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10 posts

Wannabe Geek


#272039 6-Jun-2020 16:30
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Not exactly sure where to post this but this forums seems appropriate.

 

I have a U.S. SIM (a MVNO using T-Mobile roaming arrangements) that I use for data access from time to time. T-Mobile have two roaming partners in NZ, Spark (3G/4G) and Vodafone (3G only roaming). Since I use it mainly for data access, I usually force it to stay on Spark's 4G network, as 3G roaming is usually unbearably slow.

 

However, the connection is unreliable at best.

 

Problem starts with registering with the Spark network. It almost never works first time, and sometimes I'd have to leave it be for a couple of days before the SIM could register on the Spark network. I've noticed, however, that:

 

    1. If I disable 4G, the registration process tends to be more consistent
    2. When switching from 3G to 4G, or when registering on 4G directly, I must be an area with FDD-LTE B28 coverage. It appears that the Spark network only permits the SIM to use the B28 network. I could reliable reproduce this with Mobile Signal Guru -- if I disable B28, it'd be stuck on No Service, if I disable all other bands and leave only B28 enabled, the registration would go through fine
    3. Once attached to the 4G network, switching bands doesn't seem cause any issues -- however, a move between cell sites could leave me with No Service again

 

Even if I stay stationary, there's a chance that service might drop after a few minutes or hours. It seems completely random to me.

 

I should mention that Spark has stellar coverage in my area, I also have a SIM from CMHK, which stays on the Spark 4G network with no issue at all.

 

I've tried reaching out to the carrier (blamed T-Mobile), T-Mobile (blamed Spark), and Spark online chat, but have so far yielded nothing. Perhaps someone from Spark could shed some light on this issue?

 

Thanks anyways


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420 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2499802 6-Jun-2020 17:58
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What device are you using? Do you use the same device with an NZ SIM with no issues?




10 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2499825 6-Jun-2020 18:00
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huckster:

What device are you using? Do you use the same device with an NZ SIM with no issues?



I’m currently using an iPhone XS Max, but I was using a Pixel 2 XL prior.
NZ SIMs, and, in fact, all other SIMs aside from the ones from this carrier, works fine.

 
 
 
 


231 posts

Master Geek


  #2499828 6-Jun-2020 18:12
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What is the exact model of the iPhone? They are many available.




10 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2499829 6-Jun-2020 18:15
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boosacnoodle:

What is the exact model of the iPhone? They are many available.



A2102 aka the AU/NZ/EU/Rest of World variant

I believe the issues have nothing to do with my handset, as it can be reliably reproduced across different brands and platforms of handsets.

Also the SIM cards themselves shouldn’t be the issue either. I used eSIM on both the Pixel and iPhone, so it’s safe to say whatever’s going on isn’t exactly down to my specific handset or SIM.

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Uber Geek

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  #2499838 6-Jun-2020 18:28
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You have to deal with your home carrier as you are not a SparkNZ customer when roaming




10 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2499840 6-Jun-2020 18:31
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Linux:

You have to deal with your home carrier as you are not a SparkNZ customer when roaming



I understand but I don’t really have much option. The blame goes on in a circle and no one in the ring is willing to even take a closer look. : (

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Uber Geek

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  #2499841 6-Jun-2020 18:33
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ztytian:
Linux:

 

You have to deal with your home carrier as you are not a SparkNZ customer when roaming

 



I understand but I don’t really have much option. The blame goes on in a circle and no one in the ring is willing to even take a closer look. : (

 

Then raise the issue up the food chain with the home carrier


 
 
 
 




10 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2499842 6-Jun-2020 18:35
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Linux:

Then raise the issue up the food chain with the home carrier



Never worked out with multi billion dollar corporations unfortunately. Whatever little business one customer has with them isn’t even worth the effort

'That VDSL Cat'
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Uber Geek

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  #2499855 6-Jun-2020 19:44
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It's very rare for any 4G spark tower to not have B28. so focusing on that being a factor is really misleading.

 

 

 

As @Linux has said, you need to work with the home carrier on this, they have the correct channels to escalate if roaming isn't working right. 

 

this really does sound more like a device issue more than anything though.

 

 

 

Given that you are messing with your carrier profiles, it wouldn't surprise me if your issues relate to bits your messing with.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 




10 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2499856 6-Jun-2020 19:47
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hio77:

It's very rare for any 4G spark tower to not have B28. so focusing on that being a factor is really misleading.


 


As @Linux has said, you need to work with the home carrier on this, they have the correct channels to escalate if roaming isn't working right. 


this really does sound more like a device issue more than anything though.


 


Given that you are messing with your carrier profiles, it wouldn't surprise me if your issues relate to bits your messing with.



Thanks for your input. I’ve tried but unfortunately their support team is as incompetent as it sounds (sigh).

No, I can confirm it’s not a device issue. I have multiple SIMs and I’ve tried multiple devices, all exhibiting the same syndromes.

As for B28, I have absolutely no idea why that was, but my honest observation is that I if I lock the device to B28 only my life would be a lot better

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Master Geek

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  #2499857 6-Jun-2020 19:49
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As others have stated, this needs to be initiated as an investigation from the home operator. Roaming is complex, and the issues you see are probably a result of the home operator's roaming steering based on their roaming agreements with NZ operators. It's unlikely to be an issue on the Spark visited network.





My comments and remarks are not necessarily of my employer.




10 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2499858 6-Jun-2020 19:51
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gajan:

 

As others have stated, this needs to be initiated as an investigation from the home operator. Roaming is complex, and the issues you see are probably a result of the home operator's roaming steering based on their roaming agreements with NZ operators. It's unlikely to be an issue on the Spark visited network.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the input. I've tried raising this with my home carrier's support team multiple times and they've so far done a grand total of 0 things.

 

I'm just a bit frustrated more than anything. Contemplating a cancellation now.


409 posts

Ultimate Geek

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Trustpower

  #2502785 11-Jun-2020 10:28
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Is the MVNO you are using per chance Google Fi? I had very similar issues when I was using my Google Fi SIM in NZ - only half the time it would be able to connect to 4G coverage and otherwise would get No Service or switch over to Vodafone 3G. 





Any comments made are my personal views and does not represent those of my employer




10 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #2503017 11-Jun-2020 15:26
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taneb1:

Is the MVNO you are using per chance Google Fi? I had very similar issues when I was using my Google Fi SIM in NZ - only half the time it would be able to connect to 4G coverage and otherwise would get No Service or switch over to Vodafone 3G. 




Sure is. Glad to know that it’s not my sanity that’s gone.

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