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Switching to LTE from XLTE where signal becomes weaker. Why and how to fix?

Not sure what group to post this under -

Anyway I'm a longtime Verizon retail customer with 4 lines and "unlimited" data, which currently means 15GB of hotpot per month per line.  Here is the situation - picture a remote vacation cabin in the Colorado Rockies -

- Using a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S7 as a hotspot for the cabin.

- Phone placed in Wilson Electronics booster cradle - a "Sleek 4G" - the cradle provides 20dBm of amplification across all frequencies.

- Cradle is cabled to roof mounted 1700/2100Mhz tuned (AWS, Band 4) 19dBi parabolic antenna via 30' LMR-400 cable.  Antenna is pointed to a Verizon tower about 16 miles away, line of sight.  Cradle, cable, and antenna are all 50 ohm impedance devices.

When the phone is first turned off airplane mode it locates the tower and tunes XLTE, Band 4, at an RSRP of -92dBm.  This provides excellent performance and makes me happy - yay!.  It may be stable there for quite a while, but eventually it will shift to LTE, Band 13, at 700Mhz - as the antenna is tuned to Band 4 not 13 the signal strength drops to -100dBm and the bandwidth correspondingly decreases to what I'd call poor.  It may stay on Band 13 for a very long time - if I get frustrated and toggle airplane mode, it will go back to Band 4 and the same, excellent -92dBm performance.  For a while.  Wash, dry, repeat.

Note that it stays on the same tower the entire time.  The behavior above happens all the time - switching from XLTE to LTE with a signal strength decrease.  Toggling airplane mode *always*  fixes the problem, albeit temporarily.  ALWAYS - 100% of the time, but I am getting tired of doing this 20 times a day.

I started with a wide spectrum antenna, but that only provided like 9 dBi and simply didn't cut it.  Before the parabolic I tried a Yagi tuned to 700Mhz, but when I did that the phone would do the opposite and stick to XLTE for again, poor performance.  It is like the phone is playing games with me - EVIL phone.

Any ideas or suggestions?  Yes, I've tried pointing the antenna all over the place and adjusting it 10,20,30 degrees in either suggestion but the best I've achieved is in one direction to one tower that gives me the -92dBm.  What I'd like is being able to force the phone to stick with LTE or XLTE - whatever, as long as it will stick to the frequencies that the antenna is tuned for.

Obi-Wan you're my last hope.

Re: Switching to LTE from XLTE where signal becomes weaker. Why and how to fix?
Customer Support

We want you to have the best possible connection at all times, MICWAL31. We appreciate the information you have provided and want to dig deeper into this. Your locations sounds as if you may struggle to get a consistent signal. You mentioned you are about 16miles from a tower. This is a large distance from a tower and can degrade signal. Please provide the zip code where you're located. Has this always been an issue at the cabin? 


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