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Network queries

SE14 - 4G Connecting to weaker signal

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4: Newbie

Hello! I've been having a problem recently around my house with 4G. When initally connecting the device after switching off airplane mode it will connect to the nearest 4G mast and gives 4 bars. In field test mode the rsrp is -94 so a strong signal. After 30 seconds to a few minutes, the phone will connect to a different mast, providing 1-2 bars at best, and i can see this by the physical cell id changing, again whilst in field test mode. Not knowing a whole lot about how a device will choose its 4G connection I just wondered if someone could shed some light, since it doesnt seem right to me. 

 

1) Does the issue happen in just one location? If so, how far do you have to travel to regain service?

 

Just the one location, around my house. 

 

2) What is the full postcode - Added to my profile 

 

3) Does the issue occur if you try your SIM card in a different phone? - Yes, the issue is occuring on both mine and my partners phone, so im pretty sure that it is not the handset itself. 

 

4) What errors are seen or heard when the issue occurs? - Just the device switching from the 4 bars back down to 1 bar, no other signs that its happening. I noticed it after my device started to get noticably worse battery life at home, presumaebly from switching masts quite a bit. 

 

5) Does this happen on 2G, 3G, 4G or all? - Only 4G

    

6) When did you first notice this issue? - Around 1-2 weeks ago 

 

7) Is the issue permanent or intermittent? If intermittent, are there certain times of the day when it occurs? - Permanent at the location 

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16: Advanced member

CA is aggregating multiple LTE carriers. Until C-RAN gets deployed, you can only aggregate carriers from the same site. MIMO is something completely different, though Vodafone does have 4x4 MIMO deployed widely in South London.

It looks like your device is being handed over to Band 1 from your local site, instead of Band 20. This is fairly standard load balancing procedure. 

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7 REPLIES
17: Community Champion

Hi @penguinman93

 

A phone will move around cell towers as a person moves around. 

In my experience it would also try to keep connecting what it thinks is the best signal. 

 

From looking at the first part of your postcode I see....

 

"We'll be doing some work on our network in this area to improve your calls, texts and data coverage. Sorry if you notice any disruption. We're expecting to start work on 8am 10 Apr 2017 and to have things back to normal by 8pm 10 Apr 2017. Everything else should be working fine." in Vodafone Network Checker.

IMG_1084.JPG

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7: Helper

Hi, depending on which device you have (I have iPhone 6 with no CA) you'll find if there's a higher frequency 4G available on a lower power it will connect to that. All part of Vodafones band priorities I'm afraid.

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16: Advanced member

Idle reselection priorities are just that-reselection when the device is idle. Otherwise the network hands over the device to the most appropriate site for the network.

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4: Newbie

Hello, thank you all for the responses. 

 

So, I'm still a little bit confused as to why exactly my device will idle to a mast with a weaker signal, surely this will negatively affect battery life as I have found? Is there also any reason as to why this is apart of vodafone's band priorities? I'm guessing that its to keep users away from bands with less capacity?  I'm using an iPhone 7 by the way.  

 

Thanks for checking the service status in my area also,  I called vodafone today and they advised me this is the cause and that it will be resolved when the work goes ahead. If you're saying that the connection should be switching in this way I'm wondering if this was just said to keep me off the phone :smileyindifferent:

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16: Advanced member

Have you got screenshots from field test mode? That area has Band 1, Band 7 and Band 20 LTE, with which the iPhone 7 can aggregate all three. If it does, you will likely use Band 7 as primary carrier (PCC), which will cause a drop in the reported signal bar reading as that's based on PCC, despite still actually being connected (in active CA anyway) to the band you originally were.

London has a large amount of cellular traffic due to density, so it is perfectly reasonable and acceptable that your device could be handed over to another, weaker, site if the closest is under heavy load. The network will certainly not move your device onto a weaker site without reason; cell edge users are the bain of cellular networks.

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4: Newbie

Sure, I've attached a few screenshots to this post. The thing I have just noticed is that band 1 wich gives weaker coverage is where it is normally connected, all other masts are supposedly band 20. 

 

I see, just looking into CA now, an interesting little feature of 4G. Does it work similarly to MIMO with wifi for multiple conenctions or does it simply stay connected to multiple masts and choose whichever has the best connection? 

 

I'd like to think that is why the device is being handed over to a weaker signal, but i cant really see any mast being under such a load a 1-2am when ive also seen this happen, even in such a high density area. I've got a funny feeling youre right about CA being why the signal drops and I've only just noticed it, while immediately blaming it for the cause of my bad battery life :smileyembarrassed: 

16: Advanced member

CA is aggregating multiple LTE carriers. Until C-RAN gets deployed, you can only aggregate carriers from the same site. MIMO is something completely different, though Vodafone does have 4x4 MIMO deployed widely in South London.

It looks like your device is being handed over to Band 1 from your local site, instead of Band 20. This is fairly standard load balancing procedure. 

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