Turn LTE on or off?

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besweeet

Contributor
Silver
Jun 7, 2009
968
26
28
San Antonio, TX
briansweet.me
#1
Lately, I've been thinking about just turning LTE off, as AT&T's "4G" is pretty decent stuff:
photomed.png


I'm thinking about doing this because:
  • "4G" signal strength generally seems higher than LTE
  • Battery life should technically increase, right?
  • Speeds are plenty fast for me, and I might end up using less data. For example, when I start playing back a YouTube video, the video buffers/downloads so quickly on LTE to where, most of the time, I don't even watch an entire video, so it would be a waste of bandwidth. 4G isn't as fast, so I guess it would act as sort of a speed limiter.
In terms of negatives, "4G" being more "crowded" than LTE could be a problem in heavy areas, whereas LTE won't be as saturated. LTE should also provide faster speeds in low-signal areas.
Thoughts?
 

iPutz

Zealot
Silver
Nov 20, 2012
941
184
43
71
US Midwest
#4
I live in a strong LTE signal area and most of my daily life takes place within 20 miles of that area so I usually have a fairly strong LTE signal. My maximum download speeds are around 60MBPS with uploads around 19 MBPS and average about half of that. I did, however, turn LTE off for about a week to see if it would have any effect on battery life, speed of webpage loads etc. There seemed to be no change in battery life, however, webpages, e-mails (with attachments) and web based apps were definitely loading much slower, so I turned LTE back on. I have found that when traveling away from home for an extended period in low LTE signal areas and especially in non LTE areas that turning LTE off definitely increased battery life and 4G speeds are roughly 4-6 MBPS download and 1-2 MBPS upload and those speeds, while slower, are more than enough for any and all activity. Only once did I have issues with streaming video and that was because the phone couldn't find LTE 0r 4G and dropped down to Edge.
 

Leo

Zealot
Silver
Nov 9, 2008
898
133
43
29
Calgary, AB
#5
I have not seen a battery increase on my phone when I was without LTE for a couple of weeks in the US (AT&T prepaid didn't support it at the time), if anything my battery stayed exactly the same. Then again I live in the downtown area of Calgary, so I consistently have 5 bars of LTE around the clock, it would be different if my phone was struggling for a connection I'm sure.
 

besweeet

Contributor
Silver
Jun 7, 2009
968
26
28
San Antonio, TX
briansweet.me
#6
I have found that when traveling away from home for an extended period in low LTE signal areas and especially in non LTE areas that turning LTE off definitely increased battery life and 4G speeds are roughly 4-6 MBPS download and 1-2 MBPS upload and those speeds, while slower, are more than enough for any and all activity.

Interesting... By "low LTE signal areas," how many bars are you referring to? I get no less than 3 bars all the time, averaging around 4.
 

PDACPA

Member
Silver
Jan 16, 2008
542
8
18
Florida
#10
Here is my LTE. I many times turn off my WiFi as there is some weaker areas in my house and I never notice any major increase in battery usage.
 

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dkhmwilliams

Member
Bronze
May 10, 2013
131
23
18
#12
I have never turned my LTE off and my battery life is really good all the time. I end my 10 hour work day with about 60 percent left everyday. That's just awesome to me. Will be keeping mine on.


Sent from my smoking white hot iPhone 5 on AT&T.
 

verwon

Evangelist
Gold
Jul 29, 2011
1,015
121
63
Seattle
#13
The only time I noticed a problem having LTE on was when I was at a large Seattle arts festival this past labor day weekend and I am fairly certain that it was due to the fact that there were over 100,000 people attending, thus LTE capable phones would lock on, then off, then on, then off….and I noticed a pretty big drain.

The turned it into an experiment by toggling it on or off each day and the ones it was off, my battery lasted a lot longer.

But that was just with it constantly searching for the signal, when I'm in the same area without that many other people all using cell phones, then my battery life is fine.