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Thread: Docomo Galaxy S3 Alpha on T-Mobile USA

  1. #1
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    Docomo Galaxy S3 Alpha on T-Mobile USA

    Hey guys, I just got back from a trip to Japan and brought back with me the NTT Docomo version of the Galaxy S3 (unlocked of course). Here's my question: I was able to pop in my T-mobile Sim and it connected. Phone calls work, SMS works and Internet works. However, the phone is stuck on Roaming mode and won't go away unless i disable the roaming feature but when i do that that also deactivates the data making my phone not go online. Is there any way around that? Also, i know the phone runs on EDGE probably utilizing the 1900mhz band but here in my area that band has been modernized to go 3G (i know i checked with an unlocked GS2 and iphone 5) but with my GS3 Alpha it's stuck on Edge. Any advice? Thanks for the help guys!

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    it probably does not support 1900 3G? have you try to reset the APN of the phone? it might be using DOCOMO's apn and also Docomo uses T-Mobile for data services in certain areas so you may want to check that too at least here in NY/NJ Docomo offers plans through T-Mobile using T-Mobile services.
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    Re: Docomo Galaxy S3 Alpha on T-Mobile USA

    Yea, I setup the APN settings for T-Mobile. But it still says roaming. Once I put in the T-Mobile sim card the docomo APN settings disappear and the apn settings are blank until I add T-Mobile apn. It works on Edge. The box says 1900mhz band which is the same band T-Mobile modernized in my area for 3G.

    Are recommending I sign up for docomo USA service? Will the 3G work then?

    Sent from my SC-03E using HowardForums

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holidaystyles View Post
    Yea, I setup the APN settings for T-Mobile. But it still says roaming. Once I put in the T-Mobile sim card the docomo APN settings disappear and the apn settings are blank until I add T-Mobile apn. It works on Edge. The box says 1900mhz band which is the same band T-Mobile modernized in my area for 3G.

    Are recommending I sign up for docomo USA service? Will the 3G work then?

    Sent from my SC-03E using HowardForums
    Are you sure the 1900 on the box is in the 3G section?

    According to:
    http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=specs&i...g_gravity_quad

    The bands are: GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS800 (B6), UMTS850 (B5), UMTS2100 (B1), UMTS1700/1800 (B9)

    There is no hint of UMTS 1900 in that listing (and the Band 9 UMTS1700 refers to something that isn't the same as T-Mobile's AWS). The only US carrier your phone can possibly get any 3G on is AT&T on 850 MHz. (However in the absence of GSM 850, there may also be some AT&T areas where you have poor to no coverage.) Sorry bud. This phone was a lousy choice to use in the USA.

    As for the roaming indicator, it is probably because DoCoMo hard-coded the ROM to look at foreign networks as roaming, even if you are using another SIM.

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    Re: Docomo Galaxy S3 Alpha on T-Mobile USA

    Is the roaming mode you're talking about the page that says "have a nice trip" (or something)? Or is it enabling the second clock? I'm just wondering what the roaming mode is doing that makes it problematic.

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    some areas are still sketchy with 1900 3g on tmobile I noticed

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    Quote Originally Posted by aw614 View Post
    some areas are still sketchy with 1900 3g on tmobile I noticed
    Yeah but the OP already mentions living in an area where 1900 3G works on a GS2 and iPhone 5. The problem is having a phone with no 1900 3G.

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    weird, but other docomo androids show the home network as what ever your sim cards home network is and no roaming indicator

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    Re: Docomo Galaxy S3 Alpha on T-Mobile USA

    Quote Originally Posted by aw614 View Post
    weird, but other docomo androids show the home network as what ever your sim cards home network is and no roaming indicator
    Yeah it's just a matter of bad programming. I don't know why it happens but some phones (of any OS) falsely claim roaming on certain SIM cards.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

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    Re: Docomo Galaxy S3 Alpha on T-Mobile USA

    The roaming indicator is displaying both on my home screen saying "have a nice trip" and on my signal bars showing a little R.

    Sent from my SC-03E using HowardForums

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    Re: Docomo Galaxy S3 Alpha on T-Mobile USA

    Man, I didn't realize that. I assumed the 1900mhz pcs band was the GSM band that got modernized not the umts, seeing as tmobile knew most gsm phones come with GSM 1900. (correct me of I'm wrong)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holidaystyles View Post
    Man, I didn't realize that. I assumed the 1900mhz pcs band was the GSM band that got modernized not the umts, seeing as tmobile knew most gsm phones come with GSM 1900. (correct me of I'm wrong)
    Sent from my SC-03E using HowardForums
    Sorry, you're wrong. GSM 1900 is what T-Mobile has been operating on all along.

    Modernization means they're reducing the use of GSM 1900 in favour of UMTS 1900. Same frequency, newer technology.

    Your phone came with GSM 1900 (slow old 2G technology), but doesn't support UMTS 1900 (faster less-old 3G technology). All AT&T 3G phones (notably the iPhone) support UMTS 1900.

    If you're looking for compatibility with the refarmed T-Mobile network you should be looking for UMTS 1900. And you would probably be best to just sell this unit to someone who lives in Europe, Asia or Australia, because you are going to be so unhappy with a high-end phone that is forever trapped on EDGE. Japan has an odd combination of obscure bands, so they often leave out foreign ones to make sure they can cram all they need into the handset.

    Remember when you are reading the band specs for a phone, "GSM" means "slow 2G". Always.

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    Re: Docomo Galaxy S3 Alpha on T-Mobile USA

    You might be able to sell it to someone in the USA that intends to use it on the AT&T Prepaid unlimited $50 plan. I've heard DoCoMo phones aren't picked up by their sweeps.

    Anyways, I never have a problem selling my old phones on eBay. You'd have the best luck there or Swappa.
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    yeah docomo phones work well on att 3g in some areas (pretty much all of florida has 850 3g) and I never got detected in the two weeks i had dumbphone unlimited data before switching to the family share data plan

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    Quote Originally Posted by aw614 View Post
    yeah docomo phones work well on att 3g in some areas (pretty much all of florida has 850 3g) and I never got detected in the two weeks i had dumbphone unlimited data before switching to the family share data plan
    However if the phone lacks 850 2G, it could be challenging to get a signal in some areas that have no 3G at all.

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