I bought my S4 about 6 weeks ago and it has been a great phone. This past weekend I was in a rural area where cell service has historically been marginal. Phones have always worked for voice and text but you can forget about decent internet access.
In this environment my S4 had zero internet service, would not send texts, and quickly lost battery charge. All this while my wife's iPhone 4s worked as always, phone and texts fine and marginal internet. I ran by the local Verizon store this morning to compare my dbm reading with other phones and to discuss the problem with the staff. The dbm reading on my S4 was -106, about the same for like or similar phones in the store. The person I was speaking with suggested the difference could be that the iPhone 4 operates on 3g rather than 4g, as did my prior phone.
So the question is, can 4g be switched off on the S4? A quick look at the menus seems to indicate 'no'. If not, is there any other way to make the S4 reception as good or better than the iPhone 4 in this type of environment? As I find myself in less than perfect cell environments quite often, this could become very important some day.
Hey there hmtodd,
Congrats on the S4. It is an awesome device and I hope that you are loving it so far. I am sorry for the issues that you are having in a specific area and I would like to further investigate to see if we can get you back in the fast lane.
At this time there is not a way to switch the S4 off of LTE and put it into CDMA only. Which zip code are you having issues in? Do they primarily occur indoors? or outdoors as well?
Please try powering off the device and removing the sim card. Reinsert the sim card and power the device back on and test the connection. Visit http://vz.to/10NQRZJ for steps on how to properly remove and reinsert the sim card.
Keep us updated with results.
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I have the EXACT same problem as do a BUNCH of people at my company that just got new phones. We are in Springfield, MA 01103 in a medium height building. I have had a 4g Droid Charge for 2 years with no problems. Since I (and several others) got the Galaxy 4S, here's what happens.. It's a "normally" strong 4G area - so our phones stay mostly on 4G but can't even get to the internet. We do get emails. TXT/SMS are hit or miss - some send and some fail. Phone signal is low - I haven't talked much on mine - just got it. So - if you turn a certain way - your phone "might" go to 3G and it's fine (slow speed but at least it works) - and if you are in a different spot or moment etc - it stays on 4G and we are out of luck.. but some places it will NOT go to 3G so we can't use these critical devices. Those with iPhones and even the new 4G blackberry's (ALL VERIZON) can switch their phones to 3G - like I used to be able to do with my Droid Charge.. So - you now have the information.. I am on the 17th floor of this building. Please either give me a way to set my phone to 3G, or point a tower/signal UP to my floor.. Some "presume" that the towers are pointing down to those on the ground. We have offices on the 12th floor of this same building and the 4g is fine there.. but a few floors up - and we are out of business.. You said above you took away the option and you will fix problems if they arise - so please fix ours asap. Oh - I have tried re-inserting my sim card more than once.. Basically the phone is going to try to get the 4G signal and it sticks with it even when it's too weak.. It's not like it's slow - you CAN NOT get to the internet, maps, play store - nothing... Please advise asap. Thank you.
Thank you for the response. The zip code I was in last weekend is 42032. I was outside most of the time so it was not building related. I was on a bluff and could see for miles, but it is mostly open terrain. Not to confuse the issue with the phone, but it is a location where my MiFi will typically bounce between 3g and 4g connections but not be able to access much of anything, For a moment you will see 3 or 4 bars with the green 4g led on, but in the next instant it all goes away and it starts searching again. I can only presume the same thing is happening with my phone. Unfortunately for testing purposes, I am not at that location any longer and will not be back there for a couple of months.
Next week I will be in a more difficult VerizonWireless environment in zip code 37880, so that could prove interesting (and frustrating). You really hate to have the hottest phone on the market and not be able to connect.
Your message gives me hope that a solution may be under consideration, and messages like the one from Maggieo and others indicate a solution is needed.
Thanks again, and please let me know if there is anything I can do short term.
