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Thread: iPhone 5/NYC Signal Reliability

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    iPhone 5/NYC Signal Reliability

    I'm on a SCNC North America plan - which works well for me, since I'm Canadian. Using an iPhone 5 (with AWS bands) from there, which I'm going to replace with the new iPhone when it comes out. There have been enough places that I've come across in NYC where my signal falls to E, or disappears totally. I know that T-Mobile isn't great in rural areas, but was hoping it'd be a little more solid in the city. Then a friend of mine had (so she said) signal on T-Mobile in at least one of the places where I didn't - she has an iPhone 6 (also from Canada). (I didn't grab her phone to check her signal, since that would have been a bit odd.)

    So my question is - why would this be happening? Does the iPhone 6 have some crucial T-Mobile band that the iPhone 5 doesn't? Is there some reason this would be happening (and therefore I'll stay with T-Mobile and just get the new phone when it comes out), or am I just not getting signal in those places (in which case I'll likely switch to ATT or Cricket)?


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    Quote Originally Posted by reveries3 View Post
    I'm on a SCNC North America plan - which works well for me, since I'm Canadian. Using an iPhone 5 (with AWS bands) from there, which I'm going to replace with the new iPhone when it comes out. There have been enough places that I've come across in NYC where my signal falls to E, or disappears totally. I know that T-Mobile isn't great in rural areas, but was hoping it'd be a little more solid in the city. Then a friend of mine had (so she said) signal on T-Mobile in at least one of the places where I didn't - she has an iPhone 6 (also from Canada). (I didn't grab her phone to check her signal, since that would have been a bit odd.)

    So my question is - why would this be happening? Does the iPhone 6 have some crucial T-Mobile band that the iPhone 5 doesn't? Is there some reason this would be happening (and therefore I'll stay with T-Mobile and just get the new phone when it comes out), or am I just not getting signal in those places (in which case I'll likely switch to ATT or Cricket)?


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    iPhones have weak radios, but the 6 has a stronger radio than the 5. All current iPhones are missing T-Mobile's band 12, which provides bettet service in doors. It is currently being deployed in NYC rapidly. The next iPhone should have band 12. I'd wait for that iPhone. Or you could switch to AT&T GoPhone, their $60 plan with 4GB includes data, talk, and text roaming for Mexico and Canada for free starting at the end of next week.

    Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk

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    On T-Mobile the iPhone 6 also supports VoLTE and the iPhone 5 doesn't.

    Make calls using Voice over LTE (VoLTE) on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

    On the Apple link it said "To make this type of call, both phones need to support VoLTE." I don't think that is a requirement on T-Mobile but then again all my experiences with VoLTE calls are to friends that have Android phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicothetechguy View Post
    iPhones have weak radios, but the 6 has a stronger radio than the 5. All current iPhones are missing T-Mobile's band 12, which provides bettet service in doors. It is currently being deployed in NYC rapidly. The next iPhone should have band 12. I'd wait for that iPhone. Or you could switch to AT&T GoPhone, their $60 plan with 4GB includes data, talk, and text roaming for Mexico and Canada for free starting at the end of next week.

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    I somehow hadn't heard about the changes to GoPhone, that's awesome! Very tempted to go with them, now. (Unless I decide to try my luck at getting ATT Next/Jump on T-Mobile, with my nascent U.S. credit.)


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    Quote Originally Posted by reveries3 View Post
    I somehow hadn't heard about the changes to GoPhone, that's awesome! Very tempted to go with them, now. (Unless I decide to try my luck at getting ATT Next/Jump on T-Mobile, with my nascent U.S. credit.)


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    If your getting the new iPhone get it unlocked from an Apple Store and just try T-Mobile's band 12. If it doesn't work out go with AT&T GoPhone. I heard AT&T is slow in NYC. T-Mobile is very dense there, so with band 12 you should get great service in doors and out.

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    iPhone 5/NYC Signal Reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by nicothetechguy View Post
    iPhones have weak radios

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    I don't understand why everyone says that. I just looked over some FCC docs for the new Note 5 then compared to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 has much better numbers for RF performance then the Note 5 by comparison, and the iP6 falls into the good category itself. The 5 and the 4S were good too. The Note 5, going through the numbers looks to be awful.

    As for real life use, I use an iP6 and don't have any problems I wouldn't have with any other phone.


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    Quote Originally Posted by nicothetechguy View Post
    If your getting the new iPhone get it unlocked from an Apple Store and just try T-Mobile's band 12. If it doesn't work out go with AT&T GoPhone. I heard AT&T is slow in NYC. T-Mobile is very dense there, so with band 12 you should get great service in doors and out.

    Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk
    Probably a good idea. I'm close to finishing my first month of usage and I got the 3 GB high speed usage plan (taking a risk, since I usually went over 6 GB in Canada, but I knew a lot of that was music streaming). Just checked my non music freedom usage - 75 mb!!! [EDIT - Oops, not actually. Wonky usage report on My T-Mobile.] So (as much as I feel like it's iffy for net neutrality purposes), if I can stay on T-Mobile, great.


