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Thread: What exactly is happening here with my elderly dad's phone?

  1. #1
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    What exactly is happening here with my elderly dad's phone?

    Long story short, my dad is 66 and just now getting his first cell phone. The problem was, he didn't want to buy one, so his brother dug out some old Samsung (some really cheap galaxy, not the flagship ones) from 2016.


    Dad signs up for AT&T with this 2016 cheap phone. The issue is with calls in particular at home.

    Whenever he calls (or receives a call) the phone drops from LTE to 3G instantly. Sometimes he can make the call, other times no. Same with receiving, sometimes the caller instantly gets a voicemail message. As soon as the call is done, the phone kicks back to LTE.


    When he is on LTE, data is 100% fine and fast. If he drives around, the ability to call is increased, when dropping to 3G but still sometimes spotty.


    My thought was, he is clearly getting the LTE signal at home just fine, but maybe the 3G which it drops to when he goes to make a call is weak. Maybe there aren't any close 3G towers anymore (idk if I'm making this up or not)? The phone doesn't appear to have a VOLTE option (I assume AT&T has this in general, I'm a Verizon guy).


    Any thoughts? I know its easy to say upgrade to a new phone, but he is very stubborn about it unless I can prove before he purchases it that its a phone problem and not an AT&T one.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7Virtues View Post
    Long story short, my dad is 66 and just now getting his first cell phone. The problem was, he didn't want to buy one, so his brother dug out some old Samsung (some really cheap galaxy, not the flagship ones) from 2016.


    Dad signs up for AT&T with this 2016 cheap phone. The issue is with calls in particular at home.

    Whenever he calls (or receives a call) the phone drops from LTE to 3G instantly. Sometimes he can make the call, other times no. Same with receiving, sometimes the caller instantly gets a voicemail message. As soon as the call is done, the phone kicks back to LTE.


    When he is on LTE, data is 100% fine and fast. If he drives around, the ability to call is increased, when dropping to 3G but still sometimes spotty.


    My thought was, he is clearly getting the LTE signal at home just fine, but maybe the 3G which it drops to when he goes to make a call is weak. Maybe there aren't any close 3G towers anymore (idk if I'm making this up or not)? The phone doesn't appear to have a VOLTE option (I assume AT&T has this in general, I'm a Verizon guy).


    Any thoughts? I know its easy to say upgrade to a new phone, but he is very stubborn about it unless I can prove before he purchases it that its a phone problem and not an AT&T one.
    His closest cell site may be new and not have 3G but just lte. Is the phone an unlocked model?

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    I think the phone has no VoLTE; it has LTE but uses 3G for voice. If you put the model, some Samsungs you can turn on VoLTE in a service menu if it's off; but, I suspect the phone's simply old enough to have the earlier LTE chips that did not support VoLTE.

    The 3G is probably all screwed up, carriers are now moving toward shutting down services older than LTE and VoLTE, and AT&T (in the past) has been particularly bad about leaving "legacy" services in bad shape; for instance with 3G, after long enough into the 3G deployment, they began cutting back 2G to a bare minimum rather than enough 2G to match actual usage, so in areas with more than minimal 2G usage the 2G became virtually unusable at that point.

  4. #4
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    Agree that 3G coverage might be the issue. The proper term for voice calls on your dad's phone is CSFB. Try forcing your phone to 3G only (WCDMA) and see what the coverage is like.

    On Samsung phones you can see the signal info by dialing *#0011#
    Want to learn more about how LTE works?
    https://productioncommunity.publicmo...ls/td-p/130581

  5. #5
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    ATT does not support VOLTE on non branded ATT phones even if the phone is VOLTE capable. I think this will change as we closer to 3g turndown in Feb 2022

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-X606F using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rojniles View Post
    ATT does not support VOLTE on non branded ATT phones even if the phone is VOLTE capable. I think this will change as we closer to 3g turndown in Feb 2022

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-X606F using Tapatalk
    Thats already changing. Samsung and Google are now getting white listed. The phone needs to have the carrier csc file (all the carrier info). Similar to carrier profile on the iPhone. Someone posted a list from att that listed unlocked models supported.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

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