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  1.    #1  
    Folks,

    Many thanks for the guys who figured out how to enable GSM network select on the Cingular and GSM phones. This feature makes my phone usable at work because I can force it to stick onto AT&T's old network.

    However, I have noticed that the phone goes to "no service -- SOS only" every 7-10 minutes and stays there until re-registering on the AT&T network (about 2 minutes).

    I am wondering if the generic GSM software would do this also, or if this is a feature caused by Cingular's ENS support. I know the AT&T network at work is good because I have never had bad clarity or dropped a call. I also have messed around with this at home, and I also get the occasional "no service -- sos only" when forcing the phone onto AT&T. I have a 64K sim.

    Is anyone having the same experiences...? I would love to solve this last issue... Then I might actually like Cingular :-)

    Glenn
  2. #2  
    It helps tremendously in my home. Stable, good signal when I choose the ATT network, but almost no signal on Cingular. I've noticed that when I'm out and about, I usually get a better signal with Cingular, though.

    I live in Plano, TX.
  3. #3  
    My understanding is that it is the SIM, not software responsible for tower selection. A change to ROW will likely not fix your problem. If you are using the network select hack and ENS, the two maybe causing some conflicts. I have a 64K sim and no ENS and have had greats results staying on ATT towers (in Chicago). If I travel, I switch back to Automatic mode to make sure I always have coverage avoiding the SOS problem. Not sure if this helps.
  4. #4  
    duckhunter, how did you have no ENS when the 650 is an ENS phone and the 64k SIM is what lets u take "advantage" of ENS.
  5. #5  
    It's helped me, but it also will limit you, as you're seeing... Once you lock onto a carrier, if there isn't said carrier nearby you will lose signal and not move to another one.

    Between home and work I leave it on the same one, it's stronger both places than when I'm using automatic, not sure whose tower it is.. But if I go across town to my mothers house I lose signal unless I put it on automatic. So it's not set-and-forget.
  6. #6  
    It seems that at home, where I have very little Cingular coverage (1 bar, if that), when I manually set it to Tmobile (full bars), the phone will stay on Tmobile for as long as I leave it like that. However when I'm still at home and I select Automatic mode, it researches for networks but it seems to still be on Tmobile because I still have full bars. Weird! But then when I travel around town, it will act normal again and when I return to my house it seems to have gone back to the bad Cingular tower. But as long as I dont leave my house, it will stay on Tmobile until I leave the area. Am I making sense?
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    #7  
    Doesn't help me at all. I can see three cingular towers but can only register with one Using my Virgin SIM now as I'm in the UK
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    #8  
    i've always had it, old sim...use to be good but when they did the switch to using at&t towers as the main is sucked until i had them send me an OTA update now i'm golden not needing to switch manually, but still able to, as i always get the strongest tower. Sometimes with manual switch you will get a call drop if you move and switch towers...
    Sprint 700p
  9. #9  
    It is always valuable to have a choice rather then no choice.

    That Cingular wants to make Cingular tower a preference is understandable. They are the service provider and they can decide what service level (signal strength) they want to provide and at what cost (alien tower roaming cost them money). We are the customers and we decide if their service level is good enough for the price they want to charge.

    I found their “How many bars do you have?” advertisement particularly annoying. I never had to worry about how many bars until I switched from Verizon to Cingular. With Cingular, poor connection is a fact of live.

    My conclusion is that they set the threshold too low. The phone should switch to the alien tower even if Cingular signal is available but below a certain higher minimum (rather then today’s switch when it is non-existing or darn near non-existing).

    At home, I have no problem – just a T-Mobile tower so it locks to that. At the office, I have an AT&T tower and a T-Mobile. So, a small adjustment with the phone’s position changes it from very good signal to hardly any.

    This, adds to it the Treo’s problem with weak signal reboot, took way too much away from what could be a great machine.
  10. #10  
    i just put the hack on today. i am in mexico and when i try to select the other network provider, it doesnt let me connect. i did a sim card swap with another cingular user who was able to connect to the other network and their card connected with both networks with no problem. im definitely thinking its my sim card now. i have a new one on the way to see if it helps.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by RickLaw
    My conclusion is that they set the threshold too low. The phone should switch to the alien tower even if Cingular signal is available but below a certain higher minimum (rather then today’s switch when it is non-existing or darn near non-existing).
    This seems to be exactly the way the problem shakes out for me. It hangs on to the Cingular tower even though the calls break up/drop/poor voice quality. The hack makes it usable at work again.

