Question

Voice on Nokia 225 no longer working.

  • 17 November 2022
  • 30 replies
  • 1968 views

Badge

Hello, 

 

Does anyone know if TMobile has done an update to the voice networks that would render the Nokia 225 to longer make calls?  It was working fine and then a couple weeks ago it stopped working.  I can make and receive sms still, which is odd. I thought it might just be an issue with setting so I did a factory reset but the issue still persists.  I put my sim in a another phone which worked for voice calls.  

With these steps I figure it must just be the Nokia.  Since it's a dumbphone and doesn't cost a lot, I ordered another one.  The same issue is also happening on the new I got. 

 

Does anyone have an idea on what the issue might be that is causing these devices to no longer work?


30 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Not being a T-Mobile sold device.  It probably does not support the stock implementation of VoLTE that T-Mobile uses and can no longer fall back to 3G to make a call.  VoLTE is required to make calls now after the 3G network shutdown.  If your device does have a VoLTE setting that isn’t enabled.  Try enabling it to see if that resolves your issue with calls.  

Badge

I think it does have something to do with VoLTE.  I put the phones IMEI in the T-Mobile compatibility checker, and it comes back as being usable on the network.   The phone does have VoLTE which used to work but now won't engage on neither the old device or the new one of the exact same model. 

 

This must be what's causing the issue, so maybe T-Mobile has changed something about the VoLTE that now makes it no longer compatible with the VoLTE feature on this unlocked device?

 

The phone is listed as being a 4g device.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

T-Mobile uses Google’s stock implementation of Android’s VoLTE and WiFi Calling.  This goes all of the way back the G1.  If Google has changed something, it would affect a lot more users.  Have you had an update with the device recently that might have impacted VoLTE working on T-Mobile?  The device is a dual-SIM device.  Have you tried putting your SIM in the other slot to see if that helps?  Some dual-SIM devices only allow certain features to work on a specific SIM slot.  

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

and youre still pulling in 4G currently correct?

Badge

@syaoran The one I've gotten only shows one sim slot. I know the device is said to be dual sim but mine only has one. I never worried about this though since the phone was working fine on the network up until recently.  I don't know if any updates to the handset.  I had just voice and text plan with T-Mobile that doesn't have data.  

@fireguy_6364 Yes, I believe I'm still getting 4G as my service indicator on the device lists 5 bars of LTE.  

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

usually most phones will show VoLTE up top near the bars if it has those abilities..and its to early for TMO to be shutting down 3G yet..so doubt thats it.

 

edit: if it doesnt have data then it wouldnt be able to use VoLTE..VoLTE-Voice over LTE..which would be using data to make the call instead of the 3G side.

Badge

@fireguy_6364 It had been using VoLTE on this device for a year without a data plan.  I thought maybe that might be the issue so I added data and it's still not working. 

 

I found a subreddit it it's not just me having this issue from what I can see.  It's now impacting lots of people on TMobile with the Nokia 225 and none of them have any resolution listed. 

 

Something happened recently which messed up the phones compatibility with T-Mobile. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

some kind of update perhaps that caused it..could have downloaded in the background and not have been noticed until the next day. only thing that would make any sense.

I have the same issue with my beloved Nokia 225. It can send and receive SMS just fine including multimedia. When I try to dial, it just says “Dialling” indefinitely and then eventually stops dialling. It is not possible to receive incoming calls. Like a previous user, I obtained a new unit of the same model and the behavior is unchanged. I have full bars, and the phone says “LTE” over the bars. I spent an hour on the phone with T-Mobile a week or so ago: they verified that the IMEI indicates a compatible unit, they found no issues with the network, and their standard tests turned up nothing. I brought my phone to a T-Mobile store and the rep’s there verified that swapping my SIM card into another unit allows that phone full functionality. I’m quite disappointed at the prospect of having to purchase another phone when this one is 4G, and I’ve lost faith in T-Mobile’s compatibility checks since (as I also verified) their compatibility checker explicitly indicates based on the IMEI that this phone should work.

