Unfortunately for all of the people who are willing to post on this forum and complain, almost nobody seems to be calling Verizon and getting their cases to the right place. I checked in yesterday on the status of the internal device forum post "iphone 5 loses 4g lte" and there is still only one other person who had their information attached to this forum post. The good news is that I am still working w/ Apple on this with my case @ 800-MY-APPLE, but the bad news is that you can't expect VZW to take this issue seriously if people are too busy to bother to properly report it to them.
In addition to the phone problems, there are certainly VZW signal problems as well. I guess I was spoiled with AT&T having such amazing LTE service in Metro Boston and in the rare case where it wasn't available, flawless switching temporary to HSPA+ 4G on my Galaxy S III and back that I figured how could VZW be any worse given they have "the best" LTE network in Boston, but the reality is, they have lots of network holes (I have since learned) and their problems are going to be much more apparent than AT&T since 3G is a poor fallback option vs. HSPA+, voice traffic REQUIRES the phone to switch to 3G, and compound that with the fact that the iPhone 5 does not properly switch back to LTE and as you point out, sometimes doesn't even switch out of 2G "O" mode to 3G on its own.
Ugh.. Really? The swapped phone properly heads-back to LTE after being locked on 3G? What specific improvements do you see with the swap. I think Apple is going to think I am insane if I asked them to do another swap after the last one just did nothing
Also, are you getting good xfer rates with 1 or 2 LTE bars now? Also, are you no longer seeing 2G/O service? Is yours VZW or ATT?
My problems with signal got so bad at one point that I started dropping calls and losing reception entirely. I contact Bell Mobility (in Edmonton, Alberta) and they did a bit of trouble shooting on their end. I'm not sure what, but for the first time ever they came back with an answer/solution for me to try).... Replace the nano-SIM.
So, in frustration and willingness to give just about anything a go, I did just that. Since I switched my card out to a new one, it has worked perfectly. I was experiencing LTE about 10% of the time, but am now getting it at least 90% of the time. This morning for instance, I had my home on wifi when I left the house and as soon as I left wifi range, it jumped right to LTE.
Il be watching closely to see if the success sticks around, but so far so good.
Good to hear that your Nano SIM swap fixed your issues, unfortunately mine still remain after swapping the SIM and replacing the HW. Look forward to hear how SIM swapping and device swapping work for the rest of you and if you're now receiving solid LTE connections and not having your phone lock on to 3G or 2G/O.
After calling and complaining to Verizon it seems like they did something that has made it a bit better. I've only seen the 'o' symbol once or twice since and I know at home I only have 3G service. LTE around here is only in the centers of most towns but it seems better-ish now... I may stop by the VZW store and see if they can swap out my SIM. If it's better, I will report back.
Hope this helps:
FACT #1: I have several coworkers with Iph5 where their devices allow them to turn off <enable LTE> button and LTE signal disappears and 4G pops up right after, once is switched on, LTE shows up with same number of signal bars. After doing so three or four times their phones respond accordingly. Wherever they go LTE is always there. This demonstrates they don't have any problems with LTE or Iph5 devices even.
FACT #2: Unfortunately, this is not the case with my Iph5. Very fustrating that LTE is not there since day 1 I got it. AT&T store inmediately starts rebooting it, change SIM cards twice, and even play with different buttons until they decided to put me in an appointment list with Apple store. Everytime I leave AT&T store LTE starts showing full bars and after 20 minutes I was in less than 3G with no data at all. Very annoying. I denied to go to Apple store knowing the facts with my Iph5 friends.
FACT# 3: After lot of thinking, I did this simple experiment. Got the SIM card from one of my friends Iph5 coworker. Swap both SIM cards. My Iph5 inmediately starts working on LTE. Did all kind of switching off/on buttons (Airplane, Cellular Data, Enable LTE, WIFI) looking for any possible failure. To my surprise, LTE was always there interchanging with 4G as it's supposed to do. His phone, though, -now with my SIM card- initializes with LTE failure, low bars, lost signal, searching and stay on 3G and finally without LTE whatsoever. Same as it was in my Iph5.
Conclusion: This exercise proves my Apple device is OK. Carrier is the trouble. If my phone were the problem then the good SIM card should fail into my Iph5 but this was not the case. Hope this lesson entertains LTE carriers to fix their crowded and overloaded antennas.
** My current iPhone 5 VZW issue update **
I think I will take something back that I said earlier. Of all the things I tried (3 devices, reset the device, reset network settings, SIM swap, etc), I think the SIM swap had SOME impact. Prior to the SIM swap, phone basically never went to LTE unless i forced it and when on LTE, almost never worked reliably. With the SIM swap, a strong LTE signal does in fact work as I would expect it to.
I just did a quick walk test towards the tower and found that my phone did eventually move from 3G to LTE on its own (which I don't see very often). Unfortunately I was in a strong LTE area for a *very long time* before it decided to kick over to LTE, so I think there is something messed in the SW which decides when it's OK to switch. I sat around with -80 dBM and 4 3G bars and it just did not want to move to LTE on its own.
I think I am really down to two main issues with the iPhone 5 VZW, which is crummy signal strength (compared to other iPhone 4/4s and Android LTE devices) and phone just holds on to 3G way too long when it could be using LTE, they may or may not be related problems. In lower signal strength areas, Android phone would be locked still on LTE, the iPhone 5 picks up either 3G or lower strength LTE which becomes unusable, even more so with uploads than downloads.
Transition from 3G to LTE when signal strength becomes stronger is not happening reliably and/or fast enough unless you force it by toggling airplane mode. It's almost like the phone wants a perfect 5-bar LTE signal before giving up on 3G.
Lower strength LTE (or perhaps signals in general) are not picked up anywhere near as well on iPhone 5 as other devices, like Galaxy S III
Lower strength signal area makes phone either provide unusable LTE or lock hard on to 3G.
Thanks a ton for the physical testing. I observed the same thing this morning after I posted; I was able to get download speeds no problem but uploads completely ceased to start until I either restarted the phone, toggled cellular data/airplane mode, etc. It sounds like even with a new SIM / hardware, you are still having the sporadic LTE upstream failure issue. I was trying to send an email and it kept failing. I did a speedtest and the following number were given:
Upload: Test failed - timeout.
Yesterday, my download speeds were half that. I have a feeling they may be working on live infrastructure updates with their router equipment at the towers...I'm going to reach out to a buddy at Cisco, who provides a lot of their routing equipment and see if that's even a possibility...
I am in the boat with all of the people who theorize this is a 100% carrier based issue...
I just retested and got the following:
Things seem to have improved today...
I will give it the weekend and then will stop by VZW store to get a new SIM if they have any. Next stop will be an Apple Store if VZW doesn't have replacement Nano SIMs.