Currently Being ModeratedOct 15, 2012 1:43 PM (in response to Phil08)
More speculation on my part after speaking with someone who understands RF and LTE better than I do.
I believe one of the issues us VZW iPhone 5 customers are seeing is that there are still numerous towers throughout major metropolitan areas on VZW (marked as strong LTE on their maps) which are not actually LTE-enabled, some due to landlord and legal approvals required to add/modify the antenna configurations and others due to the fact that there is a massive built-out required to go to all of the thousands / tens of thousands of towers and add radio and antenna equipment which they cannot do simultaneously. This is one of the causes of poor LTE signal strength and/or bouncing to 3G since not all towers are actually serving up LTE signals even if they are serving up strong 3G. I had incorrectly assumed that all Metro Boston towers were serving up LTE by now, but this is not in fact true.
I can only speculate that AT&T must have focused on a few major metro areas (at least NYC and Metro Boston) where they have LTE and ensured that almost every tower inside their small advertised area had LTE up and running while VZW spent their money adding a lot of new her markets w/ LTE (which looks great in a marketing campaign or if you're lucky enough to be next to a tower that is lit up, but in my day-to-day experience is not terribly useful if you actually want to use it reliably and fast throughout the LTE-enabled area).
I don't know if the LTE build-out was easier for AT&T based on their legacy network technology than it has been for VZW.
I think at some point this will get resolved, but for us VZW customers it's going to take a while.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 15, 2012 2:40 PM (in response to Pete boston)
I turned off international CDMA roaming on my iPhone 5 this morning, but unforunately there were two times this afternoon where again, I had trouble with my Pandora starting up, which a speed test revealed was again due to no upload whatsoever. Both times I had a very good LTE signal, with download speeds of 25 MBps and 37 MBps.
Again, toggling airplane mode off and on corrected the issue.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 15, 2012 3:07 PM (in response to Pete boston)
I'll talk to my VZ rep tomorrow (I'm on a business account). I'm sure they'd like me to call in the ticket when I'm actually in the location, or when the probelm is actually occurring. Perhaps my rep can do some chriping without me having to go through all that.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 15, 2012 4:22 PM (in response to Phil08)
Phil - VZW has offered me a free "out" due to poor signal strength in a few key areas so it's definitely possible. Are you just over the 30 days or have you had them for some time?
Currently Being ModeratedOct 15, 2012 6:23 PM (in response to Pete boston)
OK. only had a limited time to test the new phone today, but I did have the same issue in a low LTE area with switching between LTE and 3G. It switched to "o" etc, etc , etc, and at times would not pull/push any data at all. During this time the Speedtest could not even find a server at times! This was at 1-2 bar LTE location 100+ dBM, with average 1Mbps down. Horrible LTE area, right? Well I am ok with that, and expect the holes to be filled eventually. But I also expect the iPhone to handle this seamlessly. Just switch to 3G, or even just stay on the 1mbps LTE. Just don't flip around slowly and pull little to nothing.
Really leaning towards a combo of issues. Carrier LTE holes, plus poor signal management in iOS. Lets hope the new antenna is capable of this with a software fix.
I will test more tomorrow, and will disable International CDMA too.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 15, 2012 10:35 PM (in response to skynyc)
off topic a little but,
are you guys happy with your iPhone 5? what has 'improved' that you can tell besides the internet? how is the signal str(Carrier) sturdiness of phone? does it drop calls? signal fluctuates?
Currently Being ModeratedOct 16, 2012 2:43 AM (in response to Motox112)
The main reason I bought my iPhone 5s was for VZW LTE, for this reason alone, i am extremely unhappy. The phone itself as an iPod is great, I have had no issues with WiFi, apps, etc. Unfortunately for $800+ for two devices, I was really hoping that mobile data would be better, not worse than my old iPhone 4 and consistently it has been terrible on VZW. At this point however I am blaming VZW for more of my problems than Apple.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 16, 2012 3:09 AM (in response to Phil08)
Yes, their typical return policy is 14 days, however they tend to be pretty forgiving within the first month. If you are dissatisfied with the signal strength/overall service and remotely considering trying to cancel, I'd do it now. Typically you can stress your signal issues and since you're just over the 14 day mark, they'll usually allow it. One could argue that they were waiting a bit longer to see if Apple or VZW would sort out the issues but that still hasn't happened
Currently Being ModeratedOct 16, 2012 9:48 PM (in response to omsterathome)
Hi, don't know if it's already been mentioned but for me at home my other phones had full strength all the time, but the iphone 5 would show full signal for about 10 secs, then drop back to 1 signal bar. After reading here and talking to support I tried a new nano sim but nothing improved. But after a little bit of troubleshooting I found out how to resolve my issue, hope it helps someone else. For me I nearly always have 'Mobile Data' switched off, but when I turn it on, the screen then shows 'LTE Enabled' which I guess means it tries to use LTE where possible. If I 'Disable LTE' and then turn off 'Mobile Data' I now have full signal level on the phone all the time. As soon as I go back in, turn on 'Mobile Data' and then 'Enable LTE', even if I then turn off 'Mobile Data' again, I still see only 1 or 2 signal bars most of the time, with the very occasional jump back up to 5 signal bars just for a few seconds, then back to 1 signal bar again. So instead of thinking I've got a dodgy phone maybe, I now think that when there are more 4G towers in my area here in Australia, I may be able to 'Enable LTE' again and not have the signal drop. I'm on the Telstra network in the bush if that helps anyone.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 17, 2012 6:39 AM (in response to Pete boston)
I did reach someone in the VZW Exec Office. She was willing to let me cancel my contract and move to AT&T, but since I am a loyal VZW customer, I am sticking with them in light of the fact that my LTE iPhone 5 experience in Boston / NYC has been very bad. If you just cannot deal with the spotty LTE coverage and have opened tickets to prove it and are ready to move on, they should be willing to let you out.
I have now had the opportunity to utilize my iPhone 5 in parts of California (Palo Alto, Santa Clara, San Jose, etc) and it further cements for me that my issues are primarily the network and not the phone. I have experienced no 3G locks, no "o"'s, strong LTE signals throughout the area and transfer rates 20Mb+ (I even received 60Mb/s+) in a location.
I sent her a list of my NYC/MA problem area reports and asked for some acknowledgement that they were aware of these problems. I don't expect any magic rapid response to suddenly fix this. I believe we're looking at a combination of many problems including towers that are still only sending out 3G signals in LTE service areas, insufficient tower locations, and service maps which purposely do not accurately represent where we can expect decent LTE coverage.
She did explain to me that the Tech Support folks receive very limited information from the networking team by design, which explains why we have such a frustrating experience dealing with them. I do however suggest that you continue to open up trouble tickets for every location where you are having spotty coverage as long as you are regularly in that area (since they won't open the ticket unless you are).
I am still working w/ Apple on my issue with the phone locking 3G for a very long time after VZW's network kicks it over to 3G.