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Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
PeteBoston
Novice

I have had my (2) iPhone 5s since the launch date. I was really excited to wake up at 2:50AM pre-order day and be one of the first to order two of what I was certain was going to be one of the best phones ever made on the "best" LTE network. I waited like a puppy dog for Fedex to deliver my phones, checking the tracking # constantly for a status update. I was in full Apple/VZW fan-boy mode, having had every Apple iPhone model and having been in full VZW is-the-best cheerleading / recruit mode for 10-15 years, I was convinced no other phone / network could compete with the greatness of the iPhone 5 on VZW. Now I will admit it, I couldn't have been more wrong.

After 2 months of just horrific signal strength and LTE service, phone and SIM swaps and praying each release and pre-release of iOS would make my VZW signal strength usable in Eastern Massachusetts, I have asked VZW to take my phone back. Case after case, I have been told that pretty much every location on the strong LTE-service map is actually a low signal strength area and combined with the inability for the iPhone 5 to hold a signal, the phone is locked to 3G more often than LTE, and locks to 1X "o" in many areas where my old iPhone 4 and current iPhone 4S are capable of locking a strong 3G signal. In summary, it's great as an iPod touch, but not so useful as an iPhone in MA & NYC.

Assuming VZW will let me put an end to my misery, I will miss my iPhone 5, but I will not miss the past two months with this combination.  As surprisingly bad as the VZW network has been out here, I know that the iPhone 5's poor signal strength and horrific switching back to LTE from 1X and EVDO/3G share some of the blame as well. I am hopefully optimistic that the VZW LTE network will eventually get better, I am not so optimistic that the problems with the iPhone 5 are fixable without new hardware.

Goodbye iPhone 5, you will be missed (assuming VZW is willing to help a desperate customer).  You were a very nice looking iPod touch and I enjoyed using your Apps, but alas, reliable phone calls and network data must rule the air.

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Re: Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

PeteBoston, I also love the iPhone 5 and I have been a fan for many years. I don't want you to stop having hope for this device because it works great and I know it will get better for you in the future. Let's take a closer look at your issue so we can find a resolution for you. I see you have advised of speaking with us on multiple occasions about the issues you were having but have we file a trouble-ticket yet. Our trouble-tickets are meant to take a detailed look at the area, towers, and phone to determine what the issue is and how we can fix it. Please keep me posted. If a trouble-ticket has been filed, please provide information on the status. If not, that would be our next step.

KinquanaH_VZW

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Re: Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
PeteBoston
Novice

Thanks for the reply. I wish there were something you could do to help, but I have already escalated my concerns as high up as they go at VZW (Exec Escalation team) and have been told that I need to contact Apple to troubleshoot problems with the phone's marginal coverage data problems (I have a ticket open which hasn't solved anything) and every ticket I have opened on a tower has come back stating that coverage is marginal and there is nothing that can be done for me. I have tried to open additional tower tickets for marginal coverage locations and have been asked to no longer do so because although I am finding marginal coverage all over the place, they only want tickets opened if I am going to be at that same location for more than 2 days and there are few locations other than home or work where I can ever be at the same location for 2 or more days.  Let me know if you have any additional thoughts, but I don't think there's much you can do to help unless you are capable of fixing all of the LTE coverage gaps throughout Metro Boston.

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Re: Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
RBDoesIt
Member

Hi,

I am having the same issue.  I switched from T-Mobile to Verizon and got the iPhone 5 a few months ago.  I live and work in downtown Boston and my service is terrible.  LTE coverage is very poor and even when I do have LTE coverage, the speeds are more like 3G.  The signal on my iPhone 5 drops randomly, sometimes it will go a whole day without locking into LTE.  I live and work within a 1-mile radius and this happens at both locations.  With today's announcement that T-Mobile is finally getting the iPhone, I am starting to regret switching.

Admittedly, I did not call VZ customer service about this issue as I think the problem is simply with the network.  It is either over-crowded or something is wrong with the towers.  I understand having this issue in a suburban area but there is just no excuse for this in downtown of a major city.

Would certainly appreciate any help someone could provide.

Thanks!

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Re: Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
PeteBoston
Novice

I wish I had good news for you, but I have used my iPhone 5 since the launch date (and now other VZW LTE phones)  throughout Metro Boston (Primarily North of Boston) and Boston/Cambridge/Somerville and while there are certain areas with strong coverage which appear to be right near towers, I find myself on 3G, 1X or slow LTE significantly more often than a good LTE connection in the significantly majority of locations. 

While the iPhone 5 is by far the worst phone in the marginal coverage areas because it sometimes locks solid on to 1X and never wants to come back / pass data until you either place a phone call or switch airplane mode on/off, the LTE gaps on the VZW network in Metro Boston are crazy and *this* is not the fault of the iPhone 5. If I hadn't had an experience with another major LTE carrier that I also carry around in my pocket at all times, I would think that LTE technology is just immature, but the VZW network is really letting me down. It's not even comparable to this other carrier in terms of how often my phone is on LTE and when it is on LTE, what the speeds are.

