Lte vs Wcdma reception

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Hey guys, I recently signed up with Koodo, and I've found that when my phone (s8) is set to lte/wcdma/gsm auto, it always sets fo Lte, and I get 1-2 bars of reception everywhere, sometimes 3(I live in the west island of Montreal). If I manually set it to Wcdma or gsm, my reception shoots up to 4-5 bars in the same locations, and data switches to 4g.

Is there a huge difference between lte and 4g? Would I be better sticking with Wcdma for the better reception? I know everyone always talks about lte being the newest or best ....
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Posted 1 month ago

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Dinh, Mobile Master

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Hi Matt,
I would keep it to Auro with the S8. The phone will automatically choose the right network for you. Regarding your question, wcdma is 3G. LTE is better for data. I believe your phone will automatically switch to 3g/wcdma when calling.
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Really? When I switch to Wcdma my data icon says "4G".

Ive had it on auto the past week, but have noticed my signal bar is always 1-3, just switched it to Wcdma last night and Havnt seen lower than 4.
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Dinh, Mobile Master

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WCDMA is  3G

Koodo/Telus is using multiple bands for their cell signals. The phone should know automatically how to choose the best bands for you. When the LTE signal is weak, they normally fall back to WCDMA/3G. You could try to do a speedtest to see how fast can you go with LTE and CWDMA. Noted that each speedtest would take away 100-120MB of your data.
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Allan, Mobile Master

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Unless you're having problems just keep it the way it is.
As long as you have something and it's not affecting your phone usage it really doesnt matter if its 5 or 1 bar.
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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It's a marketing thing.
Which is what I personally call 3.5G
It is faster than the initial 3G but it is technically not 4G.  Customers got suckered in with the G's to determine better networks so companies started calling 3.5G as 4G

LTE is officially 4G

I also echo what Allan said.  If you have no reception or connection issue then leave it on LTE.  If you are noticing the 1 and 2 bars are impacting you getting network connection, then switch to WCDMA.

Note that LTE is only used for data. Voice and text will be on WCDMA
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If it helps any I've also noticed a difference with 3G/wcdma/hspa+ having more bars than 4G/LTE but even with a lower signal the speed is still higher with the latter. Your mileage may vary, of course. :)
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The bars you see can be largely misleading. If you download a PlayStore utility like Signal Strength, you can get actual numbers for your reception in real time for both networks, as well as an indication of how useful that signal is. It's not unusual to see 2 bars be shown when the signal is just marginal, as well as when it's just fine.

Montreal's West Island has a few cellular black holes mixed in to areas with excellent reception. It's the same for all carriers. As long as your calls are OK and data is working fine, I would just call it a day and move on to something else. It may be amusing to watch the signal meter flicker up and down (it won't be all that stable, since cell signals are weak). But it's something that we can't control or improve.