12-19-2011 03:30 PM
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  1. sc4fpse's Avatar
    It seems all sorts of news sites have been posting that video of the Galaxy Nexus getting average LTE speeds on only 2 bars of signal. Every Verizon LTE phone so far has not indicated LTE strength visually (instead displaying the 1X voice signal strength), and only a few have had any sort of developer menu that displayed numerically the LTE radio signal strength.

    Did I miss where it was mentioned that this has changed with the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon? It seems to me like all of these news sites are going crazy over something that very well could be no big deal. For instance, while sitting in the hallway of one of the buildings at my university, I only have 1 bar of signal strength on my Thunderbolt. The building right next door has an LTE antenna on its roof, but no 1X voice antenna. I'm often able to pull 14 Mbps+ down and 8+ up at that location, though if I showed a screenshot or a video of my phone doing so to someone, it would be quite deceptive, since my LTE signal in reality is much stronger than the 1 bar [of voice] indicated on my phone. (And likewise, you can have 4 bars of voice signal, but be on the edge of LTE coverage, and people would probably laugh if they saw LTE speedtests failing to complete.)

    I would like to think that Verizon is starting to change their approach here. It's awfully deceiving, and I'm guessing it's nothing more than an attempt to make people think more towers around them have LTE than really do.

    So, yeah, anyone know if things changed here, or if these various tech blogs/sites don't understand this?
    12-02-2011 11:03 PM
  2. Premium1's Avatar
    What are you talking about? All current lte phones show 4g lte when you are in an lte area. Just because it doesn't have 5 bars means nothing, lte is fast no matter how many bars it shows.
    Pierce09 likes this.
    12-02-2011 11:08 PM
  3. tx_tuff's Avatar
    Doesn't really matter to me. I know the LTE is good everywhere I will be using it.
    J T M likes this.
    12-02-2011 11:15 PM
  4. sc4fpse's Avatar
    What are you talking about? All current lte phones show 4g lte when you are in an lte area. Just because it doesn't have 5 bars means nothing, lte is fast no matter how many bars it shows.
    I know they all display LTE when they are in LTE coverage areas. I never said they didn't. LTE phones do not actually display the signal strength of the LTE radio, though. The signal strength they display is the voice signal strength. That's why the Revolution (I believe) has a separate menu indicating the two different signal strengths, that of the voice radio and that of the LTE radio, both in numerical format.

    Again, the number of signal strength bars displayed is never representative of LTE signal strength. This is the case on all existing Verizon LTE phones.

    This becomes a problem for such applications as Sensorly, which relies on the number of bars indicated to create crowdsourced signal strength maps which tend to be far more detailed and accurate than the maps provided by the carriers. Because no Verizon phones display the LTE signal strength in this format, it is currently unable to map the coverage by signal strength, only by whether or not there is coverage indicated by the phone's network state. This is an issue, and really deceptive on Verizon's part.

    For reference: [Q] Signal Strength Indication Lies? - xda-developers
    And a picture of the menu I'm talking about: http://images.anandtech.com/doci/4450/DSC_0734.jpg
    12-02-2011 11:16 PM
  5. sc4fpse's Avatar
    Oh I read your post wrong. not sure how it works I would assume that since lte is for data only that it doesn't really have much to do with signal strength and that is why it does not display lte signal strength?
    You're joking, right? Data has just as much to do with signal strength as voice. LTE performs much better than EVDO in low-signal areas, yes, but signal strength is still important to data speeds.
    12-02-2011 11:24 PM
  6. bworley50's Avatar
    Settings>about phone>status
    12-02-2011 11:26 PM
  7. sc4fpse's Avatar
    Settings>about phone>status
    Again, that doesn't display LTE signal strength. That's 1X voice signal strength. (Though, if the nearest tower has both LTE and 1X antennas, they should be the same strength. The problem is that this is often not the case, especially with the LTE rollout thus far, and how Verizon tends to skip over certain towers for LTE.)
    12-02-2011 11:36 PM
  8. bworley50's Avatar
    Their 4g LTE is by far the best. It is spotty. That will improve over time. That is why they purchased additional spectrum on Friday.
    12-03-2011 12:18 AM
  9. Andrew Ruffolo's Avatar
    Their 4g LTE is by far the best. It is spotty. That will improve over time. That is why they purchased additional spectrum on Friday.
    In my experience, LTE isn't spotty. Its very specific on where it gets coverage and where it doesn't I live on the edge, but as soon as I leave my complex I can get 4G all the way from my place to the coast, north over 20 miles and south another 20 miles without dropping data. YMMV due to geographical constraints, but South Florida really is great. I live much further west than most. Do I wish I got 4G in my apartment, sure, but my battery life is much better here than at my GF's place which is in a 4G area

