Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

Teacher

Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

I just upgraded from a W300i to a W518a last weekend.  Three times over the past two days, the new phone has displayed the message "No access to net" at the top of the screen, despite a signal indicator of 3 to 4 bars.  The phone will not then receive or send calls.  The only way I've been able to get it working again has been to power it off, then back on.

 

Has anyone else encountered this problem, and perhaps found a solution?

 

I Googled only one other posting describing these symptoms, but it was not on this forum, and it had no resolution.

 

The new phone is in the same position where the old phone worked fine.  (The W300i sometimes dropped or failed to receive calls, but it never went fully offline.  I hoped, if anything, the new phone would hold its signal better.)

 

Any thoughts about whether to look for a software update?  Or if the phone is defective, return or exchange it with AT&T while it's still in the 30-day initial period?

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Tutor

Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

I'd consider calling at&t and telling them about the problem and seeing if they can do anything about it.  If they can't i'd consider taking it back and getting another one.  My Dad has already had a defective one and got him another one that works great!!  Somebody else might have better suggestions, but those there are mine. Smiley Happy  Hope it works out!!

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Teacher

Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

Actually, I talked with AT&T before posting to this forum (at their suggestion).  Their first idea was to move the SIM back to my old W300i to make sure the SIM doesn't start the old phone acting that way.  Seems like an odd possibility, but I may go ahead and try it.

 

Meanwhile, I might first try seeing if SonyEricsson has a software upgrade for this phone that fixes it (nothing about the problem on their Web site, either, though).  I also am wondering whether having Bluetooth on could contribute to it, so I've turned that off for awhile.  (But if it does, I'd still consider it a bug or defect in the phone.)

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Master

Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error


DavidR wrote:

Actually, I talked with AT&T before posting to this forum (at their suggestion).  Their first idea was to move the SIM back to my old W300i to make sure the SIM doesn't start the old phone acting that way.  Seems like an odd possibility, but I may go ahead and try it.

 

Meanwhile, I might first try seeing if SonyEricsson has a software upgrade for this phone that fixes it (nothing about the problem on their Web site, either, though).  I also am wondering whether having Bluetooth on could contribute to it, so I've turned that off for awhile.  (But if it does, I'd still consider it a bug or defect in the phone.)


I would try moving the SIM back to the older phone to see if the behavior follows the SIM.  If it does, then there is a problem with your account provisioning, etc.  I agree - it seems less likely that doing an upgrade would have changed something on that end of things if you didn't make any service related changes as part of the upgrade, but it is possible.

 

If the behavior doesn't follow the SIM, then the issue seems to be with the new W518a.  As an additional check, if you know someone else with at&t service you can also try putting their SIM in the W518a and see if it experiences the same issue - if it does, it's a problem with the phone; if it doesn't, then the problem is more likely with your specific line of service and/or SIM card.

 

And I would definitely first turn off bluetooth to see if that changes the behavior.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

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Teacher

Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

Thanks.

 

I've now tried all those things, without success.  The old phone worked fine with the new SIM, but as soon as I returned it to the new phone, I started having the problem again.  With or without bluetooth enabled, the phone loses its connection within three or four hours.

 

And the Sony Ericsson updater said its software was fully up to date.

 

Also, the battery life seems to be lousy -- wants to be charged about twice as often as the W300i (nowhere near the 380 hours standby or whatever it is they advertise).  Bluetooth again is not a factor.  Maybe it spends a lot of time putting out its strongest possible signal trying to reconnect or find the network, before putting itself permanently offline.

 

Assuming it's this particular phone that's defective, not the model, I'll try to trade it tomorrow.

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Master
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Accepted by topic author DavidR
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

If you have the same issues with another unit, it may be that you are in an area with weak 3G coverage?  The problems you are describing can be a symptom of the phone not being able to maintain consistent contact with the 3G network. Smiley Sad

 

At&t disables the ability to turn off the 3G network from the phone's menu structure while using an at&t SIM.  But if you continue to have the same problems with the second phone, and you have access to another carrier's SIM card, you might try inserting it - with some of the SE models doing so unmasked the menu option to select the network in use.  Another possibility is to download "My Phone Explorer" (free download) - it's my understanding it has a toggle option for choosing the network as well.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

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Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

The battery life is actually to be expected.  Your old w300i is not 3G capable, but the w518a is.  A 2G/3G capable phone will drain a battery much faster when operating on a 3G network.  Unless the specs you're looking at list 2G and 3G battery life separately, you won't get close to the quoted life on 3G.

 

As stated above, you might be in an area with strong GSM but weak 3G coverage.  The phone is supposed to switch between the networks as needed, but most 3G phones will prefer a 3G signal, so it might lock onto that weaker signal and be unable to hold it.  The coverage maps that reps use when you call only show 2G coverage by default.  If you need to call again, you might ask the rep specifically to look at your 3G coverage.

 

Have you had an opportunity to try using the phone in multiple locations, preferably a number of miles apart?  If the problem is a coverage issue, you'll usually see it in some places but not in others.  Alternately, is there a 3G capable phone you can use your SIM card in?

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
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Teacher

Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

I've got a replacement unit on order now, so we'll see.

 

Your suggestion about disabling 3G would be great in any case -- I'll look into it.  I need 3G only if I want to do browsing and such, right?  Since I don't have a dataplan, any time I accidently hit the wrong button, I get dinged a few cents for a data transfer I never wanted, and the phone seems to have no way to remove those hazards from the menu.

