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Skypr

Help needed with Moto X4 issue

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Hello,

I'm in need of help for my phone due to a mistake that I did.

First I have to give you some context. Here where I live (Puerto Rico), there's no B26 and B41 is extremely limited to a very few selected areas in the island. The only choice in my area was B25 which is severely congested. So congested that in a good day, I only see 0.40 Mbps download and ~0.10 Mbps upload. A few months ago, Sprint and Open Mobile (a local CDMA carrier on the island) did a joint venture merging their networks. As a results, on a lucky day, my phone will connect to Open Mobile's blazing fast B13 in my area (upwards 10 Mbps).

This B13 Open Mobile thingy is working natively (no roaming and no extended network) fine but my phone prefers B25 which is from Sprint and is congested.

Now the good part. I was looking for a way to force B13 or at least to change this band to a higher priority in my phone (Moto X4) so it would connect to B13 instead of B25. To my surprise, supposedly I found a method to do this just like with Samsung phones. By pressing *#*#DATA#*#*, a menu appeared with multiple options, including LTE settings. In this menu, there was an area to assign priorities to the available bands which by default, where B13 (fourth), B25 (first), B26 (second) and B41 (third). To change these priorities, you had to input a password which conveniently was 000000. As a very curious person, I change the priority values to the following: B13 (first), B25 (second), B26 (fourth) and B41 (third), pressed the done button and the exit the menu. 

Following that, I went to SCP to see if there was any change but SCP reported that it was still connected to B25. Perhaps the phone needed a reboot to implement the new LTE priorities.

Big mistake.

As soon as the phone rebooted, I was greeted with an invalid SIM message and no signal (no LTE, no 3G, no call, nada). The SprinDM service did not work, wifi was disconnecting after every "invalid SIM" message (perhaps the wifi radio was affected?). After doing a factory reset, the same message was all over again. 

A trip to a local Sprint shop was wasted. One of the employees (regular employee, there was no technician at this store) managed to get the SprintDM service running and was successful in getting the "config file" option in the service but still, calls and LTE was not working (no signal). He even use a built in app called CQATest which was new to me. According to him, the app reported that the phone was "seeing" the Sprint network but that perhaps there was something wrong with the phone that was beyond his knowledge. 

A call to Sprint customer service yielded not results. The did some "refresh at their end" and had to wait 10 minutes before turning on the phone again but still, the phone is unable to connect to Sprint.

The funny part...

As this phone is (GSM/CDMA), I proceeded to insert a working T-Mobile SIM and guess what, I got full LTE and everything with T-Mobile. Full VoLTE, calls, LTE, text messages, wifi, everything work any other SIM except with a Sprint SIM. If insert my Sprint SIM, my phone behavior changes for the bad.

To wrap this up.

Any idea on how to fix this? I tried to change the priority values to the default ones multiple times and nothing. Multiple hard resets and nothing. I'm out of ideas.

 

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54 minutes ago, Skypr said:

By pressing *#*#DATA#*#*, a menu appeared with multiple options, including LTE settings. In this menu, there was an area to assign priorities to the available bands which by default, where B13 (fourth), B25 (first), B26 (second) and B41 (third). To change these priorities, you had to input a password which conveniently was 000000. As a very curious person, I change the priority values to the following: B13 (first), B25 (second), B26 (fourth) and B41 (third), pressed the done button and the exit the menu. 

I am not sure how to help you with your predicament, only that there's a reason there is a password (or supposed to be one) on that section. 

The band priorities, which is what you changed, do not affect the phone's behavior when operating on the network. That setting only changes the scanning order. So when the phone first boots up, it will now scan for B13 first, instead of B25. Once the phone is on the network, band switching is done by either signal strength, or by the network.

As far as being on B25 more than B13, that is probably by design. Seeing as B13 is low band while B25 is mid band, if you have a strong B13 signal, the phone will likely look for a B25 signal, similar to how devices handle the B25 / B26 network here. 

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Holy cow! I missed a few typos in my post.

Quote

The band priorities, which is what you changed, do not affect the phone's behavior when operating on the network. That setting only changes the scanning order. So when the phone first boots up, it will now scan for B13 first, instead of B25. Once the phone is on the network, band switching is done by either signal strength, or by the network.

I agree with you. There's no reason for my phone to be behaving in a different way. I'm mind blown. It doesn't make any sense that changing priorities would render the phone useless with the Sprint network. 

