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Time to take action - US-carrier whitelisting (Verizon and AT&T)


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1 hour ago, toast said:

I am aware that this is wildly off-topic, but may I ask when you contacted support about this issue? Would be nice to have an estimation about how long to wait for a reply from support.

I've had 2 short discussions with them. The first time, about network compatibility:

Request made Dec 31, 2021

Support replied Jan 5, 2022

I replied Feb 17

support responded today Feb 23

 

The second time, about the difference in phone color Indiegogo vs FxTec homepage, and turning into the US carrier issue again:

Request made Feb 20

Support replied 9am Feb 23

We exchanged two more emails this morning between 9-10am Feb 23.

I'd say they are slow, but not infuriating. 

Edited by Fullmetaljacket223
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I certainly appreciate that! I'm slowly working on the different methods in the background while we wait for the phones to enter the shipping phase. I do have one concrete option developed!

As many people know, the situation in the US for choice of carrier has recently been obliterated. -T-Mobile is affordable and so far, accepting of most devices. However, they have AWFUL coverage,

I understand your point of view, but I bet that the work it would require to persuade huge tele-companies to care about a tiny player like FxTec would far exceed any profit they could gain by addition

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14 minutes ago, Fullmetaljacket223 said:

they are slow, but not infuriating. 

Thanks, appreciate it!

Its interesting (or sad, depending on how you look at things) that I am still waiting for them to answer since 1st of February 😅

anyways, enough off-topicery, carry on!

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17 hours ago, adam.c.r.roman said:

Some calls are way too loud on the lowest volume setting.  (Can this be adjusted?) 

My solution to this was to disable "4G Calling" in Settings, Network and Internet, Mobile Network.  

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5 hours ago, Fullmetaljacket223 said:

What area are you in? I'd consider T-Mobile, but I'm in the north Georgia mountains. In the past T-Mobile didn't have good signal here.

Also, I received two emails from FxTec support today responding to my requests. They have officially taken note of the USA carrier issue and appear to be looking into what to do about it!

I'm an hour Southwest of Chicago in a very heavily-populated suburb, so there was just no good reason to have such horrible reception.

I can't believe you actually heard back from tech support!  This is also off topic, but I've been trying to get a new FPC cable since April 8th, paid over $40 for it, and somehow it's gotten lost in the mail Twice.  The second time, they provided a tracking number, and Royal Mail says they have no idea what happened to it, and that f(x)tec should file a claim.  Forwarded proof that I still didn't get my cable (which Will break eventually), and no response.  Infuriating dealing with this company.

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4 minutes ago, adam.c.r.roman said:

I'm an hour Southwest of Chicago in a very heavily-populated suburb, so there was just no good reason to have such horrible reception.

Anyway, a very heavily populated suburb is a very good reason for horrible reception.

Every service providers have limited available frequency usage limits (frequencies are shared through all service providers and they have to periodically apply for a tender to be allowed to use them or gather new frequencies).

So the basic problem is the limited availability of frequency bands usable by a service provider.
Mainly service provider may "re-use" a specific frequency at other but not nearby places and one solution to serve more people using available frequency range is to reducing transmit power. That way they can allocate more cells (the area covered by one transmission tower) at the same place which allows serving more people by higher-quality services (I mean faster Internet speed).

However, if you go into a building then these frequencies can be easily shielded, especially if TX power is reduced and used radio frequency is high, so indoor service quality will be much worse where a lot of people should be covered near a relatively small place (high people density).
One solution for this problem can be a local radio transmitter installed inside the house.

Where fewer people should be covered (and there are no special limits like hills and big buildings), much "wider" cells can be used which may improve indoor reception...
...however, too rarely populated teritories may also have problems with too wide cells and high-frequency bands.
(Basically high frequencies mostly spread like light while lower frequencies may also reach other places and that is why they freed lower frequencies to be used for rural areas where I live.)

So, it is not as simple as it looks to be. 🙂

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VaZso, thanks very much for that info!  Very interesting.  I'm a low-level hardware / software guy - microcontrollers and such - and I appreciate the education in an area I'm not too familiar with.

I just know I was with Sprint (now T-Mobile, didn't even know that) for 20 years, and never had reception problems until AT&T with this phone.  I wasn't sure if the Pro1's design was an issue, but I'm getting greater signal strength than ever with T-Mobile.

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9 hours ago, Rob. S. said:

My solution to this was to disable "4G Calling" in Settings, Network and Internet, Mobile Network.  

Regarding my calls now being too loud on the lowest volume setting, that's something I will try, thank you, but it won't work past December whatever on T-Mobile, right?

Maybe off-topic again - I know it's a huge redesign, but I really wish there was a 5G Pro2 coming out instead of a Pro1 X.  Doesn't make much sense to me - are they going to get enough revenue from the Pro1 X to keep going and accomplish that?  I mean, it's like 4-year-old tech now.

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9 hours ago, VaZso said:

However, if you go into a building then these frequencies can be easily shielded, especially if TX power is reduced and used radio frequency is high, so indoor service quality will be much worse where a lot of people should be covered near a relatively small place (high people density).

I wish the people specifying the 5G standard would have understood that 😅

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5 hours ago, adam.c.r.roman said:

I'm a low-level hardware / software guy - microcontrollers

Basically I am also in the same boat. 🙂
However, also doing some embedded (Linux) work and also some higher-lever thing in connection with Linux.

5 hours ago, adam.c.r.roman said:

I wasn't sure if the Pro1's design was an issue, but I'm getting greater signal strength than ever with T-Mobile.

