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Only able to get a 2g connection

I can only get my mobile to connect to 2g, despite the signal checker saying I have "Very Good" (4 bars) 3 and 4g coverage where I am in Manchester. When I tell it to prefer 3g or LTE (aka 4g) in my phone's settings it either tells me the network is not available when I try to make a call or just sits there saying dialling and then disconnects without actually starting to dial a few seconds later. I had a Virgin sim I got replaced which had the exact same problems but wouldn't connect to 2g either, so i guess this is an improvement...

I have a Xiaomi Redmi 3s, which worked fine on my old O2 sim, and the various other companies' sims I had before that. I've had it for years but it seems to otherwise work fine and I quite like it. Checking the specs and comparing with the network bands, I found conflicting information as to whether Virgin use 1, 3 and 7 or 3, 7 and 20 for 4g; this phone can do bands 1, 3 and 7 (and some others), but not 20. It should be able to handle all the bands for 3g but i can't connect to 3g either (same symptoms), despite the coverage checker saying I have very good signal for 3g too.

Is there anything I can do short of buying a new phone?

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Message 2 of 8
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Re: Only able to get a 2g connection

Well your 2G will be on band 3

You may have 3G coverage on Band 3, but it depends on location Band 1 should be OK

Band 7 is only used in crowded locations like city centres

EE use Band 20 for 4G but this is not available to Virgin, however some places can only get 4G on this band, which makes it a not spot on Virgin

How does the phone work elsewhere? Is this location specific or just on spot.

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Re: Only able to get a 2g connection

I haven't had a chance to try it any significant distance away (I'm somewhat disabled so going anywhere outside the house is not always possible/easy).

Is there somewhere I can check what bands are supposedly in use here? Or an app I can install that would tell me what it could pick up?
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Re: Only able to get a 2g connection

Okay, so a googled how to check LTE bands and found an app called Signal Spy. When connected to 2g it lists the Network Operator as Virgin(23430)

If I switch to Prefer LTE or 3g it gives me the same details except that it lists the network operator as () <that is just an empty pair of brackets, nothing else>.

In any of the three cases it lists Technology LTE, band - <that is just a dash>, and signal strength -97dBm. It says Detection Method Derived, Enhanced LTE detection Off, Roaming No, sim operator Virgin(23438), and MCCMNC 234381.
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Message 5 of 8
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Re: Only able to get a 2g connection

I don't know anything that tells you what is available in any location. 

I use Network Cell Info but that only gives information on the cell to which you are connected. Frequency allocations to different towers can be fluid, especially over the coming next 2 years as 3G is refarmed to 4 and 5G before being shut down.

I'm on Vodafone. At home 4G is Band 1. Slightly further away from the house Band 20 and at my Daughters Band 8, so lots of variations and if the phone has to switch to a neighbouring tower it could change Band before swapping back.

Hard to know what to recomend other than having someone with EE or Virgin to try in your location.

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Re: Only able to get a 2g connection

Hmmm, okay, more digging and possibly buying a new phone are in the future then - I just hope the washing machine doesn't also need replacing! Thank you for your help.
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Message 7 of 8
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Re: Only able to get a 2g connection


@enlli wrote:

 

Hard to know what to recomend other than having someone with EE or Virgin to try in your location.


Pretty much this.

For the benefit of the OP, EE (whom Virgin piggyback on) run 2G on Band 3 (1800), 3G on Band 1 (2100), and 4G on Bands 1, 3, 7 (2600) & 20 (800)

Virgin don't use 4G for calls unlike EE, which prevents access to Band 20. Anywhere that you have Band 1, 3 or 7, you will have 2G or 3G.

Your best bet really is to find friends or relations on EE or one of their other MVNOs to compare. An EE pay-monthly customer will have 4G-calling, potentially skewing the results slightly. Anyone on PlusNet, Virgin Mobile, Asda Mobile, 1p Mobile (and probably a few others I can't think of) will have the exact same service.

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Message 8 of 8
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Re: Only able to get a 2g connection

I guess i'll have to do that then. It does look like the tower I am conected to is band 3 and thus should be able to provide 4g so clearly I'm missing something!
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