seems to be doing it everywhere. The iPhone 5 latched into LtE and stayed there aside from when on a call. These new 5s seem to drop down to 4g randomly and then either stay there for far too long, or just get stuck on 4g until I go in and toggle airplane mode on then off then it goes back to LtE.

    Super annoying because I know it's not att as my friends next to me on iPhone 5 have LtE, and I know it's not a bad phone because all 3 I bought have the same issue. Seems like apple may need to do something software wise. It's driving me nuts.
     
  2. Iphone5preorder macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    #2
    Oh no.... This better not be true. Please let it be location based!!

    By the way, try reporting this using the mark the spot app. Use the notes to explain your issue and make sure you select that you are outside.
     
  3. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    I did and I called and they said no issues in the area.

    The issue is so widespread around me that it's not the network. For testing I just put my sim in my iPhone 5 for an hour and had no issues. It's definitely the 5s. I'm just hoping it can be fixed with a software/firmware update.
     
  4. Iphone5preorder macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    #4
    Then your best bet is to contact apple. They will fix it if they hear about it. Or they might say your holding the phone wrong ;)
     
  5. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    Apple blames att. Att blames apple. Given the iPhone 5 with my aim in it works just fine, clearly it's apple or the way apple interfaces with att.
     
  6. Jgraeff macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    #6
    Having the same issue... I hope this gets fixed one reason I got the 5s from the 4s
     
  7. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #7
    Maybe it's a firmware update att pushed. That's one way to manage network traffic lol
     
  8. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #8
    My iPhone 5 is the same way along with my galaxy s3 on Verizon

    Lte is picky about signal quality
     
  9. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #9
    interesting, but have both phones do a speedtest and see if there is actual speed differences...
     
  10. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #10
    I agree, but that's a whole different issue, and I have always noticed it with 5 outside the major metro cores I travel to, but this is a bigger issue. It's literally going down to 4G, then not returning to LTE for some time, and often not at all without an airplane mode toggle.

    ----------

    Yep, when it's on "4G" it really is 4G speedwise. LTE in my area I see 30-40 mbps, real strong signal. HSPA+ I only get 5-10 mbps
     
  11. JFC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    #11
    I'm experiencing the same thing with additional problems.

    My 5s stays in LTE with no problems when using data. However, as soon a I make a call it immediately goes to 4G. Sometimes is stays in 4G until I switch it in and out of airplane mode. However is seems to be getting better and switches back to LTE as soon as the call ends.

    The real problem I had was for about 3-5 hours yesterday I was almost completely unable to make or receive calls. I would be using data on LTE, try to make a call, it would switch to 4G and the call would just hang for about 30 seconds before getting a call failure notice. And I know I was unable to receive calls because I called my 5s several times during this time from my home phone and only a third of the time would the call connect.

    I wonder if it is a bad LTE chip or a bug in the firmware. My 5 worked flawlessly.

    I have a genius appointment tomorrow night. I hope they have some answers.
     
  12. brinycbri macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    #12
    You can't make calls over LtE in America. That hasn't been enables by our carriers
     
  13. Nextstep OS X macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles CA
    #13
    Same happens on T-mobile iPhone 5S. The antenna seems really weak compared to other androids. It barely hits -119db and switches to 4G-hspa

    Hope Apple can fix it, makes my phone unusable at work.

    Also I see lower signal when I grab from bottom covering bottom antennas. I though this phone had dual antennas. If I grab the top camera end and leave the bottom unblocked my reception increase -13 digits or one DOT.

    Not another Antenna gate... :(
     
  14. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #14
    You'll always see it change to 4G when making a call, it's just the way the technology works on AT&T. Sometimes it takes a little time to recover from the call, but if you're having to toggle in and out of airplane mode after the call, it sounds like you're experiencing the same or similar to the issue that caused me to start this thread to begin with. Hopefully Apple and AT&T get it fixed quick.
     
