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The question sounds strange I know. For the last few days I have not seen 4G up at the top of the display of my iPhone 6; it's been demoted to 3G.

I'm in the same several locations where I have been, and the signal is always 3 or 4 bars out of 4.

I can't imagine that there are separate chips or antennas for 3G and 4G, so this may be related to my carrier in some way, but I thought I would just check here first in case I'm wrong.

Are there any tests I can do to check this myself? Stand under a tower and use the aluminum foil I normally wear under my hat as a reflector for example? ;-)

My iPhone 6's software is 12.4.3 and I have a notification that 12.4.4 is a recommended update.

Cropped iPhone screen shot (with carrier's name manually blocked out)

Cropped iPhone screen shot (with carrier's name manually blocked out).

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    Go to settings > cellular data > cellular data options > turn off 4g and turn it back on, do you see 4G even temporarily ? Another way I try to get my phone on 4G is airplane mode on and off. – ankii Jan 17 at 10:12
  • @ankii Ha! You'd better post that as an answer :-) You can use these, thank you very much! 12 – uhoh Jan 17 at 12:29
5

Go to settings > cellular data > cellular data options > turn off 4G and turn it back on.

Another way I use to get my phone on 4G is airplane mode on and off.

  • 1
    Excellent! It turns out that my 4G was indeed turned off. It must have been inadvertent, for me the screen is too responsive and I'm forever ending up on a page I didn't want to be on. I never would have expected that 4G had a switch separate from 3G, but it may be useful when some carriers bill it differently. You've solved my problem, thank you! – uhoh Jan 17 at 12:39
2

Yes - that is absolutely possible. No there aren’t different chips or antennas, but physical damage could alter the antenna length and the chip could be damaged or another frequency leaking which makes reception on the 4G data rate impossible.

Without debug logs or a signal tracker or opening the iPhone, you only have empirical testing or trying to erase / reinstall to isolate if it’s software which also is possible, but less likely.

  • Oh, okay! I've added my software version and update info to the question. Could there be any setting that I might have accidentally changed? – uhoh Jan 17 at 3:07
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    No @uhoh there’s no setting to change data, it’s all in the system baseband and then the carrier settings for your carrier to adjust the radio for the frequencies your carrier broadcasts on. So for analog TV, maybe your uses channels 3, 4 and 13 but the other carrier uses 4, 6 and 9. – bmike Jan 17 at 4:15
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There might be a chance that the service provider is enhancing the network due to which their is tempariorly discrepeancy.

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