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Weak signal strength readings on iPhone 5 compared with 4s?
vreihen
Member

My new personal iPhone 5 came in Friday.  I live in an LTE area.  I am also the lucky bearer of the emergency on-call iPhone 4s from work this weekend, which is also on Verizon.  Neither phone is in a case.  Wherever I am in the house, the signal strength on the iPhone 5 reads around -108dB, whereas putting the iPhone 4s in the same exact location shows that it is averaging -85dB.  This is a little bit more than "what's a couple of dB between friends" in my books.

Technical mumbo jumbo aside, I was wondering if anyone who has used both the 4/4s and 5 in the same locations has noticed any problems with call quality or data throughput with their new iPhone 5?  It seems to work for me despite the low readings, but I am curious if anyone has discovered places where their new 5 can't make phone calls where their 4/4s would?

My first thought was to try updating the PRL table in the new phone, but from posts on here it appears that Verizon doesn't use the old *228 trick any more with LTE devices.  Is there a way to force an update buried somewhere in the settings menus that I missed?????

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Re: Weak signal strength readings on iPhone 5 compared with 4s?
Ann154
Expert
Expert

The iPhone 5 might be registering the LTE network at -108 dBm level. Where the iPhone 4S is likely seeing the CDMA 1xRTT voice network level of -85 dBm.

The two network types can have different strength readings on the Android phones.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

Re: Weak signal strength readings on iPhone 5 compared with 4s?
vreihen
Member

Good catch!  I disabled LTE on the iPhone 5, and the reported signal strength shot up to -92.  Guess it helps to be comparing apples to apples (no pun intended).  Thank you for helping me figure this out.....

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Re: Weak signal strength readings on iPhone 5 compared with 4s?
PeteBoston
Novice

Agreed. LTE reading will usually be "RSRP" while 3G will be "RSSI". RSRP reading should on average be 20-23 dBm lower than RSSI.  WIth that said, -108dBm is a pretty poor LTE signal (not much different than I get at home in a "strong VZW LTE area", which actually means my iPhone 5 spends more time locked on 3G here than actually on LTE. Out of curiosity, what type of speedtest.net performance results do you see with -108dBm. My experience is that your transfer rates will be very low with this signal strength on the iPhone 5.

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Re: Weak signal strength readings on iPhone 5 compared with 4s?
vreihen
Member

At -109 dBm this afternoon, I pulled 14.00 Mbps down and 0.92 Mbps up over LTE.  I'm not in an urban area, and the nearest tower is about 3 miles away with lots of leafy trees between us.  I'm getting better throughput over LTE than I am through my cable modem with a wired link, so I'm not concerned with the signal strength reading.....

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Re: Weak signal strength readings on iPhone 5 compared with 4s?
Ann154
Expert
Expert

PeteBoston wrote:

Agreed. LTE reading will usually be "RSRP" while 3G will be "RSSI". RSRP reading should on average be 20-23 dBm lower than RSSI.  WIth that said, -108dBm is a pretty poor LTE signal (not much different than I get at home in a "strong VZW LTE area", which actually means my iPhone 5 spends more time locked on 3G here than actually on LTE. Out of curiosity, what type of speedtest.net performance results do you see with -108dBm. My experience is that your transfer rates will be very low with this signal strength on the iPhone 5.

I was getting at a minimum 5600 kbps down and 3000 kbps up  and ping rate of 126 ms with a -108 dBm 32 asu.  I can still get a stable LTE connection at -111 dBm 29 asu LTE although it is much slower.  I could post a picture of a screenshot, but i don't feel like uploading it from my phone right now.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Weak signal strength readings on iPhone 5 compared with 4s?
RV3
Member

I am in the same situation, but when I turn off LTE I still see -110 to -109 where my iPhone 4 is pulling -80 -85 signal.

I also noticed that WiFi signal is lower at the same distance from the router.

Should I return the iPhone 5 to Apple as a defect?

Please advise.

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Re: Weak signal strength readings on iPhone 5 compared with 4s?
gingy18
Member

how do I change from the LTE ? having problems also in the house. was perfect with the 4s.

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