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Is it possible to switch region / variant by flashing different firmware?

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By ctp9, Junior Member on 20th May 2020, 06:34 AM
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Hello,

Newbie question here coming from someone with Exynos model SM-G988B/DS (purchased while visiting Singapore):

Can I make this phone fully compatible with North American carriers? I'd like to use Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE - but my Canadian carrier says that this phone is not eligible for these services because it's not a North American variant. A USSD code provided by my carrier was not successful (it said "invalid MMI code").

Even though I'm not entirely comfortable flashing different firmware onto Samsung phones - in this case I am desperate to do it (if it can be done to achieve my purpose at all...)

Now I'm kicking myself... wishing I knew that these calling features might not work back in Canada.

Thank you for your advice.
20th May 2020, 09:14 AM |#2  
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this is odd.. my phone is purchased in Malaysia, the country north of Singapore, and we have different CSC codes.

Wi-fi calling and VoLTE is working fine when i am in Singapore using a Singaporean SIM Card and when i back home in Malaysia using my Malaysian SIM Card. (But this is on the Samsung Note 8, have not gone to Singapore since i got my S20+ shortly before Malaysia shut down the borders due to the Covid-19 outbreak)
20th May 2020, 10:29 AM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctp9

Hello,

Newbie question here coming from someone with Exynos model SM-G988B/DS (purchased while visiting Singapore):

Can I make this phone fully compatible with North American carriers? I'd like to use Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE - but my Canadian carrier says that this phone is not eligible for these services because it's not a North American variant. A USSD code provided by my carrier was not successful (it said "invalid MMI code").

Even though I'm not entirely comfortable flashing different firmware onto Samsung phones - in this case I am desperate to do it (if it can be done to achieve my purpose at all...)

Now I'm kicking myself... wishing I knew that these calling features might not work back in Canada.

Thank you for your advice.

Short answer = you can't. You will need to change the "region key" (csc) by using samkey. If you flash the firmware belonging to different region with different csc code, you will not get any ota update at all. Therefore you must flash the firmware of, say, Canadian region, as well as changing the CSC to same set that Canada uses.

However: do *take note*, do *not* flash snapdragon firmware to exynos set vice versa.
20th May 2020, 06:26 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vash_h

this is odd.. my phone is purchased in Malaysia, the country north of Singapore, and we have different CSC codes.

Wi-fi calling and VoLTE is working fine when i am in Singapore using a Singaporean SIM Card and when i back home in Malaysia using my Malaysian SIM Card. (But this is on the Samsung Note 8, have not gone to Singapore since i got my S20+ shortly before Malaysia shut down the borders due to the Covid-19 outbreak)

Yours works because those countries are still within the same region.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluelavender

Short answer = you can't. You will need to change the "region key" (csc) by using samkey. If you flash the firmware belonging to different region with different csc code, you will not get any ota update at all. Therefore you must flash the firmware of, say, Canadian region, as well as changing the CSC to same set that Canada uses.

You're saying it cannot be done but then are telling me that it can be done using samkey. So which is it? Can I not flash North American firmware with the appropriate CSC?

Quote:

However: do *take note*, do *not* flash snapdragon firmware to exynos set vice versa.

This is obvious - I would never do such a thing.
21st May 2020, 01:27 AM |#5  
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As its an exynos device it won't play well with usa networks and you cannot flash snapdragon firmware obviously. If you were in Europe this would have been easily done by changing the csc to say UK BTU via samkey and flashing the BTU firmware etc. Usa is a more complicated given the bands are different over there. Also you probably won't get carrier aggregation and volte / WiFi calling is a lottery! Plus usa networks aren't as chilled out as the rest of the world and have hissy fits if you don't use their branded devices. Charge way more than most other countries too! 😁
21st May 2020, 04:22 AM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctp9

Yours works because those countries are still within the same region.
You're saying it cannot be done but then are telling me that it can be done using samkey. So which is it? Can I not flash North American firmware with the appropriate CSC?

