Mint Mobile on /e/ vs Stock Android

I’m not sure if this is the right place to bring attention to it, but I have noticed some pretty stark differences between how Mint Mobile (a T-Mobile MVNO) operates on a device running /e/ (specifically the pre installed S9 and S9+) vs one running stock Android.

I’ve posted a few different topics and comments on the subject, but I’ve had a problem over the past few weeks where the Mint Mobile network “goes to sleep” and can’t receive calls or texts until I call or text someone, at which point I get a cascade of text messages - more info here.
For troubleshooting purposes, I purchased a OnePlus N10 5G and have been using it as my daily driver for the past few days (while doing my best to protect privacy and running ProtonVPN to block ads/malware/trackers). I have not experienced these issues since, I assume because WiFi calling and texting is functional. However, I’ve also noticed that in the top left of the screen, “Mint” is displayed as the carrier, while on an /e/ device, it is displayed as “T-Mobile,” (technically true, but odd). I’m wondering if there’s something that makes /e/ not play nice with Mint, hence why it could be more susceptible to “going to sleep.”

I’m happy to try to provide whatever info I can to try to get /e/ and Mint playing well with each other, as I think it’s a good combo and would prefer to use a privacy focused device.

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

Lack of VoWiFi and VoLTE support? Its like the modem hibernates and can’t be woken until the user manually wakes it up because of this (data packets don’t wake modem)? This is an OS issue I believe, no? I have family with similar activity on TMob directly.

This thread may be of help. To my knowledge VoLTE and VoWiFi still are not supported in /e/OS for the S9 or S9+, correct me if I am wrong.

I think it’s a combination of things. Certainly similar circumstances have been described by other Mint customers, but I don’t know how recent they are. I think the issue would be mitigated (not necessarily fixed) if there was VoLTE, which as you said, is an OS issue (one I hope progress can be made on). Only reason I started the thread is because I notice my stock phone treats my Mint Mobile SIM as a Mint SIM, while /e/ devices seem to think it’s a T-Mobile SIM, and also does not allow for WiFi Calling from the SIM options as I’ve heard happens on some other networks.
Just trying to provide all the information we can so /e/ can be as good as it can be.

1 Like

Just curious…
Do the APN parameters set by the OS match the ones that Mint Mobile officially uses?
https://www.mintmobile.com/setup/android/

1 Like

I should add that mine shows “AT&T” instead of “Red Pocket,” but as far as I can tell, I’m not having similar problems. I haven’t checked to see if the APN settings are different from the usual.

AT&T is also not dependent on VoLTE yet.

Edit: I just checked my APN settings and they match Red Pocket’s published ones, with the exception of the APN field: “PRODATA” vice “ERESELLER.” The MMSC and MMS proxy contain “att.net” in the fields, which is probably why I see “AT&T” on the home screen.

1 Like

I did create an APN matching Mint’s recommended settings on my S9+, but it did not seem to help the issues

1 Like

Ah, well that makes me feel a bit better but unfortunately means that /e/'s confusion is likely not the source of my problem

1 Like

A few months ago I wanted to test Mint Mobile on my VoLTE-enabled phone. Once I entered my address info, I got a pop-up saying my address could not be served.

T-mobile, on the other hand, had no problem activating my device at my address, even though we’re talking about the same network.

I ended up with Red Pocket’s AT&T service in the end.

1 Like

The very last comment was 2 months ago and looks like there are eyes on this. I believe this likely is happening due to lack of Vo LTE/WiFi.

Edit: I have confirmation from family this same “hibernation” issue is happening when at home on WiFi after the screen goes to sleep. Calls/texts don’t come through till they wake the phone and turn off the WiFi leaving the TMobile network data connection as the only pipe. It is also happening with WiFi disconnected and only connected to network WAN data. 5 or so minutes after the phone screen goes off texts and calls do not come through. Calls go straight to voicemail and multiple texts come in after the phone screen is manually turned on (ie the phone and it’s modem are woken up out of sleep/hibernation). This makes the S9+ (star2lte) unusable for daily use. :worried:

1 Like

Odd. I’ve got no issue with Mint aside from this “hibernation” thing. I feel like the second /E/ gets VoLTE it’ll become a non issue but until then I still gotta go this way

2 Likes

Fingers crossed this is nipped sooner rather than later. I really think this is the issue as well.

EDIT: I feel your pain on this @HellsBells, this is frustrating and I wish it were resolved. From what I am reading it has been an issue for 12+ months :worried:

1 Like

Agree. I very much want to stop Google and the big tech companies from data mining me, but at minimum I need a working phone with a good camera and the ability to store all my music. Right now an S9 running /e/ only succeeds at 2 of those.

1 Like

Something I am mulling in my mind in the meantime. Couldn’t we use an alternative to G#!*le Voice and forward calls from our cell plan to the VoIP app they provide. Couple that solution with SMS/MMS (or Signal, haven’t tried this but it uses microG for alerts so it might work).

I’m wondering if this would work? Anyone know of a good FOSS alternative to G#!*gle Voice?

I believe this same VoLTE lag impacts starlte and crownlte both of which deserve to be used to their potential. This is just another example of why we need to move away from Samsung hardware.:point_down:

:point_down:

"* IMS services (VoLTE, VoWiFi, etc). Samsung has their own proprietary implementation. It is not really possible to easily port that to LineageOS."

My carrier seems to prohibit: “call forwarding for extended periods of time” according to the T&C - Red Pocket Mobile Terms and conditions
I also wonder if call forwarding happens en route as a network switch, or if the call first has to ring through to the phone, after which the phone handles forwarding…? (I don’t know.) If so, this would be a problem if the phone is not receiving the call in the first place.
Also, Signal can’t forward SMS/MMS if the phone isn’t able to first receive them, unfortunately. It would still work for Signal-to-Signal, of course.

1 Like

This (TextNow) is not FOSS, but it looks like it might be a suitable replacement for voice and text. It works over WiFi through an app, or you can use their new SIM card for service everywhere (which would obviate the need for your current carrier): How It Works | SIM Activation Kit | Data Plans

Edit: I think the app can also handle calls & texts over the cellular data network, too, without needing WiFi.
See: TextNow In 2021: What You Need To Know - BestMVNO

1 Like

:point_up_2: Got it. But if you set Signal to default SMS/MMS would it not just continue at number A (phone carrier)? While calls still get forwarded to number B (issued by VoIP operator)?

This could be a problem👇. I wonder how TMob handles it?

Gonna check this out. Thanks @Taurus

1 Like

Yes, if the SMS/MMS are getting through to number A.

Or would SMS/MMS get forwarded according to your forwarding settings, like the phone calls…?

Actually, I don’t think Signal has forwarding capability anyway. That would be inconsistent with encrypted messaging.

If the sender isn’t using Signal the text is unencrypted like standard plain text SMS I believe.

The cleanest solution would be to use a G.Voice alternative for calls and plain text messaging. Port my Tmob number to this service and take a native number from Tmob and not give it out.

Or… Get VoLTE functioning on these phones :rofl: (I know easier said than done. :point_down:)

If anyone out there has a tried and true alternative to G.Voice please share. (FOSS preferred of course)

1 Like