15-05-2018 04:54 AM - edited 15-05-2018 04:54 AM
Please bare with me as I attempt to explain my issue here...
I am on EE, on a SIM only contract. I got my contract in around November 2017.
I have a Galaxy S7 which I got from Vodafone and I have been trying to find a solution to my VoLTE issues but I cant. I have been trying to find out why for a long time, and finally after going in to a Samsung store, and speaking at length with one of thier representatives, I finnally pinned down my problem.
My phone has firmware/software from Vodafone on it, and therefore makes it unable to use EE's VoLTE ("LTE") service. This in my opinion is effectively holding me hostage on a phone that works on everything else, except VoLTE and WiFi calling. If I want to get a phone, a Galaxy S7 that will work on LTE, I would have to pay the better part of £750 for an EE branded phone. This is ludicrous, and absolutely absurd and I certainly will not be doing this. For one, I cannot afford that in one go, nor can I afford a £55/month contract for this. I have a phone, I just have Vodafones "hold me hostage" software on it.
This may be a bit extreme, but I have a valid reason that I will not disclose publically on this board, but EE know about it all.
What I am asking, is if there is a way to get rid of Vodafone's junk and install or update my phone to an unbranded/compatible version so I can use EE's LTE service. It is frustrating for me knowing that I cant when I know it is avaliable. Can anyone suggest anything that might help?
15-05-2018 07:21 PM
@ThomasD you can flash EE firmware onto it. There are guides on how to do this online but you may lose data and/or you may brick your phone.
15-05-2018 10:08 PM
The fact that I could "brick" my phone is why I am not prepared to flash it with EE's firmware, even though that could solve my issues once and for all.
I spent much of today, at least a few hours, and most of yesterday trying to get a solution to this in store, and on the phone today. What Vodafone have effectively done is purposely prevent me from using EE's network to it's full potential, and to be honest, I am sure that this is unlawful. I don't think it is far to effectively force me to pay out for a new identical phone on which I can use EE's network to it's full potential.
There has to be a simpler more effective solution that does not cost me a small fortune!
15-05-2018 10:12 PM
@ThomasD The only way is to get a device that works without being a network branded device. That means purchasing the device outright or purchasing a device from a 3rd party seller like the carphone warehouse.
15-05-2018 10:23 PM - edited 15-05-2018 10:32 PM
@Chris_B The only issue is that once again, the price on the phone for SIM free is £400!
I dont have £400 laying about! Do you? LINK
I said in my previous reply that I did not want to pay again though the snout for another identical phone just to be able to use EE's network to it's full potential. It is not fair!
I do have a question though, if I did get a SIM free version, not a network branded brick, could I potentially insert an American SIM card in it and use that if I went to the U.S in 2020? I need to know this as if I cant it will be of no use to me since when I go abroad, what I do in the USA is chase tornadoes (storm chaser here), I would need to know if I did if it would work with say an AT&T SIM card. Martin Lewis does after all reccomend that Brits get local SIM cards if they have to have access to a phone while abroad, as I do to access weather radar and all that. It would be very helpful to know this detail, as I can make a more informed decision then. I can trade in my current phone and get around £150 - £200 at Carphone Warehouse as it is in MINT condition, no scratches or damage, which brings my shell out to £200 for a brand new, unlocked SIM free phone. Thats a better deal I think. Anyone agree?
15-05-2018 10:52 PM
Officially the S7 has to be EE branded to get VoLTE. Not sure if they Oreo update has baked in the VoLTE settings on SIM free phones.
16-05-2018 12:13 AM
Vodafone are not holding you hostage and there are no laws being broken.
You bought a device from them which has their firmware.
They have unlocked the device on request
(If they didn't then that would be holding you hostage and unlawful)
You need EE firmware for VoLTE on the S7.
This is doable and I have done so many times.
If I buy network firmware phones I always flash the unbranded version.
EE or Samsung are unable to just update your device to another networks firmware.
I am afraid you will have to keep as is or flash the phone yourself.
16-05-2018 01:18 AM
So what about using an unbranded phone, it cant be impossible can it?
This is incredibly frustrating, people on here saying you cant do that, only this almost as though all of you actually want me to spend £750 on an EE phone!
16-05-2018 10:57 AM
@ThomasD The official answer from EE is that for the phone you have, you need to have EE firmware on it, just like Vodafone have their own firmware when you buy a phone from them. They cannot suggest anything else apart from buying a phone from EE or a sim-free one that does support it out of the box.
The unofficial answer is to just flash the software yourself, and there's no extra cost. There are plenty of guides online, videos of how to flash it, and other forum with many helpful users who can assist with advice and help if things do go wrong.
21-05-2018 03:02 AM
My question is this:
If I was to get a phone that is not network specific, will I be able to get VoLTE and/or WiFi calling or one of them (preferably of course VoLTE).
21-05-2018 04:56 AM
That depends on the device.
The galaxy s8 plus yes.
22-05-2018 12:34 PM
I did notice that there is supposed to be an update to 8.0 "Oreo" for the S7, but it has not been released yet, any ideas when that will be? If soon then I will wait until it is released and see if this resolves my VoLTE issues.
22-05-2018 04:12 PM
26-05-2018 12:22 PM
This is an issue that gets me really annoyed and all UK networks (and elsewhere!) are equally guilty of doctoring Android firmware to stop critical functions being used by other networks ie an EE customer has to use an EE supplied Android handset to enable things like VoLTE.
Despite the cautionary note of ‘bricking’ your phone, I did in fact ‘flash’ my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 which worked perfectly.
The semi official SAM MOBILE can point you in the right direction.
Flashing your handset to get EE functionality is the only realistic way to do this.
Apple users don’t suffer this particular issue.
26-05-2018 12:28 PM
This is an issue which greatly annoys me but EE are no more and no less guilty than any other UK Network.
Sadly, flashing your handset is the only realistic way to get essential functionality (VoLTE is essential IMHO!) . And despite the cautionary note about ‘bricking’ your handset, I did in fact flash my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 via SAM MOBILE and encountered no problems.
26-05-2018 01:49 PM
@Peterkin262 Newer android devices don’t need EE firmware on them to have WiFi calling as the feature is built in to the device to be compatible with the service and Apple doesn’t allow networks to install any firmware on a iPhone and if a network wants to sell the iPhone that have to agree to this.
26-05-2018 03:32 PM
Yes Chris I remember the iPhone coming to Orange a few years back. Orange wanted to ‘customise’ all their iPhone stock but Apple told them to piss off..
I will be glad when Google takes back control of all features and ban this customisation malarkey for good.
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