It is an interesting question... Pro1's reception is not the best but also not the worst.
As they had to redesign antenna system for Pro1-X, it may happen they could fine-tune them better than on Pro1 anyway.
So one part is the service provider's network and another one is slightly worse reception on the phone.

Anyway, I have not noticed differences in reception compared to my Motorola G6 phone, so that is not that bad but it may happen they could not tune every bands "perfectly".

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On 2/24/2022 at 7:34 AM, adam.c.r.roman said:

Regarding my calls now being too loud on the lowest volume setting, that's something I will try, thank you, but it won't work past December whatever on T-Mobile, right?

Bummer; yes, I'm afraid it looks like it...

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35 minutes ago, Rob. S. said:

Bummer; yes, I'm afraid it looks like it...

I believe so, unless someone changes the volume levels in the drivers.  The chips that handle the audio (the Qualcomm chip and whatever CODEC is being used for the speakers, mic, and headphone jack) usually have at least 256 levels of volume, usually in several stages, so it's probably a matter of the software being tailored to adapt to the gain of what's coming out of the Qualcomm chip.  It seems T-Mobile's audio is extremely compressed and then expanded to keep volume very consistent and loud to use as little data as possible.  My educated guess, anyway.  At any rate, these adjustments need to happen in the chips that handle the audio.  The phone's original software people compressed these adjustments into only 16 volume settings (or was this an Android default?), so maybe it's up to them to give us a greater range of volume adjustment, especially in the lower range, when the sound is too loud at the lowest setting.

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3 hours ago, adam.c.r.roman said:

unless someone changes the volume levels in the drivers

Which I fear isn't likely to happen for the Pro1... The issue was one of the first reported bugs, and it isn't limited to T-Mobile networks, either, it's a general VoLTE thing. (I'm on Vodafone here in Germany, with the advantage that while some carriers in surrounding countries have already begun to switch off their GSM networks,  there are no such plans here yet...)

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13 hours ago, suicidal_orange said:

I don't have a Pro1 or an Android device but my first thought was is there any of the standard Linux soundsystem left?  Sound driver settings would be found in /proc/asound, assuming you have root they would be changeable.

Interesting.  Good idea, I wish I was even slightly competent with Linux and changing those files.  I'm just a lowly old-school microcontroller and DSP assembly language guy.  Anyone else want to look into this?

And are you AT&T people still going strong?

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19 hours ago, suicidal_orange said:

I don't have a Pro1 or an Android device but my first thought was is there any of the standard Linux soundsystem left?  Sound driver settings would be found in /proc/asound, assuming you have root they would be changeable.

 

5 hours ago, adam.c.r.roman said:

Anyone else want to look into this?

I have attached the actual state of this virtual filesystem saved from my Pro1 running LineageOS 18.1

However, I don't know why there are a plenty of capture / playback devices there and I haven't checked ever how asound works but on my notebook, I only have one capture and one playback interfaces.

That (msm8998-skuk-tavil-snd-card) is a proprietary part of the kernel anyway.

asound.tar.xz

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1 hour ago, VaZso said:

However, I don't know why there are a plenty of capture / playback devices there

Indeed. I cannot use any of the standard ALSA tools like aplay for doing anything with these devices. I am testing from a rooted GNU/Linux chroot.

In contrast, if I connect a standard USB sound device, I can control it normally via ALSA. So I assume that proprietary driver is just behaving differently.

Edit: Better be careful when messing with the sound interfaces directly. I remember that, on the N900, one could break the internal speakers that way (as one was able  to bypass some software filters in the driver, I think).

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39 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

All this driver stuff should be in a different thread. Any suggestions of a good thread? Then I will move it. 🙂

I'd suggest tacking them onto this thread:

 

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1 hour ago, KingOfTerrible said:

Yes, still currently working on att for me in central NJ, USA.

That's pretty wild. I am hoping by the end of March we will see some results as to what the carriers will be allowing or not. I'm going to try to have a chat with Verizon tech department about their future plans and maybe making some changes if there's enough support. So far we have simply speculated, I'd like some hard answers. Depending on how that turns out, we'll follow up on at&t. I'm doing Verizon first because I'm a customer

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On 3/9/2022 at 12:44 AM, KingOfTerrible said:

Another week and a half and everything is still working here in NJ.

That is good news. I don't want to ask you to possibly risk your service, but would you be able to call at&t and ask them what phone they show you are using in their system? 

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1 hour ago, Fullmetaljacket223 said:

That is good news. I don't want to ask you to possibly risk your service, but would you be able to call at&t and ask them what phone they show you are using in their system? 

Mine is still working too in Boston. As for the device, there was one time when it was identified as an iphone, which made me laugh, but they know the actual device as they have the imei when you log in, it just says 'device'

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Posted (edited)

I thought you guys would like to see this. Unihertz is actually trying hard to get their services approved in US after their customers brought them their complaints. FxTec, where are you? You're going to lose customers to the other physical keyboard maker

Screenshot_20220310-091224.png

Edited by Fullmetaljacket223
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On 3/10/2022 at 12:25 PM, Fullmetaljacket223 said:

That is good news. I don't want to ask you to possibly risk your service, but would you be able to call at&t and ask them what phone they show you are using in their system? 

 

On 3/10/2022 at 1:51 PM, mv said:

Mine is still working too in Boston. As for the device, there was one time when it was identified as an iphone, which made me laugh, but they know the actual device as they have the imei when you log in, it just says 'device'

I'm not going to risk it.  I'm seeing "device" on their account management site.  I think it was showing BB Priv at one point.

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