Mobile service stopped working on smartphone. Fix it or forget it?
February 4, 2019 4:48 PM   Subscribe

Last Monday night I installed some sort of update to my Android phone. Since then, I haven't had any mobile data or service.

I've tried everything I can think of -- based on my very limited technical knowledge of how smartphones function and on my google fu -- and nothing has worked. I do not believe it is a hardware issue, though I could absolutely be wrong about that. Looking for any other ideas before I give up and buy a new phone.

Here are some details about my phone, the sequence of events, and what I have tried so far:

* I have a Moto G5 Plus that is less than two years old. I purchased it at Best Buy.
* My cell provider is MetroPCS.
* In the last few weeks I have had issues with my phone randomly restarting itself, often several time a day.
* I'd had a notification on my phone for a while about an update of some sort, which I had been ignoring. Finally last Monday night I installed it. All I can remember is that it related to the new Android operating system, 8.1.0 (Oreo).
* Immediately after restarting from the update, my phone showed "No Service" and no cell signal.
* My WiFi connection is working fine.
* I took my phone to MetroPCS and they said the issue was not on their end. The phone is finding the SIM card but is not connecting to their cell network. They tried a new SIM card on my phone and that did not correct the issue. They also checked all my settings and said those were correct.
* I chatted online with a Motorola representative who had me change some settings on the phone and do a few restarts. When none of that worked, I was told my phone was out of warranty and that I could either send the phone to them for repair or replace the phone.
* I did a factory reset on the phone and then took the phone back to MetroPCS and they again said the issue was not on their end.
* I've read a bunch of Lenovo and Android forums and have seen people reporting various issues after Oreo updates, most dealing with WiFi connectivity. I haven't seen my exact issue reported elsewhere. Some of the solutions I see posted for these post-update problems involve doing things like rooting the device (I'm not really sure what that is, but basically the advice involves actions well beyond my technical understanding or comfort).

Since my cell service stopped working immediately after this update, I am inclined to believe this isn't a hardware issue.

Anyone have other ideas to try, or other forums you could point me toward, or some other knowledge to drop on me? Do walk-in services exist anywhere where experts troubleshoot phone issues (I am in a major metro area) and is that worth the money to try? At what point do I give up and buy a new phone? I've already devoted hours and hours this week to trying to figure this out on my own. Obviously it irks me to have spent several hundred dollars on a device that appears to be bricking before it is two years old. On the other hand, not being able to make phone calls or text wasn't too much of a hardship and was actually enjoyable on some level; with that said, I'll have to resolve this eventually, one way or the other. Any suggestions appreciated.
posted by megancita to Technology (5 answers total)
 
Do you have another metropcs phone laying around you can put the sim card in? That would at least allow you to check that your sim works.
posted by runcibleshaw at 5:12 PM on February 4


I took my phone to MetroPCS and they said the issue was not on their end. The phone is finding the SIM card but is not connecting to their cell network. They tried a new SIM card on my phone and that did not correct the issue. They also checked all my settings and said those were correct.

I have the exact same phone as you and experienced the exact same no-mobile-service issue after I updated Android several weeks ago.

I took my phone to the Verizon store and they gave me a new sim card. Fixed it immediately, no problems.

So with that in mind--because literally THE SAME PHONE, THE EXACT SAME CAUSE, THE EXACT SAME EFFECT--my thought is that MetroPCS needs to try again.
posted by phunniemee at 5:47 PM on February 4


I have the same phone but on Cricket. Calling and SMS works but not mobile data or MMS. I'm almost always near wifi and I hate phones anyway, so I haven't tried to deal with it yet. You're right, it happened right after an update. I'll see about getting a new sim card.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 6:43 PM on February 4


See if they, or you can unlock the phone. That is something new that TMobile offered on my android phone. One other thing someone told me to try is a hard unboot, while the phone is on, rip open the back and take the battery out. Wait for 5 minutes before starting back up. Before you do that turn off tethering, wifi, and bluetooth, in case you are hacked. One of the talks I had with TMobile included info about people harvesting phone numbers to use in area codes, short on numbers.
posted by Oyéah at 8:13 PM on February 4


The recent android update defaulted to wifi calling preferred, which for some reason kills the cell and data connection (why????) But anyway, go to your phone settings and select the 'calls made by cell network' preference. Wait a bit and your connection should come back. You may have to reboot, but it give 20 minutes first.
posted by ananci at 8:59 AM on February 6


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