1. STV0726's Avatar
    Getting to Know & Adjusting Your Mobile Network Options

    One of the things I have always loved about BlackBerry since its legacy OS days is the flexibility it affords users in adjusting their mobile network options. As more and more network advancements and protocols have come out, handsets have become installed with more and more radio technologies. While these technologies are built into the hardware of phones, many consumers are not aware of what these technologies are outside of how their carrier markets them.

    First off, to access your mobile network options on BlackBerry 10, go ahead and swipe down from the top of the home screen to bring down the quick settings menu. Next, click Settings, and then click the setting entry near the top entitled Network and Connections. Lastly, select Mobile Network.

    You are now presented with the mobile network options screen. It is important to take note up front that the amount of options and granularity you are afforded here may be intentionally limited by your carrier. With BlackBerry 10, inserting a SIM card and being registered with one carrier versus another will nearly instantly modify this setting page with terminology that your carrier uses, along with providing only options which that carrier wants you to have access to. That being said, however, many carriers do not limit these settings. In the USA, T-Mobile is known to not limit these settings, and this is the carrier that provides my service.

    Getting to Know & Adjusting Your Mobile Network Options-mobile-network-optimal-settings-updated-.png

    First off, the three options you should always have access to regardless of carrier are Mobile Network On/Off, Data Services On/Off, and Data Services While Roaming On/Prompt/Off. The first of the latter is self-explanatory--you can toggle your connection to the mobile network on and off. Toggling data services on and off will allow you to shut off the connection to data services specifically (aka the Internet stuff on your phone) while keeping the core cell phone communication capabilities (calls and SMS texting) still active.

    I prefer and highly recommend the Prompt option for data services while roaming. This does NOT mean that it will ask you once then switch to whatever you choose that time--rather, it will prompt you every time on a case-by-case basis, which I like. This is useful if your carrier doesn't cover data while roaming, or if your carrier, like mine, allots you only a fixed amount of data to use on another mobile network.

    Getting to Know & Adjusting Your Mobile Network Options-network-roaming-prompt.png

    Secondly, the Network Mode drop-down options lets you choose what network technologies/protocols you want your device to connect to as they are available. This is where carrier terminology and limitations come in to play. With some carriers, you will not get these options at all, and with others, different combinations of options will be available. For me on T-Mobile US, these are my options:

    • 4G LTE & 4G/3G & 2G: This will set my device to prefer Long Term Evolution (LTE), then HSPA+/HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), and then EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for the GSM Evolution)/GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)/GSM (Global System Mobile).
    • 4G LTE & 4G/3G: This will set my device to prefer Long Term Evolution (LTE), then HSPA+/HSPA (High Speed Packet Access).
    • 4G & 3G & 2G: This will set my device to prefer HSPA+/HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) and then EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for the GSM Evolution)/GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)/GSM (Global System Mobile).
    • 4G & 3G: This will set my device to only connect using HSPA+/HSPA (High Speed Packet Access).
    • 2G: This will set my device to only connect using EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for the GSM Evolution)/GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)/GSM (Global System Mobile).

    One thing you should notice is that there is no option to only connect using LTE. This is because T-Mobile does not want you doing this since forcing that high-end of a connection full-time would eat through battery too quickly. Additionally, allowing the device to only search for that type of connection would deplete energy reserves fast simply because--let's face it--there are LTE coverage gaps for ANY carrier. If you are looking for a good way to save some battery power and don't need a super-fast connection, I recommend switching to the 4G & 3G & 2G option for a good middle ground.

    Thirdly, the final setting you may have access to is Network Selection Mode, and your choices are Automatic/Manual. Usually, if not always, it is best to leave this set to Automatic. However, it is fun to play around with Manual on occasion to determine what other competitor networks and other network technologies from your carrier are in range. In addition, in rare circumstances, it may be useful to manually select one network over another to attempt to force a specific connection if you live in an area where there are two towers that your device switches (or "hands off") between too often.

    I ran a scan in the upstairs of my house and picked up an interesting result--some time after T-Mobile US acquired MetroPCS, their LTE network was in range but I still could not use it. Darn! (Of course now, present day, T-Mobile has full LTE coverage in my area.)

    Getting to Know & Adjusting Your Mobile Network Options-manual-network-scan-example-results.png
    So there you have it, folks! I sincerely hope you have learned about the full range of mobile network options you may have on your BlackBerry 10 device. Be sure to sound off in the comments below on what settings you prefer to use, or if you've never even touched these settings before!
    Last edited by STV0726; 06-17-14 at 02:33 PM.
    Bla1ze, Ben1232, pkcable and 1 others like this.
    06-17-14 02:20 PM
  2. Ben1232's Avatar
    Nice post STV

    I have just got back from a place of poor signal so I used 3G/2G mainly. I did fettle with 3G only - to see if that helped me but it didn't. I just had to live with very poor signal for the time that I was there (over a week).

    At home I use the 4G/3G setting but if I know it's going to be an extra long day I drop it to 3G/2G on my Z30.

    Now that I'm home I'm going to lap up as much 4G action as I can.

    Posted from my Z30 via CB10
    06-17-14 03:34 PM
  3. STV0726's Avatar
    06-18-14 01:20 PM
  4. STV0726's Avatar
    Hi CB editors,

    Do you think we could run this piece now? It would make good weekend/off-peak content. Got a bit delayed in my DOOM article but that should be done tomorrow.

    06-21-14 01:06 PM
  5. riss89's Avatar
    So is it safe to say that if our mobile networks settings doesn't give the option to change network mode, then we can only use whatever is available? I just switched to AT&T and I'm guessing all that's available is 4G LTE only

    ?keystroke queen?
    08-07-14 01:24 PM
  6. STV0726's Avatar
    Yep. Big blue and red lock these settings down.

    -STV on Z10STL100-3/ TMO US
    08-07-14 02:07 PM
  7. riss89's Avatar
    Yep. Big blue and red lock these settings down.

    -STV on Z10STL100-3/ TMO US
    Is there any way to unlock them?

    ?keystroke queen?
    08-07-14 03:20 PM
  8. STV0726's Avatar

    -STV on Z10STL100-3/ TMO US
    08-07-14 06:33 PM
  9. Jamaa's Avatar
    Good information in this thread. Thanks to OP, it helped me understand the various functions in this area of the settings.


    Posted via CB10
    09-30-18 06:22 PM

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