I'm very new to XDA-Dev and flashing custom ROMs on Android. I apologize if I'm breaking the rules by posting here and about this model... Doing some searching around these forums I saw that most of the discussion on this Korean model of the i717 was occurring here, and also that nobody is going to pay attention to this model until a "bounty" is offered.
I ended up getting this phone as a gift on a trip to Seoul. Unfortunately I've found that 3G is not working on this model as SKT has apparently locked it to push 4G in South Korea, despite the fact that the hardware is there for 3G. This does indeed appear to be the case as I'm only getting a "G" symbol and the speeds are indicative of GPRS.
I could just buy an American model of the phone, but from what I can see there are many people in the community who want to see the same things I do, so instead of spending money on an American model for myself I want to offer a bounty to any devs to benefit the whole community of foreign SHV-E160S owners.
So here is my "bounty" for anyone willing to help me Americanize this phone:
For US$500: A custom rom of clean ICS i717 to get rid of stock korean apps and the 80 char limit on sms messages. Right now I've seen some people get some success but then the korean buttons dont work (as American model has slightly different front-facing buttons I suppose).... Hopefully if you can get this to work it will be possible to get other custom ROMs for i717 to work.
For US$800: Remove 3G Limitation from SHV-E160S so I get 3G/HSPA. This phone has the same pentaband hardware for 3G as the i717, it is just carrier locked.
For US$2000: Not even sure if this is possible amongst xda-dev community yet, but theoretically it should be possible to "flash" the LTE radio/modem to use a different band. QCOM produces the same chip for both countries as far as I know... the radios are just configured by firmware to specific bands.
This is money I am willing to pay out of my own pocket. If any other owners of SHV-E160 would like contribute to this bounty (and are serious) to attract more attention from devs, post here and I will edit the thread to include your contribution here.
I can provide whatever you need from the phone and test on it given you point me to directions on how to extract whatever that may be and what to test, any equipment I may need to buy etc..