Question

Recent "update" and wifi

  • 6 July 2020
  • 6 replies
  • 275 views

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After June 29, there were a couple of small updates for my (T-Mobile locked) S8 Active that didn’t require rebooting, and they have ruined wifi functionality.  After these updates, I can’t make a wifi call that consistently lasts more than a few minutes, applications that require constant connectivity are regularly stopping, the wifi connection indicator at the stop keeps disappearing, and my router keeps showing the connection as being lost.

How do I know wifi connectivity was broken?  On June 29, I was on a wifi call for over 3 hours straight without a problem, and two other calls that were over an hour.  Since then, I have lost so many calls, and wasted so much time calling people back...

Can someone at T-Mobile tell me when this will be fixed?  One of the long-time employees at my local store has had many people with similar models experiencing the same problem, so I am pretty sure this problem is much more widespread.


6 replies

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A week later, and nothing?  Wow.  Why should I buy a flagship telephone from a carrier, just to be ignored when THEY break it? 

Man, T-mobile, I thought you were better than Verizon (because this is how they treated me with an s5).  Brand loyalty is bordering on “non-existent”.

Userlevel 4
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Ok, this may or may not be a phone problem. First it’s important to know that wifi (specifically the internet providers wifi is connected to) is under stress right now. Too many people online at once (work from home), too slow devices on YOUR wifi (everything slows to the slowest device speed), and just general lack of employees to get out there and fix it! 

Next, your phone will drop wifi and try to connect to the cell towers if your wifi cuts out (phones are designed to do this, however, they don’t always succeed). And that may be what’s happening to you because wifi calling requires a certain level of speed to work. Have you noticed any slow downs with your internet connection? These are intermittent problems and hard to chase down plus the internet providers haven’t been exceptionally responsive lately. How’s your cell connection?

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I know you think you are trying to help.  Please, read my response, and you will understand that what you said illustrates the exact reason I am the person _you_ ask for help.

The problem I mentioned with Verizon was their store goons refusing to release an S5 that I had owned for years.  In all frankness, it’s more likely they didn’t know how, because training is too expensive to do right.  Or maybe it’s too expensive to do wrong?

 

Ok, this may or may not be a phone problem.

The question is always “Hardware or software?”.

 

First it’s important to know that wifi (specifically the internet providers wifi is connected to) is under stress right now.

While this may be true in some places, it is irrelevant, because my problem is either somewhere in layer 1, or the hardware abstraction layer.

 

...too slow devices on YOUR wifi...

Don’t inject your own ideas; I have not complained about anything except that my T-Mobile telephone consistently disconnects from all wifi networks. 

 

(everything slows to the slowest device speed)

You should really do more reading about how wireless access points work, how the various manufacturers handle modulations, and queuing.  Everything does not slow to the lowest negotiated rate.  Think of it more like “no child left behind”, but we’ll call it “no radio left behind”.  A single radio that is underperforming doesn’t reduce everything to the low airtime allotted to it, but it can reduce the overall capacity by a varying margin.  This is where queuing comes in to play, and various places offer different QoS features to deal with those weak links (pun intended).

 

...and just general lack of employees to get out there and fix it!

Now you’re in dangerous territory, because this is what I do for a living, and have done since roughly 2011.  I am a field engineer for an ISP that is primarily wireless (AKA WISP).  I have a CCNA, UCWA, Mikrotik CNA, Cambium wireless certification, and a Security+ to boot.  In a typical week, I handle more equipment that communicates predominantly with radio waves than most people will touch in a year, including cellular telephones.

 

Next, your phone will drop wifi and try to connect to the cell towers if your wifi cuts out...

It will not, if the cellular network has been disabled.

 

(phones are designed to do this, however, they don’t always succeed)

The software, firmware, and drivers make this happen when the appropriate configuration/s exist/s.

 

And that may be what’s happening to you because wifi calling requires a certain level of speed to work.

I am pretty sure you don’t realize how little bandwidth a call actually requires, and you completely ignore my point about spending multiple hours on a few of different calls just a couple of days before.  Since then, I am fortunate to reach 4 minutes on a call.

 

These are intermittent problems and hard to chase down...

No, this is pretty cut, and dried.  I just haven’t bothered using kismet or wireshark to find the exact packet/s responsible.

 

...plus the internet providers haven’t been exceptionally responsive lately.

Please, don’t make blanket statements about which you know nearly nothing.

 

How’s your cell connection?

It’s pretty bad at home, which is why I was using my internet connection!

Userlevel 4
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Well, I’m happy to hear you understand the problem so well. Most of what I learn is from my kids who are all M.S. & Ph.D’s in engineering except for the M.D. They seem to have an overall need to teach their (dumb) mom everything about every question I ask, requiring an in depth lecture about programming in C++, Python, etc. and don’t get me started on the MATH! (Most of it goes right over my head, but some does stick around for a while.) Of course, I could not tell from your question how well versed you are in the issue and I’m not sure what you expect from a users forum.

However, you could try using Smartswitch and your computer to reinstall the updates and see if that helps. Also, perhaps, Samsung could help on their website. Have you tried restarting into Safe Mode just to be sure nothing nefarious is going on?

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I’m not claiming to fully understand the problem, which is why I’m here.  And, quite frankly, a user forum is likely to have a far greater chance of providing a solution because of people like you, and me.  Heck, when you have a problem with whatever your favorite flavor of Linux, users are your only support… unless you pay a Redhat license (maybe even Canonical offers something now).

Either I’m not using Smart Switch correctly, found something other than what you are referencing, or it only works to transfer data between an old telephone, and a new one.  :-/

Userlevel 4
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If you use Linux, you’re in the same boat I’m in (PLEASE push Samsung to publish a Linux version of Smartswitch...I have tried for months!). However, if you have access to a Windows or Mac machine, Samsung publishes a computer program - Smartswitch - that has more functionality than their Android app by the same name. Reinstalling the updates is available. :wink:

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