    Having owned a WiMax device in a WiMax area... this same test driving from my place to my gf's would result in dropped 4G signal multiple times.
    12-03-2011 12:29 AM
  10. bworley50's Avatar
    That's what I mean by spotty. I bet it works outside your apartment.
    12-03-2011 12:32 AM
  11. Andrew Ruffolo's Avatar
    That's what I mean by spotty. I bet it works outside your apartment.
    It works as soon as I go across the street... exactly where the verizon map says.
    12-03-2011 12:34 AM
  12. Droid800's Avatar
    I know they all display LTE when they are in LTE coverage areas. I never said they didn't. LTE phones do not actually display the signal strength of the LTE radio, though. The signal strength they display is the voice signal strength. That's why the Revolution (I believe) has a separate menu indicating the two different signal strengths, that of the voice radio and that of the LTE radio, both in numerical format.

    Again, the number of signal strength bars displayed is never representative of LTE signal strength. This is the case on all existing Verizon LTE phones.

    This becomes a problem for such applications as Sensorly, which relies on the number of bars indicated to create crowdsourced signal strength maps which tend to be far more detailed and accurate than the maps provided by the carriers. Because no Verizon phones display the LTE signal strength in this format, it is currently unable to map the coverage by signal strength, only by whether or not there is coverage indicated by the phone's network state. This is an issue, and really deceptive on Verizon's part.

    For reference: [Q] Signal Strength Indication Lies? - xda-developers
    And a picture of the menu I'm talking about: http://images.anandtech.com/doci/4450/DSC_0734.jpg
    We have no idea if the bolded part is true for the Nexus though. Its signal indicator is completely different than the rest of Verizon's LTE phones. (those phones have the up/down arrows to indicate LTE connectivity/transfer) It is very possible that the Nexus only shows the LTE coverage in its display, since its assumed at this point that 1X coverage will be good.
    12-03-2011 01:04 AM
  13. thedeceiver's Avatar
    It would be interesting to know whether or not the ability to display LTE strength is a limit of hardware or software. Why wouldn't someone write an app to display the LTE strength?

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
    12-03-2011 01:42 AM
  14. humpagardengnome's Avatar
    It seems all sorts of news sites have been posting that video of the Galaxy Nexus getting average LTE speeds on only 2 bars of signal. Every Verizon LTE phone so far has not indicated LTE strength visually (instead displaying the 1X voice signal strength), and only a few have had any sort of developer menu that displayed numerically the LTE radio signal strength.

    Did I miss where it was mentioned that this has changed with the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon? It seems to me like all of these news sites are going crazy over something that very well could be no big deal. For instance, while sitting in the hallway of one of the buildings at my university, I only have 1 bar of signal strength on my Thunderbolt. The building right next door has an LTE antenna on its roof, but no 1X voice antenna. I'm often able to pull 14 Mbps+ down and 8+ up at that location, though if I showed a screenshot or a video of my phone doing so to someone, it would be quite deceptive, since my LTE signal in reality is much stronger than the 1 bar [of voice] indicated on my phone. (And likewise, you can have 4 bars of voice signal, but be on the edge of LTE coverage, and people would probably laugh if they saw LTE speedtests failing to complete.)

    I would like to think that Verizon is starting to change their approach here. It's awfully deceiving, and I'm guessing it's nothing more than an attempt to make people think more towers around them have LTE than really do.

