Rogers iPhone Reception Problems Due to "Dummy" Bell and Telus HSPA Towers?

Are recent iPhone reception problems on Rogers Canada the result of Bell and Telus putting up "dummy" HSPA towers? That's what a Rogers rep told one customer who complained about calls cutting in and out for the last couple of weeks.

I apologize for the inconvenience that is happening with you're iphone. It is probable due to the new hspa dummy towers being put up by other carriers that it is interfering with you're signal. So I would advise to manually select the rogers network instead of the phone doing an automatic selection which it does by default. To manually connect on an iphone do the following. On the phone go to 'settings' then go to 'carriers' uncheck automatic and only select rogers from that list.

I've been having similar problems, only while in the western part of downtown Montreal, and also only for the last two weeks, and I know of almost a half-dozen others with the same problem in the same area.

Are dummy HSPA towers a likely explanation? We'll give Rogers' proposed solution a try and get back to you. If you've been having the same problem, let us know if it works, or if you have other ideas.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

42 Comments
  • I found my phone was "searching" for Rogers a couple of times last week but other than that, no issues with reception in Vancouver.
  • What does the dummy part mean?
  • I had a lot of problems (dropped calls, erratic internet connexion)for the last 2 weeks at work, south shore of Montreal. I just did the trick and since the last hour, my Iphone is back on top of the game...
    Thanks for the tip, I was getting frustrated...
  • Wait, so the rep said those two companies paid for frequency just to put up towers that send out a signal, accept a signal, tell that they have a connection and really don't?
    I find that hard to believe. Rogers would be filing a lawsuit if true.
  • Haven't noticed any issues in downtown Toronto.
  • Do American phones have this setting? When I was in upstate NY I had to turn my phone off because it kept roaming on Rogers towers. It would have been nice to tell it only to look for AT&T, maybe it could have found a signal. I did find it ironic that Rogers had better coverage on US soil than AT&T did.
  • @ KP:
    That's not ironic; that's just pathetic.
  • I guess we are all suppose to know what a "dummy tower" is. Great, useless entry.
  • What's with the hatred?? You yankee's jealous that you still only have 1 carrier that has the iPhone while we have 4?
  • What is a dummy tower?
  • A dummy tower is a tower with a strong signal and configured to be look like a legitimate roaming partner, but which is not actually accepting traffic yet.
    The iPhone thinks its a legitimate route, connects, but can't get anywhere.
    Strictly a temporary problem, but one that should not happen.
    Its like the Canadian carriers had a sleep over with AT@T and carried something home.
  • The trolls are out in force today, eh?
  • Ron Jeremy, Chris, et. al. It's getting to the point where we'll just permanently ban you and all your screen names. Please don't waste your time or ours, or disrespect the other commenters with juvenile, non-productive comments. Behave yourselves or don't comment.
    Thanks,
    Rene
  • Boom... Who burned down the White House? Yeah, that's right! Shazaaaam! Canada!
  • Boom... Who burned down the White House? Yeah, that's right! Shazaaaam! Canada!
    And we're not afraid to do it again!
  • So far the setting worked for me, the automatic revealed 2 networks, ROGERS and 302880. I selected ROGERS only and It worked.
  • I've been having the same issue in Calgary. I noticed when I went to change the carrier there was Rogers and another provider with just a number to identify it. Maybe it IS true?
  • Your picture has nothing to do with a HSPA communications site. Its a dummy picture.
  • @techguy: they use that image all the time on tipb... It's more of a parody than anything.
  • In Brampton, I started having problems the day the Bell network turned on. Was constant for a few days and is now more sporadic.
  • I was able to get out of a Rogers contract because the coverage in my area was bad. No Penalty. I switched to Bell and coverage in my area is excellent. Sorry Rogers, your Most Reliable network is now the Most Unreliable.... ;)
  • Way to go rene!! Those dudes are on my last nerve! I am so sick of these "Internet terroists" I don't know what to do.
  • manually selecting carrier does NOT help at all
    still have the dropped calls and random drop of signal
    this is the same crap sentence tht the APPLE GENIUS bar told me a few weeks back
    i've read on other websites it maybe something to do with BLACKSN0W
    but has not been proven yet like this bs
  • My whole city had a full outage this morning and bell is still messing with my internet, bell sucks so hard.
  • Downtown Vancouver, I've been missing dozen of calls each day. I'll look down after having been at my desk for an hour...and have voice mail. No ring, nothing. Also having reception problems, buzzing and breaking up of my calls while sitting at my desk. First year I had the phone there were no problems, the last 6 weeks have been atrocious!
  • Called Rogers and was told problems started December 3rd and is due to several things: new bell and Telus service interference and possibly with olympics coming. They are "working round the clock" to fix this she said.
    To fix she told me to turn off 3g and yes it worked. I no longer miss calls and I'm able to carry on with phone related uses. She also said it might help to reset network settings but I don't know how that has helped more as that 3g on doesn't work.
