I'm having the same exact problem on my Verizon iPhone 5. I don't understand why this is happening. This also happens on my iPad 3 from Verizon. There seems to be a problem with the way the phone is trying to connect to Verizon's network. I have to shut the LTE off, turn it back on, shut it off, turn it back on, and again and again until it finally turns on. It's very frustrating.
I'm having a similar issue. Sometimes my phone doesn't even show 3G. My wife's iphone 4 on AT&T is faster than my iphone 5 on Verizon. The LTE doesn't seem to work anywhere, and the 3G is questionable. My battery dies today after 12 hours (15 minutes talk time, 15 minutes data, 2 hours video and music, standby all other time). I used the speedtest.net app to check speeds in various parts of manhattan and the best I got today was under 4Mbps (most of the time it was between 0.17 and 0.3). My colleague with the AT&T iphone 5 was getting 27+Mbps right next to me at the same time. I'm not sure if Verizon got a bad batch of iphone 5's (maybe a bad broadband chip) or if Verizon's network is the problem. I'm planning to take my phone to a verizon store to test and then to an apple store if they can't sort it out. If this isn't solved within a few days, its going back, and I'll get the AT&T version.
Same problem in Boston. Have not had a good LTE connection anywhere with my iPhone 5. VZW told me they have a ticket on it, but I'm not sure if it's a tower problem or iPhone SW/HW problem. I don't have another VZW LTE device to compare, but my AT&T Galaxy S III has a strong and faster LTE signal in the 30 locations I have tried. I hope they fix this soon as an iPhone 5 that only works with 3G is not enjoyable.
This could be helfpul, we will have to see.
Apple has issued a Carrier Update for Verizon iPhone 5 devices this evening to eliminate an issue where Verizon Cellular Data would be used while the iPhone 5 is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
This carrier settings update resolves an issue in which, under certain circumstances, iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Follow these instructions to install the update.
1. Tap Settings > General > About.
2. Wait for the following alert to appear: (top right)
3. Tap OK to install the update.
4. Hold the Sleep/Wake button down until you see "slide to power off".
5. Slide to power off.
6. After the device powers off, hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn your phone back on.
Note: To finish the installation of the update, your iPhone 5 must be turned off and then on again. After your iPhone restarts, tap Settings > General > About, then scroll down to Carrier and verify that "Verizon 13.1" is displayed.
While I was also seeing this problem, the Verizon 13.1 carrier update unfortunately did nothing to resolve my LTE low signal strength / not locking / slow speed problem. Has anyone experienced this problem found a resolution? I've seen threads where device swaps didn't even fix it, so I don't want to bother to do that if it's not going to accomplish anything since it took a long time to get my device set up the way I wanted. Day 10 . I would really like to get my iPhone 5's VZW / LTE working properly, but am not sure whether the problem is Apple's or Verizon's.
Spoke to a nice representative at Apple Care (800-MY-APPLE) and we're going to try to swap the HW on one of my two iPhone 5s to see if there was a bad batch of HW for both my iPhone 5 VZW's. Fingers crossed that this fixes my problem. Interestingly enough, they had no other reports of this problem, so I suggest that you contact them as well to report your problem if you're having an issue.