I tried a VZW Galaxy S III for a couple hours in a few areas where my iPhone 5 was not working right and while not as bad, it had signal problems as well, so while I think iPhone 5 has some responsibility here, I am still blaming 75% of my current problems on the VZW network and the other 25% on iPhone 5 signal strength and inabililty to lock back to LTE rapidly after falling to 3G.
Funny enough, I used to have dropped calls w/ AT&T all of the time and I am not sure if they learned their lesson from the iPhone 4, but i can't even remember the last time I dropped an ATT call in Metro Boston. (Not that I drop any VZW calls either), so their network seems to be getting much better.
I'd like to add that I've been having this problem in Connecticut. It ahppens very frequenlty to me. I tream Pandora in my car all the time while driving, and this is when I mostly notice it. I'll open up the Pandora app and the music won't start playing. I look down at my phone and eventually Pandora says it's unable to connect. I've done the "try again" optoin quite a few times and it never connects. For experimental purposes, I left my phone sitting in the same spot once while it was having the problem for 20 minutes. I came back, and was still having the issue. I toggled airplane mode and then all was good. Missing emails rushed in, and I was able to run a speed test with fantastic download and upload speeds.
While my phone is in the middle of one of these "fits", I tend to get great download speeds, upwards of 40 MBps, but get absolutely nothing for upload. The only time the problem ever seems to rectify itself is if I'm driving and travel out of LTE coverage and into 3G.
This is tremendously irritating, and while toggling airplane mode is a simple workaround, it's very annoying having to do it up to 10 times a day, considering I've never had to do this to regain my data connection on a cell phone in my life.
I have an iPhone 5 64gb on Verizon in NYC. I received it on sept. 21. I was looking forward to the amazing claims VZW was making about its next gen LTE network...instead, I have been thrown back into the dark ages with connection hangs like when I was on AT&T's 3G network. After reading all the posts on this thread, I have decided to turn off LTE and see if 3G works any better on the iPhone 5 on VZW. I logged a complaint to VZW in the first week of owning the phone and they claimed this was the first time they were hearing about Slow LTE connections and they would contact me if there were any known issues or fixes. I also think my problem is that the handshake with the LTE network can take 15 or more seconds from a 'sleep' mode. Once the connection is active, sometimes the LTE data is fast. I have not looked at signal strength. After reading some posts in this thread, am I to take away that the VZW network in NYC is very spotty and even though I may see a full 4 bars, that the LTE could be weak? This is an incredible letdown. At this point I would much rather have my iPhone 4S on 3G back. The feature improvements on the iPhone 5 don't mean anything if the phone doesn't send and receive data as fast as it should. Someone please help!
Please call VZW at 800-922-0204 and tell them you would like to speak with Tech support again. Have your experience in various specific locations of NYC noted in the "internal device forum" until the article "iphone 5 loses 4g lte". Make sure they understand that this is not specific to one location in NYC and ensure that they text message you confirmation that this internal forum device post was done, otherwise next time you call, they will probably forget they ever spoke with you. In addition, every time you are in an area of NYC regularly or for an extended period of time (2+ days) where you are experiencing poor LTE signal strength, throughput, taking too long to lock back on LTE (O), call 800-922-0204 and ask to open up a case for the specific tower covering your location. I suggest you record performance, time, throughput, experience, and signal strength (both in bars and dBM).
As far as help, we've all been in the same boat since 9/21 and nobody at VZW or Apple has decided to own taking responsibility for this problem. I also have an Apple case at 800-MY-APPLE and HW swap has done nothing to solve my problem, although one other poster did report new HW fixing their issues, so you're welcome to try that as well. I did find that after swapping my nano SIM that my behavior improved a little (although still unacceptable for "American's Fastest and More Reliable 4G LTE network", so if you haven't tried a nano SIM swap, you may want to start there. There are non-VZW iPhone 5 users also complaining in this thread (AT&T and non-US) but seemingly a lot less of them than us. I know a lot more AT&T iPhone 5 users than VZW and the significant majority of them are pretty happy.
-89dBM 3G RSSI is not the strongest 3G signal on the planet. My home is currently reporting a -91dBM 3G RSSI in this location and the iPhone 5 is locked solid on 3G with 3 bars (not attempting a LTE lock at all in this specific place). You can extrapolate that to a -112 or worse dBM for LTE, which is is what i get at home when I can barely lock LTE. When I do lock 1-2 LTE bars here with that signal strength on the iPhone 5, I have been getting 5-6Mb/s down and ~1Mb/s up this week.
My guess is if VZW came out to your location based on a tower ticket, they would probably come back with what they told me which was: Sorry our map says that you are in a solid/strong LTE location, but you are in a low signal spot between two towers (translated: our maps lie and our LTE coverage is not as good as we told you) have a good day!
If you have a tower ticket, call them daily, ask for tech support and ask for status on your tower ticket once you have exceeded 48 hours without follow up from them. Then they will probably end the call with "Have I solved all of your problems today?" When I have explained nicely that they have not, it gets me nowhere because they don't care and don't know how to escalate severe problems (missing from their script).
What I have not not figured out after 3+ wasted weeks of my life with this horrific iPhone 5 VZW LTE performance is how VZW can get away with claiming the fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network when their LTE network performs worse than the slow AT&T HSPA/HSPA+ legacy network and they get schooled regularly by my AT&T Galaxy S III in every single Mass and NYC location that I have done a head-to-head comparison. No network that spends more time on 3G than solid LTE and that is 1-2 bars and <3-5Mb/s down and <1.5Mb/s up more often than not should be making claims like this.
