Richard Bucker

4G LTE 5G WTF

Posted at — Oct 31, 2021

I life and work in a cellular blackhole and if it were not for WiFi-Calling I would be forced to use smoke signls instead of a smartphone. I’ve lived and worked in Weston Florida since 1995. I’ve lived and worked all over the city and the surrounding cities and frankly even though there are 4 cell towers and claimed high coverage area none of my cell phones have had the best quality.

Some people would say it’s my phone but I have tried 5 different models, manufacturers, premium and entry level. They all suck and have the same results. Part of the pain is migrating from iPhone to/from Android but that is to be expected. My current philosophy is to stick with Android because I can migrate more easily but still not perfect. It’s just slightly easier than upgrading an iPhone/iPad.

But here’s something interesting… 4G LTE is not just 4G LTE. It turns out that there is VoLTE and DoLTE. (DoLTE is technically a thing but I define it as LTE without voice.) And not all phones claiming 4G support have both D and V services. And even more frustrating is that the same is true of 5G. In fact I read an article just yesterday that said T-Mobile’s 5G implementation was incomplete. Which, of course, explains why my newest phone might not be working.

My latest 4G phone from Motorola cost $199 and I tried a Motorola 5G and it cost $329 after a $70 discount. Happily I’m returning the 5G because it just did not connect to the 5G network reliably.

As for Wifi calling… it’s brilliant except… [a] I still drop calls on my network. It’s not clear if the problem is my wifi, phone or service. [b] when I transfer from wifi to/from cell my calls are rarely transfered. [c] I’ve tried ATT and Google Fi; both fail.