I have a s10 cell that is on straight talk. I just got my tmobile home wifi early november.. definitely a week or so later I noticed I couldn't make any outgoing calls when at my house. It says dialing, silence, 20-30 sec, & hangs up. 

Then I realized I also couldn't get calls. Calls incoming would go directly to voice mail. 

I can walk up to top of driveway & it works. Every where else it works. 

If im halfway up driveway calls come in but will drop, people can't hear or understand me. 

It's gotta be the wifi. 

I have the same exact problem as PineApples and Finlator to the letter.  Nokia 225 4g.  T-Mobile account is only Talk and Text… no data.  225 has VoLTE abilities and has been working fine for about a year without any data plan and no way to update itself with a newer software version.  Did a full reset / wipe with no change.  If you attempt to make a call now and wait, you can watch the LTE 4 bars dwindle from five bars to zero bars and the LTE will switch to E and it MIGHT connect with a single bar on E if there is an old tower nearby, but it is very rare and unstable if it does connect.  If I go into the settings and change the network type to “3G/2G”, it doesn’t go through the attempting to use LTE, but only throws up one bar and just as unstable and rare.  Something certainly seems like it changed on the T-Mobile end.  Any chance the default APN the phone/sim comes with has changed… could it be fixed with a corrected APN if VoLTE is the primary way the 4g voice works?  Just an idea.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

T-Mobile's APN settings haven't changed in what seems like forever.  You can find the APN Settings though here. 

https://www.t-mobile.com/support/devices/not-sold-by-t-mobile/byod-t-mobile-data-and-apn-settings

I called up T-Mobile about this issue (again), and they recommended that I contact Nokia about it. Nokia, in turn, recommended that I switch the network type to “2G.” That turns out to work for me: I can make and receive voice calls as before now. However, it’s a crutch: as Hazel Ra noted, the 2G signal is weaker than the 4G signal, so conversations are broken and calls get dropped. I asked Nokia about this via email:

Me:
“it seems the solution involves turning off 4G. Is that a statement that this phone doesn’t actually work with T-Mobile’s 4G? Can that be fixed?”
 
Nokia:
“Based on the information we have received, this seems to be a major outage that has been already reported and escalated in Nokia's system. It seems like there is a compatibility issue coming from some carriers in the American market, but this is a 4 G-compatible device. We apologize for the situation and hope the carriers are working on providing a resolution as soon as possible. “

 

I then called T-Mobile back to ask whether their 2G network will eventually be taken down, and whether they play to fix this issue with the 4G in some phones. Unfortunately, the rep spoke imperfect English and didn’t understand all my concerns. She did note that the network in my area is currently being upgraded so the signal should be getting stronger, but I’m not sure that’s the 2G signal she was referring to. When I griped that this has been going on for two months, she credited some money to my account. That’s sort of taking responsibility, but it doesn’t indicate whether anyone is working on a real fix. So I can’t tell from this whether Nokia is taking real responsibility for this apparently-known issue, or whether T-Mobile is, or whether no one is.

I am having the exact same problem. Nokia 225 worked with VoLTE for a month or so, then stopped. VoLTE was not using any data, so it doesn’t have to do with data. The problem must be with the network itself. Wonder if anyone has this phone working with AT&T or Verizon?

Interestingly, I used to have Tello, where the Nokia worked on VoLTE. When that stopped, after a week or so of outage, I switched to T-Mobile itself. When I switched, VoLTE worked for maybe 4 more days. Then stopped. How could that be?

The phone will now occasionally make calls using the ancient E or G networks, but I seem to have no control on whether or how it accesses these older networks. Also, their coverage and quality is poor.

Texting works fine, except the timestamps on the incoming texts are wrong by an hour or two. However, this timestamp problem predates the VoLTE issue.

Has anyone solved this?

Following up, switching to 2G or 3G does not work. Just says no network and doesn’t function (even to find E or G).

