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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How To: Force Blackberry to EDGE Network on AT&T instead of 3G

Sick of your AT&T Blackberry dropping calls on the 3G network?

Sick of having full bars on your AT&T yet data will not download?

Sick of your battery draining because the service switches between GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and 3G frequently because of poor 3G coverage?

Tired of poor connections and phone call quality on the AT&T 3G network?

Wish you could go back to the EDGE 2G network permanently?

Well, now you can. But first, do you want to?

From my point of view, I have been longing to return to the AT&T EDGE network for months. While AT&T may cover over 200 million people according to their latest releases, the quality of that coverage is terrible in most areas. Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and the Silicon Valley just to name a few. That's why I really laugh when I see the commercials. It seems that AT&T has forgotten that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to 3G coverage.

And unfortunately, for me -- changing providers is not an option. I won't got into the particulars, it is just not an option. So, that leaves me with the desire to force my Blackberry Bold 9000 back to the EDGE 2G network, so that it would hopefully revert to the old performance.

The good news is that if you have a Blackberry 3G device like the Blackberry Bold 9000, 9700, the Curve, or the Tour on the AT&T network, there is now a way that you can by a simply changing a configuration on your device. It really is that simple.

But, it has not always been that way. When I first started looking into this 6 months ago, the device did not support a network mode or preference. In fact, there are number postings (like this one) where AT&T originally removed this option from the Blackberry software for the AT&T specific devices. Whether it was intentional to force people on the 3G network or an oversight, no one knows.

However, over time...the demand for the ability to have a better choice in choosing network due to customers that were on the fringe of coverage as well as recommendations from AT&T techs put AT&T in a tough position. In recent software updates, they have re-enabled that feature.

So, if you are not seeing the screens below in your Blackberry you may not have an updated version of the Blackberry Device Software. The current version on my Blackberry Bold 9000 that has the feature is v4.6.0.297 (Platform 4.0.0.247) by looking at Settings --> Options --> About. If you do not have the most current version, there are two ways to get to it.

1. Go to the Blackberry website and download the latest version of you Blackberry Device Software. The link is here.

2. You can also update the software on your Blackberry by using the Blackberry Desktop Manager, if you have the latest software. If you do not, go to this link to download it.

If you have any difficulties with either process, please leave a comment a the bottom of the post. If people are struggling with doing this, I will go ahead and put together a post on how to do it.

Now for the moment you have been waiting for. Here is how you can force your AT&T Blackberry to be on the EDGE 2G network rather than the poor performing 3G network:

1. On your Blackberry navigate to Settings --> Options and then scroll down to Mobile Network. Click on the Mobile Network.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: On your Blackberry navigate to Settings, Options and then scroll down to Mobile Network.  Click on the Mobile Network.

2. Here is the data services screen. Scroll down to the 3G & 2G Setting.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: Here is the data services screen.  Scroll down to the 3G & 2G Setting.
3. Click on the 3G & 2G settings and scroll up and select the 2G setting.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: Click on the 3G 2G settings and scroll up and select the 2G setting.
4. You'll notice the the EDGE / 3G network is no longer in the upper right hand corner as the device reconnect to only a 2G AT&T Network.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: You'll notice the the EDGE / 3G network is no longer in the upper right hand corner as the device reconnect to only a 2G AT&T Network.
5. 30 seconds later, you'll now be on the more reliable AT&T EDGE 2G network and no longer experience the pains of AT&T's poor performance on the 3G network.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: 30 seconds later, you'll now be on the more reliable AT&T EDGE 2G network and no longer experience the pains of AT&T's poor performance on the 3G network.
Congratulations, you're done. Did this work for you? If so, leave a comment below to let others know!

2 comments:

Raju Vusirikala said...

Thanks for putting together this article. I am in the same boat as you and will try your solution. See if it is any better..

sammyj489 said...

i was so excited to try this but the device software updates on blackberry.com are only for PC and i have a mac. . .