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Nokia releases 3G network lock app for China Mobile's Lumia 920T

I guess this is more about being funny than actually useful to most of you guys. Nokia just released an interesting app for Lumia 920T users on China Mobile. The app only does one thing: to lock the phone to either 3G or 2G network.

This may raise some eyebrows, since normally one could select what kind of network he wants in the system settings of Windows Phone 7 and 8. But no, that doesn't apply to China Mobile's Lumia 920T, which stays on 3G network by default. The 2G/3G/4G switch was removed by request of the carrier, probably in order to keep as many users on its 3G network as possible.

The lack of a network switch, combined with the carrier's weird 3G network itself, resulted in a fair share of frustration. China Mobile runs its homegrown TD-SCDMA network for 3G, which surprisingly is not compatible with the GSM 2G network, which is supposed to be a global standard. Therefore all TD-SCDMA phones actually come with two separate cellular network modules, one for GSM, the other for TD-SCDMA. When a phone finds itself outside TD-SCDMA coverage, it will try to activate the GSM module. Frequent activating and deactivating of cellular modules eventually cause the phone to crash and reboot. The frustration is shared by a whole fleet of TD-SCDMA devices, not just Lumia 920T. I've heard the rebooting problem is particularly bad in rural area, where TD-SCDMA coverage has quite a lot to be desired.

With Nokia's network locker app, a Lumia 920T owner could choose to just lock his phone to GSM. China Mobile enjoys epic GSM coverage which supposedly stretches all the way up to the top of Mount Everest. By staying away from TD-SCDMA, one effectively gets much more stable connectivity, therefore significantly reduced crash/reboot rate.

Although this is somewhat ironic, it still shows Nokia is working seriously on addressing local needs. This app now seems to be getting volleys of positive reviews and gratitudes in the Chinese facet of Windows Phone Store.

Source: WPDang



There are 34 comments. Sign in to comment

Vb2012 says:

+1 my response was the same

Vb2012 says:

Wow like me in south Africa were we can't use video streaming for example netfix etc. Why cause its illegal lol fcken anc government got pockets in dstv probably -_-

Zeeshan360 says:

Oh God .. Nokia doing so much to address the minor issues which MS failed to do .. My old Symbian phone had this feature
Nokia should also try to release dual sim Lumia phones which are popular in India and China

n7slc says:

Blame the carriers, not MS or Nokia. These features ARE available if only the carriers would allow them.

TrentTech says:

This is nothing to do with MS, the article states that Windows Phone has this option by default and the Chinese carrier requested it be removed from their version of the 920. While Nokia are certainly quick to address issues which could be seen as OS issues, this is not one of those incidents. This is Nokia addressing an issue specific to China created by the carrier's restriction.

Huime says:

to add on that, it only works for China Mobile.

anujtwp says:

FYI, Windows Phone can not lock to only 3G. It can to 2G but not to 3G which symbian can. In windows phone, when we select 3G, we select it as 3G+2G when 3G signals are not adequet. Symbian had separate switches for 2G. 3G and 3G+2G.

MikeTheYid says:

You clearly aren't very good at reading.

Josh Harman says:

Hi! I am words. You must read me to understand.
Why are there so many MS/WP haters here? Why read an app/website about something you despise? Not surprisingly, the haters don't even know what they are talking about.

Zeeshan360 says:

Ohhh .. Missed that .
I use Lumia 920 btw -_-
And locking the network to 3G isn't available

MikeTheYid says:

That's down to your network, on mine in the UK I can select whether 2g 3g or 4g.

DJCBS says:

And if anyone doesn't like that, they can count on the Chinese government to silence aeternum.

John20212 says:

Its great to see Nokia is making a name for itself with pleasing customers, it might seem a small step now, but its just one more thing that will help Nokia build more brand loyalty.

pressstart says:

Att 920 users could use something like this. Some of us don't need battery killing lte on all the time.

adrian1338 says:

well - go in the phone settings and change to 3g

Setting can be found under Mobile network and there under highest connection speed

tonyfreak215 says:

That's not an option for ATT 920s. I wish it was.

Eas195 says:

It is the highest option, not the network-mode-specific option. If you go outside 3G network or the 3G network cannot reach your room, it would go to an EDGE/2G network mode, even when you set 3G as the highest connection speed. It's my own experience in Indonesia, where the network operators here are often unstable.

deku13 says:

Verizon really needs this

LTE really isn't battery killing unless you have to use a separate LTE modem, like some of the early LTE-capable Androids did. 

falcon304 says:

I would love something similar for everyone in general. I don't use HERE Drive+ or watch Youtube videos, so I rarely need LTE. Being able to force HSPA+/3G would be great for when the radio gets stuck on and tanks the battery, since it seems like that's never going to get fixed.

teng_m says:

hopefully this will be available everywhere. my 3g signal is really weak compared to 2g because I live outside big cities.  it's annoyong that it keeps switching back to 2g, making data connections worthless

wptom says:

I would also like to nail my mobile network to 3G. The constant switching between 3G and 2G costs battery as well. I'd rather have one bar of 3G than 3 bars of 2G. Seriously.

wptom says:

"it still shows Nokia is working seriously on addressing local needs"
I need to correct you. This is only done for the Chinese market unfortunately. Here in Germany for example the baked in LinkedIn support is of no big use as in German speaking markets the business social network Xing is king. And I don't see Xing baked into my German Lumias. Nokia neither adds this support themselves nor convinces Microsoft to do this, although as a European company Nokia surely knows darn well what the local needs in Europe compared to the US are!

adrian1338 says:

Question - does xing care about WP? The only app there is costs money and is from a indepenend developer. So why should they even care about putting that "german only" "business social network" into WP? Ask Xing first maybe

wptom says:

The same could be said about LinkedIn. They poached the developer of IN+, removed useful functions of that app, gave it their corporate colours and released it as their app. Since then there were no substantial updates to even try matching the former IN+ experience.
But that was not my point as I wrote about the baked in support which is missing for a service that is VERY OFTEN USED in German speaking countries. Heck, outside of China neither Microsoft nor Nokia care about local needs. Just try to subscribe to podcasts or use Local Scout if you are not in the US.

cameradork says:

I want this. Forced LTE has murdered my battery life. I used to get 2-3 days on a charge, now I get 8 hours. I don't need to download Facebook posts and text messages at high speed. I do need good battery life.

rikipy says:

Only Works china mobile networks, fuuu nokia

Why not debug the thing? This is just a work around...

kenan3cn says:

Not a funny thing after all huh? Seems quite a few people want that app as well.

When you set it to 2G 3G or 4G you are not locking it to that network. Simply selecting that as the highest connection. In effect you can lock it to 2G as there is no lower option but if you select 3G it can switch down to 2G and if you select 4G it can switch down to 2G or 3G. Therefore they are not locked.

Abrar Shaikh says:

Badly needed app in windows 8. Being on a 3G network (even if weak) in urban areas provide much better voice-call quality and internet experience. Even on full 2G network everything slows down and the phone becomes cause of anger.