Nexus 5 vs Nexus 5x
So, if I've got this right, for a device to have VoLTE, it appears a few things have to happen:
1 - It must have a sip capable modem. The N5 and later do.
2 - It must have radio software to activate that sip service and software in the OS to turn it on (Enhanced LTE setting in Android for instance). The N5 never got the proper radio software. The N6 and N6P does. UT doesn't have a setting to enable Enhanced LTE i.e. VoLTE (which appears to be the ps-preferred setting under radio settings in ofono in place of cs-preferred which is the old circuit switching 2g phone network).
3 - It must have band 12 or 17 for VoLTE on AT&T, band 12 for T-Mobile, band 13 for Verizon. N6 and later do. And it must be capable of transmitting and receiving full duplex on both the 3G and LTE bands at the same time. The N5 does not have a diversity antenna and cannot do this. VoLTE was activated in China on the N5 despite this because they were not as concerned with a smooth handoff, but American carriers require it.
4 - The network provider must white list the device on their Network. Verizon will only white list the N6 and the Pixels. AT&T has recently white listed any device that has service on their Network. T-Mobile allowed the N6P to access VoLTE until 2018. At which point, Verizon forced Google to update the radio software to disable VoLTE. However, on XDA-Developers there is a fix to get it back by flashing an older Android 6 radio and then upgrading back to 7.12 or later. Many posts on XDA and Reddit state that T-Mobile will let the 6P back on VoLTE after that. The radio we are using is from the time period where VoLTE was active - 7.12. So it might just be necessary to turn on packet switching preferred (LTE/UMTS auto PRL preferred network type) in this case.
Now the next question is how to add that and wifi calling to Ubuntu Touch. I miss wifi calling and VoLTE.
Flohack last edited by
@rocket2nfinity Sorry I dont think thats possible at the moment with UT...
Flohack last edited by
@rocket2nfinity Adding those things its not easy, currently next to impossible. As I said already, that code is deeply buried in the vendor binaries, we dont have any source code, and, because its not a standard communication with the modem, ti is also nowhere documented. That´s what you get with a closed ecosystem
@Flohack The plans of mice and men - according to the following article, T-Mobile has announced they will shut down their 2G and 3G network in 2021. So this VoLTE problem may be more critical.
The smaller carriers I haven't paid attention to. Some of them are likely to keep their networks as is for the foreseeable future. 5G is a big investment.
Is it possible that some of the smaller carriers may maintain their systems as is, indefinitely, allowing use of the N5 on their networks, indefinitely?
Also, an update on my UT adventures: Got another N5, installed UT with fewer hitches. Once it said "lost connection". I change USB ports, retried. It went to recovery mode on the phone and finished fine, restarted in UT fine. Previously with my first N5, I initiated recovery mode manually when connection was lost repeatedly. That completed the installation fine from there. It was a pleasure!
I noticed on my second N5, the android desktop was a little different. I suppose due to different software versions.
@jjconstr Yes, very likely the smaller carriers and other carriers around the world will leave their gsm/cdma networks on. This is just a U.S. problem with competition between the big three (lets be serious, Dish isn't really going to be up and running for a long time on their own network).
@jjconstr Curious how your other service providers worked out or are you stuck with AT&T?
stanwood last edited by
@rocket2nfinity I don't know how USA carriers do manage their network operators. In Switzerland situation is as followed:
GSM 900/1800: Being stopped (between 2020 and 2022)
CSD: Being stopped
HSCSD: Being stopped
GPRS: Being stopped
EDGE : Being stopped
UMTS: Upgrading to HSPA
Note: No shutdown nor coverage reduction is expected in the near future
LTE - Advanced: Active / deployment running
Deployment running. (3,5- 5GHZ).
Note: Some GSM 1800 cells are being upgraded in 4G sites
So 3G will continue for some years here. From my knowledge no device is banned from either network (3 operators).
I've been talking to a member on the Pinephone forum. Another candidate to replace the N5. He just confirmed that the Pinephone is running VoLTE out of the box and is already whitelisted on Verizon. He's running Debian+phosh not Ubuntu Touch, but maybe it will help in figuring out how to get it working under UT.
Will activate a Nexus 5 on consumer cellular this morning. Phones that have been on ATT typically work with them. They also have a no charge policy if not satisfied. Signal with ATT right now is 2-4 bars depending on location or inside or outside house. I suspect ATT has done some improvement to their equipment. I wasn't expecting that much.
@jjconstr Consumer Cellular uses both AT&T & T-Mobile networks. Good choice to maximize your connectivity options.
Here is a list of others that uses multiple networks:
Still haven't activated on consumer cellular. Sim card they sent turned out to be wrong. waiting for a new one. Att is working well on my other N5. Sooo nice to be free of the interferances of Android! Thanks for freeing me!
Update: Have activated on Consumer Cellular. It was equal to ATT's signal strength for a couple days. Then today, nothing worked but text. Tried calling, was on hold for 70 minutes before hanging There were negative reviews with bad signal and service. Maybe they were down.
@jjconstr put the new sim card in. No signal in house where the att sim card got service. even though Consumer Cellular uses Same towers, doesn't mean they have equipment in all the directions that ATT does. So far, ATT is the winner. Thank you guys for your input.
@jjconstr checked the N5 again that has the new Consumer Cellular sim card, Now it has signal, can't see a difference from the N5 with ATT sim card. It gives me a choice anyway. Consumer Cellular is a somewhat less money and ATT can be a pain. Maybe Ill compare in other locations before choosing. Thanks again.
@jjconstr Did you get the device unlocked? Does it register on T-Mobile's network as well as AT&T? You'll find that info in settings, cellular, APN. It should show APNs for either AT&T or T-Mobile depending on which network they put you on. I think they handle the other network with roaming but not sure. So I'm curious if you get both networks at the same time and better coverage than with just AT&T alone
@rocket2nfinity Sorry to say, when I checked Tmobile online, they said Nexus 5 was incompatible due to no VoLTE. I know of no one with TMoble here. This is a very low population area. I paid one service to send me an unlock code, but they never did. I'm not concerned about resale value because the phones are very inexpensive. Under carrier and apn, there were no carriers listed until I installed a live sim card. Then there was only the one carrier. I'll go ahead and check again on Tmobile online. Just to make sure. I could still use better service here at the house. FYI We tried a Verizon booster. It worked well for increasing the service, but the increased radiation made us sick.
@jjconstr Wow, that was fast. They weren't supposed to be stopping non-VoLTE devices on their Network until next year so I read. They are really moving on their network configuration changes!
@jjconstr Which unlock service did you use? Some of them take some time to send you the unlock code. All the ones in that article were vetted at the time.
@rocket2nfinity And we read that our leaders in washington passed a law to roll out 5G as fast as possible now were under stay at home orders.
@rocket2nfinity Im going to have to look that service up later. I have to get to bed. 15 to 4 here.