iPhone signal fluctuating

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Eric8199, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2009
    So I've had an issue with my 3gs since I got it — the signal seems to fluctuate a lot. It will go from two bars, to five bars, back to two, in a matter of a minute or two, without even moving the phone. I thought maybe it was just because the signal isn't great in my area (I'm on the Edge network), but this past weekend I was in Grand Rapids in a high-signal 3g area and it was still doing it.

    Is this a common problem? Anyone else having/had issues like this? If so, how'd you fix it? Was at an Apple Store this weekend — didn't think to ask about it.
  2. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2007
    Yeah, my signal fluctuates a lot, especially in areas of low / weak signal. In my house for example, my signal goes from 3 to "searching..." to 2 and then to 1.

    I've thought about bringing in, but I have a feeling that the problem is just the nature of the signal, or something that can be fixed in 3.1.
  3. proshots4you macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2009
    happens to me as well with the 3GS......it'll fluctuate from 3g with multiple bars to minimal bars then to edge then no service than back to 3g

    Not sure what the issue is but doubt it has to do with the present connection
  4. tahoeroscoe macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2009
    same here, i go from 5 bars 3g to 2 bars, to edge....and around and around. all sitting in the same spot. very odd. this is on my 3g, not 3gs. i remember this happening with OS 2.0, then went away with 2.1 and seems to be back with 3.0
  5. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2007
    I notice especially that if I pick up my phone, the coverage will go from 5 bars, down to 4, down to 3, ext. Does anybody else notice this, or is it a problem with the antennas on my phone?
  6. jhoc macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2008
    This happens to me all the time, my signal is weak in my flat often going to no service. I find if I leave it on a table top it will keep a bar of more so I can receive texts, calls are useless. The minute I pick it up it all goes away to nothing.

    I also find I get a bar or two more when I have it standing up in the dock charging, not sure what affect that has but am considering leaving it there and trying a blue tooth headset to see if I can actually use it in my own flat.
  7. davyreins macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Ann Arbor
    This has happened to me with a lot of my phones to some extent. I think usually it is just the coverage area. However, with one of my iPhones it was especially bad and I knew that I was in a coverage area where I should be getting full 3G bars. So, I took it in and they replaced it.
  8. jjprusk macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2007
    I also have the same issue - has the replacement been any better? I have two 3GS phones in my house with the same issue which to me may indicate a hardware problem.
  9. PhightinPhils26 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2007
    I have a similar issue, I even had the device swapped out and it still fluctuates... mine is so bad that I don't get text messages for up to an hour later than I should.
  10. morningstarc macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2009
    fluctuating signal...

    We use to have the same problem at our place. We bought a booster antenna and it has helped tremendously. We bought it mostly for a better cell signal for the data, my internet is an at&t data card. I now get a 3g signal that was not possible before.

    The signal still fluctuates, but I always have a usable signal vs bouncing between nothing and a little bit. It bounces between a little bit and a lot now.
  11. davyreins macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Ann Arbor
    The replacement was a lot better. I was missing a lot of calls before and that didn't happen with the newer iPhone.
  12. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    I am having this same problem to some extend with my 3gs. It will jump from full bars to dropped call to searching. Then back to full bars. Very odd. Sorry to bring this back from the dead I wonder if it's a heat problem. Apple states signal will get worse when the phone heats up.
  13. quan08 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2009
    I had the same problems too until my friend gave me a cell phone signal booster - zboost yx510. 3g became stable and I always had full 5 bars of cell signal... I just had some installation problems at first since my friend lost the manual.
  14. doubleatheman macrumors 6502a


    May 27, 2009
    This happens to me all the time. It always seems my phone has 5 bars of 3g when I first turn it on, but as soon as I need it the most I drop immediately to 1 bar of edge. I will even set it on the table and not move or block it/its signal in any way and the strength is still all over the place.

    I can be sitting in one place, and go from 3g to edge, to gprs and back 3 times in one minute. This happens all over, IE at work, home, school. Its not just the cell tower nearest to me.
  15. XxEjGxX macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2009
    it will only really fluctuate in your house, as houses have signal 'pockets' if you get me, like areas where nothing is restricting signal yet a few m away there are walls everywhere, also the way you hold you iPhone seriously does change signal levels, don't have your palm touching the back and you see seriously better signal, honest [​IMG]

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