One of my initial hypothesis was that perhaps Sprint was not allowing network authentication via B13 but it doesn't make sense. B13 is fully integrated here in the island and if that were the case, the phone should still be able to connect to CDMA.

Quote

As far as being on B25 more than B13, that is probably by design. Seeing as B13 is low band while B25 is mid band, if you have a strong B13 signal, the phone will likely look for a B25 signal, similar to how devices handle the B25 / B26 network here. 

You're right. Although the phone is by design to prefer B25, what I find funny is that according to SCP, in my area there are 2 B25 and 2 B13 with almost the same identical signal levels. Sometimes is like they are fighting. Fun fact: before doing this software B13 force, if I was desperate for B13, placing the phone on the Microwave (not on or running obviously) for a few seconds, was enough to change from B25 to B13.

It grinds my gears that my issue is only with Sprint. As soon as I pop another SIM, my phone behaves normally. 

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Changing JUST the band priorities shouldn't have the effect that you're seeing. If you changed other things while in there, then that's another story...

Can you get to the dialer with the SIM inserted? You can dial *#*#72786#*#* which will wipe the Sprint config and cause it to fetch it again from the network. You have to so this with a Sprint SIM inserted, and chances are it'll be locked out as soon as invalid SIM comes up, so have it typed out and ready to type the last * right as you enter the SIM.

You can also maybe try booting it into safe mode. That might help.

I saw a similar issue once when I swapped phones, and reused the SIM, but the original phone wasn't powered off or on airplane mode (just had its SIM removed). It behaved close to what you're seeing, working for a fraction of a second before saying invalid SIM over and over before locking.

If there are any other phones that previously were on that line, make sure they're all powered off.

If none of these work, ask at the Sprint store if they can replace your SIM. Make sure they give you the correct one for your phone model (they all look the same. There is a spreadsheet on here somewhere with the model number for each phone's SIM). They likely will, but it's not unheard of for the store reps to not know that different phones need different SIMs since most phones already come with a SIM.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ingenium said:

Changing JUST the band priorities shouldn't have the effect that you're seeing. If you changed other things while in there, then that's another story...

100% sure I didn't mess anything else. Just the priorities.

1 hour ago, ingenium said:

You have to so this with a Sprint SIM inserted, and chances are it'll be locked out as soon as invalid SIM comes up, so have it typed out and ready to type the last * right as you enter the SIM.

You were right, it does lock me out if I don't do it fast enough, is very tricky to get it. I followed your procedure in safe mode and got the carrier reset message. After pressing yes, the phone rebooted but the behavior still persists. Another interesting bit is that as soon as I pop my Sprint SIM, wifi on the phone disconnects. If I remove the SIM, wifi functions normally (this behavior does not happens with any other SIM). The problem with this is that when I attempt to activate via SprintDM, it fails due to no wifi connection.

1 hour ago, ingenium said:

I saw a similar issue once when I swapped phones, and reused the SIM, but the original phone wasn't powered off or on airplane mode (just had its SIM removed). It behaved close to what you're seeing, working for a fraction of a second before saying invalid SIM over and over before locking. 

Did that phone ever worked again normally?

1 hour ago, ingenium said:

If there are any other phones that previously were on that line, make sure they're all powered off.

No other phones or lines. Just this one.

1 hour ago, ingenium said:

If none of these work, ask at the Sprint store if they can replace your SIM. Make sure they give you the correct one for your phone model (they all look the same. There is a spreadsheet on here somewhere with the model number for each phone's SIM). They likely will, but it's not unheard of for the store reps to not know that different phones need different SIMs since most phones already come with a SIM.

I guess I will have to do that. Hopefully, a new SIM should fix this strange issue.

Do they give the SIMs hassle free or are they difficult?

By the way, thanks for the advice.

Edited by Skypr

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The phone was fine, I just had to power off the old one and then the new one started working as soon as I rebooted it. It's because Sprint doesn't just use the SIM for authentication on the network. Essentially, the old phone was still hanging onto the authorization on the CDMA side, and it had to release it for the new one to get it.

 

They shouldn't hassle you about a new SIM in a case like this. They just might not have the correct one for your phone in stock. So they may have to either order it, or they can maybe pull one from a used/returned phone in the back and put it on your account.

 

Also, double check that the IMEI or ESN that Sprint has on file for your line actually matches your phone.

 

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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Update: Had to change my phone and SIM. I still don't know how modifying bands priority could have messed the phone so badly. 

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