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*228 and the verizon network - snail to cheetah in 3min!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by rubinscube, Dec 30, 2009.



  1. YES

    14 vote(s)
  2. NO

    6 vote(s)
  1. rubinscube

    rubinscube Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I wasn't told about this until after I had my droid eris for about a month. if you dial *228 and select option 2 then set your phone down and let it do it's thing. your cell phone will update it's position and the cell towers; including the new ones. my service went from snail to cheetah:D. I have only tried this on the Verizon carrier.

  2. erisuser1

    erisuser1 Android Expert

    It might have produced some benefit for you, but for most people it will do little or nothing, and can be detrimental if you don't know exactly what you are doing. Seems that it is most likely to be useful if you are reprogramming a handset after moving it to a new carrier.

    Have a look at this post (on pdaphonehome.com), and read the the details in the first responder's post... as well as the troubles it caused the OP.

    Also, this post on the Verizon forums

  3. tats_06

    tats_06 Android Enthusiast

    Actually what it does is it updates roaming capabilities for vzw users. It can only be detrimental if something went wrong with the towers or network...but most of the time it's a benefit as it improves reception. VZW suggest users to do *228 option 2 every few weeks. :)
  4. Fulltime Traveler

    Fulltime Traveler Well-Known Member

    The first link is a problem somebody had with a PRL update in 2002. Many of us travelers have been doing it once a month or so for years. For over seven years, in my case.

    The second link you cited is Verizon telling you to do a PRL update: "You SHOULD; occasionally update your Preferred Roaming list, From your HOME AREA or another VZW coverage area". It does say not to do it from an extended network area. In my experience, *288 from an extended network area simply fails.

    You don't have to "know exactly what you are doing". Just dial it and follow the instructions.

    BTW, you can bypass the menus by dialing *28899.

    PRL updates are very important if you travel away from your home tower.
  5. erisuser1

    erisuser1 Android Expert


    I stand corrected - it does look like it is both easy and safe. I did it on my phone, (both menu option 1 and 2), and it appears to only affect the PRL.

    In your particular situation - traveling (and possibly in rural areas with Mom n' Pop cell systems), it might have some benefit periodically as Verizon adds or drops roaming partners. I don't know how often that actually occurs in any given region though. It might well be that if you see a new PRL # after an update, it means that something changed with one of Verizon's roaming partners in Idaho - but that has no practical significance if you are in any of the other 49 states. (Point is, just because you see a new PRL #, it doesn't mean anything changed about roaming partners in your area.)

    The OP was pretty enthusiastic about how it dramatically affected his service, and there is plenty of mis-information on the internet ( see my post above for instance :eek: ) - but it should be important to point out that *228 (option 2) only affects roaming, not Verizon's own network. If the OP truly got better service, his phone must have started roaming immediately after the PRL update. Either that or there is some sort of odd behavior which can happen if a mobile handset thinks another carrier's network is in it's (outdated) PRL, and the handset is in an area with overlapping cells from both Verizon and the other carrier. That seems hard to believe, though.

    Thanks for correcting me.

  6. Bswartz95

    Bswartz95 Android Expert

    What about option 1? VZW tech support had me choose option 1 when I had to call them about service issues. Since then, my phone's signal is much more stable and battery life improved.
  7. erisuser1

    erisuser1 Android Expert

    It is highly probable that the VZW Tech who activated your phone in the store already did an "option 1". I suppose that there could be regional differences in that information that depend on the location of the cell that serves the handset when *228 (option 1) is selected, but that would probably only apply to folks who mail-ordered their phone, or purchased it in a store a long distance from where they use it.

    In any event, the OP mentioned only option 2 - which is only about PRL.

    Perhaps the VZW tech was using that advice as a kind of placebo - you know... "maybe if I throw the customer a bone, he'll stop gnawing on my leg" :rolleyes:

  8. Fulltime Traveler

    Fulltime Traveler Well-Known Member

    You're welcome. We all like to show off what we know. :)

    It's not quite true that updating your PRL affects only roaming. For voice, I think that's true, but for data it can mean the difference between connecting to an Extended Network (i.e., non-Verizon) tower at a max of 144 kbps and connecting to a Verizon tower at EVDO speeds--around 800 kbps to 2+ Mbps.