    So, yeah, anyone know if things changed here, or if these various tech blogs/sites don't understand this?
    I've heard this for a long time and assumed it was correct. Until I picked up a LTE device. Now I'm confounded cuz that almost appears totally illogical. If they truly are two seperate things why is it that they mirror each other so closely. It seems to me like 4g strength is somehow piggybacked into voice signal strength, in some way. Speed and strength of - dbm fluctuates the speed of which data arrives and departs on LTE. However, 3g always gets different & lower -dbm numbers for signal strength, but they both still mirror eaxh other via the signal bars. Why is this the case? I just don't get it.
    12-03-2011 02:15 AM
  15. thedeceiver's Avatar
    I've heard this for a long time and assumed it was correct. Until I picked up a LTE device. Now I'm confounded cuz that almost appears totally illogical. If they truly are two seperate things why is it that they mirror each other so closely. It seems to me like 4g strength is somehow piggybacked into voice signal strength, in some way. Speed and strength of - dbm fluctuates the speed of which data arrives and departs on LTE. However, 3g always gets different & lower -dbm numbers for signal strength, but they both still mirror eaxh other via the signal bars. Why is this the case? I just don't get it.
    I think the poster had mentioned, and it sounds reasonable, that LTE antenna may not always be co-located with a normal tower, but often are. So, you could be really far from a voice tower but happen to be near an LTE specific tower.

    For most people, and I am sure for most towers, the LTE and voice signal are coming from the same spot... As such, LTE performance correspondingly struggles to coincide with the visual representation of fewer bars.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
    12-03-2011 03:08 AM
  16. lilnate's Avatar
    I thought the same thing yesterday when they showed the 2 bars of strength in the speed test video and claimed it mattered to the 4g speed ...i thought it was common knowledge that these bars represent the voice quality/strength that your going to recieve. If its turns blue, then you have data capabilities. If the 4g logo is there then you have 4g service. ive never thought they actually represent data service quality available.

    Try to think how many times you have no bars but can get data on your phone...or have full bars of service but your data wont connect at all.
    12-03-2011 05:28 AM
  17. S.Meezy's Avatar
    What?



    Bars always match up perfectly...

    VS910 4G Kangwich
    12-03-2011 07:18 AM
  18. sc4fpse's Avatar
    What?

    Click to view quoted image


    Bars always match up perfectly...
    (if on tapatalk, click on post, more, open url to see until I can get to a computer)

    VS910 4G Kangwich
    There's instances like that where is seems right, but then there are examples (like the one I gave) where it's obvious that the signal indicated is not the LTE signal. If you look at the image I posted in one of my earlier replies, you'll see the same thing as you posted. I don't think anyone has an explanation for it, but it's [what I thought was] a well-known fact that the signal strength displayed is not LTE.

    And humpagardengnome, yeah, like I said before, depending on your location, your LTE and 1X signal strength can match up perfectly. But in certain areas (namely in extended LTE coverage areas), there may be a weak LTE signal that can reach you, but you can be standing next to a tower with only 1X on it. Your signal strength won't display 0/1 bars of LTE, but rather 4 (or full) bars of 1X. When you see these speedtest videos on Youtube and various tech blogs that seem slow for the signal strength, that's likely why. In reality, your great signal strength is only 1X, and you're on the edge of LTE coverage.

    Hopefully the Nexus displays LTE signal strength properly. It would be one way to better estimate how many towers in your area have LTE on them, and would be a great help for apps like Sensorly which require signal strength to produce the best coverage maps.
    12-03-2011 07:41 AM
  19. humpagardengnome's Avatar
    I think the poster had mentioned, and it sounds reasonable, that LTE antenna may not always be co-located with a normal tower, but often are. So, you could be really far from a voice tower but happen to be near an LTE specific tower.

