A user equipment (UE) identifies situations in which a less-preferred radio access technology (RAT) camped on a network is unlikely to provide sufficient data throughput for one or more software applications executing at the UE. In such situations, the UE selectively represents the camped RAT as providing voice service only, even when data service is actually available. Alternatively, rather than a blanket prohibition on use of data services in this situation, the high-level operating system (HLOS) of the UE instead may identify software applications that require a data rate higher than that practicable for the less-preferred RAT under the current conditions and selectively bar these identified applications from using the PS data service provided by the less-preferred RAT, while allowing other software applications that have a sufficiently low data rate requirement to utilize the PS service. This prevents the user from attempting to utilize the poor data quality provided by the less-preferred RAT for an application that requires a higher data rate, thus avoiding unnecessary user frustration and excess power consumption from frequent data retransmissions resulting from attempted use of a poor data quality connection.

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