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Tutor

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8 Messages

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 7:27 AM

When is 3G being shutdown?

I have a 3G ZTE Z222 of which I'm fond.   My friends with Sprint have been notified of an imminent Sprint 3G shutdown. I searched that topic on this forum and found that my phone will be good till 12/2012 or "such time as there is a national shutdown."  I need something more specific as flip-phones are getting scarcer by the week, and the only 3G flip-phone offered by AT&T right now is, bluntly, junk.   How imminent is a national shutdown?

Master

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3.5K Messages

4 years ago


@Delcat13Tay wrote:


Guess I'll have to find a way to unlock at least Band 12/17 on my phone.

 

And yeah, the spectrum you use there in the US can be quite confusing, like having 5 bands just for 700 MHz FDD-LTE (Bands 12, 13, 14, 17, 29), while back here in my country (and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region), we only have one band shared by networks for that specific frequency (Band 28).


@Delcat13Tay 

Yeah, you REALLY want ALL the bands AT&T uses, and probably the rest of the carriers in the US, too, at the least (per @GLIMMERMAN76 's comment, about the OEMs "stop being cheap, and including ALL the bands/frequencies").

To use ATT "effectively", you want: 2, 4, 5, 12, 14, 17, 29, 30, 66

To use all carriers (including any possible domestic-roaming), you want quite a bit more: https://www.phonearena.com/news/Cheat-sheet-which-4G-LTE-bands-do-AT-T-Verizon-T-Mobile-and-Sprint-use-in-the-USA_id77933

Tutor

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16 Messages

4 years ago


@pgrey wrote:

@Delcat13Tay wrote:


Guess I'll have to find a way to unlock at least Band 12/17 on my phone.

 

And yeah, the spectrum you use there in the US can be quite confusing, like having 5 bands just for 700 MHz FDD-LTE (Bands 12, 13, 14, 17, 29), while back here in my country (and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region), we only have one band shared by networks for that specific frequency (Band 28).


@Delcat13Tay 

Yeah, you REALLY want ALL the bands AT&T uses, and probably the rest of the carriers in the US, too, at the least (per @GLIMMERMAN76 's comment, about the OEMs "stop being cheap, and including ALL the bands/frequencies").

To use ATT "effectively", you want: 2, 4, 5, 12, 14, 17, 29, 30, 66

To use all carriers (including any possible domestic-roaming), you want quite a bit more: https://www.phonearena.com/news/Cheat-sheet-which-4G-LTE-bands-do-AT-T-Verizon-T-Mobile-and-Sprint-use-in-the-USA_id77933


Man... that's a lot of LTE bands just for one country.  And to think that having support for LTE Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20 and 28 (plus Bands 38, 40 and 41 for TDD-LTE) is way more than enough to get my midrange phone working in most places around the world (i.e. outside North America).

 

And based on my own experience with AT&T during my last trip to the US, and what I read from other users here, it's not enough that the phone supports the right LTE bands.  In fact, it was only with AT&T where I was asked for my phone's IMEI in the store before activating the SIM to see if I'll receive LTE signals on my phone.  (Well, I was using an older phone at that time, and not the current one I have, so I was only limited to 3G/HSPA+, which was already expected since my old phone did not support any of the LTE bands in the US.)

 

Nothing like that happened to me with T-Mobile during my first US trip.  (Heck, here in my country, activating a prepaid SIM is as easy as inserting it in your phone, turning your phone on, and letting the SIM sort everything out automatically.)

ACE - Sage

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117K Messages

4 years ago


@Delcat13Tay wrote:


@Guess I'll have to find a way to unlock at least Band 12/17 on my phone.

 

And yeah, the spectrum you use there in the US can be quite confusing, like having 5 bands just for 700 MHz FDD-LTE (Bands 12, 13, 14, 17, 29), while back here in my country (and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region), we only have one band shared by networks for that specific frequency (Band 28).


You cannot “unlock” something that does not exist.  The hardware is a manufacture choice.  You will eventually have to replace the phone.  

Tutor

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16 Messages

4 years ago


@lizdance40 wrote:

@Delcat13Tay wrote:


@Guess I'll have to find a way to unlock at least Band 12/17 on my phone.

