[update on signal at the bottom 10/27/20]

I bought an iPhone 12. Switching from Android and a Samsung S8.

I switched cell service providers to Mint Mobile. Switching from Straight Talk. Going from $35/mo to $15/mo – if paid a year in advance. With a 3 month trial. *and a 7 day trial on the service in general.

In my first article announcing my new service, link, I mentioned how I wasn’t sure if the T-Mobile service that Mint uses would work at my house.
The T-Mobile map shows I should have good to fair service. I live just down the slope of a hill, so I’m just a few houses a way from a good signal. I’ve had family who had T-Mobile visit and saw that thy had low signal, and done test calls – that dropped. I don’t think I’ve had a dropped call on Straight Talk on my own… But for $15/mo and changing phones, and I was going to have to get a new sim (and I think change from Verizon to AT&T) anyway, I would try Mint.

After inserting the sim card and starting the activation I had 1 or 2 bars. At first I hoped it was because the service was not activated yet. Nope.

After the service was activated and my phone number was transferred I still only had 1 or 2 bars.

That should be fine.

But after a while I saw – no service.

Then it came back, then gone again… I was getting worried I would not be able to keep the service.

But I do tech support for a living, so I’m patient.
(Well I’m patient when I’m working with users and their issues. For my issues, I’m just like anyone and jump to panic when something is not working….)

I watched it for a while, I moved around the house, and went on the deck that faces the tower – nothing helped.
Then I thought of 2 things.
1. In the past you had to reboot your phone after turning off the old phone to finalize the process. I don’t think that is required any more but…
2. 5G is on by default. – Apple says they control this intelligently and don’t connect if there is no service to save battery, but it is still searching and T-Mobile shows 5G (probably 5Ge or still LTE) in my area so maybe it was trying to connect to 5G – that just can’t be good at my location. So I went into settings and turned of 5G. Here is my article on how to do that – turn off 5G on iPhone.

Since then I have not seen the no signal. I only have 1 or 2 bars, but it has been working fine. So far. I’ll be keeping a weather eye on it. Touching my phone at random times when not using it to check. like now. – still good.

A possible other option is Mint seems to offer Wi-Fi calling. It’s listed for previous iPhones so I assume it will work for the iPhone 12. If needed I could activate that and be able to get calls and text that way!

As long as the service works in town I would be good with that.
My “work” phone number is on Google Voice, so as long as I have Wi-fi I would get those calls and text. It’s for emergency only, so not that I need it all the time, but I do need it.

[10/27/20 update]
So my house is just in a dead zone!

Signal is good in town and at work. Even 5G! (not the super fast, what everyone thinks 5G)
When I watch the signal on the way home – as I hit the cross roads a 1/4 a mile from my house the 5G signal turns drops to 1/2 bars.
As I turn in my driveway, it turns to LTE..

So I turned 5G back on to test how Apples smart control works and how battery is.

So far so good. I have not seen the no signal since the first night and I rebooted my phone – even leaving 5G on.

5G – I did test some file downloads real quick and it was about 2x faster.

check out my iPhone review coming soon…

Posted by Ken Barker

One Comment

  1. […] my next post – link – where I talk more about […]

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