My wife and I both ordered refurbished Galaxy S9’s last summer. With at&t’s recent 3g shutdown we lost the ability to make calls. Text and data still work. It seems that lack of VoLTE support in the e OS is the limiting factor at this time.
Does anyone know of a solution or if VoLTE support will be added in an update soon?
myself and a few other T-Mobile customers dealt with variations of this issue last year. unfortunately there wasn’t a whole lot of solutions that you’ll consider helpful.
It seems that there’s something about the way that VoLTE works on Samsung devices that make it hard for the /e/ team to add in that functionality. I had heard that you could enable WiFi calling via the phone settings as a workaround if you utilized AT&T, but I’m guessing that doesn’t actually work given your post.
My advice (which sucks but it’s what worked for me), would be to find a compatible OnePlus phone that suits your needs, and then sell the S9’s on eBay to try to recoup your losses. OPs are relatively easy to unlock, flash, and return to stock if necessary.
We’re having the same experience with our LG V20 phones. My wife had been using e OS on the AT&T network for three weeks, and I was using mine for a week. We were both able to send and receive calls before and after the shutdown Feb 22. On Feb 28 we were unable to send or receive calls. We’ve changed our preferred network type, APN, and tried several soft and hard reboots but nothing seems to work.
Our network is sending us new sim cards this week. If they still don’t work, we’ll have to consider new phones or a new carrier. What phones and carriers are working for you?
Hello, adding my comment to the pile because I have the same issue. I purchased the Galaxy S9 directly from the e/ store last year (model SM-G960F), got it working with RedPocket on the AT&T network, and have been fine until the 3G shutdown. I can still send/receive texts and access mobile data, but calls do not work. I have “LTE (recommended)” checked as my preferred network type, the same as in the picture @Rob2 posted.
I’d rather not sell the phone and try to recoup losses. If anyone figures out how to make calls again, please share your wisdom!
I am using T-Mobile’s network through Mint Mobile. You can port your active number and it’s dirt cheap with highly rated customer service. At&t is apparently trying to force their customers into buying new phones.
These international Samsungs don’t get VoLTE with any U.S. network, due to:
their internal hardware which is different from North America Samsungs and identifies as incompatible, i.e. non-certified for a particular U.S. network’s VoLTE; their exact model number + suffix is also different from the North American variant.
Samsung’s proprietary IMS/VoLTE implementation which no custom ROM can integrate (or so I’ve read).
Even U.S. variants of Samsung apparently can’t get VoLTE once a custom ROM is installed (unless something changes). Other OEMs don’t have this problem.
Any carrier can tell if a phone has or has not been certified by the OEM specifically to carry Voice over LTE on their network, just by the IMEI, which is visible to their systems; if not, then they will disallow it in countries like the U.S., where VoLTE is now a hard requirement. It would probably introduce a legal liability (inability to call emergency services) to them if they allowed a non-compatible phone on the network once all the 3G is shut down, and eventually 2G.
If a particular device has been tested and certified to use a particular network’s VoLTE, then a setting such as “Enable voice over LTE” or “Enable 4G calling” or “Use VoLTE,” etc., will appear in the menu when that network’s SIM is inserted. (Not to be confused with LTE data, which is not specifically referring to making phone calls.)
Thanks @Taurus for the explanation. I wonder if T-Mobile hasn’t dropped their 3G yet, which is why it is still working for @Rob2 but probably won’t last for much longer. If international versions of Samsung won’t work at all, then it sounds like we need to buy a different phone at this point.
I know e doesn’t have control over what carriers do, it just is a bummer I only got a year of use out of my phone and now it’s obsolete. I see now they don’t even sell the S9 anymore on the US version of the e store, just the Murena Teracube 2e.
I hope we get more compatible phones in the US this year. I had an S9 for a while and it worked ok on Ting (T-mobile) but no VoLTE. I’m now using a Moto G7 Plus ‘Revvlry+’ which is a slight downgrade but after owning several Motos in the past, I really like the gesture app launch. And it does VoLTE. Impossible to find a proper case for.
T-mobile is officially shutting down their 3G network on July 1, 2022, but I think they’ve been doing some local/regional tower changes over the last year. Before I switched phones last year, my non-VoLTE-on-Tmobile phone was already having issues with non-connecting phone calls. Once I got a VoLTE-capable phone, the issues were resolved.
As for the Samsungs, I think the best bet is to resell them here in the forum or on eBay. Some countries are keeping 3G for a while longer, so the lack of VoLTE isn’t an issue yet for them. I think the secondary market for custom ROM devices is probably strong, because many people would prefer not to learn how to install ROMs themselves.
Then buy something else, either pre-installed from /e/, or one that’s easy to unlock and flash yourself (that is known to have VoLTE on your carrier and has an /e/ build available).
Theoretically, you could get reliable calling on the Samsung by subscribing to a cheap VOIP plan, then add it to the mobile via the SIP dialer (built in to the phone dialer). But the U.S. carriers will probably disallow your phone anyway, since they know it’s not VoLTE-capable. And they generally won’t allow a data-only plan on a mobile phone.
VOIP over Wi-Fi (only) is often an overlooked option for those that may be looking for a second/“new” life for non-VOLTE devices and who are surrounded by Wi-Fi on a typical day. I am currently doing this with my Samsung S6 and S9 devices. Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that this strategy is viable as a daily-driver but rather as an alternative “tool in the toolbox”.
Also, installing Session on these devices is also a good option and may be considered for private texting, as the app does not rely upon a telephone number for registration.
You could extend functionality to the mobile network, too, if only you could add a data-only SIM, but that likely has to be some kind of international travel SIM that could bypass U.S. networks’ device restrictions.
Or use the phone with a mobile hotspot that has its own SIM card.
Another idea: dedicated navigation device/music player in the car. No mobile network required.
No. With a VoLTE phone, all calls are carried as “voice over LTE,” aka 4G Long Term Evolution. That essentially means voice over the internet (i.e. data) instead of voice over the mobile telephony network.
So you’re set, if your OEM has certified your model for VoLTE with your chosen carrier.