 

And yeah, the spectrum you use there in the US can be quite confusing, like having 5 bands just for 700 MHz FDD-LTE (Bands 12, 13, 14, 17, 29), while back here in my country (and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region), we only have one band shared by networks for that specific frequency (Band 28).


You cannot “unlock” something that does not exist.  The hardware is a manufacture choice.  You will eventually have to replace the phone.  


I have been reading forums and websites on rooting Android devices, and it turns out that there are some phones which have some "hidden" LTE bands, as well as procedures for unlocking/enabling them through rooting and unlocking bootloaders (mostly in those using Snapdragon and Mediatek chipsets).  Not sure if they have found a way to do this on phones with Exynos and Kirin chipsets, though.

ACE - Sage

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117K Messages

4 years ago

@Delcat13Tay   Unless your phone came with different models with more/different bands, that’s a really big and incorrect leap to assume it has the hardware.  And you’re likely to just brick your phone.  

Teacher

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23 Messages

4 years ago

Just get another phone, no biggie

ACE - Expert

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23.9K Messages

4 years ago


@singleabman1963 wrote:
Just get another phone, no biggie

unless you are traveling to the US and have a 1250 dollar phone...  

Tutor

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16 Messages

4 years ago


@GLIMMERMAN76 wrote:

@singleabman1963 wrote:
Just get another phone, no biggie

unless you are traveling to the US and have a 1250 dollar phone...  


...which is unlocked, carrier unbranded, with dual-SIM (either two physical SIMs, or one physical and one eSIM), dual-VoLTE, and support for most US LTE bands.

Master

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3.5K Messages

4 years ago


@Delcat13Tay wrote:

@lizdance40 wrote:

@Delcat13Tay wrote:


@Guess I'll have to find a way to unlock at least Band 12/17 on my phone.

 

And yeah, the spectrum you use there in the US can be quite confusing, like having 5 bands just for 700 MHz FDD-LTE (Bands 12, 13, 14, 17, 29), while back here in my country (and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region), we only have one band shared by networks for that specific frequency (Band 28).


You cannot “unlock” something that does not exist.  The hardware is a manufacture choice.  You will eventually have to replace the phone.  


I have been reading forums and websites on rooting Android devices, and it turns out that there are some phones which have some "hidden" LTE bands, as well as procedures for unlocking/enabling them through rooting and unlocking bootloaders (mostly in those using Snapdragon and Mediatek chipsets).  Not sure if they have found a way to do this on phones with Exynos and Kirin chipsets, though.


@Delcat13Tay 

Sure, but this is NOT a topic for discussion, here, you have to go to some "other forums", for that kind of help...

Also, there aren't a "whole lot of phones" with "hidden bands" these days, at least not many that I'm aware of...

 

And yes, you can "get a phone to work", with "less bands/frequencies", but it will "only work until it doesn't", or "work until it needs to use a tower-radio, for a band/frequency that you don't have".

It all depends, if you only use the phone in a "limited set of places" and you know that those places have the sufficient towers/radios for your phone, then you're set (again though, unless you use it elsewhere, OR the carrier changes the tower/radio config, where you use it).

ATT has changed multiple towers/radios around us, in the past few years, if that's "any indication" or some helpful information.

 

Good luck!

Master

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3.5K Messages

4 years ago


@Delcat13Tay wrote:

@GLIMMERMAN76 wrote:

@singleabman1963 wrote:
Just get another phone, no biggie

unless you are traveling to the US and have a 1250 dollar phone...  


...which is unlocked, carrier unbranded, with dual-SIM (either two physical SIMs, or one physical and one eSIM), dual-VoLTE, and support for most US LTE bands.


@Delcat13Tay 

Yeah, the "carrier unbranded" thing is a becoming a "hard stop" for ATT right now.  A few, newer phones work, but some (even newer) ones don't, and most slightly-older ones won't work, at all (for business reasons).

This *might* change, sometime soon, or it might not, no one (customer-wise) really knows what ATT is planning here.

 

Currently, some phones that meet your description, "were working" (able to use VoLTE, and "able" to activate post 12/31), such as the OnePlus 6T, the Pixel 3a, and are now "maybe working", it depends.

Others, which are VERY current phones, are not "working at all", due to business-reasons, while ATT "sorts this out".

 

If I were you, I'd be "shopping around" your carrier, to see who has the "best deal" for your device.

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