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Latest update removed GSM only selection!

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Prento, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Prento

    Prento Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi all!

    Firstly what a super forum, huge amount of information on here. My apologies if I am posting in the wrong place or this topic has been discussed before. It's just I have a few questions all linked but my circumstances of phone use are more unusual than most.

    I work on a ship mainly in near coastal areas so I tend to be right on the fringe of mobile networks. I have a Galaxy S4 4G on EE which seems a good phone and is generally the best phone on-board for signal strength. However when I first got the phone about 12 months ago, I could manually set GSM only and manually select a particular mobile network (UK or roaming) and it would 90% of the time remain on that network, provided the signal strength was ok.

    Now after 3 updates, the last update removing GSM only selection, my phone chops and changes networks based on signal strength even after manually setting a desired network. This becomes a big problem when roaming and also some offshore areas I work in have private mobile networks. My phone will always pick up my desired network but it then changes itself to the strongest signal (in manual and automatic), which is usually the private network which the phone displays as unknown. I then have to manually re-select the desired network again and hope I can complete my call before it changes itself again!!!

    My question is I have a Galaxy Ace 3 4G which runs the identical software (with the same issues as above). Can I root this phone and find / create an app that would force the manual network selection or revert it to a previous version of OS which might be more responsive. The 1st option would be the best and I would be happy to pay for someone to create an app to overcome this if there is none currently available.

    Sorry for the long post, it is very frustrating and any google searches always revert to mobile network strength in relation to providers, not the phones ability to receive!

    Any help or information greatly received and many thanks in advance.


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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Hi Kieran, and welcome to AF :)

    I'm not familiar with Samsung software, but have they completely removed the "network mode" setting from the system settings, or removed the 2G/GSM only mode from it? Just want to be certain what they've done.

    If they have, you may still be able to access it. Open the phone dialer and type *#*#4636#*#*. That should take you to a hidden app called "Testing", unless they've also removed that. Select phone information, and you get a screen of detailed information which also let's you select the network mode (and a couple of other things which I recommend not fiddling with). Even if they've removed the option from the system settings as long as you can access this app you should be able to do it this way.

    If you were rooted then I think an app called "spare parts" can also access this. Even without root there was an app called "AnyCut" which could create a shortcut to the Testing app.

    With root it's possible that custom ROMs might give you the option back (I don't know ROMs for these phones, but it's possible), or you could install a ROM based on a version which does have the option. You can find out more about those in the section of the forum for the specific device (rooting and ROMs are always device-specific).
  3. Prento

    Prento Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Thanks Hadron for the reply. I will test that out today and report back. Unfortunately I cannot download any apps until I am in port so will have to wait to try the apps.

    The current software is Android 4.4.2 - kernel 3.4.0-481100 - build number KOT49H.19595XXUFNC4 and the phone is Galaxy S4 GT-19595.

    The latest update changed the menu list options from 4G/3G/GSM Auto, 3G only, GSM only TO 4G/3G/GSM Auto, 4G only, 3G/2G only. This is not the biggest problem here as there is no 3G signal for it to jump to, although some areas we work in the phone does jump between 3G & 2G if left in auto, causing drop outs.

    The problem was very noticeable yesterday due to weather conditions affecting the signal from land. What the phone is doing in manual mode is searching for networks, of which it finds 4. I select the network that works (Telekom.de) and it attempts to register. If it finds a stronger network (of any type) it drops the selected network and trys to register on that network, in this case is classed as unknown with no available connection as it is a private industrial network on the adjacent wind farm (and is not listed when you do a network search). Why it still trys to connect to a non-functional network repeatedly is very annoying.

    What used to happen on the old software was it would register so long as signal supported it but if signal dropped it would NOT connect to any other network when in manual (as it does in automatic), and once signal returns it would register to the selected network.

    I somehow need to either force the software to ONLY connect to the selected network and ignore all others when in manual mode (which is what manual implies!) OR somehow find a way for the phone to ignore the 'Unknown network' by making it realise it is a false network.

    Like you suggest I will look into rooting and reverting to an earlier version. The other option could be as I like learning new things is to somehow decompile the current software and edit it?? I am guessing it is like learning to walk? I have found the android knowledge base detailing 'telephony services' which seems to be what I need to alter, although I am sure it is not that easy....... as nothing ever is :smokingsomb:

    Again many thanks for the info and I will get back with results.

    If anyone reading this wants to know about boosting signal etc just ask as I have an external antenna set-up which seems to work quite well, considering we are up to 20 miles off-shore and still getting signals!


  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    As you have a Galaxy S4, you might have the option for a custom ROM like CyanogenMod or Paranoid Android, which do have the options for 2G GSM modes only, that's if Samsung maybe with carrier modifications has removed that option.
  5. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    the 4636 menu (field test menu/Hidden Menu) got removed except for rooted users, who can then access it via some app on the Play Store. GSM Only for me never worked. my phone was meant to use Verizon, so all that would do is go to Emergency Calls Only/Unknown Network. not sure what carrier you have but my bet is that was removed for a similar reason. mine only works in CDMA only (the same thing as 2G/3G only) or LTE Auto (PRL)

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