How to Fix Issue of Dead Air on Phone Calls By Switching Cell Towers

For the past few weeks, I have been experiencing a very annoying issue when on the phone. The line goes silent for 5 seconds at a time. It’s intermittent. So I did some research, and called a local cell phone repair place. The lady had me try something, and it worked!

It turns out that LTE cell towers are in quite high demand these days. And more customers are added all the time, so they’ve been having issues. By switching to the 3G towers, the issue is resolved, since they’re less in demand these days. But if you want LTE speeds for a particular task, you can tediously go through the settings and switch the connection back to those towers. Phone calls, though, work fine on 3G towers.

I called my provider, Virgin Mobile (Bell), and they acknowledged the issue in a very matter-of-fact way. They suggest the exact same “fix” of switching to 3G towers, and continue to pass on related complaints to their tech and engineering teams. So, for now, we’ll have to live with this workaround.

Clearly the network isn’t keeping up with demand, and Bell can’t be bothered to add towers or capacity to their network to accommodate the increasing demand, at least not yet. They care more about making money and attracting new customers than investing in their network.

Maybe one day they’ll actually address this issue. Until then, switching to 3G except for the moments you need LTE speeds.

Here’s how to do it on iPhone: