iPhone 4S and its cellular data

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COTTONx

New Member
Nov 1, 2011
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#1
Hello to everyone!
I have an issue with my iPhone (sadly).

A little googling and I found out that the option to enable/disable 3G was removed in iPhone 4S (there is the option in iPhone 4). So now what I have under settings>>general>>network is the option to turn cellular data on/off.
Will anyone be able to answer me what does this exactly do?

Under the description, it says that the option of off will restrict all data to wi fi.
I turned it off whole day yesterday (to save battery usage) and it turns out that I was unable to send/receive text messages (the normal ones) and to make a call.
I was a bit uneasy with this and I called my carrier, and the guy at the other end of the phone told me that phone lines are on 3G network, so turning it off will affect calling and sending messages. He adviced me to turn it on unless I am using wi fi.

May I know how true is this? I had to turn on 3G everytime then, is that so?

Anyone with similar encounters please come and share! :)
 

besweeet

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Jun 7, 2009
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#2
I find it hard to believe that a cellular network is 3G-only, as to make their entire network fully 3G would be quite costly and bad on older hardware that people may still have, so I think you may have been given the wrong information.

What carrier are you on?

Have you ever seen the "E" (EDGE) icon in your status bar?
 

Heacon

Member
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Nov 3, 2011
80
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#3
Hey there. Your problem seems really weird. I turned data off to save some of my data limit till I am not near a wifi. I was able to receive calls and messages just fine. So I don't know how your situation has come. To me it souNds really weird
Heacon
 

Hawk

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Aug 2, 2007
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#4
Heacon, are you using a iPhone 4 or a 4s? It makes a difference. While Edge might be the baseline of AT&T's (and most other GSM carriers) it doesn't mean that APPLE is always going to support it. The new dual chipset might not actually support user toggling to the edge network when 3G is pretty standard and 4G (in all it's incarnations) is making an appearance
 

Zanthe

#apple
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Aug 9, 2007
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#5
There is a discussion about this HERE.

The 4S indeed has removed the ability to toggle between 3G/E. It's not clear if this is a hardware or software issue. On my iPhone 4 after updating to iOS5 the ability to turn 3G off is still there. It is not there on the 4S. So looks like it might not be just a software problem I don't know. And yes, like some other issues Apple may have decided for some reason to stop supporting that feature. Now, for people (see the link above) who relied on turning 3G off to be able to use their phone for phone calls in a less than stellar 3G area they are kind of screwed and many are not happy about it.

It remains to be seen if this is something Apple will/can change but I have my doubts.
 

Leo

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Nov 9, 2008
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#7
Heacon, are you using a iPhone 4 or a 4s? It makes a difference. While Edge might be the baseline of AT&T's (and most other GSM carriers) it doesn't mean that APPLE is always going to support it. The new dual chipset might not actually support user toggling to the edge network when 3G is pretty standard and 4G (in all it's incarnations) is making an appearance
It supports it. While I no longer have the toggle, when in a rural area, my network has dropped down to EDGE on my 4S.
 

Zanthe

#apple
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Aug 9, 2007
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#8
It supports it. While I no longer have the toggle, when in a rural area, my network has dropped down to EDGE on my 4S.
What people are complaining about is that the 4S searches for a 3G signal (just like 1P4 does) and will revert to 3G if it detects any sort of reasonable singla. Problem is it's unstable and a lot of drop calls result. For those who were used to turning off 3G and getting a solid Edge signal for phone calls the new inability to toggle 3G to the off position is problematic.
 

Leo

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Nov 9, 2008
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#9
What people are complaining about is that the 4S searches for a 3G signal (just like 1P4 does) and will revert to 3G if it detects any sort of reasonable singla. Problem is it's unstable and a lot of drop calls result. For those who were used to turning off 3G and getting a solid Edge signal for phone calls the new inability to toggle 3G to the off position is problematic.
Perhaps they're gonna bring it back in 5.0.1? Enough complaints about it's removal is sure to bring it back.
 

Smarty2600

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Apr 23, 2011
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#10
My guess is the reason it's gone has to do with its the same phone that Verizon/sprint/CDMA carriers use and they don't have an edge network to rely on. So with 4s that option is never there and wasn't ever available with the iPhone 4 for Verizon.
 

Zanthe

#apple
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Aug 9, 2007
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#11
Perhaps they're gonna bring it back in 5.0.1? Enough complaints about it's removal is sure to bring it back.
I'm a little confused as to why the toggle is still present in 5.0 on the iPhone 4 but not on the 4S. There must be a reason but it doesn't make a lot of sense.
 

Hawk

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Aug 2, 2007
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#12
Its probably because the new iP4s is a "universal" phone, where the iPhone 4 was split between AT&T and Verizon versions here in the US.
There is no longer a CDMA version and GSM version, where the GSM version carried the option. Since the new phone is a world phone, they left the feature off to keep the iOS suitable for the one phone. Had they left it on, it would have confused CDMA users, or they would have to make 2 versions of iOS5 for one hardware model.
 

Leo

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Nov 9, 2008
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#13
Its probably because the new iP4s is a "universal" phone, where the iPhone 4 was split between AT&T and Verizon versions here in the US.
There is no longer a CDMA version and GSM version, where the GSM version carried the option. Since the new phone is a world phone, they left the feature off to keep the iOS suitable for the one phone. Had they left it on, it would have confused CDMA users, or they would have to make 2 versions of iOS5 for one hardware model.
I'm pretty sure that they could just make it detect if it's on a CDMA or GSM radio...couldn't they?
 

IllusionEntity

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Jun 3, 2010
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#14
I find it hard to believe that a cellular network is 3G-only, as to make their entire network fully 3G would be quite costly and bad on older hardware that people may still have, so I think you may have been given the wrong information.

What carrier are you on?

Have you ever seen the "E" (EDGE) icon in your status bar?
The network 3 is a 3G signal only, I think..
 

Zanthe

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Aug 9, 2007
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#15
So if what Hawk said is true then it seems it's a hardware issue and that the new 4S phone isn't set up to allow for toggling the 3G off and on. That is going to make some folks unhappy. Back to AT&T's coverage problem. Some people found a solution for themselves in weak AT&T 3G areas and now apparently it's been taken away.
 

Hawk

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#16
I wouldn't call it a hardware issue. It's more like an incompatibility. You have a phone that runs on 2 different networks. Having a toggle for 3G like in the AT&T version of the iPhone 4 would be both pointless and confusing for Verizon and Sprint owners. The only 2 options would be to either leave the toggle out of the new iOS (which they did) or develop another version of iOS just for GSM users- which makes having a "World Phone" almost pointless -Even if most of the world uses GSM.
 

Zanthe

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Aug 9, 2007
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#18
I wouldn't call it a hardware issue. It's more like an incompatibility. You have a phone that runs on 2 different networks. Having a toggle for 3G like in the AT&T version of the iPhone 4 would be both pointless and confusing for Verizon and Sprint owners. The only 2 options would be to either leave the toggle out of the new iOS (which they did) or develop another version of iOS just for GSM users- which makes having a "World Phone" almost pointless -Even if most of the world uses GSM.
``I see" said the blind man. :p

Well to some that is going to suck. But you're point is probably exactly correct. Thanks for clarifying. Excellent take. Luckily for me my AT&T Micro Cell has solved the problem for me. 3G FOREVER. :D
 

Zanthe

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Aug 9, 2007
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#19
Guess those who are stuck can probably forget about Apple giving that option back since they're not going to want to have multiple OS versions floating around.