3G/4G Indicator does not relate to Signal Strength!
I keep seeing comments about having "4-bars of 3G" or "4-bars of 4G". I just wanted to mention that the 3G and 4G symbols are totally independent of the Signal Strength indicator. At best, the Signal Strength indicator may relate to voice call capability. But not data signal strength.
That is why you may have "4-bars of signal strength" yet the 4G or 3G indicator may disappear and reappear with no change in the signal strength indicator.
Just food for thought. It looks like some folks think that if they lose 4G while they have "4-bars of 4G" that the phone is obviously defective. No so. Not based on this alone.
- 06-01-2011, 12:07 PM #2
- 06-01-2011, 12:10 PM #3
- 06-01-2011, 12:12 PM #5
They should make the 3G icon turn red, yellow or green depending on data signal strength. That would ne cool.
And yes, if data is out you can send SMS still. Not Google Voice SMS, since that uses date. But regular SMS uses the voice signal.
- 06-01-2011, 12:21 PM #6
- 06-01-2011, 01:01 PM #7
- 06-01-2011, 01:06 PM #8
- 92 Posts
Wait -- I'm confused. What does the signal strength indicator actually show then?
I mean, I noticed that the number of bars is highly correlated (actually, synonymous) with the ASU number, but I don't know what that means, and is not correlated at all with the dBm reading.
My phone flips quickly between 4G, 4 asu, -60dBM and no data at all , -60dBm, 0 asu.
- 06-01-2011, 02:40 PM #9
I suspect that the data is riding on another signal (called a carrier in AM radio) and apparently you can have a strong "carrier" and it will work for voice even without any data information riding on it. I know I'm using the wrong terms for the type of signal/modulation that the TBolt is using for this analogy. For one thing, even with FM, nothing is literally "riding" on a signal (that only happens in AM - Amplitude Modulation). With FM, for example, the entire "carrier", if you will, is changing frequency as modulation occurs (Frequency Modulation).
To understand this you might want to imagine a radio station sending out a strong signal that your radio has easily tuned into, but the DJ is not saying anything into the mic. You have silence, but a strong locked on signal. In this analogy the DJ's spoken voice would be the data component.
Another way of looking at this TBolt RF issue is that the Rodio station is strong, but the TBolt can't de-modulate the DJ's speech. Or, that DJ isn't talking at all. Kinda hard to say from our side only. You have to know what the tower/signal is doing as well as what you are seeing on the TBolt side.
- 06-01-2011, 08:29 PM #11
- 92 Posts
So it's not just my TB then. At least that's an interesting data point that you can have -60 dBm and still have your data drop out to nothing.
I wonder what's going on.
I know that as the bars goes down, the stability and speed of my data generally correlates though, so there must be _some_ connection; maybe it's just unidirection/inclusive.
What the tier-2 CSR seemed most concerned about in my case was the heating up portion -- on 4G in a low-signal area the device would get hot -- almost too hot to touch comfortably -- and the extended battery would run down in 4 hours.
That got her attention at lot more than the rebooting issue.
- 06-01-2011, 08:43 PM #12
- 06-01-2011, 08:59 PM #13
- 27 Posts
Yep, I did a throughput test at home with 0 bars -102dbm and got 5.5Mbps down. Did the same test at the grocery store 30min later where I had 4 bars -69dbm and got the same download speed so the bar's really have no effect on data signal strength. It would be nice if they put some sort of indicator on data strength.
- 06-01-2011, 11:56 PM #15
- 06-02-2011, 05:18 AM #16
I sure wish an LTE knowledgeable RF engineer would chime in here and 'splain this to us.
You are right though, the more time your phone spends looking for, or attempting to demodulate, or swtich between 3G/4G due to an actual lousy data component, or lousy code in the phone, the more your battery will suffer. Just the facts, maam.
- 06-02-2011, 05:31 PM #18
- 06-02-2011, 05:38 PM #19
- 07-07-2011, 03:33 PM #20
- 115 Posts
Re: 3G/4G Indicator does not relate to Signal Strength!
You can turn off all your wireless switches like the mobile date/wifi/gps and you will still be able to make calls, send text just like a regular cell phone. The bar signal strength represent cell tower signals.
Mobile Data Signals i.e., 4g/3g are separate from cell tower signals even though the same tower is used to relay the signals (IMO). Please correct me if I'm wrong.
- 07-07-2011, 03:44 PM #21
- 07-07-2011, 06:03 PM #22