iPad mini Please help. Ipad mini Retina is showing 4G instead of LTE on T-Mobile

Investor27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 8, 2012
183
95
Hi guys. My wife has been complaining that her iPad miniR is so slow now when she on the cellular network. She said it started last month when this pop-up keeps coming up telling her that she needs to update because there was a change in the cellular carrier. We have the free 200 MB with T-Mobile with no additional data plan. When we first got the mini Retina this past December, T-Mobile LTE would show at the top after turning it on. When I decided to look at it today, it just shows T-Mobile 4G instead, and is running very slowly. The APN under "Cellular Data" shows fast.t-mobile.com. And I have LTE enabled. When I disabled LTE, the 4G is still there. And when I re-enable the LTE, the 4G is there as well and not LTE.

If anyone have any idea what is happening, I would really appreciate some insight. My wife doesn't even use her iPad mini Retina at her office anymore because she said it is just too slow. Thanks.
 

hungx

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2012
337
42
Davis, CA
Hi guys. My wife has been complaining that her iPad miniR is so slow now when she on the cellular network. She said it started last month when this pop-up keeps coming up telling her that she needs to update because there was a change in the cellular carrier. We have the free 200 MB with T-Mobile with no additional data plan. When we first got the mini Retina this past December, T-Mobile LTE would show at the top after turning it on. When I decided to look at it today, it just shows T-Mobile 4G instead, and is running very slowly. The APN under "Cellular Data" shows fast.t-mobile.com. And I have LTE enabled. When I disabled LTE, the 4G is still there. And when I re-enable the LTE, the 4G is there as well and not LTE.

If anyone have any idea what is happening, I would really appreciate some insight. My wife doesn't even use her iPad mini Retina at her office anymore because she said it is just too slow. Thanks.
Have you tried a network reset? Go to settings>general>reset>reset network settings.
 

Investor27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 8, 2012
183
95
Have you tried a network reset? Go to settings>general>reset>reset network settings.
I just did that as per your suggestion. The iPad shuts down and rebooted. But it still showing 4G. Is it possible that the free 200 MB is now only offered on the 4G network and not LTE anymore?
 

hungx

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2012
337
42
Davis, CA
I just did that as per your suggestion. The iPad shuts down and rebooted. But it still showing 4G. Is it possible that the free 200 MB is now only offered on the 4G network and not LTE anymore?
I also have the free data, and it's on LTE. Have you tried taking out the SIM card and then putting it back in? Worst case scenario, you may need to restore your iPad. If that doesn't work, T-Mobile may be doing maintenance on their towers. Can you confirm whether you can get LTE on T-Mobile with another device?
 

Investor27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 8, 2012
183
95
I also have the free data, and it's on LTE. Have you tried taking out the SIM card and then putting it back in? Worst case scenario, you may need to restore your iPad. If that doesn't work, T-Mobile may be doing maintenance on their towers. Can you confirm whether you can get LTE on T-Mobile with another device?
All good suggestions, Hungx. I don't have any other device to confirm LTE, or I would have tried that already. I don't think that T-Mobile is doing maintenance on their towers, because it's been over a month now. I think it's that update pop-up that says something like "Your data provider has a new update". We kept closing it, but it keeps poping up, so we just hit the OK button. It then disappeared. I didn't see any download or update after that, but the problem started then with the slow connections. I'll try pulling out the SIM card. Thanks.
 

hungx

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2012
337
42
Davis, CA
Is it worth it to bring it into T-Mo and have talk to them about the issue?
I'm not sure if the OP is experiencing something carrier related or something to do with the iPad itself. I think he/she should try going to Apple first, and if they determine that there is nothing wrong with it, then go to T-Mobile.
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
Mine will show 4G every once in a while. It's usually just for a minute or two and then it goes back to LTE.

