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Thread: Recent Service Issues - iPhone Xr & 11 Pro

  1. #1
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    Recent Service Issues - iPhone Xr & 11 Pro

    My wife and I have had less than stellar experiences lately. Examples:

    1. We drove from Durham, NC to Maine in September. Usually, she can use her mobile hotspot to work in the car as long as we are on Interstates, but her VPN would constantly drop and reconnect. Switching to my hotspot did not provide any better results. Putting our phones in airplane mode for a short while or rebooting them did give her ~15-20 minutes of pretty good service, but then it would start messing up again. This was consistent through NC, VA, DC, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, MA, NH, and ME.

    2. Generally slow data speeds sitting outside at a restaurant in Chapel Hill with full "5Ge" signal (according to the iPhone signal indicator) where we've never had issues before. Again, airplane mode for a short time temporarily fixes the problem, but then it slows down again.

    3. Signal disappearing in places we used to have service. Driving through more rural parts of NC & SC, like along US 1 between Cary and Aberdeen, US 501 between Aberdeen and Rowland, SC 38 & 41 between Marion, Hemingway, and Georgetown. There were always a few small areas with no or low signal, but now there are more of them, and the gaps seem bigger between what I would call decent service with usable data speeds.

    We are nowhere near our data allowances, so I don't think we are getting throttled because of that, and this is happening in places that I wouldn't expect to be particularly congested as well as those that I would. Speed tests (when I think to run them) reflect the difference before and after. Sometimes they won't complete until I restart the phone/switch in/out of airplane mode.

    Is this a result of the 5G rollout? Would getting 5G phones improve our experience in these areas? I assumed 5G would be more useful in cities rather than along highways and on back roads, and I thought LTE phone were supposed to work fine along side 5G devices. Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

  2. #2
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    Did either of you try Reset Network Settings? Sometimes random errors creep into the cellular software/firmware that are resolved by doing that.

    As for upgrading to 5G devices: I would recommend it even if you don’t use 5G because the latest phones ALSO have better LTE performance. The latest iPhones and Android devices can perform 7x LTE downlink carrier aggregation and 3x LTE uplink aggregation, and they have better RF performance than previous models; also, the iPhone Xr only has 2x2 MIMO, whereas all the iPhone 13 models have 4x4 MIMO — higher order MIMO improves reliability and often doubles data speeds.

    Besides, AT&T is activating their C-Band 5G network within the next few months, at which point you WILL see a huge difference from 5G even when not in range of an AT&T mmWave node.

  3. #3
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    My experiences lately have been the opposite. The newer hardware at the cell sites has improved signal and performance. FYI i use a Note20 Ultra.

    You should try a network reset like @VVivian and also log into myATT and reset your network settings through there to do a full network reprogram on your lines.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    I have done the network resets as recommended, so we'll see if that helps. If not, I'll probably upgrade my wife to an iPhone 13 to get the better RF performance. My experience is not as bad as hers. Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. #5
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    The only experience I’ve had that was less than stellar was picking up 5G near the Virginia border that was unusable.
    I just switched from T-Mobile back to AT&T (Cricket), and I’ve been happy so far in the Greensboro and Rockingham county area using a 13 Pro. I haven’t done any extensive traveling yet, but I haven’t seen any connection issues. I regularly see 100+ Mbps on LTE. I have to say I missed the AT&T network.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim-of-NC View Post
    The only experience I’ve had that was less than stellar was picking up 5G near the Virginia border that was unusable.
    I just switched from T-Mobile back to AT&T (Cricket), and I’ve been happy so far in the Greensboro and Rockingham county area using a 13 Pro. I haven’t done any extensive traveling yet, but I haven’t seen any connection issues. I regularly see 100+ Mbps on LTE. I have to say I missed the AT&T network.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    Yeah, we've always had the best luck with AT&T in NC which is why this has been puzzling. My wife reported problems again yesterday after the network settings reset. We discussed it, and we think it is worth trying to upgrade her to the 13.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCTed View Post
    Yeah, we've always had the best luck with AT&T in NC which is why this has been puzzling. My wife reported problems again yesterday after the network settings reset. We discussed it, and we think it is worth trying to upgrade her to the 13.
    You can also try calling tech support and tell them that both of your lines are having connectivity issues. Stress that it's both phones and not just one. See if they can check network issues in the area.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeybutts View Post
    You can also try calling tech support and tell them that both of your lines are having connectivity issues. Stress that it's both phones and not just one. See if they can check network issues in the area.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    That's just the thing, it hasn't been limited to NC or even SC, we went all the way up the eastern seaboard, and we had problems the whole way. I assumed it was because of the changes they are making to their network, but no one else seems to be having these problems. We both got the text messages to reboot our phones if we have data slowness problems, so clearly they are doing work.

    We've decided to try upgrading her to the 13 and see what happens. Her Xr is noticeably slower than my 11 Pro. The upgrade to iOS 15.0.2 took about twice as long for her phone, for instance. She relies heavily on her phone for work, especially as she is working from home almost full time now, so it is worth it to her to have something better.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCTed View Post
    That's just the thing, it hasn't been limited to NC or even SC, we went all the way up the eastern seaboard, and we had problems the whole way. I assumed it was because of the changes they are making to their network, but no one else seems to be having these problems. We both got the text messages to reboot our phones if we have data slowness problems, so clearly they are doing work.

