Bugs & Fixes: iPhone 3GS signal strength oddities
Posted 26 June 2009 - 12:05 PM
Posted 26 June 2009 - 01:03 PM
The Apple Discussions Board is just a waste of time in regard to the iPhone. Hundreds of useless rants and moderators that don't have a clue. This "article" and the linked post offer nothing but FUD and non-empirical observations (see below) that aren't covered by the ATTWS TOS. The rants in your linked post are more the same old same old, and almost all of them don't have a clue (again, see below before flaming me).
Most importantly, the ATTWS TOS includes language that the company DOES NOT warrant call or data quality when indoors, just like every other cell phone company. If a cell phone and a provider don't work for you - get another cell phone and a different provider.
Next, the "signal" for the GSM (RSSI) and WCDMA (Ec/No) represent totally different measurements for the subject device. I used to post to help out on the Discussions Board, and have a more-thorough assessment - http://discussions.a...657274 - and you'll want to read the Wiki link embedded in that post.
GSM handoffs, see Page 15 for an idea of the handoff architecture: http://m2vtelecom.fi...8/09/hcells.pdf
Handovers and GSM/WCDMA prioritization, see pages 84-89:
If you have problems with indoors reception, besides going outdoors the only fix is to purchase and properly install a suitable antenna and pass-through kit. Repeaters not installed by your carrier are not allowed for use on their network - read the TOS - and unauthorized repeaters increase the likelihood of detrimentally unbalancing the network. A decent Kagi antenna can be purchased through almost any local electronics store, and towers/antennas in your area can be located at antennasearch.com - antennas aren't sexy, but just see how your TV works without one and you'll get the general idea of how a cell phone operates in locations they're not designed to work.
I'm being blunt - there's too many articles and posts being written that offer no solution to the problems at hand, and ATT has exactly the same issues that SPCS, VZW, and T-Mo have, and the latter three have femtocells for sale right now to augment their service, with ATT's supposedly on the way later this year. Some guy followed my post by calling me a tool - I don't care - he offered nothing to help others. This "article" really just rehashes rants by others and offers really only a conduit to perpetuate FUD.
Posted 26 June 2009 - 05:50 PM
I have had the 3gs since launch day and couldn't use 3g service, for which I pay for, because I would keep dropping to edge and/or No Service. I used to be able to drive down the highway to work and listen to pandora or iheart radio without a stutter on my 3g iPhone but not on my 3gs. It's also affecting the connection to my A2DP Bluetooth Stereo causing it to drop its connection! Not to mention when I drive away from my wifi hotspot the iPod app stutters (I never ever had the ipod app stutter on my iPhone or iPhone 3g).
I called Apple and they referred me to ATT to get a new SIM. I did that on Wednesday and it was still doing the same thing in the ATT store before I left. I was standing in an ATT store and couldn't get a reliable 3g connection! The man there said it had to be the phone so I called AppleCare and they said they didn't know what was wrong and to take it to a genius or ship it to them in a prepaid mailer. Since I am 2 hours away from an applestore I chose to ship it. It's on its way right now.
I love Apple as much as the next guy, owned 5 macs over the years and every ipod since the 3rd gen along with appletv and Airport. But when a product doesn't work properly, then it doesn't work properly, and hence needs to be fixed, not told it's a new feature.
Posted 27 June 2009 - 06:17 AM
Correct observation. While most people want to make claims based on the number of bars, do realize that the caller on the other end can't see those bars. They either can't hear you intermittently or they can a 'Failed Call' notice. You also may get a slow download/upload. The bars are meaningless. Reality is what matters. Do a download speed test to see what the true quality of the network at any given moment in any given place.
Jeez Louise. Naming cities and speaking towards their population is so ridiculous. The biggest city may have the worst reception based on the number of cell towers, their placement, and the amount of activity that they are handling, which is all relative to a place at a moment in time. It has nothing to do with the popularity, size, spelling, or such of a city.
