I had high hopes for Verizon and their LTE network when I first unboxed my new iPad. I knew the LTE spec could be as high as 20Mbps down and 10Mbps up — but I’d settle for half of those numbers.  I’d read reports that people were getting LTE speeds in NYC of 10Mbps down and 6Mbps up and I’d love to be able to live that fast on the web.

Unfortunately, my initial tests in Jersey City were lousy, and yesterday, I did some informal LTE testing around Bryant Park in New York City.  You’d think at 6th Avenue and 40th Street you’d have a saturating LTE signal from Verizon.  Here are the results of my first, dismal, test:  Two Verizon LTE bars and 1.7Mbps down and 1.47Mpbs up.  Ugh.  That’s miserable 3G territory!

I waited a minute and decided to run the test again.  This time the results were slightly better, but not as-advertised LTE speeds:  Three bars of Verizon LTE and 2.78Mbps down and 1.29Mbps up.

The Verizon LTE bars kept flickering.  I did some web browsing.  The pages loaded okay.  I received several error messages that the “network could not be found” — meaning Verizon had dropped the LTE connection — and my iPad asked me if I wanted to join a WiFi network instead.

When the LTE signal returned, I did another test:  Two Verizon LTE bars and 4.20Mpbs down and 0.60Mbps down.  We gained a bunch one way and lost a bunch of speed the other way.  What unreliable and unpredictable madness!

I waited 20 minutes and decided to run another test:  Three Verizon LTE bars and 2.30Mbps down and 1.20Mbps up.  Not great numbers.  Really disappointing numbers, actually.

I immediately fired another test and recorded those speeds:  Three Verizon LTE bars, 3.91Mbps down and 1.29Mbps up.  Is anyone else bothered by the unpredictability of these numbers?

This morning, back in Jersey City, I decided to try another Verizon LTE speed test only to find my iPad had defaulted to Verizon 3G instead of LTE and the connection numbers were embarrassing:  0.46Mbps down and 0.76Mpbs up.  Ooof!

I don’t know if my new iPad is a lemon — I know some WiFi-only models are being re-“captured” by Apple — but my wife’s iPad shows the same dismal LTE connection speeds, so I’m guessing we’re just dealing with rotten Verizon LTE service in Jersey and Manhattan that, we hold thumbs, will continue to get better instead of progressively worse. Notice I said I was “holding thumbs” and not my breath.

Posted by David Boles

David Boles was born in Nebraska and his MFA is from Columbia University in the City of New York. He is an Author, Lyricist, Playwright, Publisher, Editor, Actor, Designer, Director, Poet, Producer, and Boodle Boy for print, radio, television, film, the web and the live stage. With more than 50 books in print, David continues to write 2MM words a year. He has authored over 25K articles and published more. Read the Prairie Voice Archive at Boles.com | Buy his books at David Boles Books Writing & Publishing | Earn the world with David Boles University | Get a script doctored at Script Professor | Touch American Sign Language mastery at Hardcore ASL.

10 Comments

  1. […] confess I am obsessed with trying to figure out why Verizon LTE is so sucky on our two brand-new iPads.  Yesterday, we were at the dentist’s office in Jersey City and I […]

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  2. It doesn’t make sense that the speeds are so bad in Manhattan. That’s where this technology should shine.

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    1. I agree! We’ll have to do more testing in the City.

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      1. Have the same issue. iPad 3. Verizon LTE. Work in Jersey City and live in NYC. Service is pretty bad. Often it says “No Service” and just drops. It is always slow.

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        1. You’re right, Geoff. Verizon LTE is terrible in Jersey City and NYC. It just doesn’t work reliably and often falls back to 3G or even EDGE! There are only pockets of proper LTE connections to be found, and they’re hard to find. I’m lucky I can usually find a WiFi signal to use, but that isn’t saying much about paying all that money a month to Verizon for, basically, zero iPad LTE service.

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  3. […] How exactly did this work? During the festival, people looking for a strong wi-fi connection would find these individuals who were wearing shirts that had “I’m *name*, a 4G hotspot” on them.  People would then give them money in exchange for internet access. The hotspot individual would get all of the money and the person paying would get the privilege of getting a good high speed connection. […]

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  4. […] speed” upgrade for our area they’d been publicly promising for weeks in an attempt to tamp down Verizon FiOS infiltration into their broadband power user […]

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  5. […] was unable to do a SpeedTest because ping was turned off on the Xfinity server side — but checking email and doing some web surfing […]

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  6. […] China, and upon first opening the box, I was amazed to see how much longer, and lighter weight this 5S phone is compared to my 2.5 year old iPhone 4s.  Janna’s new iPhone will arrive tomorrow. […]

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  7. […] Today, the big communication behemoths are pushing us all to cut the wire and go wireless.  I’m delighted to do that as long as the cellular service is at least just as good — and it should actually be quantums better — than what POTS has offered us in the past but, unfortunately, we all know cellular data and voice in the USA is still pretty awful and slow and unreliable. […]

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