1. baayers's Avatar
    I just switched back to Verizon about a week ago and decided to get an iPhone 5 as that is what I had on AT&T and really enjoyed it. I do have an issue with Verizon when I go to FL that I had forgotten about until now. When I stay with family in NorthWest FL Verizon has the Alabama network on SID 329 A band, and the FL network on SID 4138 B band. We are actually closer to the Alabama tower than the Florida tower but most VZW phones will prefer the Florida one instead even though the Alabama tower is close enough to see the strobe light on top of the tower at night. With non LTE phones including the iPhone 4 / 4S you are able to dial *22800 and hang up after hearing the Welcome to Verizon Wireless Programming message and the phone would then lock onto the AL network with full bars both indoors and out. If you don't do this the Florida tower is farther away and you get 2 bars outdoors but inside you barely get 1 leaving your indoor service useless. With the iPhone 5 you are blocked from accessing this menu. Is there a way to pull this off on the iPhone 5 since the old method is not available. Thanks in advance for any help that can be given.
    07-26-2013 07:06 AM
  2. Eileen89's Avatar
    The SIM card provides the PRL updates on 4G LTE devices. Therefore you don't need to dial *228 with those phones. To force an update. turn off the phone, take out the SIM card for a few minutes, put the SIM card back in and reboot your iPhone 5.
    07-26-2013 08:04 AM
  3. baayers's Avatar
    The SIM card provides the PRL updates on 4G LTE devices. Therefore you don't need to dial *228 with those phones. To force an update. turn off the phone, take out the SIM card for a few minutes, put the SIM card back in and reboot your iPhone 5.
    I have the newest PRL but that's not what I'm trying to do. I actually just got to FL a few hours ago and the issue even with the newest PRL (15233) exists. Before I used the *22800 trick to get the phone to see the closer tower. We are on the border of the 2 states and I assume that because I am on the Florida side its trying to hold onto that tower based on location. From here dialing *22800 sends the phone to the Alabama tower and *22801 makes it hit the Florida tower. The AL tower is just under a half mile from here where the closest tower on the FL side is about 4 miles away. More than anything I'm just trying to get my phone to let go of the farther away tower and see the closer one.
    07-26-2013 10:26 AM
  4. baayers's Avatar
    Also I am getting 3-4 bars of indoor LTE coverage so it is getting that from the AL side for sure. My issue is with the CDMA voice side of things.
    07-26-2013 10:35 AM
  5. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    Also I am getting 3-4 bars of indoor LTE coverage so it is getting that from the AL side for sure. My issue is with the CDMA voice side of things.
    I travel back and forth from North Carolina to Florida several times a year and I have always been able to maintain voice and data signals even though the signal strength fluctuates or stays at 1 or 2 bars depending on where I am on the interstate. Thankfully, I've not ever run into problems calling or receiving calls while en route. Since you're driving in the panhandle section, I can only assume that the problem will correct itself soon. Especially the closer you get to Tallahassee.
    07-26-2013 10:42 AM
  6. Jaguarr40's Avatar
    I would also agree with what 'D is saying as you are near the border you are close to Dothan Al which is not very tower friendly to begin with as any of the same Panhandle Fl area. I would also believe that this would resolve itself once you lock onto a particular grid area.
    While I am on a 4S and not an IP5 I have heard from nay that using *228 on any LTE phones do not do any good or i should say are not needed. I would hang in there and see if given the time this will all work out.
    07-26-2013 09:03 PM
  7. baayers's Avatar
    I think there is a misunderstanding of my situation. I will actually be staying here for a while. When I drive around the area Coverage actually is really good and I have more coverage here now with Verizon then I did with AT&T. My issue is more with indoor coverage at our house. We are on the Florida side of the line so the phone is locking into the Florida tower for voice even though the newer closer tower is in Alabama. I was hoping to be able to trick the phone into seeing the closer tower as I was able to do with the older phones.
    07-26-2013 10:50 PM
  8. kch50428's Avatar
    Chances are, the Alabama tower is sectored, and may not have a sector pointed to where you are in Florida... towers are not all omnidirectional. And with CDMA voice, the phone's PRL dictates that it hang on to a tower of its 'home' system ID rather than a tower further down in its PRL, even if it's another Verizon tower... it's one of the perils of being on the fringe of two cellular coverage zones in a network.
    07-26-2013 11:12 PM
  9. Peligro911's Avatar
    I think there is a misunderstanding of my situation. I will actually be staying here for a while. When I drive around the area Coverage actually is really good and I have more coverage here now with Verizon then I did with AT&T. My issue is more with indoor coverage at our house. We are on the Florida side of the line so the phone is locking into the Florida tower for voice even though the newer closer tower is in Alabama. I was hoping to be able to trick the phone into seeing the closer tower as I was able to do with the older phones.
    Have you called Verizon tech support ask for a tier 2 and see what they say maybe there is a way to do it that we don't know


