A reader, Jay, asks…
hey, I have an unlocked iphone 5 32gb with a straight talk simcard which shows 3G on top even after enabling LTE and trying few tricks like swap sim and enter back and all but still can’t let go of 3G on top and when entered t-mobile,it showed 4G! what’s going on!?
If you are using a Verizon iPhone 5 with either Straight Talk’s ATT compatible or Straight Talk’s TMobile compatible SIM card your phone will only get 3G or 4G but not 4G LTE. The Verizon iPhone 5, is only compatible with Verizon’s LTE network, not ATT’s or TMobile’s LTE network. The radios in the phone don’t support the required frequencies. I wrote an article about these phones.
If you are using the ATT Compatible SIM, your status bar will only show a 3G indicator when you have either a 3G or a 4G HSPA+ connection. The indicator on the top is just what the carrier decides to display for a given connection. I wrote an article about this in the past, see I Updated My iPhone to Net10 & Straight Talk Carrier Update TFW 15.7 and Now My 4G Is Only 3G!
Now, if you are using a ATT, TMobile, or GSM iPhone 5 and not getting an LTE connection, it may not have LTE service in your area. A number of readers report that they don’t get LTE at home but do in nearby towns or more populated areas.
Finally, I usually recommend that people measure their actual data speeds, as this is more important than a 3G, 4G, or LTE indicator in the status bar. Se my article, Using SpeedTest to Measure Your Internet Speed