Slow/Almost no data speeds in downtown Chicago

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by macsation, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. macsation macrumors member

    macsation

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    Surprised I haven't seen anyone mention this on here, or other blogs online. Chicago Loop, and areas in at least a 3-5 mile radius around it have incredibly slow data speeds. I moved here with At&T and replaced that iphone with a Sprint one. The At&T one gave me either incredibly slow or no data access in Chicago. Sprint is a smidgen better, but not by much. I went to the Apple store on Michigan Ave today and tested all 3 carrier iphones side by side with wifi off. None of them could barely open any web pages over 3g. Crazy.

    I guess it's just too dense here, with too many tall buildings...similar to the atrocious coverage in Manhattan.

    Any thought/suggestions?
     
  2. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
  3. macsation thread starter macrumors member

    macsation

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #3
    Well maybe it's just the 3g networks then? They're all jammed packed with users..
     
  4. buryyourbrideau macrumors 65816

    buryyourbrideau

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    Large city, lots o' iPhones.

    Not a surprise.

    Honestly, I live about 2 miles from the loop, maybe not even, and I ALWAYS have a 3G connection on my VZW iPhone.
     
  5. macsation thread starter macrumors member

    macsation

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #5
    Anyone with an Att iphone who lives near the Loop care to chime in? My sister in law still has Att iphone. Saw her last night in South Loop and her phone could open no pages over 3g. Ridiculous. My brother did switch to Verizon and does seem to have the best data out of the bunch.

    I called Verizon and was approved to switch... just not sure. If their service sucks as well it'll be a pretty expensive mistake. Verizon is pricey...


    Just surprised that this doesn't get more press. They've been screaming bloody murder for 3 years over NYC and San Fran iphone coverage, while not a peep about Chicago; where the coverage is just as bad, or worse..
     
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    I've had the misfortune of using AT&T in both downtown Chicago and NYC. While Chicago's coverage is pretty bad, dropping to EDGE at times, the coverage in NYC is atrocious. I can get "5 bars" of signal but the network is so overcrowded that no data goes through in Manhattan. Usually in Chicago it does manage to go through. That said, it is nothing like what is advertised. Hopefully things get better with the LTE iPhone next year, even for 3G users as more people get spread out between more capable networks. AT&T's 3G coverage leaves a lot to be desired.

    By contrast, T-Mobile has decent capacity in both cities (less so in the sticks, where AT&T performs better). If the merger goes through, hopefully AT&T is able to use that spectrum wisely.
     
  7. macsation, Nov 20, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011

    macsation thread starter macrumors member

    macsation

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #7
    Update

    So, I gave ATT one more chance bc I have such an amazing plan with them, and bc of the great reports that their data speeds have received in past few days. I ported back into them today.

    LO AND BEHOLD, the data is BLAZING fast now! :D Like 5 times faster than the Sprint iphone! They must've finished working on those towers they've been telling me about for the past 4 months.

    Good job ATT! Not leaving again.
     
  8. SilentLoner macrumors 65816

    SilentLoner

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #8
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    You in the Chicago loop though? As that is most definetely a problem here in Chicago and why I changed to Verizon. It's night and day for Chicago (not saying its the same elsewhere) just saying
     
  9. SilentLoner macrumors 65816

    SilentLoner

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    This is what I get in lakeview, chicago city [​IMG]
     
  10. macsation thread starter macrumors member

    macsation

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #10
    Oh yea, I live like 1.2 miles from the Loop between River North and Gold Coast.
    The difference between today and a week ago is night and day. The data is FAST now, where it was almost non-existent before. I also work in the Loop, so I'll see what it's like in the heart of the CBD tomorrow and report back.
     
  11. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #11
    It could just be because there is less traffic on Sunday (most of the office workers are at home in the suburbs).

    Did AT&T let you back into your old unlimited data plan (assuming you were on it before)?

    Anyway, the promise of additional capacity on LTE will likely cause the iPhone 4S to be a one-year stopgap for me (assuming the iPhone 5 gets LTE next year). AT&T's 3G network is atrocious in most big cities. There are just too many people on it, and they don't seem to have enough capacity.
     
  12. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    #12
    AT&T has taken a vow to have excellent 3G and even 4G service in the loop when the Cubs win the World Series. :D
     
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #13
    Well at least the Cubs have brought in Theo Epstein and Dale Sveum. What has AT&T done lately? :D :mad:
     
  14. macsation, Nov 20, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011

    macsation thread starter macrumors member

    macsation

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #14
    Yes, you have 60 days to jump back on your old plan. I have unlimited data, 200 bonus minutes, complimentary pick-3 on the 450 min plan (which I use for Google Voice), about 7500 roll over mins, and a 20% corp discount.
    I pay $67 a month! So you can see I definitely didn't WANT to leave ATT. Especially, because they work great everywhere I've been except for NYC and Chicago.

    We shall see if this is bc of downtown being empty today. But honestly, I haven't seen this type of performance since I moved here 4 1/2 months ago. Not even once.
     
  15. blipsman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    #15
    I work at Madison & the river (near Ogilvie train station) and my data service has been horrific for the past few months... was wondering if there was an issue with my phone's antenna or whether there is just no connectivity in the area. It's noticeably worse than it used to be. At a number of area locations that I frequent for lunch, I used to be able to surf away and can no longer connect even when my phone shows 4-5 bars. I am so fed up with AT&T's lack of coverage in the area. I'd switch to Verizon in a heartbeat except I'm hesitant to give up my grandfathered unlimited data plan.

    I did download the AT&T Mark the Spot app to report issues and have been reporting the hell out of no/slow connections. Whether they actually act upon it or not, we'll see... I guess I can use the data I've submitted to justify breaking contract w/out early termination fee.
     
  16. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #16
    Have clients all over Loop in downtown Chicago. On AT&T iPhone I'd often drop back to EDGE in the West Loop and Loop areas. On Verizon, I get better speeds but still find myself dropping back to slow-speed (the circle thing) whenever I'm in the theater district (Cadillac is really bad....lucky to get any signal at all in there and I've always suspected they use jammers).
     

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