HTC Thunderbolt has problems keeping a 4G LTE connection; Firmware update coming soon

Something weird is going on with Verizon’s HTC Thunderbolt. A number of users have reported a problem regarding the phone’s ability to keep a 4G LTE connection even in very good coverage zones. Users from all around the States — including Ft Lauderdale, Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, Fremont, Irvine, Phoenix, Jacksonville and Los Angeles — noticed the same pattern with Thunderbolt losing data connection only to have it back 5-10 seconds later. It continues to do so repeatedly while you’re attempting to use the 4G LTE network. Needless to say, this makes Mobile Hotspot feature pretty much useless as reported by our very own Tom.

Verizon acknowledged the problem and said the update is coming to resolve the issue. Unfortunately they failed to share the date when the OTA (over-the-air) update will be released.

In the meantime, folks are trying to make their LTE work by tweaking the settings. Some of them said you should enable “Data Roaming” while others said “System Select” should be set to “Home only.” You could try experimenting yourself and/or join the rant at Verizon’s forums.

  • Jo

    No issue for me in OKC. Had my device since launch day, and it’s worked beautifully. Constant and consistent connection to 4G above 10 Mbps up and down, with bursts abouve 25 Mbps both ways. Latency has been less than 99 ms consistently as well. I’ve called VZW too, and CAN NOT get them to confirm any “known issue” related to this irresponsible piece of reporting. HTC wouldn’t acknowledge any issue either, making it highly unlikely that we will see ANY software changes to address this reported issue. From what little evidence I can gather this seems isolated to a few individual pieces of equipment. Six people reporting an issue in a single forum doesn’t make a story credible, even if Tom is experiencing a similar issue himself.

    • Hmmm… So Verizon says our guy actually DOESN’T have a problem with his 4G connection?

      • Are you sure hes using an HTC Thunderbolt? Cause this problem sounds EXTREMELY similar to the problem I have on Sprint 4G on the HTC EVO “4G” – a problem Sprint claims isn’t actually happening. So its either bad sectors of the cell sites, or its gotta be hardware/software or just software issues. Personally I think its actually a combination of many issues.

        • He says he does and I trust him. 🙂

          I assume you’re right on the source of the problems, though. We’ll see when the firmware update comes…

    • Bryce Shashinka

      I know its an old story but… I have had my T-Bolt for 4 months now and only two weeks ago i started having this same problem after a weekend in Vermont with spotty coverage/roaming, now I can’t keep a data connection for more than a few minutes, Factory reset isn’t helping and Verizon says they have no problems/haven’t heard of this issue… What a load of BS.

  • Anonymous

    Tom here – Yep, definitely the Thunderbolt. I was quite excited to jump on the real 4G bandwagon but having my hotspot lose connection intermittently has made working from the local cafe’s around Palo Alto, CA extremely frustrating. I’ve also experienced the issue in San Jose. Possibly the 4G signal around here isn’t strong enough to work reliably indoors?

    It’s obviously not affect everyone, but it’s not just four people on a single forum either – just google “Verizon Thunderbolt hotspot dropping connection” and you’ll see a lot of people reporting the same thing. I guess I’ll be staying home until they fix it.

  • Wolf

    I am north of chicago. solid thunderbolt 4g area. 7 call ins to tech support, 1 exchange phone, 1 tower tweak, a few visits to the local verison store. no fixs .. i’m glad i happened upon your site for an answer. i was told by verison store employee, could be circuitry over heating as he would turn unit off and back on to get a connection back once it did not go back and forth but eventually stayed off.

  • Susan007

    Just bought the thunderbolt. The back cover will not come off. I am a self defense and firearms instructor. Rather than force the cover off, I am sending the phone back and getting my money. If this is how things will go with this phone… I do not want it

  • This is an older post, but we recently were researching the history on the issue and found out that the primary cause of the LTE lock/loss of connection issue is a faulty 4G SIM card. We’ve tested out 3 different cards in a Thunderbolt and 2 out of the 3 had no issues. The 2nd and 3rd card were from brand new Samsung Charges – the Thunderbolt card failed consistently for a week. Taking the device into a store and swapping the SIM card should eliminate the issue.

  • Terricarlsen1

    I have a thunderbolt and verizon and I am over the crap with both. I have had over 6 hour long calls, 3 complete resets, cards and a phone exchange just to find that the new phone does the exact same thing. I am extremely unhappy and angry I didn’t choose the I phone. The thing that angers me the most is that Verizon knows what the problem is yet they continue to cover it up.

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