    FYI she said this is a 3g issue and not an iPhone issue as it affects bb and anything on 3g.
  • flipped 2 iphones and one berry to "rogers" network as opposed to "automatic". worked like a charm, havent lost signal or cutout at all for over 48 hours. seems to be reliable.
  • Wish we could say the same - 5 iPhones no luck. 2g was the only solution for us...
  • u see this is a really dumb issue
    cuase no other phones are affected other than the iphone
    i have no issue with my Nokia E71 nor my N86 8mp
    CRTC needs to get their act together and not worry about Rog-ellus complaing about WIND mobile coming to canada, and more of how Rog-ellus handles their towers and interference with each other
  • Hi, Jeremy Baxter here from TELUS.
    I want to clarify that TELUS is not erecting any “dummy” HSPA towers. All of our HSPA towers are very real and are operating exactly as they were designed to.
    We don’t understand why Rogers reps would suggest that we are doing something that is interfering with their network – but I can absolutely assure everyone the claim is false.
    This appears to be either a Rogers network problem or a handset configuration problem that affects Rogers iPhone customers.
  • Hi Jeremy,
    Nice to hear some representation from the "culprit" networks. Can you tell us all if the network ID 302-880 belongs to Telus?
    I've had to switch three phones over (2 x iphone and 1 x bold) to manually connect to "ROGERS" and since then have had no issues.
    I think the ideas leading to Telus and Bell being the issue is due to the problems coinciding to the new HSPA networks going live.
    Thanks for any insight.
  • Hey guys, going through the same issue in Vancouver, and as with many of you, switching off the 3g was the only solution.
  • Just noticed that in the last hour I lost my data service. I called rogers and they acknowledge a network problem. Both 2G and 3G are not working here in Burnaby right now. I wonder if this is a major issue with the other networks coming life.
    In the last week I found several times the message network lost even without moving from one location.
  • Was in Vancouver and in Richmond... Both my gf's and my iphone data not working 3g or edge on rogers right now.. its been like this for hours
  • I'm in Calgary and 3G is messed, put my phone on EDGE which helped for text messages but no cellular data at all. Phone service also iffy...
  • No internet and spotty call receiving in Red Deer/Edmonton. Switching to EDGE did nothing, as did the fixes described above. Turning on airport mode and back again did nothing also.
    Hope Rogers fixes this soon! I think all us iPhone users (and all others affected) should demand a rebate for the day(s) of disrupted service.
  • Sonvir Bassi is the biggest fud because he has rogers, so which means, Roger's the biggest fud and lund! so Rogers and Sonvir Bassi= Big Fud and Lun
  • Well like others since the belus network went live my reception problems started, called rogers and i was told my sim card was too old and to PURCHASE a new sim card to fix my problems. I am honestly sickened by the fact in this modern day and age that these issues still happen. I have done all things recommended by rogers (network selected to rogers) and places where I used to get service now I get low signal and no data at all, pathetic. I sure hope a fix comes out soon or it maybe belus network bound. I can't blame telus or bell it is rogers responsibility to ensure a quality network service.
  • I am at the point now that when I am at home (in downtown Toronto), my FIDO iPhone 3G will only function when I turn 3G off (so I am not getting what I am paying for, or what was advertised)
    I should note that I just got back from 4 cities in the U.S. where my iPhone worked flawlessly. I have also used it without this issue in Toronto over the last year. I have not changed or altered anything on the phone.
    Calling FIDO is useless. They either tell you that you phone is faulty, or they contradict each other and offer no constructive help.
    Today they made me pay $35 for a new SIM card and it DID NOTHING to change the problem.
    Bottom line - they have you on a 3yr contract and they don't give a ****.
  • Second morning I have woken up to no network service (Bell) at my home in downtown Toronto. I have to reset network settings on the new iPhone 3GS. Bell tech support blames Apple (known problem). No solution since Bell took on iPhone in November 09.
    Try turning off your 3G in settings/general/enable 3G and you have an iTouch instead of an iPhone. Maybe it's time to move to Rogers. Blogs say Rogers smart phones still work off 3G.
  • Been having the same problems for the last 5 - 6 days in Oakville. Keep losing Wi-Fi, and 3G. Phone seems to lose reception... goes to 1 bar, then switches to Edge. Internet response is nil. I've had the phone for 6 weeks with no problems until this past weekend. Spent a total of 4 or 5 hours over the last few days with Rogers Tech Support, with no improvement! It worked for about an hour this morning in a hot spot then I lost both the hotspot wireless and 3G, and the phone switched back to Edge. At home now,1 bar, no wireless, and 3G keeps cutting in and out! This sucks!
  • I doubt that is the issue as I experienced no service period most of the way fro Toronto to Otttawa yesterday except when in central areas of city like Toronto, Kingston, Belleville. IN ottawa no service or inconsistent at best unless in central ottawa. I will check this out and see. No service last 3 days at my home 15 minutes from parliament. no text, data or voice.