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HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

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Journeyman

HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

I am not sure if others have seen this or not but originally I thought it was just in my area Raleigh/Durham (New LTE coming on line) since new towers were going up.  I would get 4G it would be strong and then the next day no 4G there.  Same thing again and again in that area.  Then I went to a more mature market which already had 4G up for a while and same issue.  As I observed it closer I saw that it would randomly switch from 4G to 3G even though I had really good signal.  Has anyone else seen this?  What I really want and expect is that if there is 4G available and it's good then don't go to 3G unless i loose it all together. 

Anyone have advise on how to address this?

Thanks

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24 REPLIES 24
Master

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

The signal bars do not represent data coverage. They ONLY show you voice coverage.

It is quite usual for your phone to be connected to different towers for different signals. You could be connected to one tower for 1xRTT voice coverage, another for 3G EVDO coverage, and just picking up a far away 4G LTE tower that you keep dropping the signal from. That 1xRTT voice and 3G EVDO signals you are locked onto may be right down the road from you, but the tower for your 4G LTE may be a couple miles away instead. Your phone wil lshow the 4G icon, but does not show you the signal strength or quality for that 4G signal.

At the moment since the 4G network is still being actively deployed, it will be very common to be using separate towers for 4G that are further away from you than the 3G tower. As all of the towers are being upgraded, this issue will go away entirely, but in the meantime it will be pretty common.

Journeyman

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

Great explanation halcyoncmdr123.  It makes a lot of sense.  Thanks

That also explains why my phone is heating up even though there is a "full" signal.  It's probably because in the background it's straining to get some type of data signal that is faint or weak.

Master

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

Yeah at the moment issues like this will be common. Network Vision isn't just about upgrading the 3G or adding 4G. It is a complete replacement of all of the equipment on almost all of the towers nationwide (~39,000). Eventually almost all of the towers will have 4G LTE on them . Less than 100 won't be upgraded due to an inability to get adequate backhaul, etc. to the site to support it (very rural areas), or where it would call cell interference with neighboring sites (very urban areas).

The second part of Network Vision is the shutdown of the Nextel iDEN network (due to happen in 5 days), adn the subsequent re-use of that 800MHz spectrum to increase voice coverage, adn eventually LTE. Most Sprint phones released in the last few years will be capable of using the 800MHz voice (many areas of the coutnry already have it enabled on the upgraded sites) but no current device can utilize the 800MHz LTE signal yet, that will require new devices. The first Tri-band LTE devices should be coming out later this year (800/1900/2500MHz LTE). These will utilize not only the current 1900MHz, but the new 800MHz beng deployed and Clearwire's 2500MHz spectrum. Clearwire's network will be setup to utilize "Hotspots" in urban areas. They are planning on setting up the network with 20MHz spectrum capable of theoretical speeds of about 150Mbps. For reference, Sprint's current 1900MHz LTE is being deployed with 5MHz of spectrum with a theoretical limit of 37.5Mbps. Of course there is excess spectrum currently in the plans so Sprint can monitor how the network operates as Network Vision deployment finishes. This leaves room to add more LTE/Voice/EVDO/etc. carriers in areas that need them after the performance of the new equipment can be evaluated.

Network Vision is the first network replacement of its kind in the western hemisphere, there is a learning curve that goes along with it.This is why NV started off slowly, so each of the vendors nationwide could discover issues on a smaller scale before the pace picked up further in the schedule as planned. Areas like Chicago proved this was a wise decision. Issues with handoffs between the old legacy equipment and the new Network Vision equipment increased dropped calls and such by a huge amount and resulted in the deployment plan needing to be adjusted dramatically to attempt to compensate.

Journeyman

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

My problem is just plain inconsistency with the One. I live .5 miles from a recently lit LTE tower and yet i rarely see the 4g indicator. Whats really strange is the radio can't decide whether to use 3g or 4g. It will sit there and switch from 3g to 4g back and forth(it drives me crazy). I can set my wife's GNote2 right next to it and hers locks on 4g 24/7. Of course I've tried the usual PRL and profile and nothing helps. The only thing that comes to mind is maybe the PRL updates do not include these recent tower changes yet. thoughts?

GrandMaster

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

depending on how "recently" that tower was lit up is going to depend on if they are still testing and tuning that tower..on average it takes a couple weeks once a tower has been finished to test and tune..depending on if they have ran into any further issues or not of course. also is that tower youre getting LTE from is it on that closer tower or is it pulling from a further out tower?

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I like many others come onto this site for assistance and to help others. Marking a reply as helpful or correct helps others with like issues when they try to search the site for assistance. I do not work for Sprint and my suggestions and or opinions are my own. *************************************************************************************************************
Journeyman

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

I'm having same problem with htc one. I live in area lte been around 8 months. My gs3 picks up 4g no problem but the htc one always goes back to 3g 90% of the time.

Wizard

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

You might try adjusting your network settings I usually set my for "Automatic" but there a option for CDMA\LTE as well. Try both and see which one seems to work best in the areas your are located in most of the time.

GrandMaster

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

oddly enough (i didnt do any extensive testing on it) but i did notice a slight difference between running my phone on CDMA/LTE compared to running it on Automatic...seemed to run better on CDMA/LTE ...no idea why and i forgot to do some more testing to see if it was just a fluke or not

*********************************************************
I like many others come onto this site for assistance and to help others. Marking a reply as helpful or correct helps others with like issues when they try to search the site for assistance. I do not work for Sprint and my suggestions and or opinions are my own. *************************************************************************************************************
Journeyman

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

I'm experiencing the same issue you've been having with your HTC One. I live in the well established market of Austin and every little while 3g and 4g handoffs would occur, but my aunt's GS4 stayed on 4g when we drove together in Austin. At first, I thought perhaps the 4g network could be overloaded, but after seeing my aunt's GS4 keep a constant LTE connection, I'm convinced the HTC One has problems with it's radios that hopefully can be fixed with a software update.

Journeyman

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

You can also dial ##debug# in your phone app to bring up the LTE engineering page to see the true LTE signal strength. -80 RSRP is a great signal, with -100 and above being really poor signal.

Journeyman

Re: HTC One selects 3G instead of 4G - Even when there is 4G and it's strong

If you actually want to see your 3G/4G signal strength, download this app from the play store Network Signal info - Android Apps on Google Play

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