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Why is my cell reception varying from full bars to low bars or no service at all?

dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

Hi, I just brought my unlocked Nokia Lumia 920 from Rogers to Telus. I received my sim card from Telus yesterday and put it in - I was told that there may be some time until the phone finds the network properly.


The phone is set to the Telus network now but my cell reception keeps varying a lot, sometimes it has full bars, then a couple of bars and then no reception at all so that I cannot make any calls.


This is while the phone is stationary and not being moved. Any ideas?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

NFtoBC
Community Power User
Community Power User

@dem_crumbles

   You could try a fresh SIM card. If that does not work, then the contacts in the phone may be damaged where they touch the SIM card. Not easily fixed in my opinion.


On my iPhone, I can select which Apps use cellular data, and which are restricted to Wi-Fi, on an App by App basis.

NFtoBC
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NFtoBC
Community Power User
Community Power User

The reference to finding the network properly should be on the order of 1/2 an hour, or less, so you should be properly connected now.


Is this happening in one location or many? You may currently be in a poor coverage area. See what happens elsewhere.


Is the phone switching between 3G and LTE? You should be able to set the phone to stay on 3G, if that helps.


Let us know what you learn.


NFtoBC
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dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

Hi NFtoBC,


So far I have only been in one location since I put in the new sim but I will monitor it over this weekend when I am out. I am in Brampton which is about 30 to 40 minutes from Toronto so I figure that coverage should be great here. My girlfriend is on Koodo with great reception.


I see it switching from LTE and 4G sometimes, but I have not noticed 3G pop up on the screen yet. I will try changing it to 3G.


Will report back in a few days, thanks!

xray
Guardian

Is your girlfriend's phone connecting with LTE in the same location?

dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

Unfortunately she does not have a data plan on her phone. So far I have not seen the reception drop and I was in Niagara on the lake last night but I'll keep monitoring it now that I am back home.

dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

I am still having this issue where my bars will drop all of a sudden and sometimes all the way to No Service - Emergency Calls Only.  I think I have also had some calls end abruptly because of this.


I have noticed though that if I turn on DATA and keep it on, I don't see the issue of Service - Emergency Calls Only.  The bars still drop but I can still make calls.


This morning, I had DATA turned off and Wi-fi turned on.  I had a call go straight to voicemail without ringing - I just noticed the voicemail icon show up which alerted me that I had missed a call.


Any ideas?  Could it be the phone?

NFtoBC
Community Power User
Community Power User

What exactly do you mean by data turned off? Some phones require being connected to the data network to operate properly. You may wish to try leaving data on, and turning off cellular data access in each of the Apps which might use data, thus restricting them to Wi-Fi and see what happens.


The "Emergency Calls Only" message suggests your SIM card is not working properly, either because the contacts inside the phone are not properly connected to the SIM card, or the SIM card is working intermittently.



NFtoBC
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dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

Hi NFtoBC,


When I say data I mean my data plan to connect to the internet, I am not referring to the network connection.  I do not see any app specific options that lets you select how the apps connect - either by wifi or cellular data on my windows phone.  I can only set system updates to only update when wi-fi is available.


In terms of the SIM card not working properly because the contacts may not be properly connected, is there a way to fix this?  Would I have to delete all the contacts from the SIM card and enter them back in manually?  If the sim card is working intermittently, does that mean I should change the SIM card or could it be an issue with the phone connections.


Just trying to figure which troubleshooting steps I should take and in which order.



NFtoBC
Community Power User
Community Power User

@dem_crumbles

   You could try a fresh SIM card. If that does not work, then the contacts in the phone may be damaged where they touch the SIM card. Not easily fixed in my opinion.


On my iPhone, I can select which Apps use cellular data, and which are restricted to Wi-Fi, on an App by App basis.

NFtoBC
If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like"

View solution in original post

dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour
 

dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

I will try with a new SIM card then.  If that doesn't work then I guess it might be the contacts, thanks for the advice!

AMB
Just Moved In

Were you able to fix the problem? I brought my unlocked Nokia 920 from Rogers to Telus and I have the same problem plus I cannot connect to the Internet at all (all the data WIFI is on).

Nighthawk
Community Power User
Community Power User

This issue has been ongoing since 2012, when the phone was released, according to a quick Google search. Some are suspecting Rogers has sabotaged the ROM to prevent access to the settings needed to get it working. Judging by one of the Microsoft forums, it's affecting more than just the 920 and Canada isn't alone.


Do you know if the model you have is RM-820 or RM-821?


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. 🙂

dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

I have not been able to fix the issue.  Sometimes I can make calls without turning on my data but the call quality may be low. Sometimes it says Emergency Calls Only.  Any time I turn on my data plan, I get enough reception bars to make calls.  I have been living with it like that.

dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

I have RM-820_nam_canada_200 for mine.

AMB
Just Moved In

I have the RM-820 too. I've been looking online and it's true that it appears to be a frequent problem for unlocked Nokias from Rogers or At&T in the states.  I replaced my SIM card and set the maximum connection speed to 3G, it still loses signal sometimes but not as frequently as before. I've been reading a lot of the posts on the forums but there doesn't appear to be a solution to the issue. I also downloaded the Access Point app from the windows phone store, my internet on Telus network and MMS seems to be working now (nothing worked before).  


dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

I never had an issue with MMS like you did AMB.  I have not set the speed to be limited to 3G.  As long as I turn my data on when placing a call, even if I see just 1 bar, the call goes through and the call quality seems fine.  If it gets worse at any point, I will try limiting the speed like you did.


It's too bad because it is a great phone and I am hesitant to get another phone unless it is a newer Windows phone, which it seems like most carriers are avoiding. 

xl
CPU Alum
CPU Alum

From a stationary situation.... could be some interference from a neighbors microwave going on and off.


Try moving to another location.

dem_crumblies
Helpful Neighbour

I have the same issue even in different locations.