    We've decided to try upgrading her to the 13 and see what happens. Her Xr is noticeably slower than my 11 Pro. The upgrade to iOS 15.0.2 took about twice as long for her phone, for instance. She relies heavily on her phone for work, especially as she is working from home almost full time now, so it is worth it to her to have something better.
    Interested to see your results. Hopefully resolved.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeybutts View Post
    Interested to see your results. Hopefully resolved.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    Her iPhone 13 will be here next week. Apparently the blue ones are in high demand, so we couldn't get one locally, except the higher capacity ones. I probably won't be able to swap her out until the next weekend since it would be disruptive to her work. But, hopefully we'll have some results by mid-November.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCTed View Post
    Her iPhone 13 will be here next week. Apparently the blue ones are in high demand, so we couldn't get one locally, except the higher capacity ones. I probably won't be able to swap her out until the next weekend since it would be disruptive to her work. But, hopefully we'll have some results by mid-November.
    I know it’s not mid November but curious if there’s any updates to the saga?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebiLee View Post
    I know it’s not mid November but curious if there’s any updates to the saga?
    Thanks for your interest.

    The current state is my wife has her new iPhone 13 as of November 1. In random driving while doing errands around the area, she has not yet experienced any of the previous issues she saw locally. We are planning to drive down to SC for Thanksgiving, so that will be the real test. I will say my 11 Pro did show more bars in places with LTE (not 5Ge) where her Xr lost signal when we drove down there Halloween weekend, so I am hopeful the new radio(s) in her 13 will improve things for her while traveling.

  13. #13
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    Update: The iPhone 13 has issues cutting out (loss of audio) intermittently on voice calls at our house where the Xr did not. My 11 Pro cuts out too, so now the behavior matches on both phones. Wi-Fi calling on the Xr exhibited what we called "robot voice," so we had that off on my wife's phone. I have enabled it on my wife's phone to see if it solves the cutting out problem.

  14. #14
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    Update: We figured out the cutting out issue was due to how my wife was placing the phone on her desk while using speaker during calls. She modified the placement, and that problem disappeared. We went to SC to visit family over Thanksgiving. We saw none of the problems we'd seen previously with AT&T's coverage/slow data on my wife's phone, so that was very promising.

    Also, after a number of friends recommended Visible, I added that service to my 11 Pro on the eSIM and made it primary for Data, and I tracked signal strength and ran speed tests periodically on the trip down. Visible showed better signal strength roughly 70% of the times I checked, but data speeds, especially uploads, were routinely much slower. Average Data speeds were 14.2/6.76 on AT&T and 10.3/0.18 on Visible. Ping times averaged 37ms on AT&T and 135ms on Visible. This was not a particularly scientific test as it was in a moving car, and I know Verizon deprioritizes Visible. That said, I was not in congested areas most of the time, so the service with "more bars" was also noticeably slower. On the trip back, I attempted to use Visible for Apple Maps navigation and Apple Music streaming. It was unable to keep the map updated and music streaming reliably as we drove the back roads home to avoid the traffic on the Interstates. We've never had that particular problem with AT&T along the same route, for whatever that is worth.

    Anyway, the short story is the iPhone 13 seems to have helped the the primary problem my wife was seeing (probably due to the 4x4 antenna?). AT&T may have also made a change to their network which fixed whatever we were seeing on both phones as the issues I was seeing on my 11 Pro are gone too.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCTed View Post
    Update: We figured out the cutting out issue was due to how my wife was placing the phone on her desk while using speaker during calls. She modified the placement, and that problem disappeared. We went to SC to visit family over Thanksgiving. We saw none of the problems we'd seen previously with AT&T's coverage/slow data on my wife's phone, so that was very promising.

    Also, after a number of friends recommended Visible, I added that service to my 11 Pro on the eSIM and made it primary for Data, and I tracked signal strength and ran speed tests periodically on the trip down. Visible showed better signal strength roughly 70% of the times I checked, but data speeds, especially uploads, were routinely much slower. Average Data speeds were 14.2/6.76 on AT&T and 10.3/0.18 on Visible. Ping times averaged 37ms on AT&T and 135ms on Visible. This was not a particularly scientific test as it was in a moving car, and I know Verizon deprioritizes Visible. That said, I was not in congested areas most of the time, so the service with "more bars" was also noticeably slower. On the trip back, I attempted to use Visible for Apple Maps navigation and Apple Music streaming. It was unable to keep the map updated and music streaming reliably as we drove the back roads home to avoid the traffic on the Interstates. We've never had that particular problem with AT&T along the same route, for whatever that is worth.

    Anyway, the short story is the iPhone 13 seems to have helped the the primary problem my wife was seeing (probably due to the 4x4 antenna?). AT&T may have also made a change to their network which fixed whatever we were seeing on both phones as the issues I was seeing on my 11 Pro are gone too.
    Iphone 13 uses the Qualcomm modem which performs much better than most of the recent iphone models which used the intel based modem. This has been consistent across multiple carriers where the intel modems have issues. I still use an iphone 6S as it has the qualcomm modem and haven’t had issues with my device though I am looking to upgrade once 14 models come out. Iphones are taking 2-3 weeks on an online order now for the pro and pro max and inventory is coming into Apple stores every day or two. In larger areas which have lots of Apple stores you likely will find one you want in stock in a few days for those still looking to buy but you may have to travel to a store in a different location than the closest Apple store. Carriers and retailers are hit and miss on inventory although Amazon seemed to have all the models in stock when I checked but they were all locked to Cricket on a higher priced plan. Cricket deprioritizes AT&T service from what I hear with lower speeds so for me personally Apple sells the only ones which come factory unlocked.

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