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Verizon Wireless & Interference from carrier in Mexico (1 Viewer)

Mark Booth

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When I got the very first iPhone model in 2007 I switched to AT&T for wireless (because I had to if I wanted an iPhone). I was generally happy with AT&T's coverage here in San Diego but, after I retired and we began traveling the country, I quickly discovered that AT&T had less than desirable service in other states. So, in 2013 or so, I switched to Verizon.

I've been happy with Verizon. I feel that AT&T actually did a better job with coverage in San Diego but, for traveling outside of California, Verizon was the better choice.

Then, in August (2019) a new cell carrier in Mexico turned on its network that uses the same 700mhz spectrum as Verizon. It's been hell ever since.

As the crow flies, our home is about 14 miles from the border with Mexico. You'd think that would be far enough of a distance that the Mexican carrier wouldn't have an impact but that's just not the case. There are anecdotal reports of Verizon customers having problems as far as 25-30 miles from the border.

I noticed the change almost immediately. In places where I have 2-3 bars of signal (out of 4), I couldn't get any data to move. Web pages I was trying to load would simply time out due to no internet connection. Yet, there was 2-3 bars of signal strength staring me in the face. ARGH!!!

I didn't know what was going on until I heard about it on the local news in October:

https://www.10news.com/news/local-n...-many-verizon-wireless-customers-in-san-diego

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.co...rier-blocks-coverage-for-verizon-in-san-diego

Yesterday, I finally grew sick and tired of waiting for Verizon to get it all worked out. I called Verizon customer service to ask for an ETA on a fix. Verizon is well aware of the situation and how widespread it is. The first thing I got was a recording telling me that my area was affected by problems with a carrier in Mexico using the same spectrum. Then the Verizon rep said there wasn't any ETA for a fix and literally told me that the quickest fix is to just change carriers. I still had a few months left on my contract because I got an iPad mini 4 that Verizon subsidized. The Verizon rep said he was authorized to switch me to month-to-month (end the contract) without any fee or penalty so I could switch to another carrier.

So, in the next few days, I plan to switch back to AT&T. Since my iPhone XS is only 1 year old (and it's unlocked and not under contact), I can move to AT&T without needing a new contract. Month-to-month. Once Verizon and the FCC and Mexico get their act together, maybe I'll switch back to Verizon?

BTW, it's not just San Diego. It's all along the border with Mexico:

https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/m...tions-united-states-mexico-border/2347529001/

Very frustrating!

Mark
 

Scott Merryfield

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That's crazy, Mark! I hope you get things resolved soon.

We have a friend who lives on Grosse Isle, an island in the Detroit River between Michigan and Ontario (the island is part of Michigan). When she first moved there, she got a whopper of a cell bill her first month, as it seems her phone was unknowingly attaching to cell towers across the river in Canada and she rang up a huge amount of international roaming charges. Fortunately, the carrier dropped those charges and her phone was then set to block any attachment to international cells.

After that incident, I always made sure my phone was setup the same way any time we were in downtown Detroit, or heading across the river to Windsor, Ontario.

Living near a border can create some interesting issues.
 

Clinton McClure

Rocket Science Department
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When I got the very first iPhone model in 2007 I switched to AT&T for wireless (because I had to if I wanted an iPhone). I was generally happy with AT&T's coverage here in San Diego but, after I retired and we began traveling the country, I quickly discovered that AT&T had less than desirable service in other states. So, in 2013 or so, I switched to Verizon.

I've been happy with Verizon. I feel that AT&T actually did a better job with coverage in San Diego but, for traveling outside of California, Verizon was the better choice.

Then, in August (2019) a new cell carrier in Mexico turned on its network that uses the same 700mhz spectrum as Verizon. It's been hell ever since.

As the crow flies, our home is about 14 miles from the border with Mexico. You'd think that would be far enough of a distance that the Mexican carrier wouldn't have an impact but that's just not the case. There are anecdotal reports of Verizon customers having problems as far as 25-30 miles from the border.

I noticed the change almost immediately. In places where I have 2-3 bars of signal (out of 4), I couldn't get any data to move. Web pages I was trying to load would simply time out due to no internet connection. Yet, there was 2-3 bars of signal strength staring me in the face. ARGH!!!

I didn't know what was going on until I heard about it on the local news in October:

https://www.10news.com/news/local-n...-many-verizon-wireless-customers-in-san-diego

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.co...rier-blocks-coverage-for-verizon-in-san-diego

Yesterday, I finally grew sick and tired of waiting for Verizon to get it all worked out. I called Verizon customer service to ask for an ETA on a fix. Verizon is well aware of the situation and how widespread it is. The first thing I got was a recording telling me that my area was affected by problems with a carrier in Mexico using the same spectrum. Then the Verizon rep said there wasn't any ETA for a fix and literally told me that the quickest fix is to just change carriers. I still had a few months left on my contract because I got an iPad mini 4 that Verizon subsidized. The Verizon rep said he was authorized to switch me to month-to-month (end the contract) without any fee or penalty so I could switch to another carrier.

So, in the next few days, I plan to switch back to AT&T. Since my iPhone XS is only 1 year old (and it's unlocked and not under contact), I can move to AT&T without needing a new contract. Month-to-month. Once Verizon and the FCC and Mexico get their act together, maybe I'll switch back to Verizon?

BTW, it's not just San Diego. It's all along the border with Mexico:

https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/m...tions-united-states-mexico-border/2347529001/

Very frustrating!

Mark
You can’t just block it out by going into Settings —> Cellular —> Cellular Data Options and turning off voice roaming, cellular roaming, and international CDMA?
 

Mark Booth

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 25, 1999
Messages
3,359
You can’t just block it out by going into Settings —> Cellular —> Cellular Data Options and turning off voice roaming, cellular roaming, and international CDMA?

Nope. In fact, due to San Diego's proximity with Mexico, I've had roaming turned off since day one.

It's not that my phone is trying to switch over to the cell network in Mexico.

Rather, the new cellular network in Mexico is using the exact same frequency spectrum as Verizon. That is causing interference with VERIZON'S signal. It's not something that can be fixed at the phone level. Literally, I think the only fix is for one or the other to shift to a different frequency. And that is probably not going to happen anytime soon.

Mark
 

Mark Booth

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 25, 1999
Messages
3,359
I finally got around to switching to AT&T on Monday. Man o man, the miserable slowness of Verizon's network (due to interference) became even more abundantly clear once I started using my iPhone and iPad on AT&T's network. It's like I got brand new and much faster equipment. The difference is actually kind of amazing.

We spent 3 mights at our favorite casino which is located in a more rural area and even with just 1-2 bars of signal my devices were MUCH more responsive than my recent past experience on Verizon.

I was able to get a 6GB plan (shared data) for my iPhone and iPad (the iPad has cellular modem too) for $75/mo plus taxes and fees. And the rep told me that there is no fee for going over the 6GB, they just slow you down after that.

I'm a happy camper (so far). We'll see how well AT&T's network works in other areas of San Diego (and beyond) over the coming months. We're heading up to Cambria later this month, which is notorious for crappy cell service. We'll see.

Mark
 

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