AT&T LTE No Service: Too many LTE iPhone 5 users?

by Justin Horn on Oct 1st, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

UPDATE It’s actually having trouble holding “4G” signal now. A lot of times it now shows a few bars, but not data icon; no E, no 4G, just blank. When it does show 4G, the data isn’t actually working half the time.

UPDATE 2 Ooops… Girlfriend’s iPhone 5 was working normally at my house and then realized I had not tried a reboot. Short story short, LTE is working again. Also, got like 5 voice mails from earlier this morning.

UPDATE 3 [10.23.2012] Apparently something weird is going on. I’ve had to reset my phone at least once a week since I’ve had it because of this issue. Maybe it’s a software glitch in iOS 6? Hopefully it’s fixed when iOS 6.0.1 comes out.

If you read my previous post, you know that I got my iPhone 5 preorder in NYC instead of at home in Miami. It worked great on LTE for the afternoon (12:30 – 8:30PM) I was in Manhattan that Friday. Then it worked well on over the weekend in Long Island on 3G (AT&T 4G) for the 3G service. When I returned home to Miami the following Monday, it worked pretty well on LTE, just not hitting the same speeds as NYC. That started to change for the worse in the last few days.

Yesterday alone I noticed on at least 5 occasions where my iPhone 5 would go to No Service. After about 30-60 seconds it would come back on. Not sure how many times it did this I when I was looking at the phone.  This happen while at home on WIFI, so didn’t affect me much, but wasn’t a good sign. Today was even worse, in addition to the 5+ No Service occasions, even when showing I had service I was having trouble getting messages through. I wasn’t on WIFI and was about 10 minutes from home, so they started sending as text messages instead of iMessage…even then some send as text messages failed.

My gut is telling me as more and more iPhone 5 users come on board, the AT&T LTE towers are getting hit hard, overloaded, and dropping connections. My LTE worked much better right after returning home, but now a week later it’s starting to turn bad. Yes, I know there are other LTE phones already on the market, but all these new LTE iPhone 5′s could be the straw breaking AT&Ts backbone. This should get better as AT&T converts more and more towers to support LTE. I’m confident that there are still a lot of 3G (AT&T 4G) only towers (at least in Miami) as I’ve actually been able to get faster speeds on occasion with LTE turned off. Most likely because the LTE tower is further away than the 3G, as suggested by Brian Klug in response to me on Twitter:

@justin_horn different bands, different path loss, different cell sites entirely most likely.

I’m going to turn off my LTE service on my phone for the next few days and see how it goes, but I have a feeling it will go back to my good “4G” service I had on my iPhone 4S.

How is LTE holding up in your city on AT&T?

Follow me on Twitter @justin_horn



View 9 Comments
at&t, iPhone 5, Speculation

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