Delayed Text Messages And Calling Problems

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  • Updated 1 year ago
  • (Edited)
I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 SGH-T999, it has some T-Mobile things on it that I have disabled as they slowed down the phone or were annoying. I am considering installing a custom ROM, but for now it is an entirely "stock" OS with Samsung and T-Mobile programs from the factory. My signal levels fluctuate, but usually stays above 2 bars. In some areas in Kitchener, the signal drops entirely, even outside, and when it doesn't drop entirely it sits at around -105db, or 0 bars. It sometimes has SMS function at those low signal levels and calling ability, and loses them even around -75db, or 4 bars, so signal isn't much of a problem.

When I send texts, they sometimes send immediately, and sometimes fail multiple times. Once it said it failed, but after retrying twice I learned it sent all three times, still having failed on my end. When I receive texts, they don't come in for a while and then there's like 5 texts all with the same time stamp with the person wondering if I'm ignoring them after they ask me something.

With calling, it sometimes works flawlessly with great quality, and sometimes an outgoing call fails to get to the other phone, or an incoming call goes to voicemail and doesn't even notify me. It doesn't even show up in the logs until later.

The SMS and voicemail both seem to arrive at the same time when there is a delay problem. Also, my brother has an iPhone 5 on the same type of plan as I and has no problems at all with signal or SMS or calling. For SMS I use the stock android messaging app. For calling I use the stock phone app. Likewise for all apps relating to calls or SMS or contacts.

What could I do, other than a factory reset, that could fix this problem?
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Sam Chamberlain

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Posted 1 year ago

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David, Mobile Master

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TheĀ Samsung Galaxy S3 SGH-T999 apparently only works on 3G frequencies 850 & 1900 in Canada. It may be that if you are in an area where the tower does not support these frequencies, you would have connectivity problems. The iPhone would not have these restrictions.
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BobTheElectrician

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It would not hurt to backup the phone and do a factory reset. I'm using a T-Mobile unlocked LG G3 on Koodo with no problems at all.

You can test your connectivity loop at any location by sending yourself a text.
(Edited)
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Sam Chamberlain

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Thanks for the quick answers, is there some way to test if the firmware is locked to the T-Mobile frequencies, and is there some way to unlock it? If I can unlock it, I would be willing to do a factory reset to fix it. I really don't want to lose my stuff on there as not everything I can do a backup for, and the time it would take to set it all up again is more than a full day.
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BobTheElectrician

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You might try enabling roaming as a test. If it's off, then your phone might be locking out the "foreign" 850 band.

I don't know of any user-friendly ways to check out hardware. A factory reset should be tried before spending any money on a tech inspection or repair. You'd hate to have the tech say "we reset the phone and now you're good to go. That'll be $$$ please."

Doing a clean install of the custom ROM you want will necessitate a backup and set-up in any event. You might also consider that the phone is likely about 5 years old, maybe at the end of its life in dog years.
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Sam Chamberlain

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Thanks for the quick response again. One other question, as I am snooping through the service menu for the first time, what is the RRC Revision Koodo uses? I see on the screen Releases R99, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
(Edited)
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Sam Chamberlain

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I just went into SIM settings in ServiceMode, and tapped CHECK NV, and it says Band pref : Unexpected value =3. What does this mean?
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rikkster, Mobile Master

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A factory reset is not required when SIM unlocking a phone. A quick search on eBay will show a plethora of sites offering unlock codes. Cellunlocker.net is a well known company. A SIM card from another provider is usually needed, however if one is not available, you can enter #7465625*638*# from the S3's dialpad and enter the 8-digit unlock code in the area provided.

In most cases, the SIM unlock is permanent, even if you decide to install a custom ROM. Retain the unlock code in the rare event that an Android system update or custom ROM reverts the phone to a locked state.

*#2263# should allow you to access the band selection menu thus allowing you to individually select which band you want your phone operating in. Post a screenshot if you're not sure which of the acronyms/frequencies do what. This should also give an idea as to the frequencies your phone is capable of using.
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Sam Chamberlain

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Thanks for the reply as well. I was looking around on several forums and came across something like this earlier. All available frequencies I have enabled in that menu now, so hopefully it works better now.
(Edited)
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Sam Chamberlain

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I probably should have added, both my mom's Galaxy and my own were bought unlocked phones. The frequency band thing though was limited on my end while her's was not so much, but limited to LTE and like one other GSM band.
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rikkster, Mobile Master

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Could be a difference of model numbers. It's possible your mom may have the AT&T variant of the S3 (SGH-i747) or T-Mobile's SGH-T999L. If so, either phone unlocked would be compatible with Koodo's network - both devices are 4G and 3G capable.

Koodo does not operate a 2G GSM network. Choosing 'WCDMA Only' as the preferred network type may help to improve signal reception and prolong battery life as your phone doesn't have to search for a network that doesn't exist.
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Sam Chamberlain

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Yeah, there is that difference. My phone is the SGH-T999, while my mom has the T999L which seems to have LTE support.

Also, thanks for the info. I didn't know Koodo doesn't have a 2G GSM network. I'll see how it's doing tomorrow then :)

Edit: I changed it to WCDMA only, no change in strength, but then again at my house I have full signal strength already. Many thanks again.
(Edited)
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Sam Chamberlain

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Update on the WCDMA thing, my battery life today showed noticeable improvement as it didn't give a low battery warning by the end of the school day, despite being used more than yesterday.
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Sam Chamberlain

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Thanks for all the help, I'll report back with how well it's working this upcoming school week for me. Hopefully I can report that it's doing well so that if others have a similar problem, they can have an easy fix :)
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Sam Chamberlain

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It seems to be working better than last week, but there are still some spots with no coverage at all. I'm using OpenSignal to help track where I may lose connection as I go about my day. It seems some of the areas I had coverage are a bit stronger now, and there are a few spots that had no coverage with it now. Overall, I'm seeing a small positive effect.
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Sam Chamberlain

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Today I headed out on a field trip in school. This time my phone stayed on the network even when I dropped to over -100db of signal strength. I also found that my transmitter is very weak compared to other phones, even other Galaxies of the same or older model. Out around 30 minutes south of Kitchener my signal was averaging around -82db and in like two places in the area it was around -108db, but overall a much better performance than would be before the frequency lock was disabled.
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Sam Chamberlain

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Sorry I haven't been giving updates often enough, but my phone is doing much better, well enough to last until I get a new phone. Thanks again for all the help you guys :)
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Sam Chamberlain

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Yesterday there was a short heavy rain storm and my signal outside (not in the rain) was almost perfect, normal being outside now by my school, and I was connected and registered on the network, though I was unable to send or recieve any texts. I had registered multiple times beforehand and during the grueling 15 minute process of sending a text for a ride home. I can't help but think my phone is being rejected by the network for most of the time. Also, in OpenSignal, the compass thing that points to the connected tower shows -dB and a percent of something below it that never changes from 64%. Might that be the power of the antenna in my phone?
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Sam Chamberlain

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I haven't been having issues lately, just in case anyone is wondering. Thanks for all your help guys :)