iPhone 5 Users Dealing with 3G/LTE Switching Issues and Dropouts


Looks like some users are experiencing iPhone 5 issues with cellular data connectivity in Canada and beyond. We have heard from numerous users over the past week or so about issues connecting to 3G and LTE. The problem lies in switching between both 3G and LTE networks. When connected to the latter, switching back to 3G results in a dropped connection (it keeps searching for the signal) with a reboot required at times to re-establish a data signal.

The problems seems to be more apparent on the Telus/Bell LTE network, although users on Rogers and Fido have also experienced the same. The problem is not specific to Canada though, as this lengthy discussion over at the Apple Support Communities also notes similar problems facing Verizon and AT&T customers.

Is there a fix to this 3G/LTE switching issue? According to emails you’ve sent us, customers are being told by Bell and Telus they are aware of the issue. Some users have attempted nano SIM swaps to help fix the issue, which doesn’t appear to always work.

Here’s a Storify below with your responses to the issue:

Are you suffering from the above 3G/LTE connectivity issue on your iPhone 5?


  • K3

    So by iPhone 5s next June the kinks & quality defects will be all worked out and it’ll be safe to make the hup jump? šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜€ ????

  • ThatGagnamStylwe

    Yea major LTE issues, 80% no LTE service on bell. Live in Toronto, there should b no issues connecting to LTE.

    My 3G is hitting speeds of ~15Mbps though.

    I deal with it because I will more than like likely be keeping this phone for 2 years by then we will have full LTE coverage and this bug will be long fixed. Hopefully.

  • Wstoneman

    I get the feeling like people are blaming this on apple… Could it be the crap LTE services that we are offered? I have experienced the issue of it switching between lte and 3g and not coming back up… I just leave it and it comes back after a few seconds.

    I know this same issue happens with lte samsung phones because all of my friends were complaining about it. Of course we wont hear about that though right?

  • bradg17

    I don’t think I have LTE issues i might. However I am noticing that the signal strength is worse on 3G than the iPhone 4 in the same area. In my basement my iphone 5 will have 1-2 bars and my buddies iphone 4 will have 3-4. Which results in me missing calls sometimes and he will get them. Anyone else finding this issue? Really bugging me they’re both on bell and using hspa+ 3G

  • baitbus

    i been getting these problems here in the USA too!

  • vic

    thought id also chime in, that ive had this happen since the beginning to where itll just drop out and have no signal. havent tried swapping the sim or phone as i figured that this was startling to look like a network issue

  • vic

    oh and on bell btw.

  • Hosein

    This also frequently happens to me with my iPhone 5 on Fido, but the most serious issue I currently have with my iPhone 5 is its battery. It’s totally bulshit! I turn off all data and everything and just use it to listen to music and the batter drops at a rate of about %1 per song!!!
    I never never had that experience with my old iPhone 4. Come on Apple! What are all these bugs about?!!

  • huh??

    I have this issue and I’m with Bell. So does 3 of my other friends who use Bell. At first I was using a Galaxy S3, and I get dropped off the network like 2 times a week. I was furious. I ordered myself an iPhone 5, and since then I’ve been dropped 3 times. Better, but it seems to me the network signal strength is weaker.

    If fact, one of my friends who is a hair stylist, and depends on clients calling him for appointments, was so frustrated with constantly getting dropped off the network (somehow it happens to him very often), and losing money along the way, he made numerous complaints to Bell. When Bell looked into the matter, they found out that the area my friend is at has NO COVERAGE or VERY LOW COVERAGE!! But he’s AT THE HEART OF THE CITY (Richmond BC btw)!!? In the end, my friend demanded that Bell cancel its service, and Bell agreed to cancel the 3 year contract without charging anything AND he gets to keep his S3! True story.

  • huh??

    I’m with Bell, but I haven’t compared it with a iPhone 4 that’s also on Bell. But I do notice the signal being weaker in the same area on the iPhone 5 to other phones I’ve used.

    In fact… come to think of it… I don’t think I’ve even seen full bars on it…

  • Glassbase

    Happens to me on iPad 3 with iOS 6 and iPhone 5 on Rogers. I’m in an area with no LTE yet, but good 3G coverage and have tried both with LTE switch on and off. My signal strength is extremely horrible in areas that I should have no issues with signal strength. I also constantly drop to edge and GPRS. Right now I would typically have 3-4 signal bars and I have 1 on iPad 3 and 2 on iPhone 5.

  • bradg17

    Same issue here with bell! My buddies iphone 4 beside me gets 3-4 bars in my basement and I only have 1-2 with my iphone 5. Sometimes I miss calls and also his phone loads pages faster. Really hoping this can be fixed with a Carrier update or software update.