    This, adds to it the Treo’s problem with weak signal reboot, took way too much away from what could be a great machine.
    Don't know what this means - care to elaborate?
    Nice People Suck Less.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by JayL
    i've always had it, old sim...use to be good but when they did the switch to using at&t towers as the main is sucked until i had them send me an OTA update now i'm golden not needing to switch manually, but still able to, as i always get the strongest tower. Sometimes with manual switch you will get a call drop if you move and switch towers...
    Do you know offhand what to tell the rep in order to request this sort of OTA update? By default at both work and home, automatic (or without the hacked phone application) I get really weak Cingular towers. With the hacked phone app overlay where I can select the network, I can pick another option and get a really strong tower both places.

    By default I can hardly place or receive calls... Most times when I make a call it immediately switches to the other, but sometimes not. I'd love to have this OTA that apparently makes it pick the *strongest* tower not the cheapest
  13. #13  
    The network select is awesome. I was ready to leave Cingular.

    Moved from NY to LA and switched from Sprint to Cingular. Cingular's service was simply horrendous at my home until I downloaded the network select hack.

    What a difference it makes.

    I agree with RickLaw -- every time I see Cingular's "raising the bar" advertising on a billboard I laugh. My experience with Cingular and the Treo 650 has been quite the opposite.
  14. #14  
    May be a dumb question but is it safe to assume if you see two Cingulars in the network select box, the one at the top is the network you're currently connected to?

    EDIT -- never mind, if I change to the second "Cingular" and go back to the network select box, it has the second one still highlighted, so I guess it does highlight the one you're currently using if not in Automatic mode
    Last edited by scottymomo; 08/03/2005 at 10:38 PM.
    Palm III > HS Visor > Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 750 > Treo Pro > PrePlus GSM

    "95% of all software issues are due to USER ERROR."
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by scottymomo
    May be a dumb question but is it safe to assume if you see two Cingulars in the network select box, the one at the top is the network you're currently connected to?

    EDIT -- never mind, if I change to the second "Cingular" and go back to the network select box, it has the second one still highlighted, so I guess it does highlight the one you're currently using if not in Automatic mode
    You are correct. The one highlighted is the one you are registered to.

    What the phone shows when you do a "select network" depends on both the phone and the SIM. Cingular's main network code is 310-170 (there are some others) and the network name is "Cingular Wireless". AT&T's network code is 310-380 and the network name is "AT&T Wireless" I believe the Cingular on the top is 310-170 and the bottom is 310-380. When I put my Cingular SIM in my Moto phone, I get "Cingular Wireless/AT&T Wireless" but on my treo650 I get only Cingular (two of them). When I use my O2 or German T-Mobile, I get Cingular/AT&T Wireless. Another example, Network 502-010 in Thailand, on some phone it will show TH-GSM, some will show AIS-GSM and some will show TH-AIS using the very same SIM.

    I wish the treo650 has the option of viewing the detail of the network (network code) like other phones do. You also can not do a "preferred network" list.

    One of the reason why the phone will not register on AT&T's tower even though it is closer or has a stronger signal is because Cingular has not changed the network code to 310-170 so the phone will always try to register on the "home" network first. Now if you use a foreign SIM, the phone will register on the network that is highest on the "preferred network" list first (given that it has a roaming agreement with that network). If none of the available networks are on the list and all have a roaming agreement, then it will register on the network that has the strongest signal. If you turn off the phone and turn it on again in an area that the previous registered network now has a weaker signal, the phone will still register on that weaker signal network. Then again, it is up to the phone and/or SIM.

    KeNg
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by kittiyut
    I wish the treo650 has the option of viewing the detail of the network (network code) like other phones do.
    I have a Treo 600 also. When I delete the "currentcarrier.pdb" file then turn the phone back on, it will show the carrier code (eg 310-170) for about 15 seconds then replace it with "Cingular." From that point forward it will never do that again with that carrier (always go straight to the name) unless I delete the currentcarrier.pdb file again. This will happen with every new carrier it experiences the first time. I think this was a delay you see when the phone is retrieving the the carrier name from the SIM. I don't recall if you get the numbers when it switches back to a previously known carrier or not or if it retains the name.

