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Help! Sprint LG V20 LS997 ZVC Android 7.0. Can't set APN.

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nookin

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2012
234
9
I have a LS997 that I purchased from eBay a few years ago. I kept the phone at 7.0 and I definitely was able to set the APN. I used it on T-Mobile for test, I was able to enter fast.t-mobile.com as APN and everything works. I then used it on Tello (Sprint network).

I was told that I can switch to GSM, since it is T-Mobile's network, I thought no problems. Ordered the GSM SIM, activated. After I swapped the SIM, I realized that the APN cannot be set. There is simply no "..." menu like I use to. All I see is a greyed out word of "otasn" in the APN list.

I tried putting in a T-Mobile SIM. It works. I see a grayed out fast.t-mobile.com APN with a unselected radio button. But internet works and everything.

STILL NO "..." MENU.

It seems my ability to edit APN has somehow been taken away. I doubled checked the Android version is still 7.0 ZVC and I have not upgraded it.

I honestly don't know how the V20 ended up like this. Can someone help me out?
 

nookin

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2012
234
9
Tried installing an app that edits APN. It managed to bring up an APN setup menu. I can see the familier setup page but everything is grayed out and cannot be edited.
 

nookin

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2012
234
9
Try to go to options, then system updates, then select uicc unlock. Usually unlocks sim for apn if able.
That doesn't seem to do anything. I also found a post mentioning installing Pulse SMS app allows changing APN. That didn't work either. I am really puzzled why the ability to change APN were gone. I am certain that I was able to add APNs. At least right now, it can detect T-Mobile SIM and use its APN automatically (likely because I entered it in the past). I am worried that once I factory reset the phone, even that is gone.
 

C D

Senior Member
That doesn't seem to do anything. I also found a post mentioning installing Pulse SMS app allows changing APN. That didn't work either. I am really puzzled why the ability to change APN were gone. I am certain that I was able to add APNs. At least right now, it can detect T-Mobile SIM and use its APN automatically (likely because I entered it in the past). I am worried that once I factory reset the phone, even that is gone.
There is a small app that can add an additional APN entry that might work here as some people have done this on the Sprint LG G8. Have a look at this set of comments for the link of the app.
But you should also be aware that some time next year, your LS997 will stop working for phone calls since it can't get VoLTE on T-Mobile, so once they take down both 2G and 3G networks, it will become a data-only device in the U.S.
 

Mysticblaze347

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2018
514
183
There is a small app that can add an additional APN entry that might work here as some people have done this on the Sprint LG G8. Have a look at this set of comments for the link of the app.
But you should also be aware that some time next year, your LS997 will stop working for phone calls since it can't get VoLTE on T-Mobile, so once they take down both 2G and 3G networks, it will become a data-only device in the U.S.
I read that if you go to TMobile and get a new sim that we can still have service. Just be fully TMobile. No Sprint at all. Something to do with new network merge tool they have. Its called TNX.
 
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C D

Senior Member
I read that if you go to TMobile and get a new sim that we can still have service. Just be fully TMobile. No Sprint at all. Something to do with new network merge tool they have. Its called TNX.
I was already referring to full T-Mobile here. The LS997 isn't configured to get VoLTE at all, so all calls would still just go through 2G/3G on any network. It's easy to check by having cellular data on with Wi-Fi off and making a call and see if the LTE icon stays on or immediately switches to 3G or below.
For the few of us on rootable LS997 models, there might be a wild experiment to try by running US996 firmware and see if VoLTE can get enabled on there.
 

Mysticblaze347

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2018
514
183
I read that if you go to TMobile and get a new sim that we can still have service. Just be fully TMobile. No Sprint at all.

I was already referring to full T-Mobile here. The LS997 isn't configured to get VoLTE at all, so all calls would still just go through 2G/3G on any network. It's easy to check by having cellular data on with Wi-Fi off and making a call and see if the LTE icon stays on or immediately switches to 3G or below.
For the few of us on rootable LS997 models, there might be a wild experiment to try by running US996 firmware and see if VoLTE can get enabled on there.
I found a board for a rootable ls997, but I currently have just root shell sadly. Oreo here. Old full root died. I may be screwed. We shall see in a few months. Unless tmobile version will work fine still. I may be forced to downgrade (upgrade). I dont have tmobile version, but if I were to get another v20 maybe only option aside from an us996. I hate this forced crap. V20 days maybe closing up. Super sad n stuff.
 