    Sent from my iPhone 5 from a galaxy far far away (in the USA ) using Tapatalk !
    baayers likes this.
    07-26-2013 11:16 PM
  10. kch50428's Avatar
    Have you called Verizon tech support ask for a tier 2 and see what they say maybe there is a way to do it that we don't know
    The OP needs to have Verizon support open a network trouble ticket... Specifically request they do that...
    baayers likes this.
    07-26-2013 11:24 PM
  11. baayers's Avatar
    I called Verizon and spoke to technical support and they did confirm that the reason I'm having the problem is not to do with location as much as it has to do with 4138 is higher in the PRL than 329. I am getting a -85db signal on LTE and they did verify that I am indeed getting the signal for LTE from the Alabama Tower and CDMA from the Florida tower. They told me that they would be escalating my situation to see if there would be a possibility of a resolution and that I should hear something back in the next couple of days.

    Also I should have mentioned this before but this is an issue that actually did not start until after the ALLTEL merger. Prior to the merger ALLTEL was in this area and used 544 which made them lower in the PRL than 329. When the 544 towers were changed to 4138 that caused this problem to start. I had thought that since the merger had happened and that area was now considered Verizon that was why it was happening based on location. Talking to them and reading previous posts it makes sense why the 4138 said being higher explains the problem.
    07-27-2013 01:39 AM
  12. baayers's Avatar
    I received a call back from a very nice tech yesterday about my issue. When I explained the entire situation he laughed and told me that he had used the same 228 trick in the past to force his phone while camping in an area that was also on a SID boundary and had also used it to force US Cellular roaming while on a trip to Iowa. Unfortunately he told me that now that everything is SIM based there is no longer a work around available for me to use. As far as the closest Florida tower is concerned they already have it focused northward so there was not much they could do. They had tried to focus that tower a year ago to the south instead but it ended up hurting more people than it helped so they switched it back. We also discussed a network extender but we are still stuck on satellite out here so that was out.

    Shortly before I got the call back I had been talking to a friend who had a less than 6 month old Wilson DB Pro that he no longer needed as he was moving and his new house had no cell issues. He offered it to me for $150 which I thought was more than fair. I brought that up to the the tech and he agreed that would probably be the best solution. He then said he needed to check something and put me on hold. He came back and to my surprise he had gotten a manager on the line that offered me a $100 credit since that would have been the value of the network extender they would have given me. They applied the credit and wished me the best of luck. My friend came over this morning and we set up the Wilson. He had both a directional and omni directional antenna but considering how close we are to the AL tower we decided to use the directional one and point it south. After making a few adjustments we got the green lights. We now have full indoor coverage with no tricks required.

    Thanks to all who took the time to read and answer this thread.
    07-28-2013 01:04 PM
  13. kch50428's Avatar
    Good to see you've achieved resolution to the issue and your needs are now met.
    07-28-2013 01:32 PM
  14. BlaineP's Avatar
    I have great coverage in my area. Seems like the iPhone has a good antenna. Maybe even better than my android.


    Sent from my iPhone 5
    07-30-2013 05:37 PM

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