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UMTS/WCDMA 850MHz disabled on the Sprint Galaxy S4. Why?

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Thanks for all the info.

 

So I was very eager to check that my unlock worked because of all the problems people were having with unlocking previously. I dont have a GSM phone, but then I remembered my Verizon work phone, iPhone 4S has a micro SIM that I thought could work in my phone even though Verizon is a CDMA Carrier. So I thought what the hell and put it in. BOOM GSM850!

 

Hope this is enough to validate that UMTS850 should be working. I know I don't have a "3g" icon and it says GSM850 not UMTS850 but since I'm using a US SIM and the phone isn't unlocked in the US my phone shows no service as yours does.

 

Also, I'm assuming this means that I am unlocked and should be good to go once I buy a SIM outside of the US.

 

Lastly, my uncle was asking me to buy him an S4 in the states for use in Israel because it is much cheaper here. If I buy an ATT or T-mobile one are those able to be unlocked without calling ATT or do I have to buy the factory unlocked international version?

Actually, GSM850 support was never in question. Quadband GSM support was publically known and acknowledged. It is specifically UMTS850 and 900 that were not confirmed. If anything, what you found out concerns me a bit because if AT&T has UMTS 850 deployed at a certain area, I think they tend to to try to have users with capable handsets connect to it rather than GSM 850 due to spectral efficiency issues (in fact, because of this, they want at some point in the future to completely shut down GSM). Also, note that you got "limited service" (i.e., not a usable signal, only good for making emergency calls, as expcted in the US), and also that that no company in Israel has GSM 850 deployed, only UMTS 850; Orange does have GSM 900 deployed though).

 

As for an S4 for Israel... I think you'd be much better off buying the intl 9505 version. One, I do not believe either company will unlock the handset for you if you are not a subscriber (and even then with all sorts of restrictions) and two, as I mentioned previously, the AT&T and TMO versions do not support UMTS 900 which is used by Orange in some places. Also, there's the issue of firmware updates, which in Israel would probably be easier to get for the intl version. BTW, if any of your relatives have Pelephone (preferably) or Cellcom (or their MVNOs), try to to see if you can use their SIM for a bit just to check if you can get a non-limited UMTS850 signal (because like I said earlier, Orange's UMTS 900 is not that widely deployed).

 

As an aside, if you were able to get on AT&T's UMTS850 service, it should have said something like "band5" instead of GSM850.

Edited by GoWireless

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Tried it at work and got band 5. As soon as I tried to take a screenshot it jumped back to band 2, but luckily I caught it again. 

 

Here's the screenshot. Hopefully this confirms we have UMTS 850 as well. Good news.

 

post-18615-0-26938800-1370969718_thumb.png

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Here's the screenshot. Hopefully this confirms we have UMTS 850 as well. Good news.

 

Yes, that is AT&T W-CDMA 850 in Los Angeles.

 

AJ

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Tried it at work and got band 5. As soon as I tried to take a screenshot it jumped back to band 2, but luckily I caught it again. Here's the screenshot. Hopefully this confirms we have UMTS 850 as well. Good news.

Great, though I think to be certain, still need confirmation you can make a call or use the web on UMTS 900 or 850 (or for it not to display "limited service" on the band screen), so what you might find out in Israel would still be beneficial to know. I say this because Sprint's idea of "disabling" GSM means to cripple a band such that it is available for emergency use only.

Edited by GoWireless

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So I put my orange SIM in and it worked for voice and SMS but I dont get a data connection at all, not even 1x.

 

When I tried to dial *111  to activate my SIM I get "connection problem or invalid mmi code". I used a different phone to activate the SIM and data doesn't work on my S4 but it does work on an unlocked iPhone 4s.

 

I've seen it connected to Band 1 and Band 8. RRC: IDLE. I'll keep researching this invalid MMI code error, hopefully I can resolve it and get things working. 

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I wonder if you are having APN issues. To date I don't think anyone has figured out how to manually alter the APN settings on the Sprint variant. Sprint always has to mess with their phones, making things harder. Arrgh!

 

Try installing the app "APN Israel". See if that helps.

 

Thanks for the screenshot! Looking at it, it does appear that the phone can connect to UMTS900 in non restricted mode. That's good news.