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    Last edited by reveries3; 08-21-2015 at 02:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reveries3 View Post
    Probably a good idea. I'm close to finishing my first month of usage and I got the 3 GB high speed usage plan (taking a risk, since I usually went over 6 GB in Canada, but I knew a lot of that was music streaming). Just checked my non music freedom usage - 75 mb!!! So (as much as I feel like it's iffy for net neutrality purposes), if I can stay on T-Mobile, great.


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    Cool, and if you need more data it is $10 for 5GB total and another $10 gets you Unlimited on device data and 7GB of tethering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GusHerb94 View Post
    I don't understand why everyone says that. I just looked over some FCC docs for the new Note 5 then compared to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 has much better numbers for RF performance then the Note 5 by comparison, and the iP6 falls into the good category itself. The 5 and the 4S were good too. The Note 5, going through the numbers looks to be awful.

    As for real life use, I use an iP6 and don't have any problems I wouldn't have with any other phone.


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    I can tell you by experience, the iPhone 6 Plus gives up too quickly while a S6 is perfectly connected and working fine. The iPhone is great on low band, but terrible on mid-band.

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    Wait a second. Didn't the OP say iPhone 5?

    Does that even have band 4 access? If it doesn't then the OP's experience will be poor overall as it will rely on PCS for LTE or HSPA connectivity which may be limited? I could be wrong here but at least the iPhone 6 has access to Band 4 LTE/HSPA.

    I use the iPhone 6 here in San Francisco and the coverage, density of the network and LTE data speeds are excellent in most areas even on mid band 4. Even inside buildings.

    I even had 1 bar of LTE in the basement of the Opal Hotel the other day while visiting someone.

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    I use the iPhone 6 here in San Francisco and the coverage, density of the network and LTE data speeds are excellent in most areas even on mid band 4. Even inside buildings. The phone seamlessly connects to Wi-Fi networks for Wi-Fi calling too.

    I even had 1 bar of LTE in the basement of the Opal Hotel the other day while visiting someone.

    Even if Rootmetrics says otherwise I've noticed better speeds and RF with T-Mobile on my iPhone 6 then my colleague who uses the same phone on Verizon Wireless here in the city. The LTE network is incredibly dense here. Can't wait to see what Band 12 and small cells do to enhance this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adonis View Post
    Wait a second. Didn't the OP say iPhone 5?

    Does that even have band 4 access? If it doesn't then the OP's experience will be poor overall as it will rely on PCS for LTE or HSPA connectivity which may be limited? I could be wrong here but at least the iPhone 6 has access to Band 4 LTE/HSPA.

    I use the iPhone 6 here in San Francisco and the coverage, density of the network and LTE data speeds are excellent in most areas even on mid band 4. Even inside buildings.

    I even had 1 bar of LTE in the basement of the Opal Hotel the other day while visiting someone.
    If it's the GSM version (a1428) it does support Band 4 and 2. In NYC the signal should be fine on the street. Buildings and subways are hit or miss. There's also congestion to deal with when in crowded areas.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpmanj2395 View Post
    I can tell you by experience, the iPhone 6 Plus gives up too quickly while a S6 is perfectly connected and working fine. The iPhone is great on low band, but terrible on mid-band.
    I just don't believe that. I've used Samsung devices, I've watched what's actually going on in the engineering screens and the latest one I've played with is a T-Mo Note 4 and there was a major discrepancy between what the engineering screens showed and what the signal bars were showing. I kid you not it was literally showing 3-4 bars while the signal was consistently -118 to -123 dbm. An iPhone would hang onto that just fine but only show 1 dot.
    Another thing I've noticed with Samsung devices is that they'll be searching for service all the while showing multiple bars of LTE or whatever.

    Knowing these things, a Samsung device is a bad device to compare to IMO.




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    I'm still using a TMO iPhone 5, not the 5S or 5C. Waiting on a Band 12 iPhone someday...

    Anyway, my Wife and son have TMO iPhones 6+ & 6 respectively, while they don't seem to get more bars/dots of signal compared side to side, they do hang onto usable LTE better in fringe areas where the 5 will drop to E.



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    Quote Originally Posted by GusHerb94 View Post
    I don't understand why everyone says that. I just looked over some FCC docs for the new Note 5 then compared to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 has much better numbers for RF performance then the Note 5 by comparison, and the iP6 falls into the good category itself. The 5 and the 4S were good too. The Note 5, going through the numbers looks to be awful.

    As for real life use, I use an iP6 and don't have any problems I wouldn't have with any other phone.


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    From personal experience. My S6 will hold on to band 4 in doors just fine while my brother's iPhone 6 just gives up and goes to band 2 HSPA +. The iPhone just doesn't handle midband well. It handles low band very well, but I can't compare it's band 12 signal strength measured in RSRP since it doesn't have band 12.

    Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk

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