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Thread: Does Telus have different signal bar meanings on iOS?

  1. #1
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    Does Telus have different signal bar meanings on iOS?

    I recently switched from Rogers and was wondering why signal seems so much weaker everywhere. With Rogers I had 4 bars 5G literally most places I go.

    I finally got the dBm readings to show up in field test mode on my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Results are puzzling as it is only showing 3 bars for -101dBm — with Rogers I had something like -97dBm and was 4 bars in my same room.
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    As I’ve said, on Rogers I got 4 bars most places I go. On Telus I literally can’t get anywhere close to 4 bars unless less than 100m from a cell tower.

    Is it possible that Rogers and Telus have different dBm levels corresponding to signal bars on iOS? Since I couldn’t access dBm readings during the time I had Rogers 5G, I cannot make a fair comparison I think. I do know ios has certain carrier settings embedded but cannot tell if the signal bar strengths are chosen by Apple or carriers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamhacked View Post
    I recently switched from Rogers and was wondering why signal seems so much weaker everywhere. With Rogers I had 4 bars 5G literally most places I go.

    I finally got the dBm readings to show up in field test mode on my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Results are puzzling as it is only showing 3 bars for -101dBm — with Rogers I had something like -97dBm and was 4 bars in my same room.
    Name:  BDA24D85-0971-438A-B1D7-E23E17C68E14.jpg
Views: 101
Size:  22.2 KB

    As I’ve said, on Rogers I got 4 bars most places I go. On Telus I literally can’t get anywhere close to 4 bars unless less than 100m from a cell tower.

    Is it possible that Rogers and Telus have different dBm levels corresponding to signal bars on iOS? Since I couldn’t access dBm readings during the time I had Rogers 5G, I cannot make a fair comparison I think. I do know ios has certain carrier settings embedded but cannot tell if the signal bar strengths are chosen by Apple or carriers.
    Doubt it. I know iOS changed their signal bar strength to be more realistic a while back... Bell / Telus do have an issue with too low transmit power and it's very annoying that they do that.

    My friend has an iPhone 10 and even here in Kingston, Ontario he has poor reception just inside the house with just 1 bar. So poor it's often voice gaps. Yes, voice gaps, in Kingston, on Bell with no less than 24 towers here.

    I'm on Rogers and get 4 bars most of the time with much fewer towers.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Class View Post
    Doubt it. I know iOS changed their signal bar strength to be more realistic a while back... Bell / Telus do have an issue with too low transmit power and it's very annoying that they do that.

    My friend has an iPhone 10 and even here in Kingston, Ontario he has poor reception just inside the house with just 1 bar. So poor it's often voice gaps. Yes, voice gaps, in Kingston, on Bell with no less than 24 towers here.

    I'm on Rogers and get 4 bars most of the time with much fewer towers.
    Oh yeah, I’ve noticed Bell/Telus towers have 2-3x less transmit power compared to Freedom or Rogers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamhacked View Post
    Oh yeah, I’ve noticed Bell/Telus towers have 2-3x less transmit power compared to Freedom or Rogers.
    I guess they do it in an attempt to avoid overlap between towers, but sheesh it's taken to the extreme and effects voice quality too.

  5. #5
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    Does Telus have different signal bar meanings on iOS?

    Quote Originally Posted by iamhacked View Post
    I recently switched from Rogers and was wondering why signal seems so much weaker everywhere. With Rogers I had 4 bars 5G literally most places I go.

    I finally got the dBm readings to show up in field test mode on my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Results are puzzling as it is only showing 3 bars for -101dBm — with Rogers I had something like -97dBm and was 4 bars in my same room.
    Name:  BDA24D85-0971-438A-B1D7-E23E17C68E14.jpg
Views: 101
Size:  22.2 KB

    As I’ve said, on Rogers I got 4 bars most places I go. On Telus I literally can’t get anywhere close to 4 bars unless less than 100m from a cell tower.

    Is it possible that Rogers and Telus have different dBm levels corresponding to signal bars on iOS? Since I couldn’t access dBm readings during the time I had Rogers 5G, I cannot make a fair comparison I think. I do know ios has certain carrier settings embedded but cannot tell if the signal bar strengths are chosen by Apple or carriers.
    I always had terrible signal when I was with Telus and was very grateful for (and reliant on) Wi-Fi Calling Now that I’m with Rogers, I literally have full signal pretty much everywhere I go!


    Sent from my iPhone 12 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Does Telus have different signal bar meanings on iOS?

    While Bell/Telus do generally have more cell sites than Rogers, a few things to mention:

    1. Take a closer look at those Bell/Telus sites on a cell tower map and you’ll see that quite a few of them are small cells. Those have significantly lower transmit power and are mounted much lower in height. Their coverage radius is also very small.

    2. Rogers has different band prioritization than Bell/Telus. I find that Rogers switches to lower bands (which have better signal penetration and coverage than higher bands) more often than Bell/Telus. Bell/Telus seem to prefer higher bands more often than Rogers.

    3. Rogers has been aggressively upgrading their network over the last few years - adding more sites, upgrading antennas, radios, etc.

    All of the above could contribute to Bell/Telus signal appearing lower than Rogers, but remember that the number of “bars” generally doesn’t matter. What matters is the experience and performance. You may have 1 “bar” of signal on Bell/Telus but could have a better experience and better performance than 4 “bars” with Rogers. That 1 bar could be cleaner with better SNR etc. than the 4 bars. And as always, YMMV…every area is different and every carrier has good and bad spots for coverage.




    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    Quote Originally Posted by toolcube View Post
    While Bell/Telus do generally have more cell sites than Rogers, a few things to mention:
    2. Rogers has different band prioritization than Bell/Telus. I find that Rogers switches to lower bands (which have better signal penetration and coverage than higher bands) more often than Bell/Telus. Bell/Telus seem to prefer higher bands more often than Rogers.

    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    Yes on this to a fault... Even in downtown Toronto I'll run a speed test and still be on Band 12 when other high bands are available.

  8. #8
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    I guess the one good thing about that is the fact that Rogers has one 10MHz wide B12 channel. Bell and Telus only have 5MHz of B17 and would need to aggregate with the 5MHz of B29 to achieve the same result. I’ve never seen my Telus device aggregate those two bands. In fact, I still have the problem of Telus (and presumably Bell too) not being able to smoothly transition from high band LTE to B17. I often lose LTE altogether when high band LTE becomes weak enough, dropping my device to 3G before it regains LTE on a lower band. It’s frustrating to say the least and is something that never happens with Rogers.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by toolcube View Post
    While Bell/Telus do generally have more cell sites than Rogers, a few things to mention:
    2. Rogers has different band prioritization than Bell/Telus. I find that Rogers switches to lower bands (which have better signal penetration and coverage than higher bands) more often than Bell/Telus. Bell/Telus seem to prefer higher bands more often than Rogers.

    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    I have an annoying thing with Telus 5G. Some towers I literally can’t get it to connect it to any band other than band 13, by turning airplane mode on and off.

    Since I have an iPhone I can’t force it anyway. It usually connects to band 2 or 4 next and band 66 is very rare.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    That's because iPhone12's only 5G combo for Telus uses LTE B13 as the anchor band. The network will steer 5G phones to the best anchor band available.
    Want to learn more about how LTE works?
    https://productioncommunity.publicmo...ls/td-p/130581

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