 

Anyhoo, try the app and see if it helps. Good luck and keep us posted.

 

EDIT: FYI - I believe APN Israel needs root permissions.

Edited by GoWireless

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Unfortunately the app didn't work because android 4.0+ blocked non system apps from changing the apn. A simple edit to the build prop enables the stock menu in mobile network settings. After correcting the apn I get a working data connection on both frequencies.

 

My uncle has pelephone so ill try to borrow his sim when he doesn't need it and see if I can get an 850 frequency connection.

 

Glad we could figure this out!

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Unfortunately the app didn't work because android 4.0+ blocked non system apps from changing the apn. A simple edit to the build prop enables the stock menu in mobile network settings. After correcting the apn I get a working data connection on both frequencies.

My uncle has pelephone so ill try to borrow his sim when he doesn't need it and see if I can get an 850 frequency connection.

Glad we could figure this out!

Awesome! Glad you got it working.

 

What property did you set? Is it available in stock MDL?

 

I think another option would be to make APN Israel a system app through Titanium Backup and then it should be able to modify the APN.

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Followed the instructions here:

 

 

http://forums.androidcentral.com/verizon-galaxy-note-2-rooting-roms-hacks/241691-mod-add-apn-editor-system-settings.html

 

In short, add the following code to the build prop and you have the option to modify your apn natively:

 

ril.sales_code=LOL

ro.csc.sales_code=LOL

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Followed the instructions here:

http://forums.androidcentral.com/verizon-galaxy-note-2-rooting-roms-hacks/241691-mod-add-apn-editor-system-settings.html

In short, add the following code to the build prop and you have the option to modify your apn natively:

ril.sales_code=LOL

ro.csc.sales_code=LOL

Doesn't seem to work for me on stock MDL rooted. In fact, after doing this and rebooting, not only does the APN config not appear, but I also lose the ability to switch to GSM/UMTS mode at all! (All that's available on the network mode list then is CDMA and CDMA/LTE.) After deleting the two lines from the prop file, the GSM/UMTS option shows back up though.

 

:(

Edited by GoWireless

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Hmm strange. It worked for me on blukuban ROM. I used the build prop editor program mentioned on that site to get it to work.

 

It moved all the menus to the mobile network menu (not roaming even though the description says to set options for roaming, networks, and APN's). There I can set network mode which I set to gsm/WCDMA and natively edit my APN.

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Hmm strange. It worked for me on blukuban ROM. I used the build prop editor program mentioned on that site to get it to work.

 

It moved all the menus to the mobile network menu (not roaming even though the description says to set options for roaming, networks, and APN's). There I can set network mode which I set to gsm/WCDMA and natively edit my APN.

 

Strange indeed since I believe blue kuban is a TouchWiz based rom, albeit it may be the least TW-like of all the TW based roms. Hopefully someone will figure out what's the magic property that will enable an editable APN menu on stock. There is a dialer command that needs the MSL which I don't recall what it is at the moment that will show you the APN but will not allow you to edit it.

 

If you find out about Pelephone, let us know. Thx.

Edited by GoWireless

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So, I was just catching up on this thread. So does the Sprint Galaxy s4 have 850/1900/2100 umts?

 

Also, is there a standard way to edit APN settings on the Sprint variant once you put another sim in it?

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So, I was just catching up on this thread. So does the Sprint Galaxy s4 have 850/1900/2100 umts?

 

Also, is there a standard way to edit APN settings on the Sprint variant once you put another sim in it?

 

According to Samsung, it does support quad-band UMTS: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SPH-L720ZKASPR-specs

 

A rumor got started that Sprint specifically disabled the 850Mhz band, but I never saw that substantiated. Perhaps someone got it confused with the HTC One which does lack 850/900 UMTS radios.

 

The APN can be edited, but I'm not sure exactly how (I have to get my phone unlocked first!). Unlike the S3 though you do apparently have to root.

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According to Samsung, it does support quad-band UMTS: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SPH-L720ZKASPR-specs

 

A rumor got started that Sprint specifically disabled the 850Mhz band, but I never saw that substantiated. Perhaps someone got it confused with the HTC One which does lack 850/900 UMTS radios.