Does it happen in the same place everytime? Could be a coverage issue with T Mobile.
 

gtjeta

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2012
62
30
Do you mean 3G? LTE and 4G are two names for the same thing. Here in Spain I only see GPRS, or E (meaning Edge), 3G or 4G (meaning LTE).
 

gtjeta

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2012
62
30
HSPA+ in Spain is 3G. They tried to call it 3.75G or something like that in some commercials but ... I did not know Apple did this kind of nasty technology naming. Thanks for the correction.
 

hungx

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2012
337
42
Davis, CA
HSPA+ in Spain is 3G. They tried to call it 3.75G or something like that in some commercials but ... I did not know Apple did this kind of nasty technology naming. Thanks for the correction.
So you can't tell if you're on HSPA+ or actual 3G in Spain? I think the carriers in the US are responsible for calling HSPA+ 4G, not Apple.
 

gtjeta

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2012
62
30
Sure, we cannot. 3G can mean from around 384 Kbps to 42 Mbps, usually in the order of 2-8 Mbps in most of the urban areas of the country. 4G is LTE, I have seen typical speeds from 20-50 Mbps but the coverage in indoor environments is pretty bad due to political problems in the frequency assignments, to be solved next year recovering some bands from DBV for telephony.
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,064
5,084
So you can't tell if you're on HSPA+ or actual 3G in Spain? I think the carriers in the US are responsible for calling HSPA+ 4G, not Apple.
Whatever "4G" is, it's faster than 3G, right? And didn't the first iPad just come with 3G? I don't remember that being so slow as to be useless. To me, that is the weird part about what's happening here -- that 4G is so slow.
 

1k9

macrumors member
Feb 24, 2014
94
6
Try turning off wifi if it's on and turn on cellular and see if it changes to lte.
 

Investor27

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 8, 2012
183
95
Try turning off wifi if it's on and turn on cellular and see if it changes to lte.
The wifi is not on when we turn off the cellular. We always turned the wifi off, and then turned the cellular on. This is so frustrating. But I do appreciate all the comments guys. We don't have an Apple store in town, so I believe a trip is in order if there are no other suggestions.
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
The wifi is not on when we turn off the cellular. We always turned the wifi off, and then turned the cellular on. This is so frustrating. But I do appreciate all the comments guys. We don't have an Apple store in town, so I believe a trip is in order if there are no other suggestions.
It doesn't sound like a problem with the iPad. It sounds like the network. If it connected to LTE sometimes it sounds like there just isn't great coverage in your area. It happens to me too.

If it doesn't connect at all then it sounds like a problem.
 

gtjeta

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2012
62
30
Even if 4g is HSPA or HSPA+, it should not be unusable. Of course LTE is nearly ten times faster, but on not too heavy webpages you will find little difference. The difference is much more relevant if remotely accessing a computer, or watching videos or downloading files, but for most simple applications I find little difference between both of them. A different think is when I get the E or GPRS symbol. In this case I tend to avoid using the phone or iPad for anything needing data. So, maybe there is some problem with the iPad. You might try to use some of the apps which may help to assess your data rate and see if is at least in the order of 1/2 Mbps. Otherwise, you have a problem with the iPad or with the network coverage. Moving to an area where you are pretty sure of the coverage quality could help you tell which is the source of the problem. For a few months I had problems in my in laws house. Every time we stayed there my phone would lose like 60% of the battery during the night. Then, without any change from my side, everything recovered to a normal situation. Sometimes, there is some problem with some node of the cell network which eventually gets solved, or they install or remove a tower, and the quality of the service improves or sinks ;).
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,367
Boston
I'm not sure if the OP is experiencing something carrier related or something to do with the iPad itself. I think he/she should try going to Apple first, and if they determine that there is nothing wrong with it, then go to T-Mobile.
That's why I recommended that he brings it in. They'll help isolate the issue.
 

hungx

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2012
337
42
Davis, CA
That's why I recommended that he brings it in. They'll help isolate the issue.
I think the OP should have Apple look at it first knowing T-Mobile's track record for customer service. If nothing is wrong with the iPad, then go to T-Mobile as a last resort.