C D

Senior Member
Didn't mean to change topic, but was just saying.
You're not too far off-topic since the future of the LS997 on T-Mobile still concerns OP here. My MVNO already stopped new Sprint network activations and started moving to Verizon, so I jumped over to T-Mobile prepaid and finally let go of my LS997 as my daily driver. I could still mess around later this year with US996 firmware and let you know what I can find.

But if you want to stick with your unrootable LS997, then you still have plenty of time for next year. From what I read, T-Mobile will shut down their 3G network by July 1st, 2022 while no official date has been set for turning off their 2G portion. However, even with 2G and 3G still working for calls, if you ever happen to be in a spot where there's only an LTE band signal without 2G/3G, then you won't be able to make or take calls there.

So the only safe way to keep going on a V20 with T-Mobile is to get their H918 model. But even then, you're still limited to Android Oreo, which some apps may eventually abandon as they might raise the minimum requirement to Pie or higher at some point.
 
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Mysticblaze347

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2018
514
183
You're not too far off-topic since the future of the LS997 on T-Mobile still concerns OP here. My MVNO already stopped new Sprint network activations and started moving to Verizon, so I jumped over to T-Mobile prepaid and finally let go of my LS997 as my daily driver. I could still mess around later this year with US996 firmware and let you know what I can find.

But if you want to stick with your unrootable LS997, then you still have plenty of time for next year. From what I read, T-Mobile will shut down their 3G network by July 1st, 2022 while no official date has been set for turning off their 2G portion. However, even with 2G and 3G still working for calls, if you ever happen to be in a spot where there's only an LTE band signal without 2G/3G, then you won't be able to make or take calls there.

So the only safe way to keep going on a V20 with T-Mobile is to get their H918 model. But even then, you're still limited to Android Oreo, which some apps may eventually abandon as they might raise the minimum requirement to Pie or higher at some point.
As of today I got a message saying my device needs to upgrade or sim upgrade to keep service after 1/1/21. https://www.sprint.com/en/support/cdma-retirement-legal-notice.html
 

C D

Senior Member
As of today I got a message saying my device needs to upgrade or sim upgrade to keep service after 1/1/21. https://www.sprint.com/en/support/cdma-retirement-legal-notice.html
If your LS997 is SIM-unlocked like OP's, then you could get a T-Mobile SIM card and keep going until T-Mobile shuts down both their 2G & 3G networks next year. Just be aware that no Sprint-branded phone will pass T-Mobile's IMEI checker. But you should have a VoLTE-compatible backup phone ready to go if you start running into LTE-only or low-signal areas.
 
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nookin

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2012
234
9
FWIW, I factory reset my LS997 V20 (still on Android 7.0) and I still cannot edit the APN. Even worse is that I now cannot use it with T-Mobile since the fast.t-mobile.com APN is gone. I regret resetting it. It is now useless as a smartphone since Sprint CDMA is history and phone cannot pick up LTE signal from other LTE carriers.

I have no idea why my LS997 lost its ability to edit APN even though I did not accept software updates. There does not seem to have any way to bypass the APN write protection.
 

Mysticblaze347

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2018
514
183
FWIW, I factory reset my LS997 V20 (still on Android 7.0) and I still cannot edit the APN. Even worse is that I now cannot use it with T-Mobile since the fast.t-mobile.com APN is gone. I regret resetting it. It is now useless as a smartphone since Sprint CDMA is history and phone cannot pick up LTE signal from other LTE carriers.

I have no idea why my LS997 lost its ability to edit APN even though I did not accept software updates. There does not seem to have any way to bypass the APN write protection.
To me it sounds like sim relocked. Might need to call tmobile/Sprint to unlock again. You could also try rooting (since you have rootable firmware [under zvd]) or temp root; then use an app called shortcut master lite and edit apn that way. I am not sure if app works without root access. I really don't know otherwise. Dumb when crap auto happens. If your sim is unlocked again. You may not need apk to edit apn again.
 

nookin

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2012
234
9
I guess V20 has a different way of locking the SIM. The modem seems to be SIM unlocked but the phone's firmware prevents me from editing or adding APN. And they seem to be good at it as I have tried multiple methods to no avail.

In addition, I don't know how T-Mobile/Sprint could unlock the phone since phone does not ask for unlock pin.

Maybe rooting would work, if my firmware can still be rooted. I might as well just throw in a new OS since updating firmware will relock the APN. I
 
Last edited:

C D

Senior Member
As far as I know, only software versions up to ZV7 (security patch level date of May 1, 2017) can get full root. On those versions, you could freely edit the APN values within a hidden menu, and those options seem to be gone on later software.