 

The APN can be edited, but I'm not sure exactly how (I have to get my phone unlocked first!). Unlike the S3 though you do apparently have to root.

Thanks for the info, seems insane that Sprint would have a world phone with a removable sim and not have a way for the user to have a way to edit the APNs for other using another sim.

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According to Samsung, it does support quad-band UMTS: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SPH-L720ZKASPR-specs A rumor got started that Sprint specifically disabled the 850Mhz band, but I never saw that substantiated. Perhaps someone got it confused with the HTC One which does lack 850/900 UMTS radios. The APN can be edited, but I'm not sure exactly how (I have to get my phone unlocked first!). Unlike the S3 though you do apparently have to root.

It wasn't just a rumor. The Samsung spec page for the L720 actually said UMTS 1900/2100 initially and it got changed later.

 

Even after root, it is not simple to modify the APN settings. And what of unlocked, unrooted S4 owners? They may be SOL.

 

On the good side of things, since the phone does appear to possess UMTS900, that does make it a more capable roamer than the AT&T and T-Mobile variants which lack that band.

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It wasn't just a rumor. The Samsung spec page for the L720 actually said UMTS 1900/2100 initially and it got changed later.

 

Even after root, it is not simple to modify the APN settings. And what of unlocked, unrooted S4 owners? They may be SOL.

 

On the good side of things, since the phone does appear to possess UMTS900, that does make it a more capable roamer than the AT&T and T-Mobile variants which lack that band.

 

Hmm, well I'd always go off of what the manufacturer's website says- Sprint often doesn't know what it's talking about. Heck, it took them several weeks just to figure out how to unlock these phones. It was probably a typo on their part, and nothing more.

 

I do like the quad-band GSM/UMTS/HSPA+ support though, which is one of the reasons I bought the S4. This makes it probably the best global phone from Sprint of their current lineup. I do hope a reliable method to edit the APN is worked out soon.

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I found a sqlite database file that looks like it has the APN information in it. Would it be possible to just edit this (with root) and add the APNs manually? I don't currently have a 3rd party SIM and I'm in the US, so I don't think added APNs would even show up in the list if the MCC/MNC doesn't match a signal it sees. 

 

The file in question is /data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/telephony.db

 

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According to Samsung, it does support quad-band UMTS: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SPH-L720ZKASPR-specs

 

A rumor got started that Sprint specifically disabled the 850Mhz band, but I never saw that substantiated. Perhaps someone got it confused with the HTC One which does lack 850/900 UMTS radios.

 

The APN can be edited, but I'm not sure exactly how (I have to get my phone unlocked first!). Unlike the S3 though you do apparently have to root.

The HTC One does have UMTS 850/1900/2100 radios, but UMTS 850 is disabled, and I'm not entirely sure what's going on about UMTS 1900. I've heard reports that it is disabled and that it isn't quite disabled. UMTS 2100 supposedly works, though.

 

Samsung has confirmed with me before that the Sprint Galaxy S4 has fully working UMTS 850/900/1900/2100, especially after I caught them on an error that said it supported UMTS band 12 (which is impossible for a Sprint phone). The page was fixed shortly after I inquired.

 

I found a sqlite database file that looks like it has the APN information in it. Would it be possible to just edit this (with root) and add the APNs manually? I don't currently have a 3rd party SIM and I'm in the US, so I don't think added APNs would even show up in the list if the MCC/MNC doesn't match a signal it sees. 

 

The file in question is /data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/telephony.db

 

APNs are stored as an XML configuration file, if I remember correctly.

 

It should be under /etc/apns-conf.xml

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Any status update on the 850mhz UTMS situation on this phone?

 

We had a similar issue with Photon 4G,

 

The phone had the technical functionality for 850mhz UTMS, but it was disabled in the radio.

 

Then a KDDI radio was flashed and it unblocked 850mhz UTMS band

 

Since this sounds similar,I think it is being blocked by the modem,  and not being held back by the rom or kernel.

 

Hopefully a workaround will be found for the Sprint GS4 since its 100 times more popular then the Photon ever was.

Edited by edlee

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Any status update on the 850mhz UTMS situation on this phone?