 

So I gather that even though I often see 3-4 bars of signal strength, that's not necessarily a 3G network.  Still, I believe my old W300i was also a 3G phone, but it didn't include an HSDPA icon which this one sometimes shows.  Maybe that's the critical difference.

 

Anyhow, I think you're right about signal coverage, because I notice even though phone calls usually go through from my office, the signal meter can jump around from moment to moment and sometimes drops to only 1-2 bars for a bit.  It seems to be highly location dependent.  Today, I moved the phone about 2 inches from the place it's usually been on my desk, and I had no freezups like the ones that happened every few hours yesterday, plus the battery meter has stayed high today.  So I may have found a sweet spot.  Maybe if I can just leave the phone there and use the bluetooth headset....?

 

All in all, I still consider it a defect, whether of that particular unit or of this model.  Let's say it cannot maintain a consistent HSDPA connection.  That is no justification for wasting a huge amount of battery power and finally dropping off the network completely.  Every other phone I've seen weathers signal dropouts gracefully and comes back online as soon as the signal returns.

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Teacher

Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

[ Edited ]

Oops.  Just saw erichamion's post.  So the W300i was not 3G, eh?  Guess I misunderstood some details of new phone technology.  Anyhow, with my usage, I gather there would be no downside to disabling 3G (if I can), even it it does not disable those pesky internet capabilities.

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Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

Yes, the w300i is 2G only.  If you look at the frequency bands on the device specifications page, only the bands for "GSM/GPRS/EDGE" are listed, and those are 2G technologies.  The same page for the w518a shows both those and "UMTS/HSDPA," which is 3G.

 

If you can disable 3G, you'll have slower data speeds, and you won't be able to use voice and data simultaneously.  It sounds like you probably wouldn't agonize too much over those limitations.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
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Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

[ Edited ]

DavidR wrote:

Oops.  Just saw erichamion's post.  So the W300i was not 3G, eh?  Guess I misunderstood some details of new phone technology.  Anyhow, with my usage, I gather there would be no downside to disabling 3G (if I can), even it it does not disable those pesky internet capabilities.


I don't know if the W518a is so locked down by at&t that you cannot do so, but on my W580i (at&t branded), I was able to add a "dummy" data account (within the settings for internet connection) and assign it as the default access point so that the phone will not connect to the data network with accidental presses of the MediaNet button.  You just create a new data profile without entering any settings for the "dummy".  I believe you just name the profile and specify it's for GPRS/packet data access.  And IIRC, at&t has changed things on some of the more recent SE models so that this is not possible, but you may want to check it out on the W518a to see if you can do so.

 

There is no downside to disabling 3G, and especially if you are in an area where 3G coverage is inconsistent then having it available causes more problems than it is worth.  (lol.  IMO)  And especially for someone who doesn't have a data plan - presumably data speed or the ability for simultaneous voice and data usage is not important to you. Smiley Happy 

 

I'm not sure whether the 2G/3G handoffs are really an issue with the phone itself as much as it is with the at&t branded firmware - as many users report that the SEs behave much better if they are debranded; although I also believe users tend to just turn off the 3G network access (if possible) where they are in an area with marginal 3G coverage. 

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

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Teacher

Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

[ Edited ]

Thank you hme83 -- "My Phone Explorer" works great with the W518a.  I like the interface better and may be able to stop using PC Suite altogether.  And it does have a selection for GSM only.  I'll see whether that prevents the problem, though as I said before -- that would be just a workaround since, even in G3 mode, the phone should not give up and completely stop trying to connect with the network.  If disabling G3 improves battery life, I'll see that as a benefit since I personally have no use for G3.

 

I've added a dummy data account.  Not sure I did it right, but I think I've set it up in a way that will disable MediaNet and prevent accidental charges.

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Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error


DavidR wrote:

Thank you hme83 -- "My Phone Explorer" works great with the W518a.  I like the interface better and may be able to stop using PC Suite altogether.  And it does have a selection for GSM only.  I'll see whether that prevents the problem, though as I said before -- that would be just a workaround since, even in G3 mode, the phone should not give up and completely stop trying to connect with the network.  If disabling G3 improves battery life, I'll see that as a benefit since I personally have no use for G3.

 

I've added a dummy data account.  Not sure I did it right, but I think I've set it up in a way that will disable MediaNet and prevent accidental charges.


Happy to help. Smiley Happy

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

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Teacher

Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

[ Edited ]

The replacement phone has arrived and, in a day of usage, has never gone into the "No access to net" the way the original unit did several times a day before I disabled its 3G.  So evidently the original unit was defective.  (The fact that I found one other posting about this error suggests that the model might be more subject than usual to such a defect.)

 

It will take me longer to determine whether the new unit has the same poor battery life as the original.  After I disabled the original's 3G, using MyPhoneExplorer to switch it to GSM-only mode, both the short battery life and the "No access to net" problems disappeared.  I will make the same switch in the new unit only if necessary for battery life, though I really don't care about the ability to use 3G and have disabled its data connections with a dummy MediaNet account.

 

Thanks again for your help and suggestions.

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Re: Sony Ericsson W518a "No access to net" error

I'm happy to hear you are having better experience with the replacement thus far. Smiley Happy

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

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