    In the years that I have been following (and moderating) forums related to cellular Internet connections, I have seen many instances of a PRL update switching a user from a slow 1x connection to a fast EVDO connection. These are almost always RVers, moving around the country, as you suggest.

    Unfortunately, you can't do a PRL update once you wander into an Extended Network.
  9. alprazolam

    alprazolam Android Expert

    You are right and the reason that this would happen is that Verizon has worked out a roaming agreement with another carrier's EVDO service, thus boosting your data speed. Since the merger with Altell, there have been a lot of updates that move customers over to the Verizon towers, or vice versa. The downside is that updating your PRL may reduce your coverage if you happen to be in a divested coverage area though I think this is rare.
  10. snorge

    snorge Android Enthusiast

    so what does option 1 do?
  11. erisuser1

    erisuser1 Android Expert

    If your phone has never been provisioned, it initializes settings in your phone.

    I'm pretty certain that it is exactly what the Verizon tech does in the store when they set up a brand new phone. After that, it is not apparent that any of the information ever changes. (That is, it may not need to be done more than once in the life of the phone, assuming you don't change carriers.)

    Anybody that knows of an online Verizon document that says that this should be done with any regularity, or even more than once - post up the link!

  12. alprazolam

    alprazolam Android Expert

    You are exactly right. The Verizon Rep scans your phone box to get the ESN number from your phone in order to associate that phone with your current number or new number that they have set up. Option #1 simply tells Verizon that your phone is ready to be used by you.

    You may have to use that feature if you decide to change phones on your own. For instance, if you happen to drop your Eris in water and you are forced to grab your old phone while you figure out what to do, you will call Verizon and tell them the ESN off of your old phone and they will then tell you to call *228 option 1 to activate your phone.

    Software updates for the Eris will be sent to us automatically and I'm not sure about a hardware update. With my Omnia, Samsung issued a firmware upgrade and customers had to either take the phone in to let Verizon do it or download a file and program to do it at home.
  13. tats_06

    tats_06 Android Enthusiast

    You can also do *22899 send and it will do both option 1 and 2 all at once. ;)
  14. snorge

    snorge Android Enthusiast

    I tried option 1 on my Eris it appears to do what option 2 does plus a couple other things. Unforuntately I didn't check my original information to see if anything changed under phone status.
  15. butthead007

    butthead007 Well-Known Member

    *228 1 does initial programming on the phone. Option 2 up dates the prl. Updating the prl does not 'add' towers but tells your phone given a choice between carrier towers a b or c,connect to b first, then a, then c. It depends on the roaming agreements VZW has in place. It won't improve your phone functioning at all.
  16. sbus82

    sbus82 Lurker

    I came across your post regarding *228 after calling vzw for tech support. My wife has had her Droid X for 16 months and has been having issues for the past couple months. Her issues were: lagging when going from screen to screen, freezing inside and outside of apps, static on the phone line, noise on the phone line getting quiet and loud whenever it feels the need. Also she has been having battery issues.
    I was told to do *228 option 1 as it hadn't been done in 7 months. I specifically asked the vzw rep what option 1 programs and all she could say was, the phone. Great...thanks for the support. The amazing thing is little option 1 fixed everything. I am not sure what it programs still but it fixed all sorts of bugs. I hope it helps her battery life but I don't know that yet. Hope this helps. If you haven't done it yet, go ahead and try. She said it should be done before calling verizon for help.
    Tip: if you have a 4g phone, NEVER DO *228. It will fry your sim.
    Shawn B.
    HTC ReZound

HTC Droid Eris Forum

The HTC Droid Eris release date was November 2009. Features and Specs include a 3.2" inch screen, 5MP camera, 288GB RAM, MSM7600 processor, and 1300mAh battery.

November 2009
Release Date

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