Posted 27 June 2009 - 06:19 AM
The rest of us out here have no idea what was 'wrong' with your first two phones. Care to elaborate? Else we have to assume that you are a bit over the top is respect to quality issues. With Apple's very high standards of quality, we can only imagine that the issue was you rather than the phone.
Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:38 AM
Exactly why does anybody have to justify to you what is wrong with their gear? Why does explaining problems to you legitimize his complaints with his first two iPhones?
And who is this we you speak of? And speak for, apparently? You may choose to assume and imagine as you wish. That is your choice and your shortcoming.
Apple's "very hight standards of quality" are routinely lacking. There are laundry lists of both hardware and software problems with various Macs over the years from bad capacitors (that has bitten Apple more than once) to defects in plastics, bugs in firmware, etc. The iPhones have not been trouble free. A quick search of Macworld articles will confirm that.
So I don't have to assume that somebody couldn't possibly have a defective phone or two, especially because he didn't explain himself to me and therefore must be "over the top with respect to quality issues". Such a leap would be an affront to cognitive thinking.
That also applies to your desire to assume the issue was with mattd313 rather than with the phones. One could give him the benefit of the doubt, as it costs nothing, but you chose to state/imply he was wrong based on-- nothing.
You second sentence, without previous and subsequent insinuations would have been enough. They did nothing to further our knowledge of bug and fixes.
Perhaps you have issues of your own to deal with.
Posted 29 June 2009 - 10:22 AM
I don't normally reply to postings such as yours, because it is usually a lose-lose proposition. Not only does replying rarely if ever change anyone's mind, but it only encourages a further response that is likely more irritating than the original one. Still, there is so much in your posting that I strongly disagree with, that I felt compelled to offer a response.
Where to begin?
How about the first sentence -- where you say "going on about signal and dropped calls is just nuts"? Nowhere in my article did I even mention dropped calls as an issue. The article was about differences in shifts between EDGE and 3G on the iPhone 3G vs. 3GS. In fact, in my testing, the ability to make calls was pretty much the same whether I had an EDGE or 3G connection. Dropped calls was not an issue at all.
As for your discussion of "problems with indoors reception..." once again, I never mentioned that the problem was restricted to indoors. In fact, I was just as likely to see this problem outdoors as indoors. Your entire discussion on this matter seems irrelevant.
As far as the article offering "nothing but FUD and non-empirical observations...," quite the contrary. I accurately reported my own empirical observations as to 3G vs. EDGE switching. The point of the article was to confirm to readers that the 3GS could indeed show an increased shift to EDGE and why this might be so. In this regard, a good part of the article was devoted to Apple's confirmation of what I reported and their explanation(s) for it.
Further, I believe I kept any "fear" to a minimum. In fact, I concluded the article by stating: "If there is ultimately a signal strength problem that needs solving here, I am optimistic that a iPhone firmware update will do the trick." In other words, I suggested that there may not even be a problem at all and that, in any case, it would likely be easily fixed. Hardly what I would call fear mongering.
As to the Apple Discussions Boards being "just a waste of time," I disagree. While the Boards certainly contain unconfirmed reports and erroneous information (as do all such boards), they have also helped me solve problems on numerous occasions. They are certainly worth checking out, as long as you understand their limits. In any case, I did not present the Boards postings as fact. Instead, I said that some users "are convinced..." of a certain theory. I then went on to point out why the theory might actually be incorrect.
Finally, to suggest that my article "rehashes rants" is way off the mark. To me a rant is an angry complaint that is more excessive or emotional than the subject would seem to warrant. If there is any excessive emotion or complaining in what I wrote, I fail to find out. To the contrary, I went out of my way to simply report what I saw (and what Apple replied) without any complaining at all. Nowhere do I express any anger toward Apple, AT&T or the iPhone.
If anyone seems angry here, it is you. Unfortunately, you seem angry about matters that you either incorrectly describe or have nothing to do with what I actually wrote.
Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:00 AM
I've never laughed this hard for a Mac911, MacOS Hints or Macworld Weekly article.