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I'm trying to tether my computer to my phone through USB. I have full bars, but the LTE symbol next to it will disappear for about ten seconds, and then reappear for a few seconds only to disappear again. I don't have this problem when I'm not tethering.

This is very frustrating because I have to watch my phone to find out when I have a connection, and then I only have the connection for a few seconds.

Is this behaviour supposed to happen, and is there any way to fix it?

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It could be that your ISP has different APN configs for normal data usage, and the other specifically for tethering plan. As such I'd recommend fistly to check the APNs and see if there have the DHCP setting enabled, sometimes the device is not getting the IP address assigned automatically hence drops in connection whilst trying to connect.

If its the case of the APN for tethering then also check the related setting and also be sure you have an active tethering plan.You could also use adb to prevent the device from revealing the tethering status i.e modifying settings get global tether_dun_required code. See more here in a related post.

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