I'm going to add my two cents in addition to my previous post and see if anyone else who has posted agrees. I have found between the four devices I have used (a 3GS, 4, 4S and 5) one common problem between them. iOS6 and the way it now handles data networks.
In my 3GS and 4, the cellular options under general in the Settings looks almost the same. The option for Cellular data is there as is Enable 3G.
On the new 4S and 5 I had used, the option for 3G has been removed and in the case of the 5, the option of LTE is added.
Here is where one problem exists. On my 3GS and 4 if I don't want to use 3G I simply turn the option off and the phone never looks for it. On the 5 and updated 4S, you no longer control whether it tries 3G (for the record, if you are in an area with 3G coverage the phone will report 4G).
Essentially the new software has the phones going out and searching every tower hippity hoppity and not latching on to one tower because it is still trying to find a "better" one. This would explain why my 5 kept switching between AT&T E and AT&T but with no data.
I would suggest that Apple return control of their phones back to the user. If I know I am in an area that only has 3G, then let me turn on that option and the others off.
Again just my two cents.
I live in northern Delaware and I have the exact same problem as PaulieORF. I am on my second iPhone5 with the same issue. VZW is now sending me a sim card to try and fix the problem. I am on the road all day and I am in and out of coverage areas. It is very frustrating to have to remember to hit Airplane Mode every time I come back into an LTE area.
I did a little research on the Galaxy S3 last night and it seems there are some reception complaints out there on that device, too, at least on the VZW network.
I stopped in a Verizon Wireless store the other night and was talking to an employee that had an S3 about LTE speeds and he seemed to indicate that LTE speeds have dropped some since the iPhone 5 was released. I wonder if the onslaught of all these LTE devices is overloading the network? He said he had been getting 20mbps on his S3 and was now seeing more like 10mbps (he told me he lived in Chelsea). The store was in Peabody, and both the display S3's and iPhone 5' were testing out from around 3mbps - 6-7mbps...not very fast for LTE. This was around 6:30 on a Thursday night.
I don't think the problem we're all really talking about here is speed. It's connectivity.
For example, when I'm on LTE and I've got normal connectivity, I'm able to pull in great speeds both download and upload. I've seen download speeds as high as 40 MBps, and upload speeds as high as 30 MBps.
The problem we're discussing mainly here is the instances where LTE becomes "hung up", or however you want to put it. While it's like this, it seems many are getting perfectly fine download speeds (if they run a speed test) but get absolutely nothing for upload speeds. The upload test literally never starts.
I'd be interested in knowing users of any other LTE devices on Verizon are experiencing the same thing. Is it possible you can check with the same guy at that store next time you swing by to see if he's heard anything about thsi type of behavior?
I plan on doing the same.
I ran your exact test which is why even though I began blaming Apple for 100% of this problem when I got my 2 iPhone 5's on 9/21, I now blame Apple for 25% and VZW for the other 75%. After replacing my nano SIM, Apple iPhone 5 problem is that it has a lot of trouble with lower strength LTE signals and loves 3G even when LTE is available, often not switching back to LTE when it should after being in 3G.
VZW's problem is that their network appears to have gaps everywhere around Metro Boston and NYC when they claim to have the best network here. I am talking about 1-2 LTE strength coverage areas / falling back to 3G constantly OUTDOORS in major cities and towns throughout Eastern Mass and NYC. VZW also appear to have significantly less available bandwidth than AT&T. I know of more AT&T iPhone 5 users, yet it hasn't caused their Boston/NYC LTE network to grind to a halt like VZW's.
I have also seen the same pathethic and stalled uploads (0.09 to <1Mb/s) and while it wasn't the result I was expecting, I experienced the same stalled and pathethic upload speeds on a VZW Galaxy S III in these locations. What I did notice about the Galaxy S III is that in areas where VZW was providing inadequate coverage for their "strong LTE network", the Galaxy S III did hold LTE better and did provide better download speeds and marginally better upload speeds in this area and was not downgrading to 3G.
I have definitely experienced this failure to start the "up" portion of the speedtest.net test. I have to kill the app altogether to get out.
I received my replacement iphone 5 last night (VZW), and have been testing connections from home. On my previous phone, I was getting roughly a -94 dBM 3-4 bar LTE, with approx. 12-16 Mbps down, and about 7 Mbps up -- on average. Now? SO FAR.. Still about -94 dBM 3-4 bar, but I do see an improvement where 14 Mbps is on the low end, and I have been able to pull down low 20 Mbps somewhat consistently now (w/ 24.8 highest). Also, my Wifi seems to be drastically improved. Previously I was only pulling down 12 Mbps and now can consistently pull down 18 Mbps +. No other change to my wifi network.
These are very early tests, within a descent LTE area. My new phone has only been online for 12 hours, with only 4 hours of use/testing. I will continue playing around to try and rule out other factors and see what happens.
The real test will be at work on monday where I have a weak LTE signal (1-3 bars, 100+ dBM, under 5 Mbps down), with flapping between LTE, 3G, "o". I have also seen the indicator stick on LTE or 3G while pullilng no data at all, and then not easily switching to a strong network when I move into a better coverage area. stay tuned.....I will be surprised if this new phone performs well on monday, but we'll see.....