    For most people, and I am sure for most towers, the LTE and voice signal are coming from the same spot... As such, LTE performance correspondingly struggles to coincide with the visual representation of fewer bars.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk


    I'm a little. I missed the whole point of the OP, big time. My ability to elude my own stupidity is often MIA, these days. That's interesting, I just assumed that all the regional towers in a 4g coverage area had LTE antenna was rigged up to function using the cell signal. That's where it went wrong for me. Never bothered to look into how LTE worked myself. On another note, Is the blue data & white dialup of the modem, color changing, still in play when in LTE/CDMA or CDMA only modes, anymore Just curious cause I haven't seen it occur when I drop data service.
    12-03-2011 07:42 AM
  20. DolfanCole's Avatar
    On a related note ... Rumors state that the software was updated just recently and it included an updated radio. Reports from that seem indicate that the signal is greatly improved. I would doubt that the earlier videos and screen shots had the updated software since it was just out out. So, if all that's true, maybe there was a slight issue and it's been addressed and improved.
    12-03-2011 07:44 AM
  21. Tom in Bristol's Avatar
    I know they all display LTE when they are in LTE coverage areas. I never said they didn't. LTE phones do not actually display the signal strength of the LTE radio, though. The signal strength they display is the voice signal strength. That's why the Revolution (I believe) has a separate menu indicating the two different signal strengths, that of the voice radio and that of the LTE radio, both in numerical format.

    Again, the number of signal strength bars displayed is never representative of LTE signal strength. This is the case on all existing Verizon LTE phones.
    Your post triggered a recollection that I'd wondered about re indicator bars back when I got a Bionic on launch day. At that time my area didn't have 4G but we got it here a week later. On CDMA I would consistently see 4 bars with a drop to 3 bars when inside a building. After 4G began it was nearly always 2 bars inside and 3 bars when I went outside to smoke.

    A thread here on AC-Bionic referred to an Anandtech article that might offer you some more info at:

    AnandTech - Motorola Droid Bionic Review - Dual Core with 4G LTE

    "The Bionic also is the first device (to the best of my knowledge) that reports 4G LTE signal bars based on channel quality in addition to just received signal strength. Devices like the Droid Charge and others can be somewhat misleading and just report the bar visualization based on signal strength. It took me a while to figure out how to actually get to the Bionic’s 4G LTE signal metrics, as it isn’t the number shown in “About” - that’s actually just what’s reported from MDM6600 for EVDO or 1x."

    There is more in the article that if far above my tech savvy, including a listing using aLogcat alongside a screenshot of the Status page...hope it will provide you with info and you'll be able to make sense out it all.

    I'm about a mile from our cell tower that is on top of a good sized hill which may explain why my Bionic has never suffered from the data drop-outs-3G/4G fluctuations that seem to plague so many Bionics, but Ill still be quite happy to get the promised OTA 'soon' and 'later this year'! (Sounds kinda like a GN launch promise, huh?)
    12-03-2011 11:52 AM
  22. potatolover1102's Avatar
    I do know my thunderbolt accurately shows 3g signal in the bars because I have been to plenty of buildings where I. Get 2 bars of 3g and no voice covergae and even the verizon banner is gone meaning no voice network so I'm pretty sure all new phones show the bars of what network you on/ what the indicator shows. It works the same on my droid 3
    12-03-2011 12:21 PM
  23. S.Meezy's Avatar
    Signal bars move with what the system says is 4g signal, unless I'm not properly understanding what you're saying...



    VS910 4G Kangwich
    12-03-2011 12:27 PM
  24. Andrew Ruffolo's Avatar
    Signal bars move with what the system says is 4g signal, unless I'm not properly understanding what you're saying...



    VS910 4G Kangwich
    I believe this... My gf has an iphone and has a crappy signal at her place. I get full bars with 4G in the same location. We both have verizon.
    12-03-2011 12:32 PM
  25. milan03's Avatar
    This is actually a very interesting subject. So far only LG Revolution displays LTE signal levels. You can run a logger in monitor LTE signal levels on Motorola phones but it's a hassle. No other Verizon LTE phones display it unfortunately. I doubt Nexus will, but I hope I'm wrong.
    12-03-2011 02:25 PM
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