Improve 3g/edge connection Iphone 4

Posted on 2012-09-18
Last Modified: 2012-09-20

I have an Iphone 4. I take the train a lot and my 3g/edge connection drops a lot.
Is there a way to improve connection (I read things about tape which could improve connection)?

Please advise.
Question by:janhoedt
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    There are several ways. Often (and people don't realise) that they are in (or around) old buildings with lead lined roofs (rooves), these will definitely inhibit a connection regardless of what you do to enhance its antenna. I personally have the same issue as I'm in an old British Victorian house lined with lead roofing and the only way I could better the connection was by using a GSM repeater/booster offered by my cellular provider. Unfortunately, because the iPhone in general (I have iPhone 4 and 4S) isa closed unit and you are unable to directly modify the antenna, there isn't much you can do.

    Despite there being adverts for cases which 'boost antenna/signal' don't call for these. The issue isn't with the phone itself, but with the actual reception of the signal. Furthermore, despite 'radiowaves' being regarded as being similar to sound waves, there are a few overlooked flaws:

    1) Hypothetically, if you were in a sound suppressed room, and someone else in another adjacent to it, general 'talk at normal levels wont be heard. IF you shouted to one another (both being the topic here) you will hear each other (maybe)
    ----On that note: you could boost your signal with a modification to your iPhone, i.e. amplify it, but the transmission signal of your iPhone doesn't change. Because iPhones (GSM/CDMA) transmitter is at a fixed level (so to speak), or rather it has a MAX level, it would be able to 'hear' the towers, but wouldnt be able to transmit back confirming that it has signal (this is how GSM works in short).

    2) Seeing as you have the iPhone 4, there was a flaw (haha excuse the poeticness of the comment), but if you take the case off of your iphone (assuming you have one) you will notice that all around the edge of it there's a silvered surface. This is the antenna (well part of it is). A big problem the iPhone 4 had was people holding the phone without a case, and where the breaks in the case (the silvered edge is), you'll notice black notches, which are insulators. You'll also notice that they were badly placed as often your fingers/hands would connect the two.
    ---You wouldn't thin that your body would affect this, but it does. Because of 2 reasons.
    ---i) Your body is made of of over 70% saline (water + salt) which is infact an excellent conductor, hence ina way causing a short between the two parts of the antenna.
    ---ii) Your body is over 0.001% iron (i.e. the haemoglobin as well as other sorts of iron thereof), this too contributes to the factor.

    I suggest that you try the original iPhone 4 antenna hack, and that was first taking cellotape (seethrough tape), cleaning the entire area of the Side of the iPhone, then placing this tape (or engineers insulation tape) over the black notches (which clearly separate segmets of the sides of the phone)

    Second I suggest you:

    1) Try another simcard get a freebie pay as you go one, on other networks, to confirm if its the network or not.
    2) Try another case (or another case to insulate the unit away from your body/skin, as above cello tape) is enough.

    I had exactly the same thing with my iPhone 4, and this was revised in the iPhone 4S, which now works a treat (except for the shoddy battery life - 50% that of my old and tired 2 year old iPhone 4!).

    I hope this helps you


    Peg ();
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    One last comment, in regards to the internet cnnection, I found thatmy provider had several 'registering names, when it came to the provider.

    If you go to:

    Settings > CArrier (or sometimes Settings > general > Carrier. you can choose a better, stronger service.

    Reason is, mobile corporatios merge alot and often share towers, maybe your phone is choosing the weaker of the few shown (worth a shot!). I get this with 3 UK. They have 3 advertised carriers (3 and £3G) both of which offer 3G, but at home 3 is better, and out and about 3G is better.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your clear explanation!

    2 more things:
    *Is there a guide/test for what you suggest (pictures + test of cases which improve signal)?
    *I'm considering to buy the new Iphone, would this help?
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    The 4S and 5 have significant antenna upgrades that allow it to switch antennas for maximum performance.  So the issues you have with "Death Grip" on iPhone 4 will not be present.
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    The 4s is definately ALOT better, since upgrading I've had few signal issues. In regards to the iPhone 5, I'll let you know soon!

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