  15. Jordan921 macrumors 68040

    Jordan921

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    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area
  16. mateen110 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    #16
    Cell sites equipped with LTE radios/amplifiers transmit far less power than the HSPA+ antennas/amps. Usually around 15-18dBm less.

    Also if you're in a 10MHz market you get 3dBm less TX power than the 5MHz markets with less bandwidth comes more power

    These are the limitations of the technology/hardware -- nothing AT&T can do it about it. So this is one possibility why you keep getting 4G instead of LTE because the phone is programmed to grab the strongest signal. Also congestion could play a factor.

    There was a modified carrier file a while back that fixed this, and locked on to the signal instead of constantly switching.

    And as others have said, no carrier in US is doing Voice over LTE (hopefully starting in 2014) so every call must go over 4G.
     
  17. Becact macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #17
    To add to this convo, after I got the 5s I saw the 4g logo for the first time after owning the 5 for a year. Didn't even know it existed, lol.

    Maybe it's a new iOS feature that switches between fauxG and LTE based on demand to save battery? Ie, streaming low quality content where 4G is fast enough, it will switch off LTE?
     
  18. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #18
    Don't shoot the messenger on this. :) My Premier rep was rattling on about the 5S and she said that it uses "true" LTE instead of 4G (HSPA+) which she called "3G on steroids". So to put that into the context of this thread, an iPhone 5 displaying "LTE" may be different than 5S LTE (and display 4G for HSPA+).

    It sounds strange but that's the only way I can make sense of what she was trying to tell me. I'm obviously not a telco guy, just one of the hammers in the bag.
     
  19. mateen110 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    #19
    Completely 100% false, and im not shooting you :)
     
  20. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #20
    lol - I knew the smart people in the forum would be able to confirm or debunk it.
     
  21. astral125 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 24, 2011
  22. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #22
    I agree, completely false... the 5 had true LTE. I would hope the premier rep just didn't communicate properly, because I would hope they'd train their employees on explaining the difference between HSPA+ and 3G and LTE, because they did a crazy marketing job calling HSPA+ "4G" when everyone else called it 3G... oye that seems like it was so long ago.
     
  23. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #23
    LTE signals are weaker than HSPA+ signals. This is no secret. THe phone will automatically revert to a HSPA+ signal if its stronger than the LTE one.

    Honestly, its not that big of a deal unless you stream videos. HSPA+ is already pretty fast for most tasks.
     
  24. shenan1982 thread starter macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #24
    We're not talking about LTE vs HSPA+ ... the issue at hand is the iPhone 5s doesn't connect to LTE where the iPhone 5 did. I live in downtown San Francisco, an area that's completely and utterly COVERED with LTE. The issue is not connecting, it's that the cellular data connectivity in the chip seems to have a fault in the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5 had no issues. The iPhone 5s will connect to LTE then drop to 4G, then not reconnect to LTE without an airplane mode on\off toggle. It's not a coverage issue, it's purely a hardware or firmware issue in the way the 5s is connecting (and staying connected) to the network.

    This is a major problem for me... never once had this issue with iPhone 5.... hope they can isolate and resolve it quickly.

    ----------

    Clearly you don't understand the technology. The signals are not "weaker" ... they may be more sensitive to "digital drop"... but to say the signal is weaker is absolutely untrue. I think you're confusing the fact that ATT hasn't deployed LTE as blanketed as HSPA+ ... but in markets like downtown LA, SF, NY, that's irrelevant... and you're just detracting attention from the real issue here. Your comments would be more logical for someone who had issues with LTE connectivity on the iPhone 5, and on the 5s as well, but for those of us living in areas where the LTE is fine, having had no issues on 5, but then now having issues on the 5s, clearly there's an issue with the 5s.
     
  25. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #25
    my mistake. i misread. I would honestly go to an AT&T store and complain about it. they can try a new sim card (yes thats actually worked for me before). Also they'll have other 5Ses in the store that will hopefully show LTE while urs show 4G so u can prove something is up.
     

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