 

Also, all other flip phones on the US market are either locked, crap, or both. Don’t want to switch.

I purchased the Nokia 225 4g as a cell phone for my elderly mother after her previous phone aged out of the 2g network.  The primary requirements were simplicity, reliability, and most of battery life.  The classic Nokia Feature Phone was a good replacement since if she forgot to plug it in for a week, it would still have battery life, unlike most all smartphones. Style, apps, and internet access are not required

The plan I have for it is a Pre-Paid Talk and Text only plan that is no longer offered.  Exactly what she needs and the cost to me is minimal since she only really uses it for emergencies.  The previous phone did still work, though very weakly and intermittently, on the 2g network at her home and I purchased the Nokia for the 4g ability when I found she couldn’t call out from her doctor office for a pickup.  It worked excellently for months, but now the Nokia times-out of the 4g network when making voice calls and MIGHT connect to 2g, and then if is does, the signal is still flaky at best and often drops.

I’m thinking that T-mobile wanted/needed to make a VoLTE change that wouldn’t affect (or perhaps would help) the majority of their userbase and didn’t consider our tiny segment of users that would be cut off.  Or perhaps they did know it and were either willing to lose us for the greater good or were being evil and hoping it would force us to pay for one of THEIR phones ($) and/or move to an account with a data plan ($) and, hey, if we weren’t willing to do that, then fine, leave, we weren’t making much money off you anyway.

I would be very surprised if, for the above reasons, they put any real effort into fixing the problem affecting the Nokia 225 4g users.  The cost in time and people power would not outweigh the cost of losing a speck of users.  I wonder if this is an issue with other non-Nokia 225 users using the same plan setup.  I’m guessing that the two or so feature phones T-Mobile Prepaid does sell must still work on their network somehow.  It would be a smart move on T-Mobile's part to reach out and say, “Hey, Mr. Hazel Ra… You’ve been a uninterrupted T-Mobile customer of ours for the last 18 years… sorry for the inconvenience we’ve caused you through no fault of your own.  Here’s the cheapest refurbished phone we sell that will continue to work on your plan, we’ll ship it to you for free.  Thank you for being a loyal customer… tell your friends about us!”

That last part was to you, T-mobile, just in case you missed the subtlety.

Update: I drove to an event around 3 hours away yesterday, out in the country. When I arrived, I had no signal. But lo and behold! VoLTE had turned itself back on (I didn’t switch anything). Excited, I waited until I got back in range, and made a call to my wife. VoLTE was still on. But the call didn’t work anyway. I heard nothing. Later, she said it rang, but was just a dead line when she tried to answer.

After a couple of tries like this, I turned the phone off and on. When it came back on, VoLTE was gone.

This suggests that the 4G network signal is the thing bricking VoLTE on the 225. Once I lost the signal, perhaps the phone was able to go back to VoLTE without interference from the network.

Thanks to those who suggested switching to 2G. This works, though as people said, the signal can be spotty. In fact, I have gotten my Nokia 105 (3G and below only) to work again in the US (even though, supposedly, it does not use US frequencies - it’s a European model). Since the 105 is pretty much identical to the 225, except smaller, it’s a better choice.

Finally, switching to 2G fixes the problem of incoming texts having the wrong timestamp. So it seems that the weird text timestamps are a 4G issue as well.

 

I think the poster above who said that Google changed something in their VoLTE implementation may be correct.

The issue is being discussed here on Reddit and the person who started that thread and a commenter has identified two Android handsets that (a) lost VoLTE (on Android 7) and (b) didn’t have VoLTE or IMS registration on Android 9 but saw it begin to work when he upgraded to Android 11.

From that discussion “So my guess is the speculation is correct. Google has changed something that prevents older Android handsets and non Android/iOS/Kai handsets from using VoLTE.”  It’s probably more correct to say older Android versions, but what exactly changed?

Okay, if it’s KaiOS, what changed? And how did my phone receive this change?