  • bradg17

    Well I have seen full bars, but that was when I was testing it like 2km away from the tower lol but I did manage to pull down 17.3 and upload was 4.8. It seems to happen to me in low service areas like my basement

  • steve81

    I’ve been having this issue too. My iPhone 5 with Virgin would say “No service” about once a day and I had to restart the phone to get service again (toggling Airplane mode wouldn’t do the trick). I tried resetting Network Settings, that didn’t help. Last thing I tried is to manually select my carrier in settings. Now I’m waiting to see if the issue happens again.

  • draz

    Rogers here nothing much to complain about.
    I do notice that every time I place or accept a call my iPhone downgrades to 3G from LTE. It also takes sometime to switch from 3G to LTE if I were to lose signal (like in an elevator) or after a call.
    Also not all the towers in Toronto are LTE. In my own home I get 1 bar of LTE and it keeps switching back and forth to 3G
    But nothing like the reported issues Bell/Telus customers are having

  • Steph

    Happy to see I’m not the only one…I’m on telus and have this problem. Keep losing connection. Didn’t have this issue on 4S.

  • CostaLou

    On bell iPhone 5 and forbid I have a voicemail while driving. Every time it switches between lte and 3G I get voicemail reminder. Distracting and annoying

  • jc000098993

    Turn Enable LTE to the off position wen you do not need speed download !

  • aRhyno

    No LTE here but, my 3G just disappears i still have bars but no 3G symbol showing, sometimes disabling and re enabling worked, sometimes i had to shut off the phone. Is this the same behaviour you are talking about?

  • I did not have any problems so far. šŸ™‚

  • BrodieTheDog

    I’ve been raising hell over at apple and with fido over this issue. I’ve replaced phones and SIM cards and spent hours trouble shooting with this tech and that one. Real pain in the ass.

  • anne

    me too! ive experienced LTE for one day and it hasn’t worked since. Apple is blaming fido and vice versa but yet no one has come out with a solution yet.

  • yvrgal

    Guess the towers are between 3G and LTE. You have to keep both to supplement everyone. Another complaint I have is the loss of service with voice and text but data still works. I’m with Telus.

  • Max

    Having the same experience w my Galaxy s3

  • donx

    I agree the signal strength of HSPA on iPhone 5 is worse than my iPhone 4S and other smartphones, it made data usage almost unusable in my cottage (especially upload speed). However, the DC-HSPA in the downtown Toronto constantly gives me speed of 14 Mbps. I am with Bell UMB, where LTE is not enabled.

  • Daniel Jafine

    Been having this issue since say one with iphone 5 on Bell Mobility . Seems to be getting better with time, but still very patchy. LTE drops often. The part I find unacceptable is getting ‘no service’ in downtown Ottawa. I often turn off LTE to avoid dropping service. There is definitely a problem handing off between LTE and 3G. The worst part is there is no pattern. Completely unpredictable. Complete independent of location or time of day. I have yet to complain directly to my carrier Bell mobility, because explaining intermittent issues to tech support is more painful then using GPRS :p

    p. s. If my phone does go into ‘no service’ I can easily kick into 3G by making an outgoing call.

  • Bla!ne

    I had these issues with bell in Vancouver. They claim there will be a fix by oct 18. In the meantime I’ve been told to disable LTE data in the cellular settings. So far so good, but stuck with 3G speeds.

  • WHEN YOU BUY A CAR YOU EXPECT THAT YOUR CAR WILL BE RUNNING WHEN YOU WILL NEED IT ? WHY this is so different ? can’t believe they continu to cheat people like they do ! You’re in a 100% coverage LTE zone like TELUS advance but you only had 1-2 bars on 3G ! They said they working on a fix but no official statement about this nonworking LTE networks .
    The only respond i got from TELUS is : we are very sorry we have not been able to test the iphone 5 before the launch !
    WTF is that !!!

  • Phone often going to No Service. I have to reboot in order for 3G/LTE returns. I’m with Bell Mobility

  • Shannon Nanna

    I’m in the U.S. (Dallas) and have 4GLTE (with carrier AT&T). My iPhone 5 is better on 4G than it was on 3G! I use it at the salon to surf for styles on the internet when consulting with clients.

  • Cool!

  • ffd

    Happens to me constantly when switching from LTE to 3G on Telus with a Iphone5.

  • Yup, every time i hang up the phone it loses signal for a few seconds. Sometimes the signal dissapears for more than 10 minutes at a time, and wont fix even with a reboot at times. On telus

  • Avengeme

    I have an HTC One that works flawlessly, the iPhone 5s has this exact same issue on Rogers. It’s not the carriers, it’s the phone.

  • Spencer Gaffney

    I cant complete a single call with anyone without them losing me on the other end. I can hear them but they cant hear me and say Im very distant or gone entirely. I need it for work and its driving me bonkers! I have the I Phone 5C