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?

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at&t, iPhone 5, Speculation

Ordering iPhone 5: How to change the shipping address

by Justin Horn on Sep 14th, 2012 @ 3:54 am

I’m going to be in NYC on iPhone 5 release day, so I wanted to change the shipping address to a friend’s office in Manhattan. Problem was when I went to checkout from the Apple store, I couldn’t change the shipping address! So I just ordered it and then starting searching around Twitter for help. Apparently, you can change the address after the order has finished processing. See the simple steps below.

UPDATE Please note #2 below, this will not work until the order is processed, try it in the morning.

1) Just place your order with the locked in billing address.

2) Then after it finishes processing (whenever that is, you’ll probably get an email) just log into your Apple Store account and go to your recent orders.

3) Click “View / Edit Order Details” and then “Edit” under the Ship To address.

4) Change shipping address… (I haven’t actually gotten this far, so I’ll update when I try tomorrow, but hopefully it just works)

UPDATE It works! Also, just FYI. I still don’t have an order processed email. It still says processing, but I do have a cancel order button now.


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at&t, iPhone 5, Tips

AT&T changes iPhone 5 upgrade eligibility policy

by Justin Horn on Sep 13th, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

A little over 3 years ago I wrote an article describing how your AT&T upgrade eligibility date was formulated. Your date for full upgrade could range from as little as 12 months out of your 24 month contract or as many as 20. They also sometimes offered early  upgrades giving you a $200 discount instead of the full $400 discount.

This has been consistent till I went to check my upgrade for the iPhone 5. First I noticed that my main line billing over $100 a month which used to be upgrade eligible every 12 months was now 19 months (May 2013).  This is the same date as the second line billing only $40 a month. Second I noticed that the price for the early upgrade has changed. Instead of getting a $200 discount, they are now only giving $150 discount.

UPDATE Fun fact: Based on that early upgrade discount of only $150 off, it would actually be cheaper to pay the $225 early termination fee and then get a new contract the full discount price. $299 + $250 early upgrade fee vs $299 + $225 early termination fee. Way to go AT&T!

UPDATE 2 From what I’m reading, Verizon doesn’t offer upgrades until your full 24 months is up and no early upgrade discounts. So I guess AT&T isn’t as bad as I thought. $150 is better than nothing.

Apparently they are moving all phones, regardless of price to 19 month upgrade policy.

Here’s a portion of my ATT chat:

Justin Horn: But that’s besides the point, can you tell me why I’m not eligible before 5/15/2013? My account has always been eligible after 12 months, not 19. So my date should be 10/15/2012, not 5/15/2013.
Linda Ramirez: I apologize. Upgrades are now done every 19 months.
Justin Horn: Since when?
Linda Ramirez: Since 6/25/12.


How times have changed.  Here’s my article on how the iPhone 3GS upgrades went:

At&t just posted “an update for our customers”which explains the upgrade process for iPhone 3G oweners and the new policy:

We’re now pleased to offer our iPhone 3G customers who are upgrade eligible in July, August or September 2009 our best upgrade pricing, beginning Thursday, June 18.

So just a few years ago AT&T was moving up the full upgrade eligibility date by as much as 3 months. Even for the iPhone 4 they bumped it up a bit.

Now back to present day and they move my upgrade back by 7 months! I understand for a lot of people (with non family plans), this doesn’t matter as you never billed enough to make it to a 12 month upgrade. So at worst you are being moved back from 17 to 19 months, but I would hope the extra $50 for the early upgrades would piss you off. I mean they are already raised the bull shit “activation” fee to $36 bucks, which was bull shit when it was like $24.

One day I will finally make the move to Verizon because AT&T’s list of things that piss me off just keeps getting longer.

Here’s a few highlights:
AT&T and FaceTime
AT&T changes data plans again: more GB, more money
Will iMessage really affect AT&T’s SMS cash cow?

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at&t, iPhone, iPhone 5

AT&T and FaceTime

by Justin Horn on Aug 22nd, 2012 @ 10:32 am

So AT&T responded in a blog post to the complaints about not allowing FaceTime over 3G (or 4G or whatever they want to call it now).

I wish I could actually like the big companies I spend my hard earned money on. Right now Apple is the only company that I feel good about what I get in return for my money. I feel like an abused spouse with AT&T.  The last thing that got me before this FaceTime issue was them dumping all the text plans in anticipation of iMessage. I know they are a business and need to make money, but the things they do just anger their clients.  I guess they can do it, since they know the only person I could switch to is Verizon and they are almost as bad as them.

So are they breaking the law over the FaceTime issue?
Maybe not.

Are they a bag of dicks?

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at&t, FaceTime, iOS 6

AT&T changes data plans again: more GB, more money

by Justin Horn on Jan 18th, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

AT&T is missing that $5 (x2 iPhones) from me every month since I switched off their “unlimited” plan. So now they want to offer people 1 more GB and get that $5 back. Same as last time they did this, if you want to stay on your current plan, you don’t have to change. So only downside for me, I no longer have the option to turn on tethering (which would now be $50 vs $45) for one month and then turn it off again without being forced into the $30 for 3GB plan.

Still AT&T’s biggest dick move is still not offering text plans besides 20 cents per text and unlimited, basically forcing me to keep unlimited text messaging even though most of my texting is iMessaging now. Verizon still offers these text plans, so I am tempted to switch.

AT&T Press Release:

AT&T today announced new data plans for smartphone and tablet customers that will launch this Sunday, January 22. The plans give customers more data and value.

The new smartphone plans include:

  • AT&T Data Plus 300MB: $20 for 300MB
  • AT&T Data Pro 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T Data Pro 5GB: $50 for 5GB, with mobile hotspot / tethering

Smartphone customers needing additional data can pay $10 per additional gigabyte on the AT&T Data Pro 3GB and Data Pro 5GB plans; AT&T Data Plus users will receive an extra 300MB for $20.

The new tablet plans* include:

  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

Existing smartphone and tablet customers will have the choice of keeping their current plans or choosing one of these new plans, and the current $14.99 for 250MB plan for tablet customers will remain available.

(via Android Central)

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at&t, iPhone

AT&T bumps up the upgrade eligibility date for iPhone 4 buyers

by Justin Horn on Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:26 am

Just saw a Tweet from Neven Mrgan stating that those who had a November 25 upgrade eligibility date (the ones that bought iPhone 4 on release date) are now eligible to buy an iPhone 4S at full discounted price, about a month early. I just checked on my girlfriend’s account and confirmed this myself. Not sure if this only applies to those who had the November 25th date, or if it goes beyond that, so if you were close go check it!

(via @mrgan)

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at&t, iPhone, iPhone 4S, Tips

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