The past few days, the phone has been displaying this message: “Settings update available. Update?” (or something similar). When I choose to update, it says, “There was a problem with your memory card. Update failed” (or something similar). Hey, thanks.

Still plugging away on 2G for now. Works when there is a signal, which is in most places

I’m assuming that Kai OS devices still work since it’s my understanding that the Nokia 2780 and 6300 are still functioning.  That may be a wrong assumption since I don’t have any Kai OS devices.  As for what changed, I don’t think it’s anything in your handset that changed, but rather that Google made a change to their VoLTE specification that either intentionally or unintentionally blacklisted all handsets that don’t have a specific something in their ROM which allows it to continue to use VoLTE.  What that specific something is, or what it does, I don’t know.

But whatever this is, it would be good for T-mobile tech support to tackle this issue and let the customers known as there are a lot of handsets out there that are 4G/LTE/VoLTE capable - and were working using these protocols on the T-mobile network until just recently (long after the 3G shutdown).

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

you wont see any TMO answers in here..primarily peer to peer assistance with a handful of mods/admins to keep the site in order only.

Oh, my mistake, the Nokia 225 has something called System 30+ OS, not KaiOS. KaiOS is what those crap flip phones like the Cingular Flip 4 or Alcatel Go Flip use. Those are terrible products (slow, texting is hard, counterintuitive interface), but they do work on VoLTE, or at least they did a couple months ago.

MRL, when you say that Google made a change to its VoLTE specification, what do you mean… how is Google involved with these cell phone networks?

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Google is the pioneer/developer of T-Mobile's WiFi Calling and VoLTE.

On January 25th 2023, I called up T-Mobile again in response to an email I had received indicating that my phone needed upgrading. That email had contained instructions for updating the SIM card, but it was meant for smartphones, and following the links did not yield any instructions regarding the Nokia 225G. I called to ask whether there were instructions regarding the Nokia 225G. I spent 45 minutes talking to two different (very committed) tech support people. Over the course of the call, they asked me twice to dial the sequence *#*#4636#*#*. This didn’t change anything. The support conclided that this device is not supported, there are no plans to support it, and I was encouraged to go get a free phone upgrade. The conversation triggered an email to this effect:

“Thank you for contacting T-Mobile! You may view your active recurring equipment credit promotion details by logging into My T-Mobile at https://my.t-mobile.com/promotions”

I asked the engineer to make sure the T-mobile website no longer indicates that this phone (as identified by its IMEI) is supported, and they respectfully made a note to do this.

Today, I noticed for the first time on my phone that VOLTE appears to the left of LTE, on the top-right corner of the display. My Network type (settings → connectivity → Network settings → Network type) is set to 4G/3G/2G. And, surprise surprise, I can now place voice calls! I turned the phone off & on, and both the LTE and the VOLTE reappear. Something appears to have been fixed on the T-Mobile end. I’d be curious to know whether others find the same result.

Hey Finlator… Wow!  You are correct!  I can confirm that my Nokia 225 4g is once again using the 4g VoLTE, and works like it is supposed to!

I had no confidence that T-Mobile might acknowledge/fix the issue and just throw up their arms saying they no longer support the phone since it is not one of theirs.  I moved on and purchased an inexpensive smartphone as a replacement that would/does work, but moved the SIM back over temporarily when I saw Finlator’s post and sure enough it is back and working.

Thanks for posting the follow-up, Finlator, just as a little bit of closure, and for any people still working on it.  I had moved on and unlikely I would have moved the sim back and tested otherwise.

Though, as a tech-type, it would be interesting to find out what broke the system to begin with and what they did / how they (T-mobile) knew it needed to be fixed.  Did it have anything to do with Finlator’s (and other’s) long Tech Support calls?  It feels to me like, after a long call like that, if the problem only affects a tiny portion of users, it likely gets escalated to the very bottom of an unimportant pile that never sees the light of day.

Reply