Sprint phones are notorious for having grayed out APN settings out of the box or after factory resets or major Android version updates. When they're grayed out, you pretty much have to hope that whatever default APN values the phone reads from your SIM card are the ones you want. Otherwise, you'll have to find another way to edit the values. The small app I linked earlier from the G8 is an interesting approach, but it appears to require ejecting the SIM card with the phone staying on which is not possible on the V20 since the battery blocks the card slot, so I'm not sure if that method can be applied to the V20.

I think Sprint and T-Mobile do SIM-unlocking by connecting to a remote server.
 

nookin

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2012
234
9
This is actually the 2nd LG LS997 I bought off eBay. I think both phone comes with ZV7 or so. The first phone I tested that it is unlocked and I let it upgrade 1 after another until it reached Android 8 and I lost data. Since the seller advertised the phone as unlocked, I didn't have issue returning the phone.

The 2nd phone I am more careful and I stayed at ZVC. I verified that I can edit APN and all even after factory reset. I think the reference about ZV8 is that user cannot edit APN using the Hidden Menu trick beginning ZV8. But supposingly, my phone is unlocked so APN can be edited. But throughout the internet, there are LS997 users reporting phone is locked again after upgrading to Android 8.

On top of that, I am not sure how my phone was unlocked as I also discovered that if I enable secure boot (require PIN during boot) will disable APN editing. I have no idea why they are related. My guess is that my phone isn't unlocked via official means and maybe someone messed with the bootloader in order to unlock.

I am rethinking my options:

1. Root my phone (since I am still on Android 7) and try APN editing using root privilege (not sure what app to use)
2. Root my phone and install LineageOS. Since it is a different firmware, I assume there won't be APN write protection.
3. Upgrade phone to Android 8 and try calling T-Mobile to unlock (I was never a Sprint customer).
4. Try eBay seller who can remote unlock phone for ~$7. They claim they can unlock LS997 with Android 8. It is a lot of hassle as I won't use my regular computer for this type of activity.

Option 1/2 and 3/4 are mutually exclusive.
 

Mysticblaze347

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2018
514
183
As far as I know, only software versions up to ZV7 (security patch level date of May 1, 2017) can get full root. On those versions, you could freely edit the APN values within a hidden menu, and those options seem to be gone on later software.

Sprint phones are notorious for having grayed out APN settings out of the box or after factory resets or major Android version updates. When they're grayed out, you pretty much have to hope that whatever default APN values the phone reads from your SIM card are the ones you want. Otherwise, you'll have to find another way to edit the values. The small app I linked earlier from the G8 is an interesting approach, but it appears to require ejecting the SIM card with the phone staying on which is not possible on the V20 since the battery blocks the card slot, so I'm not sure if that method can be applied to the V20.

I think Sprint and T-Mobile do SIM-unlocking by connecting to a remote server.
My bad, I thought zvc was the root able for some reason. ZV7 yes. Its been awhile and lil under the weather. Brain is scrambled lol.
 

Mysticblaze347

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2018
514
183

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    Didn't mean to change topic, but was just saying.
    You're not too far off-topic since the future of the LS997 on T-Mobile still concerns OP here. My MVNO already stopped new Sprint network activations and started moving to Verizon, so I jumped over to T-Mobile prepaid and finally let go of my LS997 as my daily driver. I could still mess around later this year with US996 firmware and let you know what I can find.

    But if you want to stick with your unrootable LS997, then you still have plenty of time for next year. From what I read, T-Mobile will shut down their 3G network by July 1st, 2022 while no official date has been set for turning off their 2G portion. However, even with 2G and 3G still working for calls, if you ever happen to be in a spot where there's only an LTE band signal without 2G/3G, then you won't be able to make or take calls there.

    So the only safe way to keep going on a V20 with T-Mobile is to get their H918 model. But even then, you're still limited to Android Oreo, which some apps may eventually abandon as they might raise the minimum requirement to Pie or higher at some point.
    1
    As of today I got a message saying my device needs to upgrade or sim upgrade to keep service after 1/1/21. https://www.sprint.com/en/support/cdma-retirement-legal-notice.html
    If your LS997 is SIM-unlocked like OP's, then you could get a T-Mobile SIM card and keep going until T-Mobile shuts down both their 2G & 3G networks next year. Just be aware that no Sprint-branded phone will pass T-Mobile's IMEI checker. But you should have a VoLTE-compatible backup phone ready to go if you start running into LTE-only or low-signal areas.