    So you could, on a Treo 600, delete currentcarrier.pdb, turn the phone on, see the carrer #, then use 'select network' to check out what all of the others are.

    I've tried this trick with the Treo 650, but it doesn' work. The 650 registers with networks much faster (within seconds) and the name is immediate.

    I've often wondered if we could edit the carrierprofiles.pdb or carrierprofiles2.pdb and literally rename the networks to your liking. I'm not sure how much info it gets from the SIM or from the internal carrier profile pdb. But I haven't taken the time to follow through.

    Developing a hack that would display the carrier number is something I've long been interested in. Maybe that's the wrong approach, however. Perhaps I or someone could write an a completely separate app that could querry the phone and tell us what network it's on.

    Back to the topic which is 'is this hack useful.' My answer is not entirely. I think 97% of the time automatic is just fine and the best solution. But there are rare occasions, like just the other night, when having the option to chose the network is good. But seriously, I think it's usually not necessary at all.
    More than anything, it just bugged me that the opition was being disabled.
    Internet connectivity literally went down last Saturday night for a few hours. I switched over to the AT&T side of the network and was able to get online. Had I not had this hack I'd have just had to do without until it was fixed.
    I could have REALLY used it months ago when the cingular data speeds went down to 15kbps (for 6 whole weeks!!!) while the AT&T side was running full speed.
    Treo 750 (AT&T)
    Treo600->Treo650->Cing8525->Blackberry 8700c->Treo750->AT&T Tilt->Treo750->iPhone 3G
  17. #17  
    Anyone have any idea what to ask for to get an OTA update to update the preferred provider list so that one may work on Cingular or AT&T without futzing? I have this feeling if I call they'll just get all confused.
  18. #18  
    jojocat wrote: Don't know what this means - care to elaborate?
    re: my statement "This, adds to it the Treo’s problem with weak signal reboot, took way too much away from what could be a great machine."


    I hear my Treo restarts when I travel between weak signal areas and stronger ones. Perhaps it is just the radio part. Perhaps the entire Treo.
  19. #19  
    Hey everyone.
    I found a way to view the network ID of the carrier that is currently selected.

    Basically, use Resco Explorer to view the currentcarrier.pdb file (Resco has a built in HEX viewer)
    The file has two database entries:
    Entry 0: I believe is your pimary carrier
    Entry 1: Is the currently selected carrier.

    I know it's ugly, but it works. If you download and install resco explorer. Go in to your RAM, view currentcarrier.pdb, you can view the two database entries.
    You'll see basically the following
    0:310170 Cingular
    1:310380 Cingular

    Entry #1 being the currently selected network.
    I will attach screen shots.

    I also did an experiment where I coped the currentcarrier.pdb to the SD card, edited it with a hex editor on my PC where I changed the name "Cingular" to "310380 " and copied the file back to ram. Next time I went to the phone app it displayed '310380' instead of Cingular.
    However, the next time I powered the phone off then back on, it replaced the name overwriting my edits.
    The phone pulls the names from the SIM card where there's a list and copies those to this file for local usage. I think this file is also responsible for remembering which network you last registered with, and if you have it in manual or automatic mode.

    Still this is useful if you want to look up the carrier ID that you have selected.
    Detailed instructions:
    1) Download and install Resco Explorer
    2) Navigate to RAM, find 'currentcarrier.pdb'
    3) Tap hand hold your stylus on the file name currentcarrier.pdb until you get a pop-up menu.
    4) select 'view' from the pop-up menu
    5) at the top of the screen is a pull-down menu "Rec #0", click it to select between Rec#0 and Rec#1. 0 will be your main 'home' carrier, 1 will be your currently selected carrier. These two should be the same under normal automatic operation.

    Now, if we can just write a simple app that reads this file.

    In the past I used to know of a web page that listed all of the codes for all of the carriers. But I can't seem to find it now.
    Here's one. It's not the best, but it's a list:
    http://www.csoft.co.uk/nox8/coverage_list.pl?ISO=US
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by taylorh; 08/04/2005 at 01:22 PM.
    Treo 750 (AT&T)
    Treo600->Treo650->Cing8525->Blackberry 8700c->Treo750->AT&T Tilt->Treo750->iPhone 3G
  20. #20  
    You can also use the hex editor/viewer in FileZ (free) to see these values.
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