[Announced replacement] Sprint Galaxy S10 still facing permanent voice/data loss need to be RMA’d

NOTICE: We’ve created an archive of all major developments related to the Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup. We are continuously updating that page with latest S10e/S10/S10+ news so that you don’t need to search for information related to the device on daily basis. Head here to access that page.

There are new updates that have been added to the bottom of the story…

The cellular service providers in the USA are playing a pivotal role of controlling the business of smartphones. Dubbed as the ‘big four’, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint hold the lion’s share in terms of customer base.

While AT&T and T-Mobile networks are based on GSM (like Europe and Asia, although some networks bands are different), the other two built their infrastructure on CDMA tech.

Verizon is phasing out the CDMA layer in favour of gigabit LTE, aiming at a 2020 date to completely turn off the old network. With or without the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, the latter will continue to support CDMA, at least till 2021.

Marcelo Claure is the Executive Chairman at Sprint.

Because of this diverse usage of cellular technologies, the US variants of Samsung Galaxy S10 ship with Qualcomm based cellular modem, which can support both GSM and CDMA based networks. Depending on carrier, the appropriate mode is being used.

Believe me, things are overly complicated in the USA.

Dealing with multiple network modes is not a easy task. Perhaps that’s the reason behind Sprint Galaxy S10 data / LTE connectivity issues since the beginning of the release of Samsung’s 2019 flagship.

s10+ sprint terrible network service. from galaxys10

A reddit user (u/corys00) with a flair ‘Verified Strategic Accounts Manager – Corporate’ posted that they were already aware of the issue. A new maintenance update should be pushed by Sprint on March 27 to fix the glitches.

As mentioned a MR is tentatively scheduled to be pushed out on the 27th. If after that MR is pushed and you’ve updated, if your device still does not have data connectivity, the resolution is exchanging the device. This information is as of yesterday, so who knows what has changed since then

(Source)

Frustrated end users discovered some workarounds (like disabling band 41), while Sprint officially acknowledged the issue by posting a KB thread in their forum.

s10_sprint_bug_kb

Solution

Please ensure basic device troubleshooting steps are completed including but not limited to PRL update, Profile Update, Software update, Power cycle, and factory data resets. If resolution is not found, then a ticket should be opened through customer care for further network investigation.

If the troubleshooting efforts result in the device reacquring LTE then it does not need to be exchanged.

Device exchanges and SIM swaps should only be considered after basic troubleshooting and ticket creation has been completed and LTE has not bee reacquired.

The issue will be resolved with an upcoming software release.

TBH, that was not something we should call a proper solution.

A new update was eventually pushed by Sprint and Samsung. Carrying the build number of ASC8, the OTA update brought March security patches and typical “device stability improvements and bug fixes”.

s10_asc8_march_ota_us_sprint

However, there was no official announcement about the update. In fact, the same build was pushed to global Exynos models, but pulled back and replaced with a new build (ASCA) for undisclosed reasons.

The situation became messy, as the customers were still facing network issues – even after upgrading to the new build.

I did the update and my phone is still unusable. Had to go back to my s8 again. How did you get them to exchange it? Customer service, the store, and asurion keep giving me the run around and noone will swap it.

(Source)

In fact, a number of users commented on our article about the bug and mentioned that the update was not helpful for resolving the issues.

Update did not fix the issue for me. Had to go back to disabling band 41

The update did NOT fix my data issues. In fact, it made them worse. Phone was “mostly” working prior to, not I can’t get any LTE signal.

The lack of official information actually helped people to spread rumors:

Fortunately, Sprint has shared a new knowledge base article in their community forum a few hours ago.

s10_sprint_asc8_rma_kb

First of all, they have actually confirmed that build ASC8 is the network fix.

If the device is experiencing intermittent Voice/Data loss, ensure the phone has been updated to Software Version ASC8. This should alleviate the issue.

On the other hand, they have admitted the chance of potential hardware faults in some units.

If the device just stays in permanent Voice and/or Data loss, updating the software will not help. There is no troubleshooting workaround to fix this.

If you have a device that is in permanent Voice/Data loss, you will need to exchange the device per normal policies.

Affected users need to be on ASC8 build before going for RMA.

For users who exchange devices, please check to be sure that the new handset is updated to the most recent Software (ASC8) and data is working prior to leaving the store.

An official statement is certainly helpful to clear up the confusions. Paying a thousand bucks for a phone that can not get proper data connection is utterly meaningless. Hopefully Sprint customers will get replacement of their faulty phones ASAP.

Update 1 (April 15)

Late last week Sprint confirmed a new update will be pushed out on April 16. This update is aimed at solving intermittent voice or data issues. Here’s the exact words from the carrier:

4/12/2019 UPDATE: As always, Sprint and Samsung continue to closely monitor concerns about intermittent or total loss of voice or data with the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e handsets. There will be a software release available on Tuesday, April 16th that will prevent the device from experiencing intermittent voice or data. Please update your device as soon as this release becomes available.

This notice has been posted here.

Update 2 (April 16)

As per previously announced schedule, Sprint is currently rolling out a new update for Samsung Galaxy S10+ to fix LTE issues. It also brings April 2019 security patches.

s10_sprint_asd5_lte_april_ota

Update 3 (April 17)

Sprint users are still facing the network glitches, even after upgrading to the build.

s10_sprint_asd5_data_issue

Read this article for further details.

Update 4 (April 19)

Sprint has officially announced to replace the Galaxy S10 units having LTE/data connection issues.

s10_sprint_asd5_kb

Meanwhile they pulled back the Android Pie update Galaxy Note 8 for similar bugs. Details here.

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Kingshuk De

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.