Not exactly. I'm in Singapore, using Taiwan set, with HK firmware & csc. It's 3 different regions

i'm saying it cannot be done by just flashing firmware like your original question

You *must* do both: update firmware *and* change csc. Now Samsung has locked the csc changing. You can no longer change csc by just flashing firmware of different region. It won't work. Change csc, then flash the firmware.
21st May 2020, 04:45 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctp9

Yours works because those countries are still within the same region.



You're saying it cannot be done but then are telling me that it can be done using samkey. So which is it? Can I not flash North American firmware with the appropriate CSC?



This is obvious - I would never do such a thing.

It is different region as the csc is different.

In your case it is complicated. You can try to flash in your local csc file via odin. Just the csc file nothing else. See if it will work.

The firmware for exynos and snapdragon variants is very different.

---------- Post added at 04:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:44 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluelavender

Not exactly. I'm in Singapore, using Taiwan set, with HK firmware & csc. It's 3 different regions

i'm saying it cannot be done by just flashing firmware like your original question

You *must* do both: update firmware *and* change csc. Now Samsung has locked the csc changing. You can no longer change csc by just flashing firmware of different region. It won't work. Change csc, then flash the firmware.

He cannot and must not flash sd firmware into exynos phone. It'll brick the phone. Taiwan and hk is sd variant.
21st May 2020, 04:50 AM |#8  
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Ok - thank you for your responses so far.

So what is the absolute best thing that could be done in order to be *the most* compatible with North American carriers? What CSC should I be aiming for and which firmware to be exact? Could someone please link me to the appropriate files? I'll do my research once I have an idea of what to start with. (If it won't work - I obviously won't bother with it... but I think I should do some more research before I completely give up...)
21st May 2020, 05:52 AM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vash_h

He cannot and must not flash sd firmware into exynos phone. It'll brick the phone. Taiwan and hk is sd variant.

Yes, I advised him same thing in my earlier post above. sd & exynos rom is not interchangeable.

---------- Post added at 05:52 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:48 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctp9

Ok - thank you for your responses so far.

So what is the absolute best thing that could be done in order to be *the most* compatible with North American carriers? What CSC should I be aiming for and which firmware to be exact? Could someone please link me to the appropriate files? I'll do my research once I have an idea of what to start with. (If it won't work - I obviously won't bother with it... but I think I should do some more research before I completely give up...)

you're in tough luck. USA bands are different from most of the world (https://sea.pcmag.com/smartphones/36...rrier-5g-phone). To top it off, your set is exynos, and even if you can get firmware that works for USA set, it is most likely will be in snapdragon.

Btw, exynos version will never support mmwave in USA carriers, simply because exynos version does not have mmwave antenna.

I would suggest you sell that exynos set / exchange it to snapdragon set. With snapdragon, you have more luck finding compatible firmware.
21st May 2020, 07:24 AM |#10  
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Well... I cannot particularly exchange this device now that I'm in Canada and I've had it for over a month. And no one here would want to buy it since it's not local to the continent. I'm stuck with it here now.

I'll just use it for a year and then get some other new phone next year that's local to my region. There's a few other things I do not like about this latest Galaxy anyway... and I cannot see myself using it for longer than a year. What a pity though - I used to be such a die hard Samsung fan until this latest flagship. They screwed up so many things, namely - the battery life and camera quality.
21st May 2020, 08:19 AM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctp9

What a pity though - I used to be such a die hard Samsung fan until this latest flagship. They screwed up so many things, namely - the battery life and camera quality.

That's precisely why I do not want to use local version here, which is exynos, the one you brought there.. snapdragon version is *miles ahead* and really is the flagship quality. I don't have issue with camera, the battery is insanely efficient (I have 2 WhatsApp, 2 telegram, email real-time-push, wechat, line, fb, etc) and I only drain 4% per 8 hours at night with all notifications still coming in

Yes, that's the snapdragon version, the real s20 flagship.
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