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What am I doing wrong?


Packman
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We are at a campground where the cell service it terrible. We have a weboost and get between two and three bars most of the time. The speed test is between 1-2 mbs down. I have verizon post paid phones with a jetpack add on. While I can do most everything in need while surfing on the jetpack, using the phones I can hardly do anything. They phones work intermittently when I can connect to the cg wifi and it's working properly (rarely). My logic says that if I can surf on the computer using the jetpack, I should be able to turn the wifi off on the phones and get the same results. I have iphone xs.

As always - thanks!

Rick

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Alternatively, just let the phones connect by WiFi to the Jetpack since it is working well.  

FWIW the "bars" at the top of the phone screens are only illustrative and don't provide any quantified understanding of the available signal.  It's much better to use an app such as Network Signal Lite in order to understand the actual signal level your devices are encountering.

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One thing you didn't mention and might want to consider is rebooting the phones if you haven't done so in a while.  Smartphones are computers and are subject to developing errors.  Often people keep them running for weeks on end.  An occasional reboot is often a simple way to improve performance.

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I have ATT and the Better Half has Verizon. There are places where ATT has better service and some places that Verizon does better. Over all, ATT is better for the places that we go. ATT tells me via the cell phone that I need to restart my phone because it has been a week and their spam and telemarketer controls are very good.

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10 hours ago, docj said:

It's much better to use an app such as Network Signal Lite in order to understand the actual signal level your devices are encountering.

I would love to find a ios app that gives actual signal strength. There seem to be plenty android apps (such as NSL) that do that, but I've yet to find one on ios. I know how to invoke the diagnostic screen in ios, but when on the phone with weboost, I was advised that the measures in that are also not reliable.

 

6 hours ago, docj said:

One thing you didn't mention and might want to consider is rebooting the phones if you haven't done so in a while.  Smartphones are computers and are subject to developing errors.  Often people keep them running for weeks on end.  An occasional reboot is often a simple way to improve performance.

Yes I frequently reboot the phone at the first suspect of trouble. I also renew the lease on the wifi connection frequently. My next stop is at the verizon store, since their tech support phone number takes you to a chat.

I also know store personnel have varying levels of expertise on phone settings. We'll see!

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35 minutes ago, Packman said:

I would love to find a ios app that gives actual signal strength. There seem to be plenty android apps (such as NSL) that do that, but I've yet to find one on ios. I know how to invoke the diagnostic screen in ios, but when on the phone with weboost, I was advised that the measures in that are also not reliable.

I assume you know how to access the Jetpack's onscreen control panel which is usually found at 192.168.1.1  If you go About/Diagnostics on that control panel you will see the signal strength as the Jetpack is reporting it (if you are asked for a password, just use the Jetpack's PW regardless of what the text says).  This will be helpful to the Verizon technicians.  FWIW both my phones and my Jetpack are working fine with a -109dBm signal strength.

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11 hours ago, docj said:

I assume you know how to access the Jetpack's onscreen control panel which is usually found at 192.168.1.1  If you go About/Diagnostics on that control panel you will see the signal strength as the Jetpack is reporting it (if you are asked for a password, just use the Jetpack's PW regardless of what the text says).  This will be helpful to the Verizon technicians.  FWIW both my phones and my Jetpack are working fine with a -109dBm signal strength.

Thanks for that! I completely forgot that I do have one non-ios device! I'm at -96dbm! I see no reason why my phones shouldn't at work at that signal strength!

Appreciate the replies!

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13 minutes ago, Packman said:

Thanks for that! I completely forgot that I do have one non-ios device! I'm at -96dbm! I see no reason why my phones shouldn't at work at that signal strength!

I agree -96 dBm is a pretty strong signal.  But I find it odd that both phones are having issues.  Since you seem like you're pretty much on top of things, I'm sure you have the phones updated to the latest firmware, etc. It will be interesting to see if the Verizon store guys have any suggestions when you get there. 