Identical problem. 22066. 3G service worked fine on Droid 2 Global. LTE service works fine on iPhone and iPad, right now. Some kind of configuration thing on the S4, or does the S4 just not work?
Hey there maggieo,
Congratulations on the new S4. They are awesome devices and I hope that you are loving them so far.
Signal can be challenging while indoors due to the construction of the building and other environmental variables. The higher you go up in a building, the more challenging it can be to get signal, because yes the cell towers are pointed down. An accessory that may help is a network extender. Visit http://vz.to/O3ZzCi for additional information.
How is service outside of the office building? Do you experience any issues in that zipcode any where else?
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Thanks for the details hmtodd. We certainly want you to have reliable wireless coverage. Did you try removing your SIM card and battery for a few seconds as we suggested in the first response? Do you know of any other VZW devices besides your wife's phone that were in the area? Some phones have a stronger signal than others and I would be interested to see whether other model 4G devices perform the same way in this area. I see that the closest 3G tower to this area is about 7 miles away, while the closest 4G tower is 11 miles. The further 4G tower shouldn't affect voice service, but if the phone is trying to find the 4G tower further away, it could affect data and cause the battery to drain fast. How often do you travel to this area?
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You should get the same 4G LTE network benefits on your Samsung Galaxy S 4! What type of signal do you get on your Galaxy S 4? Do you have a 3G or 4G signal? Is this problem happening at one specific location? And if so, is it happening indoors, outdoors or both?
Please try removing and reinserting the 4G SIM Card http://vz.to/1azC0Z0, and change the Network Mode setting to LTE/CDMA http://vz.to/1bzry6B. Let me know how this works out for you. Thanks!
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This was a case of UBD, with contributory factors from VZW.
The behavior was as described by everyone on the thread. However, my problem was VZW had deactivated by SIM. The behaviors looked the same, but it turns out to be a totally different issue. New SIM, phone works great. Thanks for responding!
Hi Nicholas, Thanks so much for the reply.. So - outside the building is fine - all around the area is fine and on strong 4G. Our Droid Charge's were fine on 4G too.. I think we are on the opposite side of the building from where the cell tower is - and the people over there are fine.. so - the main "immediate" problem is that we can't switch to 3G, like we could on our old phones.. Those with iPhones and B-Berry's can switch down.. they get a strong signal - although slower of course for the internet. But with us stuck on 4G - there's enough signal for phone calls - for the few that we have made - and for sure the SMS - which is also on the "phone" part I think.. But not the internet etc - weather, stuff like that.. So - re the Network Extender - I thought that was just for voice?? I actually had to BUY ONE (and it wasn't cheap) for my house when we switched from B-Berry to Droid 2 years ago, b/c we couldn't make phone calls. and recently I was told that's only for voice, not for data - can you confirm that? Of course since only 3 of us went with Droids (all the Galaxy S4), and everyone else got the iPhones (and one blackberry hold out!) they not going to love to spend the $$ on that - but let's first see if it would help. For sure when we were on the 12th floor - same exact "side" of the building, we had no problems on 4G.. The exact addres of the building is 1350 Main St. Springfield, MA - maybe you can look at what towers are near us and see if any adjustments can be made. There are two othe "CLASS A" office "towers" right near us - I have friends at them, but most are on lower floors.. but - maybe there's some antenna that you could angle for us - since you don't allow us to "dumb our phones down" to 3G.. Of course we'd much prefer our 4G to work. It's so spotty - but the problem is the phones grab 4g and then just don't work.. instead of dropping themselves down to 3G.. At my house my phone is always only 3G.. Also - there's something re the Network Extender being only for 3G someone just told me (at verizon) - maybe at 3G it's just voice and 4 G different? Maybe you can clarify my incorrect info - I just forget what I was told when I called VZW to compain about this problem.. Anyway - will keep an eye for your response.. appreciate that you folks do respond here. and - I'm glad the guy at the bottom just had an activation issue, but for sure that is not my issue..