I notice it seems to want stay connected to XLTE (band 4) much more often even if it means hanging onto a weak signal, but it will eventually fallback to the old band 13 LTE given enough time. The threshold seems to be around -115db. The last few updates have made the phone prefer XLTE (band 4) and btw, your signal strength bar in the notification window is reflecting data strength (LTE, 3g,not voice). When you receive a phone call, or are making one, the reason it changes is because the indicator is now displaying your 1x signal strength (Verizon still uses 1x for voice and SMS)
For those of you wondering why your signal bars fluctuate wildly in the same spot-try downloading LTE discovery. Go into settings within the app and turn off all automatic updating/start at boot etc-you're only interested in the data displayed in the center. If it says (Band 4) this explains why your signal is mediocre or weak if you're indoors or in a fringe area. Put the phone in your pocket with the back facing your leg or move further into a building and you'll probably notice you now have full signal strength again. Quickly check 'LTE Discovery' and you'll probably see it's fallen back to Band 13 (not xlte, old 700mhz LTE frequency)
Band 4 (XLTE) is much, much faster but penetrates buildings very poorly given the frequency its on. Band 13 (700mhz Old LTE) is much better in terms of coverage and building penetration. I believe NK1 was all but a radio update- thus forcing the phone to seek and choose XLTE, even if it means a weaker signal strength. Very likely a decision made to take some of the load off the overburdened (depending on metro area) 700mhz LTE frequency.
Most of these changes are underhood and wouldn't be noticed by the average user. These forum helped me out quite a bit and I've spent quite a bit of time researching Verizons' infrastructure and thought I might take a moment to try to give back.
For those of you complaining of no-service altogether or dropping calls, this would be very likely a tower/phone hardware issue and not so much LTE/XLTE..Because as stated above voice still goes over 1x for us (which you can also see raw 1x strength in LTE Discovery btw)
On a lighter note, I'm guessing there's no timeline for the Note 3 getting VoLTE?
I noticed this issue you speak of with the roll out of VoLTE. I dropped calls and missed call left and right. Disabled that feature and seems good now. As far as XLTE, you make sense. Since that roll out here my speeds have been very slow, but I cannot seem to fall back on Band 13 very much. I am 2 blocks away from a strong band 4 signal and it's a fight with this phone.
Agreed. When band 4 is strong, it's faster than any smartphone really needs tbh. I work in a building with a VZW tower on the roof. I get four bars inside and the speed tests are incredible 85mb/s down. For reference my home comcast internet is 50. This is where I bet VoLTE will shine. I tried VoLTE on my wifes phone and it's wonderful..when LTE is strong. Get too far away and it drops, doesn't seem to fall back to 13 on phone calls. She's turned it off entirely.
At home, with a weak band 4 signal, latency stays normal but I get more like 15mb/s down. Switch to 13 in the same area and it's around 30 down. If they want VoLTE to succeed, unless they're planning to have us only use it near towers/outdoors, band selection needs to be much better.
And I don't see this happening as the average Joe would probably abuse it, but a switch to turn XLTE off & on would be nice. Or perhaps user-adjustable thresholds. Every other phone I've had (admittedly not VZW) would at the very least allow me to force 3g or set preferred networks. If VZW didn't have such an amazing network I'd be gone. The way they lock these phones down is incredible.
When 4G first came here I had a phone that allowed 3G only, in fact this G2 is the first I have had that locks you onto 4G only, that is if it is available. They def need to allow switching as really, LTE vs XLTE is basically the same as 3G vs 4G when you are on a fringe signal area.