However,  my sense is that those folks are less technical than they used to be.  At one time there was sort of a "repair" section in Verizon stores, but that's pretty much gone away.   When I made a comment to a Verizon guy about "fixing" something with my phone, the response was that we don't fix things and "anything we do is at your risk."  I think phones have pretty much become disposable--they get replaced, if necessary, during the warranty period and then people simply dispose of them if they fail after that time.

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2 hours ago, docj said:

I agree -96 dBm is a pretty strong signal.  But I find it odd that both phones are having issues.  Since you seem like you're pretty much on top of things, I'm sure you have the phones u I'pdated to the latest firmware, etc. It will be interesting to see if the Verizon store guys have any suggestions when you get there. 

However,  my sense is that those folks are less technical than they used to be.  At one time there was sort of a "repair" section in Verizon stores, but that's pretty much gone away.   When I made a comment to a Verizon guy about "fixing" something with my phone, the response was that we don't fix things and "anything we do is at your risk."  I think phones have pretty much become disposable--they get replaced, if necessary, during the warranty period and then people simply dispose of them if they fail after that time.

And yes, while my conversations with tech support was interesting, very little, if any results were accomplished! First level support had me do  things like reset the network settings, the second level tech determined that I'm five miles from the nearest tower and that my booster needed to be registered. He basically offered two reasons: the difference in the jetpack and the phones is because the phones are processing as well as transmitting data. Then when looked at my location on sat view - "That explains it, you are surrounded by miles and miles of trees!" Again, results for my hour plus on the phone, about the same! I'm here for another month, guess I'll live with it 'till then.

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8 hours ago, Packman said:

"That explains it, you are surrounded by miles and miles of trees!"

I presume you told him that the Jetpack was surrounded by the same trees therefore the argument is meaningless as an explanation of the difference in performance between the phones and the Jetpack.

The only question I haven't asked is what model iPhones you have? Not that it's going to explain much, just simple curiosity on my part.

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17 minutes ago, Sehc said:

I am not expert by any means.  My Jet Pack is only doing one thing, looking for internet connection. My phone is doing that and also looking for  phone service connection. 

For several years after Verizon introduced its 4G/LTE network, voice calls were routed over the CDMA network, so your comment had a measure of validity.  However, that practice ended a number of years ago and these days voice calls are actually handled as VoIP on the 4G network.  Since AT&T essentially has a GSM network, it's my understanding that voice calls have always been handled in this manner.

Your phone makes a connection to the LTE network.  You can control whether or not the phone is permitted to use data in addition to making voice calls and texts, but you still have a single connection to the network.

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12 hours ago, docj said:

I presume you told him that the Jetpack was surrounded by the same trees therefore the argument is meaningless as an explanation of the difference in performance between the phones and the Jetpack.

The only question I haven't asked is what model iPhones you have? Not that it's going to explain much, just simple curiosity on my part.

I made that point many times to no avail! I have iphone xs.

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35 minutes ago, Packman said:

I am very tempted to try the Visible route with a cheap phone to use for a router.

With Visible the phone is restricted to having only one device connected to it a time.  Most people purchase a router to get around that problem; the phone connects to the router by tether or WiFi and everything else connects to the router.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More interesting info:

So, I did get a Visible phone (ZTE Blade) and service. With a android, I know exactly what signal strength I'm getting. At first it was a bust because the router I was using only connected via wireless to the phone. Once I traded the router for one that connects via usb tether, vola, I have a good enough signal to stream to my Roku. With the Iphone, I don't know any way to know what band it's using, but I'm please with the Visible setup now.

Life on the road!

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I'm glad Visible is working well for you! It's also working well for us where we are right now in Salt Springs, FL. But week after next we'll be moving 20 minutes up the road and we know from experience that Verizon service there is pretty poor, but AT&T is quite strong, so we're thankful we have both. Choice is good! :)

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