I have escalated as high up as it goes at VZW and at this point they're basically sick of hearing from me. I tried to get them to take back my iPhone 5, but since I'm beyond the 14 day return period, they weren't willing to do so in any manner that made financial sense.  As I pointed out, they really don't even want to hear my reports because I can't sit at every poor location they have for 2 days and they can't answer any questions on if/when this unacceptable network performance will get fixed because telling me this is proprietary information.

I promise that none of us are imagining this as Root Metrics just completed an evaluation of VZW LTE vs. the competition in Metro Boston and Consumer Report just published an article (which was not Boston specific, but covered user satisfaction and performance of the LTE networks). Both of these confirm the poor experience that I have every day with the VZW LTE network and my iPhone 5.

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Re: Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
PeteBoston
Novice

Took a trip to the Museum of Science (1 Science Park Cambridge, MA) yesterday.

VZW - 1.5Mb/s

Other Carrier - 30Mb/s+

I did not report this to VZW since I cannot stay at this location for two days.

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Re: Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
Yujin
Member

Peter i feel your pain. I live in NYC and 3G was horrible (1/4 of what i used to get on ATT like .36 MB ...yeah that is a period before the 3), I let it slide since i was waiting for the iphone 5 LTE. Now, I have an iphone 5 LTE and the speed in NYC is bad...always switching to 3g/edge and now staying 3 days on 3g (and counting) even inside the verizon store. This is my second iphone 5 (replaced by apple), second SIM card and still having issues. The phone was set as a new device and still keeps giving very low speeds and staying on 3G.

During thanksgiving, i went to Atlanta and stayed 5 days. the speeds were great 20MB down, 21MB up and never switched to 3g. after testing and speaking with verizon multiple times, they keep saying the same message about within marginal error, i have contacted them 4 times so far, the first they told me they will call and let me know, but never did, second they send me a text message with the marginal error, the 3rd, they changed the SIM, the 4th i was asked to (once again) reset and set phone as a new device. AT this point, based on comments from iphone 5 owners and android  phone owners i am pretty sure the issue is the "Network" this doesnt happen to my friends on ATT, they get great speeds, even their phone calls dont drop as much as mine (i dont have a signal at home). I hope verizon will man up and admit to its customer that their network just cant handle all LTE devices (there is a reason why, google release a nexus phone on 3g only) the technology is not mature enough, the network seems to be rushed to appeal to marketing exes and while att, has issues, i would like to switch back even if it means losing my unlimited data.

For those thinking of going to Verizon in NYC (and outter boroughs). their Data network is bad...sprint 3g is actually faster avoid at all cost. 

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Re: Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
rico567
Member

It cannot be reinforced often enough: never, NEVER buy a cell phone based on hype. If you want to think your cell phone will have blazing speeds based on a hot girl riding a motorcycle or a helicopter while everything turns pink, well, it's a free country.

The research needs to be done on where you live and where you will be making most calls from: then you buy a phone (maybe an iPhone, maybe not) from the provider that's going to provide the best service / speeds.

I studied the maps and read a lot of reviews. Based on those, in our area it's pretty much Verizon, with ATT a distant second, others nonexistent. And unless you're in an urban area, 4G LTE is right out. Out where we live, it's 3G and that's that....and I knew that at the outset. So- I got iPhone 5s on Verizon.

And my speculation is that no matter which provider you get, speeds will vary. If you want full LTE speed all the time, pitch your tent under the appropriate cell tower and live there.

Re: Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
Keitarou
Novice

Hi Peteboston,

After fighting for a usable data service in NYC (Downtown), Verizon finally admitted that they couldn't offer good coverage for me and let me off without paying the ETF. Now I am with Sprint because they have 3 towers within a block or two from where I am and have great 3G signal. Slowly they are putting up LTE so i'm patiently waiting having to use their awful 3G. Keep calling them and make them admit that they can't give you coverage. If they don't make it right(let you off without etf or bring LTE to more towers) then I suggest you contact the BBB and FCC and whoever and get them to do something.

Some will say the BBB is a joke and won't do anything but at least you will get a call from someone from Verizon trying to help you more then tech support can on the phone.

Good luck...

iPhone 5 on Sprint is great. just my 2 cents.

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Re: Tales from a defeated iPhone 5 LTE customer
ikoiko
Member

Several of you keep referring to your iPhone as iPhone 5s. Since this model has not been introduced yet perhaps that is your problem.

Actually, I have resisted moving from my 4s to the 5 for the very reasons you all describe regarding poor signal strength. In addition, I have had a network extender at home for several years because I can't get adequate voice coverage. Just crazy. Compounded by poor data speeds. So, as GSM networks continue to improve, and Verizon continues to charge a premium for service based upon best in class service coverage, VZW customers will depart to other providers.

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