 

We had a similar issue with Photon 4G,

 

The phone had the technical functionality for 850mhz UTMS, but it was disabled in the radio.

 

Then a KDDI radio was flashed and it unblocked 850mhz UTMS band

 

Since this sounds similar,I think it is being blocked by the modem,  and not being held back by the rom or kernel.

 

Hopefully a workaround will be found for the Sprint GS4 since its 100 times more popular then the Photon ever was.

 

Are you sure about UMTS 850 being blocked on the Photon? Remember, this thread is about international use of the phone, not domestic use. Seems like the post you are referencing is talking about making the phone useable on domestic GSM networks.

 

I am think the Photon was always capable of UMTS 850 use outside the US.

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Are you sure about UMTS 850 being blocked on the Photon? Remember, this thread is about international use of the phone, not domestic use. Seems like the post you are referencing is talking about making the phone useable on domestic GSM networks.

 

I am think the Photon was always capable of UMTS 850 use outside the US.

 

You are correct, Photon was not capable of UTMS in the US before the radio flash.

 

it just sounds very similar to what happened to the photon 4G

Edited by edlee

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APNs are stored as an XML configuration file, if I remember correctly.

 

It should be under /etc/apns-conf.xml

 

Those are the system APNs, the ones that come pre-configured and will remain after a factory reset. When the user adds an APN it can't be stored in that file since it doesn't persist with a factory reset (and I believe /etc is mounted read-only). It appears that there are 2 locations for APNs, one for system provided APNs and one for user provided ones. I THINK that /etc/apns-conf.xml is used to initially generate /data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/telephony.db. On my Nexus 7 at least, when I manually added an APN it showed up in this database and not /etc/apns-conf.xml. 

 

The question is though will just adding the APN to this database be sufficient for it to show up and be used? I think it is, but I won't have the opportunity to test it until the end of the month. I'll be traveling to a country with UMTS/HSPA 850, so I'll report back if I was able to get data to work.

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Those are the system APNs, the ones that come pre-configured and will remain after a factory reset. When the user adds an APN it can't be stored in that file since it doesn't persist with a factory reset (and I believe /etc is mounted read-only). It appears that there are 2 locations for APNs, one for system provided APNs and one for user provided ones. I THINK that /etc/apns-conf.xml is used to initially generate /data/data/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/telephony.db. On my Nexus 7 at least, when I manually added an APN it showed up in this database and not /etc/apns-conf.xml. 

 

The question is though will just adding the APN to this database be sufficient for it to show up and be used? I think it is, but I won't have the opportunity to test it until the end of the month. I'll be traveling to a country with UMTS/HSPA 850, so I'll report back if I was able to get data to work.

I am currently in France until August 2nd and after successfully getting Sprint to unlock my Galaxy S4, I travelled here about 2 weeks later. On my wife's HTC EVO Design4G, I put in her 'Free Mobile' SIM card  and voila, 3G & H data as well as MMS and voice and SMS service began working fine on my new number attached to the SIM. On my Galaxy S4, I put in the SIM and went to configure the APNs only to find that they are in-configurable! In fact they are not even accessible without a shortcut app leading you to the APN page where all the settings are greyed out and if you want to add a new APN, the new APN page is unusable and greyed out as well. 

Until there is an update, this phone does not seem to be 100% international despite Sprint's claim since only half the services work. The only services that work are the same ones that will work with a 10flip-phone over here (Voice and SMS). 

I have searched high and low and those that know me know I do not give up on a technology question or error until I have it fixed or have convinced the company to fix it. However, this one has me beat. I do not root my phone for multiple reasons, the least of which is I do not like the idea of owning a $700 brick. There are other reasons as well which are out of my control. 

I should not have to root my phone, however, to be able to access the features that Sprint claims are available on my phone. 

Has anyone else experienced this problem? Can anyone help? I am posting on this forum because you guys have discussed APNs and the Galaxy S4 and I love S4GRU and have gotten results from you all in the past!  :D

Help! I'm in France and would LOVE to be able to use some of the 3GB of data that came with the SIM card plan on the phone that was guaranteed unlocked by Sprint. Suggestions?

Merci!

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