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Monday
Jul232012

How to Disable LTE on AT&T Android Devices to Increase Battery Life

For those who have Android devices on AT&T's LTE network, you may be able to get more battery life by switching back to AT&T's HSPA+ network.  It may be a slower network, but it's fast enough.  After all, AT&T's LTE isn't much faster than HSPA+ in some areas.  What you lose in speed, you gain in battery life (another couple hours).
In my case, I was getting around 13 hours in my normal use of my Samsung Galaxy S III on LTE.  Switching to HSPA+ gave me a more reasonable 16 hours.
Of course, your mileage may vary.
You can always switch between HSPA+ and LTE on the fly.  It does take between 10 to 30 seconds to reconnect every time you switch, so it's not horrible.
Here are the steps to take:
 1) Go to Settings.
 2) Under "Wireless and Network", go to More Settings.
 3) Go to Mobile Networks.
 4) Go to Access Point Names.
 5) Hit the Menu button, then the "New APN" button.
 6) From here, enter the information below:
 Name: AT&T HSPA+
 APN: wap.cingular
 Proxy: leave blank
 Port: leave blank
 Username: WAP@CINGULARGPRS.COM
 Password: CINGULAR1 (must be all CAPS)
 Server: leave blank
 MMSC: http://mmsc.cingular.com
 MMS Proxy: wireless.cingular.com
 MMS Port: 80
 MCC: 310
 MNC: 410
 APN Type: leave blank
 APN protocol: IPv4
 Bearer: leave blank
 7) Hit the menu button and then Save.
 8) Select the newly created APN (AT&T HSPA+) to switch to the new APN.
Your network indicator will show that your data is unavailable for about 10 to 30 seconds.  You will notice when the indicator comes back, it will now say 4G and not 4G LTE.
Again, you can always come back to the Access Point Names and switch back to LTE by selecting the previous APN setting (on mine, the old APN setting was called "AT&T PTA").
The name is not important.  It's the settings.  In fact, if you ever lose your LTE APN settings, add a new APN and enter these settings and save:
 Name: AT&T PTA
 APN: pta
 Proxy: leave blank
 Port: leave blank
 Username: leave blank
 Password: leave blank
 Server: leave blank
 MMSC: http://mmsc.mobile.att.net
 MMS Proxy: proxy.mobile.att.net
 MMS Port: 80
 MCC:310
 MNC:410
 APN Type: default,mms,supl
 APN protocol: IPv4
 Bearer: leave blank
So what's the actual speed difference?  Just like with battery life, there's too many variables.  In the same spot on my desk, I tested HSPA+ (4G) and LTE (4G LTE), and here's my results.
Of course, I've seen AT&T HSPA+ go as high as 6 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up.  On AT&T LTE, I've seen it go as high as 26 Mbps down and 8 Mbps up.  The above speed test is what I typically get at my house and at my work place.
Trust me, you don't need 26 Mbps on a mobile phone.  It's nice to have but it's nicer to have that extra battery life instead.
Of course, I've seen AT&T HSPA+ go as high as 6 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up.  On AT&T LTE, I've seen it go as high as 26 Mbps down and 8 Mbps up.  The above speed test is what I typically get at my house and at my work place.
Trust me, you don't need 26 Mbps on a mobile phone.  It's nice to have but it's nicer to have that extra battery life instead.

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