Update: how the 2.0.2 software update addressed iPhone 3G dropped calls

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The recent iPhone 2.0.2 software update addressed a problem with the iPhone 3G's power control that was causing dropped calls, according to a new report.



Last week, Apple's Jennifer Bowcock told USAToday that ?the software update improves communication with 3G networks.? However, Roughly Drafted is now reporting addition details from "a source close to AT&T" that explained what the real issue may have been, and why some users didn't notice any immediate impact after installing the iPhone 2.0.2 update.



The cited source said, ?In [AT&T 3G] UMTS, power control is key to the mobile and network success. If the UE [phone set] requires too much downlink power then the base station or Node B can run out of transmitter power and this is what was happening. As you get more UEs on the cell, the noise floor rises and the cell has to compensate by ramping up its power to the UEs.?



?The power control issue will also have an effect on the data throughput," the source said, "because the higher the data rate the more power the Node B transmitter requires to transmit. If the UEs have poor power control and are taking more power than is necessary then it will sap the network?s ability to deliver high speed data.?



The source added that the issue had compelled AT&T to send iPhone 3G users an SMS text message about the availability of the new iPhone 2.0.2 software, and that, "In a mixed environment where users are running 2.0, 2.0.1, and 2.0.2, the power control problems of 2.0 and 2.0.1 will affect the 2.0.2 users.?



Steve Jobs separately emailed one user with a tersely worded intent to fix unrelated problems in the iPhone's higher level software that concern instability and crashing in third party apps, writing, "This is a known iPhone bug that is being fixed in the next software update in September."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    What came first - the chicken or the egg?

    Is it Apple or is it AT&T...?

    Is it AT&T or is it Apple...?
  • Reply 2 of 37
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I'm surprised that handsets are able to dictate to the tower how much power to send out. It seems like a malicious device could be constructed from this idea.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    While interesting from a technical stand point this doesn't solve all of iPhone's cell problems. It is a good machine but needs a lot of work to turn it into a great machine.



    Dave
  • Reply 4 of 37
    core2core2 Posts: 49member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I'm surprised that handsets are able to dictate to the tower how much power to send out. It seems like a malicious device could be constructed from this idea.



    That is the whole principle of CDMA which UMTS and HSDPA are based off of. The analogy is if your in a crowded room and everyone is talking to everyone else in the room, you need to either be closer to the person your talking to or speak louder than everyone else.



    The whole principle behind CDMA is that everyone speaks to the tower at the same level and they "decode" your message with a unique encoding scheme for you.



    Power control works both ways. The network tells the device to power up or down based on how loud it is and the network will power up to the level required to speak to the particular user. That is why signal bars do not mean signal strength as much as they mean the quality of the signal. If you have a low signal but there is no one else near the site or there is little noise, then the through put will be good and the call will be good. You may also be standing directly in-front of a cell site

    and have poor signal quality if the site is full or there is a phone miss behaving on the network (Jamming the site). This is why you can be standing perfectly still and the signal level changes over time, as users attach to the site and detach, the quality can change dramatically.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    Steve Jobs separately emailed one user with a tersely worded intent to fix unrelated problems in the iPhone's higher level software that concern instability and crashing in third party apps, writing, "This is a known iPhone bug that is being fixed in the next software update in September."[/QUOTE]



    I'm not sure why this quote keeps being "labeled" as "tersely worded"? It sounds pretty benign to me, and "just the facts". I suppose it's all in how you "read" into it . . . <smile>.



    Jon
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Huh? I'm still lost....
  • Reply 7 of 37
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post


    Steve Jobs separately emailed one user with a tersely worded intent to fix unrelated problems in the iPhone's higher level software that concern instability and crashing in third party apps, writing, "This is a known iPhone bug that is being fixed in the next software update in September."



    I'm not sure why this quote keeps being "labeled" as "tersely worded"? It sounds pretty benign to me, and "just the facts". I suppose it's all in how you "read" into it . . . <smile>.



    Jon



    yep, cause he wasn't all "I"m SOOOOO sorry this happened to you. here let me refund the cost of your iphone and pay your cell bill for the next year to make it up to you" they play it like he was curt and basically a jerk.



    and chances are that that 'terse' message was a form one that went out to dozens or even hundreds of folks that sent in emails but only one person stepped up and publicly said he got a message back. the rest were just happy to have something to show apple is trying
  • Reply 8 of 37
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Core2 View Post


    That is the whole principle of CDMA which UMTS and HSDPA are based off of. The analogy is if your in a crowded room and everyone is talking to everyone else in the room, you need to either be closer to the person your talking to or speak louder than everyone else.



    The whole principle behind CDMA is that everyone speaks to the tower at the same level and they "decode" your message with a unique encoding scheme for you.



    Power control works both ways. The network tells the device to power up or down based on how loud it is and the network will power up to the level required to speak to the particular user. That is why signal bars do not mean signal strength as much as they mean the quality of the signal. If you have a low signal but there is no one else near the site or there is little noise, then the through put will be good and the call will be good. You may also be standing directly in-front of a cell site

    and have poor signal quality if the site is full or there is a phone miss behaving on the network (Jamming the site). This is why you can be standing perfectly still and the signal level changes over time, as users attach to the site and detach, the quality can change dramatically.





    okay I'm not exactly sure I get this or the stuff in the original article.



    but what I think is being said, and correctly if I'm wrong, is that cell phones are basically like any network in the sense that



    1. too many folks trying to tap a server can cause bog ups and slow downs as the server tries to handle all the requests



    2. the slowest end dictates speed. so like my laptop's wifi is n but the router is only g so the router sets the pace. by the same token, if you have a tower where some folks have the new better software and some don't the presence of the old software has made the tower slow down and might not speed up to talk to the new software folks at their full speed. depending perhaps on how many slows are present.



    is that more or less correct.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post


    I'm not sure why this quote keeps being "labeled" as "tersely worded"? It sounds pretty benign to me, and "just the facts". I suppose it's all in how you "read" into it . . . <smile>.



    According to the OAD terse can mean sparing in the use of words, but it usually connotes something that is both concise and polished. The usage of terse to also imply a pejorative insult seems to be a more modern adoption.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    core2core2 Posts: 49member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    okay I'm not exactly sure I get this or the stuff in the original article.



    but what I think is being said, and correctly if I'm wrong, is that cell phones are basically like any network in the sense that



    1. too many folks trying to tap a server can cause bog ups and slow downs as the server tries to handle all the requests



    2. the slowest end dictates speed. so like my laptop's wifi is n but the router is only g so the router sets the pace. by the same token, if you have a tower where some folks have the new better software and some don't the presence of the old software has made the tower slow down and might not speed up to talk to the new software folks at their full speed. depending perhaps on how many slows are present.



    is that more or less correct.



    1. Pretty much correct, only this would be at any given cell site in the area at any given time.



    2. Not sure about HSDPA but in 1xEV, there are mechanisms and thresholds. If the user is demanding too much attention or slowing things down too much or not listening to what the network is telling them, the network can shut them out and serve the good users.



    I am thinking that if there is a bug in the power control, it may cause the phone to speak to the tower but the tower may never hear the phone. If the phone try's several times and the tower doesn't respond, it may drop back to 2G and try again. This may be the cause of people seeing 2G when they are in a 3G network area. There also must be some timing I would think as if the phone sniffed 3G and started trying to hammer the network to connect, the battery life would be horrid and the device would heat up.



    Please note that this is pure speculation and not to be taken as concrete.... It is just an example of what could happen if the network and the device was not talking well together.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    kennywrxkennywrx Posts: 141member
    Interesting, eventhough I think FW 2.0.2 broke 3G fuctionality in my case. The 3G connection is just not responding... EDGE and WIFI work fine.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KennyWRX View Post


    Interesting, eventhough I think FW 2.0.2 broke 3G fuctionality in my case. The 3G connection is just not responding... EDGE and WIFI work fine.



