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1st August 2012, 05:48 PM |#106  
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[GUIDE] Set up Verizon Galaxy S3 as World GSM Phone (confirmed working)
Using Samsung Galaxy as World Phone

Go to PAGE 11, POST #106 to see a simplified method. If this works well, please reply with your results in this thread.

I have had success with my SGS3 (and now my SGS4) in the following places:
UK using Vodaphone
Rome using TIM
Morocco using Maroc Telecom
Russia using MTC
Finland using DNA
India using Vodaphone
Nepal using Ncell
Spain using Movistar and Vodafone
Portugal using Vodafone
Chile using Claro and Movistar
China using China Unicom

My Phone: Verizon Galaxy S3, rooted with stock ROM and with Sprint version of custom recovery (other ROM's and recoveries may work as well.)

Preliminary steps that were done before leaving the US:

a1 – From Google Play store install the following apps if you do not have them: APN Manager Pro (81 Square), HiAPN Global (install as a system program when it asks), ES File Explorer, Dropbox, Phone Info (sc@taiwan), Titanium Backup and Open Signal Maps.

a2 –Backup your phone app: with Titanium Backup. (I suggest you do a full backup of all apps and data as long as you are doing this).

a3 – Open HiApn Global and back up APN's to sd card: HiAPN Global>Click to Backup APNs (this will create a file named “apnlist_backup.xml” on your internal SD card at /sdcard/HiDroid_Net/HiAPN).

a4 – Open ES File Explorer, then go to menu>settings and check "up to root", "root explorer", "mount file system" and "backup system app". (If you need to get to your external SD card, it is found at /mnt/extSdCard. You can set favorites to get to places you re-visit a lot, and that is a plus to this file management program.)

a5 – Using ES File Explorer, navigate to /sdcard/HiDroid_Net/HiAPN and select “apnlist_backup.xml”. Copy and rename your file in the same directory as a backup. Now open apnlist_backup.xml with DB Text Editor, and then edit to include your required APN information. For MTS in Russia, I added this line before the last </apns>:

<apn name="MTS Internet 01" numeric="22501" mcc="250" mnc="01" apn="" user="mts" server="" password="mts" proxy="" port="" mmsproxy="" mmsport="" mmsprotocol="" mmsc="" type="default" />

You may also download the file and edit in Dreamweaver or another appropriate program. You will need to have an entry called numeric in the edited file, and this number is the combination of your MCC and MNC numbers (250 and 01 would be 20501), but you can just put numeric=”” if you do not know the MCC and MNC. If you do not, your HiAPN Global restore will fail in the next step.

a6 – Open HiAPN Global>Click To Restore APNs; and allow it to "Clean Original APN Settings" to install all the APN's in your modified apnlist_backup.xml file.
Note: If you have any errors in your edited apnlist_backup.xml file, this restore will fail! Go back and carefully look for errors in what you have edited until you get the confirmation that says "Revover Sucess" (The typos are built into the program! It means Recover Success.)

a7 – You can optionally use APN Manager Pro>APN List and check that the APN includes your new choices (APN Manager Pro in my SGS3 cannot do anything else or it will crash) and to check to make sure that APN for now is still set to LTE-Verizon Internet or EHRPD – Verizon Internet (they will be highlighted). At his point, your phone should still be fully functional in the US with Verizon LTE.

Below are several sites to check if you do not know the correct information. I cannot guarantee that this information is current. What I did is leave the US with several options (for each country I was going to visit) already loaded into the APN file data so I could be ready for several possible providers. You may only need to enter some of this information to get data working (I did not try phone or MMS use). In some cases it may be as little as just the APN Name to display and the correct GPRS APN, while other providers may require the user names or passwords or more for full functionality. Please report your successful requirements in the thread.

When overseas, I did the following steps to go from LTE to GSM:

b1 – turn off phone, pull out battery and put in micro SIM from your foreign country (I was using MTS in Russia and DNA in Finland, but was prepared for several other providers). DON’T LOSE YOUR VERIZON LTE SIM!
b2 – turn phone back on and turn off wifi
b3 – use Phone Info app to change preferred network type "Global" (click on Device Information and scroll down for first box to change). Some have reported that other choices were needed for their providers, so you may have to experiment.
b4 – if you need to still edit APN information or cannot find your correct APN repeat steps a5 thru a7, otherwise proceed to step b5
b5 – then select “Click to Autoset APN’s” or hit "Net" one change at a time until you rotate to the correct APN
b6 – go to Airplane Mode, then turn off Airplane Mode (this helps reset the radio, but may not be required)
b7 – go to Settings>More Setting>Mobile Network and make sure that is not grayed out. If not there, try going back to HiAPN Global and doing the "Net" cycle again.
b8 – check Settings>More Settings>Mobile Network>then the first instance of Network Mode (before Access Point Names), and make sure it says Global mode or another choice that works for you provider (If not, go back to step b3).
b9 – check Settings>More Settings>Mobile Network>Access Point Names to make sure correct APN is selected. (If not, select it here or go back to step b5 if you must).
b10 – check Settings>More Settings>Mobile Network>then the second instance of Network Mode (after Access Point Names), and make sure it says GSM/WCDMA (Auto Mode), at least that is what I needed in Europe. Some providers may need other selections and you may have to experiment.
b11 – reboot phone, you should have the SIM card working. I HIGHLY SUGGEST that people use Open Signal Maps app, and put the widget that comes with this in a 1x2 format on one of your screens. This shows exactly what is happening as far as provider, signal strength, and type of signal. This is where I could see that I got 3g, 3.5g and 4g service from time to time in Moscow and Helsinki .
b12 – Troubleshooting ISSUE: There have been reports of problems with the phone app crashing. If this happens, try restoring your "" app in Titanium Backup. I'm still looking for confirmation that this fixes any issues, so please post to the thread if you have this problem and let us know if this fix works, or if it does not.

To return to Verizon LTE:

c1 – use Phone Info app to change preferred network to “LTE/CDMA/EvDo”.
c2 – pull battery and put Verizon LTE micro SIM card back in.
c3 – power up phone (at this point you might be working properly already, and you are good to go!)
c4 – turn off wi-fi (turn back on later when needed)
c5 – open HiAPN Global and hit "Net" one change at a time until you rotate to VZWINTERNET
c6 – use APN Manager Pro to check to see if it is set to LTE-Verizon Internet or EHRPD – Verizon Internet (they will be highlighted)
c7 – check Settings>More Settings>Mobile Network>Access Point Names to make sure correct APN is selected. I use "LTE-Verizon Internet" here in North Carolina. (If not, go back to step c5).

If this fails and your phone is unrecoverable:

d1 – reset phone to non-rooted stock,
d2 – do full phone reset,
d3 – re-root
d4 – re-clockworkmod
d5 – restore ROM through recovery mode.

If anyone sees any problem, please let me know. I'll be glad to private message you if you have questions or problems I might help with.
Hopes this helps others as much as it saved my ability to function abroad with minimal foreign language knowledge.
For me, having full time access to Maps, Wikipedia, Google Translate, Skype, Subway apps, etc., made all the difference in having a great vacation.
Most European providers will have a SIM card package with unlimited or a lot of data only, which was all I needed (phone calls are through Skype). My costs were around $3 a day.
Please provide feedback on your success or problems.

And if this helps...give a thanks!!
Last edited by lair12; 29th July 2014 at 03:38 AM. Reason: added information
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