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Sprint LG-LS980 that was unlocked for T-Mobile, but no LTE service

19th April 2014, 05:06 AM |#1  
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First off, I hope I am putting this in the proper section. The LG G2 I have is an original Sprint-branded device (LG-LS980), but it has been rooted/modded/flashed to be compatible with T-Mobile and I am hoping for some help with getting the phone to receive T-Mobile's LTE signal, so I wasn't sure what LG G2 section to post this in (Sprint's or T-Mobile's). If this is not the right place, please let me know where I should post it and I will be glad to move it to/re-post it in the appropriate section.

With that stated, I bought this phone from someone off of Craigslist two days ago. It was listed as an "Unlocked LG G2" and when I texted the guy and asked him what carrier the phone was for, he told me it was for T-Mobile; so I believed/assumed it was a T-Mobile LG G2 device that was also unlocked. When I met the guy in person, he was very friendly and gave me time to check out the phone myself and to test my T-Mobile SIM card in it. When I turned the phone on after inserting my SIM card to make a test call, the 'T-Mobile LTE' screen was shown during the startup process, which further led me to believe that it was, indeed, an actual T-Mobile LG G2. So, I bought the phone for $260. After I left and got to use the phone for a while, I noticed that there was no T-Mobile logo on the back of the phone, so I Googled the model number (LG-LS980) and realized that it was actually a Sprint device. After realizing this, I also noticed that the phone only displayed the '4G' logo on the front screen, which led me to believe that it was not picking up an LTE signal (I am not familiar with the LG G2, so I wasn't sure what symbol would be displayed). After logging in with my Google account and downloading/installing the SpeedTest.net app, I ran a few tests and it's definitely not getting LTE speeds; it even seems to be getting relatively-slow speeds for 4G/HSPA+ (around 6Mbps Up/2Mbps Down).

So, my question is this: Can this Sprint LG G2 properly receive an LTE signal with a T-Mobile SIM card? And if so, what do I need to do to make this happen?

For the record, the person who rooted/flashed/modded this phone seems to have done a good job in making it compatible with T-Mobile (for the most part). To my knowledge, everything other than picking up T-Mobile's LTE signal seems to be in excellent working order. The camera works nicely; even on 4G, opening webpages is still fast; the music player works; text and picture messaging work properly; and WiFi-calling is even showing up in the Settings as an option (which, to my knowledge, is exclusively a T-Mobile feature. The phone is even showing up as an LG-D801 in the device's Settings.

I also want to add that there is an icon for 'SuperSu Installer' with a message that reads, "Tap to install SuperSU and root your device," but I have been scared to even mess with this feature. I did click the SuperSU icon and a page opened that showed this: "SuperSu is not yet fully installed - your device is not fully rooted. To finish rooting, the SuperSU GUI needs to be installed. This can be done by instaling it through GooglePlay, or by downloading the flashable ZIP and installing it through TWRP." And there is some more to the message below that, but I did not want to take the time to type every word.


So, do I need to go through the process of "fully rooting" this phone in order to be able to properly receive an LTE signal with my T-Mobile SIM card? Or could I possibly damage the phone by trying that process without knowing what I'm actually doing? Or, is completing the rooting process something that needs to be done regardless, even if it's not going to help with with the LTE issue?

Also, I tried to change the APN settings in hopes of getting LTE to work, but the option to change/alter the APN settings seems to be disabled. Does this likely have something to do with the phone not being fully rooted?

I also want to mention that when I went to check for an update in the 'Update Center,' it is showing an 'Android System Update' that is specifically for T-Mobile and it's apparently 149.6 MB in size. Should I try to download and install this T-Mobile update? Or is this something that should not be done without fully rooting the phone with SuperSU Installer?

Also, for the record, it is currently running Android version 4.2.2, Kernel version 3.4.0, Build number JDQ39B, and Software version D80110c


I apologize for writing such a lengthy post, but I wanted to be thorough and try to give as much pertinent information as I could think of. FYI, the LG G2 I have is a 32GB device. I am considering just trying to trade it for a Nexus 5, Galaxy S4 or HTC One, to someone who knows about rooting/flashing/modding, but I figured I would at least ask if there might be a simple fix for the LTE issue before trying to trade/sell it.

I would sincerely appreciate any help that I get! And if I need to make a donation for the help, I would be glad to do so. Also, I can provide pictures and/or screenshots for any detailed information that I may need to provide to help with this issue. Thanks very much in advance to anyone who tries to help me with this issue!!
 
 
19th April 2014, 05:17 AM |#2  
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If its indeed the Sprint LS980 and not the T-Mobile D801, then you got screwed because the LTE bands are not compatible. File a complaint and get your money back. He probably modded it to enable GSM. If you sell it to a Sprint user make sure everything is back to stock or it may brick during an OTA, which the next person would blame you for.
Last edited by abhinav.tella; 19th April 2014 at 10:01 AM.
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19th April 2014, 06:44 AM |#3  
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Check out http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2521276

Sent from my LS980 4G using Tapatalk
19th April 2014, 11:06 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.tella

If its indeed the Sprint LS980 and not the T-Mobile D801, then you got screwed because the LTE bands are not compatible. File a complaint and get your money back. He probably modded it to enable GSM. If you sell it to a Sprint user make sure everything is back to stock or it may brick during an OTA, which the next person would blame you for.

