The $10 speed test, and other things from day 20 of the Sprint Galaxy Note 8 LTE loss fiasco

It’s been 20 days since Sprint released a Samsung-built Android 9 update (that Sprint certified,) and knocked out LTE and voice services in some cases to about 5% of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 owners. There’s still no official word other than Sprint is working with Samsung to rectify the problem. There’s still no official note for Sprint support to not waste hours of people’s time running through the diagnostic hoops. There’s still no official warning to Sprint employees to not use this as an upgrade-to-get-your-phone-fixed opportunity.

This weekend I decided to give it a go – popped the Ting SIM in and verified that indeed, if you’re UICC unlocked, without LTE on Sprint, you can just pop in a Verizon, T-Mobile, or Ting (in my case,) SIM and it worked wonderfully (for my area this is good for T-Mobile.)

Sprint Samsing Galaxy Note 8 LTE loss, and what happens when you pop in another carrier's SIM (spoiler: it works on that carrier because this appears to be a sprint exclusive issue)

Being on Ting, using a few meg of data means I went from a $3 or so bill to $13, so that’s the most expensive speed test I’ve ever conducted above. Lemme tell ya sonny, back in my day speed tests on Ting cost $10 and we LIKED IT.

I’ve been watching the Sprint forums pretty closely. It seems about once or twice a day someone comes in with a new theory as to what it could be (which is a provisioning / band selection issue that’s been supposedly established by NOC before Sprint and Samsung went completely dark.)

So far what I’ve seen on Sprint two people have reported that dialing ##72786# worked after upgrade. One person on Verizon reported that doing the VZW equiv was required after they lost LTE, but there’s only one person on Verizon I see that had that issue with the Note 8. I think these three are outliers.

Every two days someone comes in with a “I did this and it worked” and good for them, it worked for them and nobody else.

Samsung’s had a lot of problems on their new S10 series that appear to be related to the problems with the Note 8. My guess here is they’ve unified how the OS talks to the baseband firmware combined with not every chip always being the same in their modems. Seriously, you build 300 million phones see if you don’t have to get a few third party vendors to make basically the same setup.

There are mentions of two updates sitting on the servers waiting for deployment, however whether they’re for the Note 8 or S10 series is never mentioned, or if they’re mentioned there’s no ETA, no word of what they might contain, and would be considered testing material at this point.

At nearly three weeks in we’re at no updates other than they’re working on a fix. There is no word on Sprint offering anyone recompense for the nearly three weeks long loss of service caused by an update they certified and released.

There’s a reason carriers test these things to death before releasing them.

You can read all coverage so far (including some things you can try) by clicking here.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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