Mobile data only in CDMA mode (SGS3)

I'm having trouble with mobile data on my Samsung Galaxy S3. First some background... 

I'll get this out of the way right off the bat: I did drop the phone in a shallow container with liquid in the sink two weekends ago. It's in a case that helped slow the inundation of water, to some extent, and I got it out within a second or so, and then I got the battery out ASAP and stored the phone in rice for 4-5 days to dry out. I took some of the interior of the phone apart after that, ready to clean it with 91% alcohol, but it looked nearly pristine, so I turned it on and everything seemed A-OK. 

I had switched my number to a Ting flip phone, and then switched it back when the S3 was back in operation. Everything still seemed fine (voice, wifi, camera, charging). 

But I didn't check mobile data--I'm on wifi almost all the time most days. Today I turned on Mobile Data and it didn't work. 

I have checked my Ting device settings through the account dashboard. Everything under Megabytes is checked: access internet, send & receive pictures and video, and tethering. 

I tried the following with no improvements:

  • carrier wipe
  • update PRL
  • update profile

However, if I change the "preferred network mode" (under Wireless and networks > Mobile networks) from "LTE / CDMA" to just "CDMA" and let the phone restart, I DO get 3G data. But under "LTE / CDMA" I get neither 3G nor 4G data access. 

One exception to this: when I have "LTE / CDMA" enabled (without wifi) and do a PRL or profile update, it appears to temporarily activate 4G data, try to update, and then disconnects. No apps can get online, though. 

I am in an area with some 4G LTE coverage, and decent 3G coverage, and I'm doing all this testing from an area (my house) where mobile data access has worked in the past (and my wife's S3 continues to work the right way).  

 

So my questions are:

  1. Has anyone seen this kind of problem before, and know what to do about it? (I've seen this post but my device settings are already right: https://help.ting.com/entries/23650893-Stuck-with-CDMA-Only-)
  2. Why would my phone get 3G data when in CDMA-only mode, but not LTE/CDMA mode, especially when I'm in an area with 4G LTE (greater Boston)?
  3. Is there any way I can diagnose whether there's hardware trouble, perhaps with the LTE antenna, perhaps from water exposure (even though everything else works), before I try a complete reset of all software?
  4. And are there any other troubleshooting steps I haven't thought of that I should try? 

Thanks in advance!!!

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Comments

45 comments
  • I accidentally dropped my s3 aswell and in doing so broke the screen's backlight. So, I sent it to Samsung to get it repaired, but when I got it back I had no internet connection whatsoever.

    I eventually figured out that the only way to get an active internet connection was to switch it into CDMA mode.

    That was about 6 months ago. I've scowered the internet trying to find a fix for this! And finally, yesterday I found this http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1794956.

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  • Gloria, thanks for the lead! I've browsed through that thread (but not read it all in great detail yet) and am not quite sure what you used from it that helped. I do see this on page 5: 

    "after days of unsuccessfully scouring forums to find a fix for 4.2.2 without having to switch from LTE/CDMA/EvDo to CDMA/EvDo auto, what ended up finally working for me was to set the APN protocol and APN roaming protocol to IPv4/IPv6."

    That makes me think that "Method 1" or "Method 2" from the first page, which appear to be all about MMS (not LTE) would also work for restoring LTE access (???). But while I know about Ting's MMSC URL, the other info there is about Boost and Virgin MMS Proxy and Port numbers. 

    Is there something in particular from that XDA thread you suggest I try? 

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  • Hey Aaron!

    Sorry for the hassle here! We are currently experiencing an issue with the LTE data service on BYOD Galaxy S3's. I will be sending you an email so please keep an eye out for it!

    All the best!

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  • Well, I'm having the same issue and it sure would've been nice if Ting had made me aware of that prior to my switch this morning. Not happy!

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  • Hey Amy,

    I am very sorry for this hassle. We are working on getting resolved asap and will notify you when it has been resolved.

    All the best!

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  • Is anyone else who's having this problem now also getting this error message? Started happening for me today. And suddenly I cannot even update PRL or Profile when in CDMA-only mode (but it does work in LTE/CDMA mode). 

    "error #67: registration failure. Your data service username and/or password may be incorrect. Please try again."

    It's mentioned here, among other places: 

    https://help.ting.com/entries/25124897-Galaxy-S3-Help-Someone-No-Data

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  • Hey there Aaron, This is probably unrelated, but I will update your help request with some troubleshooting. 

     

    @Chris, When we have more details we will share. 

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  • @Sam, I already sent you this information through the help ticket system, but I'll also share here for anyone else following along: I believe the error #67 was caused by me disabling internet and pictures/video sending, through the Ting account manager. I did that as part of troubleshooting, and had meant to re-enable them after a few minutes but completely forgot. Oops. I now *do* have 3G data connectivity in CDMA-only mode. I'll repost if error 67 comes back, but I don't think it will. 