Thanks for replying. As for what you're suggesting, that the Sprint LG G2 is not capable of receiving T-Mobile's LTE signal because of it not having the necessary LTE bands, are you absolutely sure of this? And if so, do you mean that it will not receive any LTE signal whatsoever with a T-Mobile SIM card? Or that it just does not have the proper bands to detect/receive all of the LTE bands?

As for the phone I have actually being the Sprint LG G2 (LG-LS980) device, I am sure that's what it is, as that is the model number that is on the bottom of the back of the phone. However, as I stated, I bought it from someone off of Craigslist (not eBay), so there is no way for me to file a complaint. However, I think I should be able to re-sell it and get my money back, as $260 seems to be a good/reasonable price for a 32GB model in excellent condition.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sudosurootdev

Check out http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2521276

Sent from my LS980 4G using Tapatalk

Thanks for the link. I clicked it and checked out that thread, but I was not really sure what it was about. Are you suggesting that I could/should possibly go through the process to try to "Obtain Your MSL, Update PRL, Connect to DFS," because it might enable the phone I have to properly receive T-Mobile's LTE signal? If you would reply to this question and explain to me what good you think trying to go through that process might do for my situation, I would really appreciate it.

By the way, sorry for not replying last night, y'all. I work late-nights and was quite tired after I got home around 6:00 a.m. this morning.
20th April 2014, 12:06 AM |#5  
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Sprint LS980 uses 1900 MHz, 850 MHz, 2500 Mhz for LTE
2G: GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900
3G: UMTS2100 (B1)
4G: LTE1900 (B25), LTE800 (B26), TD-LTE2500 (B41)
http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=specs&i...s980_g2_td-lte

Verizon VS980 uses the 700 Mhz, 1700/2100 Mhz bands for LTE
2G: GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900
3G: UMTS850 (B5), UMTS900 (B8), UMTS1900 (B2), UMTS2100 (B1)
4G: LTE700 (B13), LTE1700/2100 (B4)
http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=specs&i...s980_g2_4g_lte

T-Mobile D801 uses the 700 Mhz, 1900 Mhz, 1700/2100 Mhz bands for LTE
2G: GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900
3G: UMTS850 (B5), UMTS1900 (B2), UMTS2100 (B1)
4G: LTE700 (B17), LTE1700/2100 (B4), LTE1900 (B2)
http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=specs&i...g2_d801_4g_lte

AT&T D800 uses the 700 Mhz, 850Mhz, 1900 Mhz, 1700/2100 Mhz bands for LTE
2G: GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900
3G: UMTS850 (B5), UMTS1900 (B2), UMTS2100 (B1)
4G: LTE700 (B17), LTE850 (B5), LTE1700/2100 (B4), LTE1900 (B2)
http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=specs&i...g2_d800_4g_lte

Bands are limited by hardware, not software.
Also note the Sprint 1900 Mhz LTE and Verizon 700 Mhz LTE bands are not compatible with the T-Mobile/AT&T 700 Mhz and 1900 Mhz LTE band as they use a different part of that spectrum.
Last edited by abhinav.tella; 20th April 2014 at 05:00 AM.
20th April 2014, 08:22 AM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.tella

Bands are limited by hardware, not software.
Also note the Sprint 1900 Mhz LTE and Verizon 700 Mhz LTE bands are not compatible with the T-Mobile/AT&T 700 Mhz and 1900 Mhz LTE band as they use a different part of that spectrum.

Sorry for quoting the entire post, but I'm at work and on my LG F3 (which has a really small screen), but are you specifically stating that it's physically impossible to get T-Mobile's LTE signal with the Sprint version of the LG G2 because it literally lacks the necessary physical hardware to be able to receive it?
20th April 2014, 09:47 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzAssassin

Sorry for quoting the entire post, but I'm at work and on my LG F3 (which has a really small screen), but are you specifically stating that it's physically impossible to get T-Mobile's LTE signal with the Sprint version of the LG G2 because it literally lacks the necessary physical hardware to be able to receive it?

Yes, only the AT&T and T-Mobile versions are inter compatible with the AT&T version having one extra band (850 Mhz)

For future reference use PDADB.net for accurate hardware information including sub-models. Its very good.
Last edited by abhinav.tella; 20th April 2014 at 09:56 AM.
7th February 2015, 06:28 PM |#8  
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I wasn't aware that Sprint started using sim cards. Is this a hybrid GSM/CDMA phone? And which bands go with which?
So will this phone work, after unlocking, work with Chinese 3G (Band I 2100MHz) and 4G (Band 41 2500MHz) networks?
12th February 2015, 07:49 AM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ther00kie16

I wasn't aware that Sprint started using sim cards. Is this a hybrid GSM/CDMA phone? And which bands go with which?
So will this phone work, after unlocking, work with Chinese 3G (Band I 2100MHz) and 4G (Band 41 2500MHz) networks?

