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Is a 5 year old phone too old to get LTE service in NYC?

91mustang
Member

My phone is a Google Galaxy Nexus (5 years old) and it works perfectly everywhere except where I live and work (NYC).  It connects to 3G only, and won't get LTE service unless I'm outside of the city.  Verizon looked into it and closed the ticket saying, "Because of all the tall buildings in your area, your phone won't connect to LTE.  Buy a newer phone."

Does this sound kosher?  Is everyone in NYC using newer phones or just suffering with near dialup 3G speeds?

BTW, I put my sim card in my wife's Galaxy Note 3 (which does get LTE everywhere) and it would only connect to 3G.  Putting her sim card in my phone did not allow it to connect to LTE.

So I'm puzzled and more than a little skeptical.

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Re: Is a 5 year old phone too old to get LTE service in NYC?

smith6612
Sr. Member

The radio in the Galaxy Nexus is questionably good these days. In the past too, the radio in the Galaxy Nexus was often outperformed by my old Galaxy S3's radio. A family member of mine used that exact phone up until this past December, where I moved them to a Nexus 5X. Because the Galaxy Nexus only supports B13 LTE, the B13 was starting to get a bit crowded in this area and the phone would have trouble holding LTE in busier areas due to capacity issues.

In New York City, depending on how good of a job Verizon has done with RF planning, there may either be a TON of devices on B13 causing interference, every tower has B13 and is thus interfering with each other, or due to the layout of the city, the B13 has a majority of the devices on it and the towers are stretched thin. They have a maximum number of devices that can be supported per band, per sector, before no further devices can be accepted. Devices which support additional LTE bands, would provide far more stable connectivity, and can even aggregate bands to keep up reliability.

Also, the Galaxy Nexus hasn't received software updates in years. It's vulnerable to some pretty nasty stuff. It's a great phone, but definitely past it's expiry sadly. Look for a phone supporting LTE-A / LTE Bands 2, 4, and 13. The Nexus 5X and 6P, while about a year old right now, are still great choices.

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Re: Is a 5 year old phone too old to get LTE service in NYC?

Weth
Sr. Leader

The phone was an early LTE phone 5 years ago and only supported one band of LTE, band 13. Most of NYC is using Verizon's newer bands, Band 4 and Band 2. While there is still Band 13 around, to get densification in NYC, Verizon has used Band 4 and 2 to get citywide connections. So yes, get a new phone.

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Re: Is a 5 year old phone too old to get LTE service in NYC?

Ann154
Power User

You should also check the network mode setting and verify it is on the LTE/CDMA mode.

You can also get the SIM card replaced to see if that helps your connection with the network. 

I purchased my Galaxy Nexus phone in early 2012 and enjoyed using it at the time. I have since moved on to another newer device.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Is a 5 year old phone too old to get LTE service in NYC?

smith6612
Sr. Member

The radio in the Galaxy Nexus is questionably good these days. In the past too, the radio in the Galaxy Nexus was often outperformed by my old Galaxy S3's radio. A family member of mine used that exact phone up until this past December, where I moved them to a Nexus 5X. Because the Galaxy Nexus only supports B13 LTE, the B13 was starting to get a bit crowded in this area and the phone would have trouble holding LTE in busier areas due to capacity issues.

In New York City, depending on how good of a job Verizon has done with RF planning, there may either be a TON of devices on B13 causing interference, every tower has B13 and is thus interfering with each other, or due to the layout of the city, the B13 has a majority of the devices on it and the towers are stretched thin. They have a maximum number of devices that can be supported per band, per sector, before no further devices can be accepted. Devices which support additional LTE bands, would provide far more stable connectivity, and can even aggregate bands to keep up reliability.

Also, the Galaxy Nexus hasn't received software updates in years. It's vulnerable to some pretty nasty stuff. It's a great phone, but definitely past it's expiry sadly. Look for a phone supporting LTE-A / LTE Bands 2, 4, and 13. The Nexus 5X and 6P, while about a year old right now, are still great choices.

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Re: Is a 5 year old phone too old to get LTE service in NYC?

rcschnoor
Sr. Leader

smith6612 wrote:

The Nexus 5X and 6P, while about a year old right now, are still great choices.

While those are good phones and will work on Verizon, they are not FULLY compatible with the Verizon network. Many capabilities are blocked while on Verizon, most notably wifi calling which would be helpful within many buildings of NYC where the OP works.

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Re: Is a 5 year old phone too old to get LTE service in NYC?

smith6612
Sr. Member

Sadly the Wi-Fi calling thing I feel is a case of non-standard implementation either on the Android, or on the Verizon end (perhaps both). Something that could be fixed with software at some point.

But the Galaxy Nexus also doesn't do Wi-Fi calling natively on Verizon. So they would be better off with the better radios of a modern Nexus but no better off from a Wi-Fi calling persepctive.

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