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  • Has anyone discovered a fix for the 4g LTE issue yet? I still have to keep my Galaxy Victory phone in CDMA Mode to receive any data at all and LTE/CDMA mode NEVER works! No data in that mode whatsoever. 

     

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  • I Figured out my problem!!! I drove three miles away to the nearest LTE Sprint tower. Then I placed the phone back into CDMA/LTE mode and dialed ##UPDATE#. 

    Phone went through update procedure and now I have 4g LTE service! Because I live and work on the edge of the LTE service area (although Sprint map shows my entire county has LTE service) it sometimes drops down to 3g but shortly goes back to 4g. Way faster!!!!! I hope this helps others.

    Goodbye CDMA 3g mode!!! Hello 4g LTE.! 

    So get close to a Sprint LTE tower (which you can google for a map of one near you) and update while in CDMA/LTE mode!

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  • Hey David!

    Thanks for the tip! If anyone else wants to try out David's steps please let us know how it worked out for you.

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  • I tried it, in an area that I believe should have a 4G signal, and had no results... literally nothing happened when I put in ##873283# -- it just cleared from the dialer and that was it. Will try again near a different tower, at work, tomorrow. 

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  • Tried it from a definite 4G location, and once again entering ##UPDATE# (##873283#) into the dialer yielded no result. It just vanished from the screen. From the same location I used the system settings menu options to Update PRL and Update Profile once again (with LTE/CDMA on and wifi off) and it temporarily showed the 4G connector icons, ran the updates, and went back to the non-useful state. 

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  • Sorry, I accidentally mislead you. I was able to get 3g on CDMA/LTE mode using the method I posted above, but was still not able to connect to 4g.

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  • I researched the issue with the 4g towers in my area and found that Sprint has been moving slowly to upgrade towers to 4g LTE. Aron, you may just have to call sprint to find which towers in your area if any have completed the upgrade already. I found 4g LTE towers in my area that were listed as 4g LTE capable and found out later on they were still in the process of being upgraded and had not been completed yet. The tower i used was close to my county's emergency management office since I figured it would most likely be the first in the county to receive the upgrade. As a result, 4g is on and working. Try towers near police dept or fire rescue first.

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  • Per Ting support's suggestions, I tried a full factory reset. Unfortunately that did not fix my mobile data problem. 

    I poked around Ting support threads and other sites, like XDA, and somewhere out there I found the suggestion for turning off eHRPD (in the ##DATA# menu). I did that and presto, I can get mobile data when in CDMA/LTE mode. Only 3G data at my current location--I'll see if I can get 4G at other locations, later. 

    • What is eHPRD, why did turning it off allow mobile data to suddenly work, and what problems might I encounter because I disabled it? 

     

    Separately, under ##DATA# > Edit > Others > LTE APN Settings, I have two APN entries: 

    • APN0 EHRPD ota
    • APN0 LTE ota

    Neither was selected. I selected the LTE one and it did not have any noticeable effect. I'm not sure what it means that there used to be none selected. I cannot get back to no selection now--it has to be one or the other. 

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  • Hi Chris, thanks for the comments. I already did the ##786# hard reset (and a carrier wipe many days ago). Not sure how to accomplish the next part, though. ##MSL# does nothing on my phone. (and when I search through the ##DATA# menus I don't find a place to edit MDN or MSID.) 

    Ting support did ask me about my ICCID but after I provided it for them to check, later troubleshooting steps made no mention of it. 

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  • Another update...

    Background: I had enabled 3G connectivity by disabling eHRPD.  

    I was poking around in my ##DATA# menus while looking into Chris's suggestions. Saw that the LTE checkmark was cleared, so I made sure to enable that. Then I saw that eHRPD was "on" again. Yet I was getting a mobile data signal (3G)! That's good. 

    I went for a walk around my company's campus, since we're in a mixed 3G/4G area according to the coverage map. I was watching signal strength details using the app Network Signal Info. The moment that the mobile network type switched from EVDO A to LTE, I lost mobile data. I kept walking and couldn't shake the LTE connection for a while, but once I did, I had mobile data again. 

    I wish I had the time to check for this kind of behavior in other locations, especially 3G/4G boundaries, but perhaps this one instance will give someone at Ting the missing piece of data they need to figure out the problem (I can dream, right?). 

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  • Same exact issue with my Galaxy S3.  Sent a support ticket and they said they would contact me when they had more information.  I think that was a week ago?  Hope it gets fixed soon.

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  • Actually guys I un-checked 'can access internet' on my device settings on the Ting website.  Click Save.  Then go back and re-check 'can access internet' and save again. 

    Go on your phone and make sure the network is set to LTE and not CDMA.  It may require a reboot.  I now have 4G everywhere I go in Atlanta.