Sprint and Verizon's LTE technology requires the use of SIM cards because the device will connect to both the older network and the newer one at the same time. If you yank a SIM card from either carrier's device it will still connect to their CDMA-based network (with 3G technology) but to get their full LTE support it requires a SIM card.

Because of this, Sprint and Verizon devices released since roughly late 2013 have the potential - because they have SIM card slots - of being carrier unlocked. All Verizon devices come carrier unlocked with respect to the SIM card slot now because it was a part of the requirements they agreed to during the FCC bidding process to gain those new frequency allotments back in 2013 - you can go buy any Verizon phone right now, including the Droid Turbo (their flagship phone) and drop a SIM card in it from any other carrier and it'll work just fine without issues. It may not provide LTE support directly because of different LTE band/frequency support so that's what I'll explain below, just for the record, but it WILL work with any GSM SIM card right out of the box.

Sprint, however, wasn't bound by any such requirements and so their devices are not carrier unlocked but sometimes - please note I'm saying SOMETIMES they can be. The Sprint LG G2 is one of those times, and there are two basic ways to do it:

1) Either do all the necessary config/device adjustments to get the SIM card unlocked for use with GSM capabilities (very impractical solution and only useful if you absolutely refuse to use a custom ROM)

2) Use a custom ROM because all the work to unlock the SIM card slot for other carriers is already done for you by the developer of the ROM (or them using code that was ready to go). ROMs like CloudyG2 and others, once installed, offer the ability to use any GSM SIM card in the Sprint G2 without issues.

Having said that, the LTE aspect is where some have issues - Qualcomm "locks down" radio hardware based on the NV (non-volatile) firmware inside it and it's done that way based on the requirements the carrier sets forth. Sprint uses LTE bands (as noted in the post above) that are not directly compatible with T-Mobile's LTE bands - there's no overlap at all; if there were any overlap whatsoever you could feasibly get LTE to work with T-Mobile, but that's not the case with the Sprint G2.

The hardware in the phones is the same (with respect to the GSM capability and LTE falls under that umbrella), it's just that the radio hardware has been "locked down" to only use particular frequency bands. Theoretically it's possible to edit the NV and open up more bands (potentially supporting everything) but that's another thread altogether, literally, and has the side effect of potentially bricking the radio hardware if unsuccessful so people don't even bother with it.

Using the Sprint G2 with T-Mobile will get you HSPA+ capability that'll max out (theoretically) at 42 Mbps which is damned fast, plus HSPA+ offers better signal strength overall than LTE does and better building/structure penetration as well - and better battery life to some degrees (not like it was years ago when LTE hardware and software was truly unoptimized).

When I last had a G2 recently I was pulling about 38 Mbps down and 33 Mbps up in speed testing but I live like 2 blocks away from a T-Mobile cell site here in downtown Las Vegas with line-of-sight to the tower (no obstructions in between) and that's damned fast enough for me and most anyone. LTE is nice but it ain't everything...

Suffice to say if you have a Sprint G2 you're not limited to just using Sprint, obviously - but LTE support will only happen if you use a carrier that overlaps onto the LTE bands/frequencies that Sprint itself uses. That basically rules out any carrier in the US since the remaining carriers of the "big 4" (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) all end up reselling their network service to every other smaller carrier or MVNO - the other 3 carriers don't use the same LTE bands/frequencies so you'll have to be outside the US aka non-domestic to get LTE support. The Verizon G2 offers the potential to get LTE on T-Mobile because they do both share LTE Band 4 but it depends on the precise frequencies in use - more than likely you'll still end up with HSPA+ support more than LTE.

That should clear it up a bit for you...

ps
Next time perhaps take a look at the date of the last post in a thread - this was almost a year old since the last post so... things haven't really changed with respect to the Sprint G2 and LTE on T-Mobile; this info is found in other threads if you do some searching but hopefully you'll understand things better now with the info I provided.
Last edited by br0adband; 12th February 2015 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Added the ps for thread necromancy... </done>
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12th February 2015, 08:49 AM |#10  
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Thanks a lot for all that info. I did check the date and made a new thread as well. I just figured to get more exposure this way.
I understand not much has changed judging by the date but was new to phones capable of CDMA and GSM so wasn't sure how they labeled the bands.

I've looked over the instructions for SIM unlocking and LTE band unlocking but none of those mentioned what bands were for CDMA and which for GSM or if there's any commonly labeled frequencies as the information on CDMA is just not as well laid out in sources I've found.

I remember there being much talk about how iPhone 5s didn't have native support band 41 LTE, which is the only LTE band in China so I'm surprised that there's no talk of use in China of the Sprint LG G2, which seemed to be the only mainstream phone that had band 41 before the Nexus 5 and iPhone 6. Hell, the Galaxy series still doesn't have it. It's also a pain to search for phones with band 41 LTE as China and apparently Uganda are the only countries that have it and sites like gsmarena don't have it as a filter option.
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