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Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

rpo
Miembro

I just recently moved to Seattle a few weeks ago, and maybe I was spoiled by Verizon LTE in California, but here in Seattle it is utter garbage everywhere I have been.  I have opened tickets with Verizon about the poor service, and despite promises that someone "will call me back by the following day", I have yet to receive any calls back.

To give you an idea of what is happening, I have 4 out of 5 bars on my Note 2 at home for LTE.  Nearly every attempt by an app that requires data results in a time out.  The Speedtest app will occasionally complete, but about 4 out of five tests fail just trying to complete the ping.  If it does finish, the speeds have ranged from 409 bps to 109 kbps.  Yes, that 409 bps figure is correct.  The upload has failed every time but once and shows 0 kbps.  These speeds are so slow that nearly every webpage will time out and hardly any apps work.  I had to cache my area on Google Maps just to be able to see where I was going because the data connection could not load any maps.

Also, every test above was done with 3-5 bars of signal on LTE, so I am at a loss as to why it is performing so poorly.  My prior phone had an option to turn off the LTE, but this phone does not and none of the apps in the play store have worked to turn it off either.  Because of that, I do not know how data would perform on 3G.  I have tried restarting the phone, wiping the phone, etc.  Nothing has helped at all.  Until today, I believed it was just my phone, but I met with a friend in downtown Seattle today who also has Verizon.  He also could not get anything to load with a full signal on LTE.

So, what am I supposed to do?  If this cannot be resolved, I will have to change carriers and purchase a new phone, but that is a fiasco that I do not want to go through.  ¡Necesito ayuda!

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Re: Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

ayemat
Miembro

RPO, I agree!

I used to live in San Francisco, and visit often. And when there, typically enjoy amazing Verizon LTE Speeds!

However, in the last few months LTE service in Seattle has become abhorrent! I live in South Lake Union, just north of downtown Seattle, and rarely see LTE speeds exceed 5mbps download  in my apartment. When I travel outside, it's often also the same, poor LTE service throughout downtown seattle and areas north of the city. 

When the service started back in 2010, it was common to see download speeds exceed 25mbps in the downtown core. This is no longer the case, and while it's to be expected that LTE download speeds would suffer as more people use the network, it should not be below 5mbps.

I will say that yesterday I recorded a download speed of 14mbps near the Seattle Public Library on Madison Street. This was after 9pm and indoors. I was pleasantly surprised. Furthermore, a few weeks back on my way to Chicago, I recorded an amazing 60mbps download speed at the Seattle Airport. I assume Verizon must have installed some indoor microcell equipment designed to amplify the signal and increase bandwidth.

Either way the above instances are the exception, and not the  norm. Most times service is below the advertised download speeds for 4G LTE. Files take longer to download and video buffers; and is usually streamed below the 720p HD standard when using LTE on YouTube, NetFlix, Hulu, or another streaming app. And don't get me started on their mobile hotspots. Though my work VPN connection remains stable, it's nearly impossible to use a bandwidth intensive database when on Verizon LTE. Things have gotten so bad that for work purposes, I've resorted to an AT&T LTE Mi-Fi Device.

--Alex

Re: Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

mkamerick
Miembro

I can confirm the data from the previous posters.  I live in the San Francisco area, and Verizon is excellent there.

But I am in Seattle today, and I have given up trying to use my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4), as a hotspot

or tethered device.

I have switched to my AT&T Blackberry instead.  Much, much faster.

I got download speeds of .25 Mbps on Verizon!  This is ridiculous and close to unusable for modern needs.

Even just trying to do Google searches directly on the phone did not work.

I could not reach Google!

Seriously? 

My signal meter says 4G with 2 to 4 bars depending on my location downtown.

So what.

My colleague in the meeting I am in had a Verizon Mifi hotspot, and his connections were no better.

I travel extensively around the US, and it has been my recent impression that Verizon's network is much

slower than it used to be in general.

I compare my speeds on Verizon vs. AT&T commonly, and at my home in Marin County, north of San Francisco,

Verizon wins handily with speeds in excess of 20 Mbps, but elsewhere the story is quite different.

AT&T often seems to be better to me.

Here in Seattle, there is no contest.  AT&T  is 10 times faster, as measured by the speed test available at Megapath.

Re: Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

mkamerick
Miembro

Fwiw, I am now at SeaTac, on the same day, with the same device, and the Verizon speeds are much, much better.

Up to 7.85 Mbps, as opposed to 0.25 Mbps in downtown Seattle.

WTF?

Re: Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

eaglelogcabins
Miembro

Vashon Island... the same... and when I do get bars... connectivity is non existent... I was calling out from my bed... zero reception... glad I was not having a stoke or heart attack! Have complained repeatedly... a tower was installed... reprogrammed the phone several times... no bueno! Reception is part of the problem... my Samsung phone could be part of it... dropped calls constantly... now, we get repetitive calls about time to pay the bill... when we have stated all bills paid after the 3rd... really??? REALLY... this is known as "Dis" Service!!!

Ok, on a roll here... why does ATT get the better phone first... in the past, it has been 6 months... SIX MONTHS or longer till Verizon carries the product I need! The latest burn... is the S4 "Active"... and when I call... I get the same stupid answer... not customer service's fault... Uhhh, we dont know... Uh... they dont tell us... Uh... I am tired of Uh... tired of the Uh's and bad reception... no product... "That is a violation of my contract" and entitles me to close my account... dont tread on me! Freedom To Thrive!!!

Re: Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

cstreater
Novice

Verizon's network has gone to hell in a hand basket in Seattle. It took over 3 minutes just to download the desktop version of this page on an LTE connection in downtown/South Lake Union area. When they rolled out LTE, speeds here averaged 10Mb up/down. You'd think they'd switched us over to Sprint or something. I plan on testing at&t out today.

Re: Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

ratatosk
Miembro

I am also seeing the same issue in downtown Seattle and South Lake Union. Sometimes LTE is completely non functional even with very strong signal. Sometimes it is barely functional with download speeds of less than 200kbps.

Fortunately, I carry two phones. The other is a T-Mobile phone, and it works nicely downtown.

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Re: Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

t2mobile
Miembro

Unfortunately SF  has gotten horrendous. The below post is a good indication.  I live in SF and work downtown. I used my LTE jetpack for internet at home and it was great until about 4-6 mos ago. Now it's going to be a coaster since I'm lucky to get 1Mb out of it.  I have 3-5 bars but latency is through the roof. Seems like Vz has  not built out the capacity it's needed and it's completely taxed.  I'm using Root Metrics (Seattle based) to report all my findings so they can post all the data.

https://community.verizonwireless.com/thread/802217?tstart=0

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Re: Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

ratatosk
Miembro

For the sake of comparison, I did some testing of other carriers in the same parts of downtown Seattle where the VZW network is falling over. Both AT&T and T-mobile are performing consistently adequately (downlink speeds >= 3Mbps). Both were using HSPA+ - phones weren't locked onto LTE.

Of course, given how quickly the VZW LTE network hit the capacity wall, it is impossible to know what the situation will look like a year from now. This kind of decline really makes 2 year contracts questionable.

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Re: Useless LTE in Seattle (Downtown, West Seattle)

ratatosk
Miembro

I am beginning to see some improvements. In areas where band 4 LTE is deployed, speeds are very fast, but of course, one needs a capable device.

Unfortunately there isn't nearly enough band 4 LTE deployed yet to make the situation anything approaching acceptable.

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