AT&T Shows 3 Bars, But No Data Service?

chris

Administrator
Administrator
Jun 10, 2006
11,813
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113
Long Island, NY
#1
Has this happened to you? I was out most of the day yesterday and consistently had 2-3 bars. At the same time, I had zero data connectivity. It was an incredible tease and incredibly frustrating. Bad enough being away from my computer, but no data connection.

I'd rather AT&T show me no service.
 

hmfc-1874

Contributor
Silver
Sep 10, 2011
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#2
Has this happened to you? I was out most of the day yesterday and consistently had 2-3 bars. At the same time, I had zero data connectivity. It was an incredible tease and incredibly frustrating. Bad enough being away from my computer, but no data connection.

I'd rather AT&T show me no service.
Rubbish network
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Oct 24, 2010
3,050
829
113
Denver, CO
#3
I had this issue when I was visiting my parents in FL a couple of months ago. I paid for tethering through AT&T and was only able to use it about 10-15% of the time while we were at my parent's house, but my phone kept showing at least 2-3 bars. I called AT&T and they got back to me about 2 weeks after I got back to CO and told me that area had weak service. I thought their statement was pretty interesting since their coverage map doesn't show that area as a dead zone. I had 5 bars and outstanding service on the beach, which my wife and I thought was funny.
 

imutter

Genius
Gold
Apr 4, 2011
5,983
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Somewhere between DC and Baltimore.
#4
AT&T has done it over the years for me
The map/phone bars shows coverage but I get nothing ......
I ask at the store they pull up the map and blame it on the phone
When we lived in MI it was really bad ! But that is a few years back my most recent expierience was driving into Baltimore (terriblle)
 
Dec 10, 2009
2,589
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Clarksburg, WV
#5
Thought I read somewhere that the bars only indicated strength of cellular (voice) signal, and that it had no bearing on the quality of the data connection....
 

fury

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Oct 23, 2007
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Louisville, KY
#6
Did you have any data connection symbols? (dot, E, 3G, "4G")

I've had problems getting data when on edge, but that's because AT&T's throttling practices are ridiculous, and on edge, they reach beyond even the ridiculous level, into the ludicrous level. They throttle edge pretty hard when you've reached your 3 gig limit on your unlimited plan, which I found out the hard way this weekend. As in, they make edge (which was already slow) unusably slow.

Also, the signal strength is the strength of the connection to your tower. You're only connected to one tower at a time, it's not like you can be connected to a separate tower for data. If data wasn't working at all, but phone calls were, I'd have been hammering the AT&T mark the spot app and/or customer service line. Or at least rebooting the phone once.
 
Aug 24, 2012
16
5
8
Morristown, New Jersey
#7
I just switched from a verizon droid to AT&T iPhone and let me tell you, I'm very happy with the switch. Even tho I get less service in certain areas. I'm saving a buttload of money with AT&T verizon sure knows how to get in your wallet
 
Dec 10, 2009
2,589
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Clarksburg, WV
#8
Also, the signal strength is the strength of the connection to your tower. You're only connected to one tower at a time, it's not like you can be connected to a separate tower for data. If data wasn't working at all, but phone calls were, I'd have been hammering the AT&T mark the spot app and/or customer service line. Or at least rebooting the phone once.
Just to clarify, I was not suggesting that there were separate connections for voice/data.
They do use separate frequencies, however. With full bars showing on the device, there are plenty of times during peak usage that the backhaul is so jammed up that your data connection is virtually useless, while you are still getting great voice service.
 

fury

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Gold
Oct 23, 2007
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Louisville, KY
#9
Just to clarify, I was not suggesting that there were separate connections for voice/data.
They do use separate frequencies, however. With full bars showing on the device, there are plenty of times during peak usage that the backhaul is so jammed up that your data connection is virtually useless, while you are still getting great voice service.
I was unaware. My bad. I've never bothered to check voice service when I had bad data service...I hardly use voice service anyway :D
 

FuelieNova

Contributor
Silver
Aug 3, 2008
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#11
I had this exact problem 3 weeks ago. I reset network settings and things have been great since. At the same time... It seemed to me like it was generated when my phone tried to switch from edge back to 4G. It would say 4G but no data.
Tom
 
Dec 10, 2009
2,589
1,337
113
52
Clarksburg, WV
#12
I had this exact problem 3 weeks ago. I reset network settings and things have been great since. At the same time... It seemed to me like it was generated when my phone tried to switch from edge back to 4G. It would say 4G but no data.
Tom
FYI, toggling "Airplane Mode" on/off should produce the same results, and perhaps faster!
 

ITS ME DAVID

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Jul 8, 2010
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#13
I had this problem also got dropped calls with 3-4 bars called AT&T they offered me free data for 6 months because of this problem saved me $30 a month they didn't have a answer and this was after switching my 4s for another at Apple store cause I thought it was the phone.