    I had the same problem and had to do a restore to get 3g to come back
  • Reply 13 of 37
    So 2.0 was actually causing network problems... making the network go slower and less stable for all phones.



    That explains why for the first 2 weeks my Nokia on Vodafone 3G kept showing it had switched to 2G mode. That does happen frequently enough, but it was much more often at that time.



    ps.

    The iPhone still gets really warm when using 3G data for 10 minutes. Anyone else notice this?
  • Reply 14 of 37
    dcdttudcdttu Posts: 25member
    So was 2.0.2 "The reception issue" fix? Are there going to be subsequent fixes in 2.1?



    My phone really behaves no better than before, varying from 5 bars to 1 just by picking the phone up, dropping calls when I lose 3G, only keeping 3G when VERY close to the tower.



    My phone still behaves very differently in comparison to other AT&T 3G phones....



    I really hope that 2.1 addresses this, or I'm thinking they're trying to cover up a hardware issue that they are not going to fix.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    2.02 fixed precisely nothing for me. 3G just as unusable as before.



    Why does the word placebo jump to mind?



    I met a Nokia techie at a client's office yesterday (we design lots of mobile apps), and at the end of the meeting, when he berated me for owning an iPhone, he said that everyone at Nokia is laughing about this. They said that Apple would struggle to get the phone hardware right way back - turns out they were right. He said that two obscure lines of code in the firmware of one of their chipsets when they launched the N series devices led to an almost 50% increase in battery life when they altered them. But finding this took them 6 months - and they knew what they were looking for.



    Apple has a lot to learn here, and a lot to do to get this phone right. I hope there are lots of people there working really hard to bring the phone up to an acceptable standard. Right now, it's like using a 1st gen 3g phone from years ago.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Frankly, I don't give a flying fu** who's fault it is anymore. All I know is I'm paying an extra $10 for 3G service and I'm not getting it. If I wanted a phone that dropped down to EDGE 90% of the time then I would have stuck with my original iPhone.



    All I know is there's going to be a lawsuit. There are tens of thousand of people having the same problem as me and are getting screwed out of an extra $10 a month for the same EDGE service.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Frankly, I don't give a flying fu** who's fault it is anymore. All I know is I'm paying an extra $10 for 3G service and I'm not getting it. If I wanted a phone that dropped down to EDGE 90% of the time then I would have stuck with my original iPhone.



    All I know is there's going to be a lawsuit. There are tens of thousand of people having the same problem as me and are getting screwed out of an extra $10 a month for the same EDGE service.



    Have you called AT&T regarding this issue? It's quite possible they will give you a credit for the data cost difference since it's quite feasible that the reason you changed phones was for 3G speeds.



    Note: The $30/month fee for unlimited data isn't just for the 3G iPhone. It's for all AT&T phones, included the original EDGE iPhone.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    The dropped call situation was bad before 2.0.2 now I have an almost unusable phone. Just about every call gets dropped no matter where I am.



    This must be fixed





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Have you called AT&T regarding this issue? It's quite possible they will give you a credit for the data cost difference since it's quite feasible that the reason you changed phones was for 3G speeds.



    Note: The $30/month fee for unlimited data isn't just for the 3G iPhone. It's for all AT&T phones, included the original EDGE iPhone.



  • Reply 19 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Have you called AT&T regarding this issue? It's quite possible they will give you a credit for the data cost difference since it's quite feasible that the reason you changed phones was for 3G speeds.



    Note: The $30/month fee for unlimited data isn't just for the 3G iPhone. It's for all AT&T phones, included the original EDGE iPhone.



    he didn't say the 30 was he said the ten was. The other 20 is for unlimited data. He and all of us deserve 10 bucks a month off our bills until this is resolved and an additional 20 bucks off our bill per month or a rebate from apple for making us leave the 1st gen phone for a new phone that doesn't work. I have only used 3g twice in 6 weeks... That sucks I have been stuck on edge and I live in the greater LA
  • Reply 20 of 37
    Someone tell me that 3G has been successfully deployed SOMEWHERE. I can't believe these issues are completely new.
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