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Support Verizon LTE data issue - previously strong signal, now can't lock LTE

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by kwest12, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. kwest12

    kwest12 Android Enthusiast
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    THE TL;DR
    Verizon data in a specific area used to be solid, but now is practically nonexistent. I know it’s not gone entirely though, because I can maintain an LTE signal lock and use it if I exit the affected area, get an LTE signal lock, start the utorrent and begin downloading a [legal] torrent, and then re-enter the affected area. I’ve tested with friends, family and strangers over a series of devices - it’s not just me. Verizon says it’s heavy network usage which seems like BS. Please help.


    THE FULL VERSION

    THE PROBLEM
    About a month ago the Verizon data service in the area that I live/work went from solid to almost nonexistent. The affected area is maybe a 2 to 3 mile circle it seems. I’ve had friends, family, and even strangers verify that it isn’t just me - they’re experiencing the same thing (wide range of devices.) Essentially, I can no longer get LTE in this area, and the 3G and 1x are even spotty (and horribly slow.) Veeery occasionally I will be able to get LTE to lock, but it drops almost immediately. Calling and SMS do not seem to be affected. Outside of this affected area, LTE service in the area seems to be unchanged. I’ve opened multiple tickets with Verizon -- they essentially told me that the network in my particular area is overloaded and this can’t be resolved until they build a new tower that covers the area (obviously that’s not going to happen anytime soon.) Although this might seem plausible, I’ve lived and worked in this exact location for the past 3 years, and only once has something similar happened previously (and I’d know because I’m a power user who doesn’t use a computer, and who uses LTE for internet exclusively.) The previous occurrence was in February this year, and the issue disappeared after about a week.

    I do happen to live in a college town, so the network could be under some additional strain with the kids coming back, but I don’t believe admission is up appreciably from previous years, and I don’t know of any new living spaces that were built in the area that’s affected, so it seems that the network shouldn’t any more strained than it has been in previous years.


    THE UTORRENT TRICK
    If I move outside of the affected area and get an LTE signal lock, open utorrent, start downloading a torrent [legal only,] and then re-enter the affected area, the LTE lock will hold an I’ll be able to get the full LTE speeds almost as if the problem has been resolved. However, if I shut off utorrent, or if I toggle airplane mode while I’m in the affected area, the LTE signal lock is lost, and issue will persist (ie. I’ll only get 3G, 1x, or nothing at all.)


    QUESTIONS
    1. Can anyone explain what might be happening and why? Is it really that the network is under heavy load?
    2. Why won’t my phone even find LTE while I’m in the affected area? It’s clearly still available if I can keep an LTE lock using the utorrent trick.
    3. What causes the utorrent trick to work? It almost seems like the trick bypasses the network’s attempts to hide LTE from me in this particular area.
    4. I’m rooted. Is there any way that I can force my phone to find and lock the LTE in the affected area? The 3G and 1x are essential unusable.
    5. If I can’t force my phone to lock the LTE and stay on it, is there some other way to make my phone hold the signal once it has it *besides* using the utorrent trick?
    Any insight would be much appreciated.
     

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  2. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Android Expert
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    I can't answer any of your questions but am wondering if you live next door to me. For the past few days, maybe a week, I've had a hard time getting/keeping a good signal. Normally it's pretty strong and I never see 3G, but it's just dropped and been awful. I was at my sister's house the other night and got a great signal so it's certainly not my phone.

    I called Verizon this morning and was told:
    There's no issue
    Oh. There is an issue, it's been reported
    Let's open a ticket to report the issue
    There is a team on site investigating the issue
    Now that we have a lot of open tickets open we can escalate it so a team can be dispatched to investigate

    I got confused and thanked the nice man. I hope now that it's been escalated they can tell the people who are already on site to go ahead and get on site and have a look around instead of just eating their lunch at the site.
     
  3. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    Feb 3, 2011
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    As a telecommunications tech retired, the description of what the OP put up is exactly what the Verizon folks explained to you.

    the tower for that particular area is overloaded at times, and just cannot provide as much coverage at the speeds that are needed.

    all of our 3g and 4g stuff is Spread Spectrum technology and the data signals are jumping around over a narrow bandwidth to provide a connection to more than one phone at a time, from the same repeater.

    Liken it to a WiFi router, that can only provide a dozen or so channels, but only one channel at a time. In order to allow more connections, it has to use Spread Spectrum to let more than one device connect and share the bandwidth....

    we have more people buying smartphones now than ever before, and it even makes me wonder how the technology can keep up.....

    My bet is, there will be a new tower going up to help out there pretty soon... even if it is just a portable tower on wheels, it will be there to share the load.
     

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