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GPS in France

I have an iPhone with G5. While we were in Paris a month ago, I noticed that GPS was not working in many locations.

I had Verizon Wireless International Monthly Plan. When I called the customer service after we came back, I was told that most locations in Paris have G4, and that GPS does not work with a phone with G5.

Did anyone else have this problem?
If this is an issue, I am wondering if it will be resolved soon. We are planning a trip to Southern France next May. Are there any solutions to this problem?

I would appreciate any insights.
Thank you.

Reiko

Posted by
504 posts

Yes, exactly the same situation for me in Paris in April with having 5G and Verizon Intl plan. We were walking around trying to use google maps and a couple walked by and asked if we needed directions, which made me laugh since we and they were both from SoCal. She said she carried some kind of extra wireless pack to give her extra boost. I’m still not sure what it was but need to talk to my tech kids to find out what it likely was.
I also had difficulty navigating driving in Normandy using my iPhone gps, but my rental car had built in gps because I had insisted we have it as back up. My husband has an older phone and his gps worked fine.

Posted by
385 posts

Took me a minute to realize you meant 5G and 4G. And I don't see how that would have any impact on GPS, other than on 5G networks, it would perhaps be more accurate. 5G phones work on 4G and LTE networks, so not sure that is the problem, but I am sure some techies will be by soon to elaborate!

Posted by
2035 posts

Reception of the signal from GPS satellites has absolutely nothing to do with the mobile telephone network, whether 4G or 5G. These are two completely independent networks.

Whether you are in an area transmitting 3G, 4G or 5G and whatever your mobile network provider, it will make absolutely no difference to GPS signal reception.

Posted by
8 posts

Here is one example: I had a problem requesting a car from UBER. When they designated a pickup location a few blocks away from where we were, the GPS with the UBER app didn’t work.
Before we left for Paris, we had downloaded the entire Paris map on Google Maps. Even with that, GPS didn’t work in certain locations on Google Maps.

Posted by
788 posts

You're conflating two issues. Your GPS was working fine, your data connection (whether 5g 4g whatever) wasn't. That means that you phone knew exactly where you were, but couldn't show you because Google maps wasn't loading.

If you had been using a proper offline mapping app rather than the data hungry Google Maps you would have been fine.

Posted by
385 posts

Ok GPS in big cities can be problematic. Can't speak for Paris, but I go to NYC regularly, and it is often not precise or wonks out because (I assume) tall buildings, etc. Uber pick-up locations are also not always precise; often Uber will seem to select the closest "landmark" to your location.

None of this has anything to do with Verizon or your cellular speed, and whatever Verizon told you was, uh, untrue.

Posted by
12 posts

@Simon - could you please explain what you meant by "If you had been using a proper offline mapping app rather than the data hungry Google Maps you would have been fine"? What is a proper offline mapping app that should be used? I must admit, I've heard hundreds of times that just downloading a Google map works just fine, so I'd love to know a better way.

Posted by
788 posts

Hazel.
Google maps are a bit haphazard - rarely updated, and containing imaginary places. They also lack a lot of detail.

Try organic maps - I've written about why I use it here and how to use it here

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you, Simon - the Organic Maps app looks super-useful and I appreciate the link on how to use it.