Why Does My Phone Say LTE Instead Of 4G or 5G?

By John Adebimitan

We all want fast internet speed when watching videos or playing games online. 3G once served us, but it is now unbelievably slow compared to 4G, LTE, and 5G.

If you haven’t had much experience with cellular network coverage and speeds, you could get very confused. For example, you might be wondering why your phone says LTE instead of 4G or 5G and how to switch between these cellular networks.

This article contains basic information about cellular networks and how to fix specific issues with your network.

Why Does My Phone Say LTE Instead Of 4G?

Your phone says LTE instead of 4G when connected to an LTE network. LTE stands for ‘Long Term Evolution’ – it is the type of 4G that delivers the fastest internet speed before 5G. The terms are specific to your carrier. For example, your phone would display 3G when connected to HSPA OR HSPA+, and it would display LTE or 4G LTE when connected to an LTE network.

In the early days of 4G, some carriers put out a faster version of 3G – 3G+ if you would – and marketed it as 4G. Hence, most carriers display 4G LTE or LTE instead of just 4G to indicate true 4G rather than the faster version of 3G.

Why Does My Phone Say LTE Instead Of 5G?

Your phone says LTE instead of 5G because it is connected to an LTE network and not a 5G network. This could happen when your phone is in an area where the 5G network is not accessible or when you didn’t configure your phone to work with the 5G network. It could also be because your service plan does not allow a 5G network, or you have throttled down to 4G after reaching the 5G data limit.

The 5G network is still in its early stages, so it is not accessible in many areas, and 5G-friendly devices are not yet in wide circulation.

What Does LTE Mean on My Samsung Phone?

LTE on your Samsung means you’ve connected your phone to the internet via an LTE network. LTE stands for ‘Long Term Evolution’ – it is the type of 4G that delivers the fastest internet speed before 5G. The terms are specific to your particular carrier. For example, when connected to HSPA OR HSPA+, your phone would display 3G and LTE or 4G LTE when connected to an LTE network.

Is My Phone Supposed to Saying LTE Instead Of 4G?

If your phone says LTE instead of 4G, you are connected to an LTE network. In the early days of 4G, some carriers put out a faster version of 3G – 3G+ if you would – and marketed it as 4G. Hence, most carriers nowadays display 4G LTE or LTE instead of just 4G to indicate true 4G rather than the faster version of 3G.

Should My iPhone Say LTE or 4G?

Yes, Your iPhone can display either 4G LTE or LTE when connected to an LTE network and 4G when connected to a 4G network. Although, true 4G is not accessible in most areas compared to 4G LTE or LTE.

Why Am I Getting 4G Instead Of 5G On My Phone?

You are getting 4G instead of 5G on your phone because of one of the following reasons:

  1. Your service plan does not allow connection on 5G speeds
  2. Your phone is in an area where 5G is not available
  3. Your phone is not configured to work with 5G coverage
  4. You have throttled down to 4G after reaching the 5G data limit

Top Reasons Why Your Phone Doesn’t Have the Speed Of 4G Internet and Some Fixes

  1. Network settings hindering the connection via 4G
  2. Your phone could be in an area where the 4G signal is very low/unavailable, or your phone/service plan does not allow 4G coverage
  3. Outdated software or carrier settings
  4. You could have positioned the sim card wrongly
  5. You could’ve exceeded the set data limit and throttled down to 3G

Fix 1: Reset

You can reset the network by simply turning ON airplane mode, leaving it ON for at least a minute, then turning it back OFF and waiting for the network to refresh. Alternatively, you can restart your phone.

You can also reset the network settings from the settings app on your phone. To do this, go to Settings >> General >>Reset >> Reset Network Settings.

Fix 2: Check Network Settings

First, confirm that your service plan allows 4G speeds, that your phone is configured to work with 4G speeds and that you are in an area where 4G coverage is available. Then follow these steps to confirm you have the correct network settings for the desired network coverage:

  1. For Android, go to Settings, then select Sim cards & mobile networks >>Sim card settings >> Mobile network >> Preferred network type. For iPhone, go to Settings >> Mobile data >> Mobile data options >> Voice & Data or simply search for Voice & Data in the settings app
  2. Check that 4G or LTE is enabled instead of 3G or 2G
  3. If it isn’t, enable it by clicking on it

Fix 3: Check Sim Card

Confirm that your SIM card is clean and properly positioned. Next, open the sim tray or the phone’s back cover, remove the sim, clean and place it properly. You can also clean the sim tray if you notice dust, dirt, or debris.

Read also: Do I Need A New Sim Card and Phone for 5G?

Fix 4: Remove Data Limit

If you have set a data limit to try and reduce the amount of data you use, this might cause the issue of your phone not reaching the 4G speed. When you reach the limit, your network will either go back to 3G or stop working entirely. To remove the set data limit on Android, go to Settings >> Sim cards & Mobile networks >> Set data plan >> Data usage. Then, toggle OFF Data usage to turn off any set data limit.

Fix 5: Check for Carrier/Software Updates

This feature is only on iPhones. If your phone software or carrier settings are outdated, you might encounter slower network coverage. Go to Settings >> General >>About; if an update is available, follow the prompts to install it.

If none of these fixes work, we recommend contacting your network service provider with your complaint. The issue might also result from a fault on your phone, so you could take the phone to be checked.

Conclusion

If your phone says LTE instead of 4G or 5G, this article will let you know what it means and what to do when facing an issue of poor network coverage.

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