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  • I had already tried Matthew's suggestion of un-checking, saving, then re-checking "can access internet" several days ago with no results. Tried it again this afternoon, and nothing changed from my office (still had 3G access). Back at home, though, I tried mobile data and suddenly I have 4G access! So... it works! One of my many troubleshooting steps must have worked, or perhaps Ting did something on their side and haven't told me yet, or perhaps Sprint resolved some temporary problem, or some combination of those possibilities. 

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  • I now get 4G data service at both work and home. I wish I could provide a clear recommendation for others having this problem. I guess all I can say is: try a lot of things, repeatedly if necessary. Check and double-check your settings in the ##DATA# menus, un-check and re-check the internet access setting on your Ting account page a few times, and turn off wifi and run PRL and Profile updates from a variety of locations (different towers). Possibly overkill, but ... at least it can't hurt. 

    Now that I have mobile data working, it's time to turn it off and go back to relying on wifi 98% of the time!  ;)  

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  • Hey Aaron, thanks for letting us know. I'm glad you were able to get that working and took the time to share this information. According to your description, it might require a combination or series of steps in order to get 4G data service working as you just did. Trying to double check your data settings by entering # # DATA # as well as toggling wi-fi on/off and updating the profile in different orders can definitely help with that issue. Doing that at different locations is also recommended as you would be connecting to different towers. Don't hesitate to provide any further updates if you run into anything new.

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  • Bumping this thread.  I have a Galaxy Nexus and was fine (4G/LTE) until I updated to Android 4.3  Since then I am limited to 3G speeds.  NOT HAPPY.  While the Ting reps have been very pleasant, they have been unable to provide any solutions.  They recommended the ##UPDATE# solution, but the Galaxy Nexus doesn't recognize that code.  It's been 3-4 weeks and no help in sight.  Anyone get a solution to  this issue for their phone yet?

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  • Hey Gerard, Nexus devices are slightly different. To access the update menu on your device you will have to enter *#*#UPDATE#*#*. I see you are working with some team members on getting this fixed and they are currently waiting on the results on an investigation, you should be getting an update soon. 

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  • I have had the exact same issue since I switched to ting in late october. They told me same thing about it being on sprint's end and they would notify me when they had it solved. So I sat idle for a week and then called back.... Now I don't here about that issue at all. I only get instructions to repeat processes I've already done along with saying if it doesn't work that I will need to get a new phone..... Huh? No.... No we aren't blaming it on my phone. I'm reading the same exact problem for other users in the forums. Who also aren't getting any progress towards a solution. I'm perplexed.

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  • Hey Timothy!

    I can see in one of your support requests that you have managed to get it all up and running! I'm really glad of it :)

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  • I'm now getting 4G through my samsung galaxy s3 as of about 4 or 5 hours ago. I took the advice above and went into my account dashboard to my phone and turned off (unchecked box) allowed to connect to Internet. the first thing I saw when I did this was that my phone automatically did a PRL update. I'm pretty sure that was an update telling my phone that it can't connect to the internet. But then I had a problem saying cuz I couldn't connect to the internet through my phone to turn it back on. So I read the text to my wife and she got online and turn it back on through the PC which probably took 5-10 minutes, which I only mentioned in case someone decided to factor that you have to wait but I don't think you do. So then I turned it back on or switched it back to allow my phone to connect to the internet and hit save (or my wife did anyway at home in front of the computer) I did not see any 4G. But, I went into my mobile data settings and I set the preferred mobile network to CDMA LTE and this is important, I restarted my phone. When it booted back up it said preparing network and I had 4G from that moment on. Not that I was a paranoid thinking that always going to get done doing is PRL and profile update and then disappear.... But he did not it is at 4G pretty sure it's going to stay there. I know forums are full of wacky Arthur Fonzarelli tactics of fixing things but I must attest that this actually works

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  • As noted on one of the linked threads, a carrier reset (which doesn't delete all your stored stuff) helped me as well.  I've had the OP's problem, where I can only get a signal *near my home* if I switch to CDMA (3G) only, and the phone gets confused and stops data altogether if I'm on CDMA/LTE.  This has been the case for months, after I had to do a full reset when a weird glitch caused me to lose ALL connectivity for voice/text/data (despite my husband having an identical, unaffected phone) shortly after 4G entered our area.

    Steps I followed:

    (Tried turning Internet Access off and on again from the Ting Dashboard, with phone restarts in between each step.  This seemed to give me a 4G bar, but it was constantly white, and I couldn't load anything whatsoever with that connection.)

    1. Turn off WiFi!

    2. Dial *#*#72786#*#*    (I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, for most other types it seems to be ##72786#).

    3. Enter my MSL (found on Ting Dashboard for that device)

    4. Impatiently wait while phone restarts.

    After that process, I very quickly had a blue 4G icon (which hasn't happened in months) but zero bars and my phone was draining as fast as it was charging.  About 10 minutes later I have 4G with 2 blue bars, which matches my husband's phone in the same room, and it's no longer destroying the battery.

     

    Hope this helps someone else.

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