A practical tip today: When I am abroad (o.k. that doesn’t happen a lot right now…) I do tend to occasionally change the network I am roaming in for a number of reasons. Unfortunately that usually takes a long time as the device searches in lots of bands for 3 different network technologies. But this process can be sped up significantly!
The trick is actually quite simple: Before starting the network search, switch your device to ‘GSM-only’ mode. This way, the device only searches two bands for one network technology and returns almost immediately with a list of networks. Select the one you want and you get another speed improvement in case your home network operator uses steering of roaming and is not happy with your selection. Instead of jumping through network technologies and getting rejects everywhere, it only gets 4 rejects on GSM. Most home network operators then give up and allow you to attach to the network. And once registered, just switch-back to 2G/3G/4G/5G mode operation. And after a few seconds you are back on LTE. A few more clicks but that significantly reduces frustration while waiting.
Note: This method also speeds up automatic network search when leaving flight mode after arriving in another country!
3 thoughts on “How To Speed Up Cellular Network Search”
Thank you Martin for this hint. Steering is a real pain and causes a lot of frustration if you are knowing that the „preferred“ Network is not really working suitable for you. I mad this experience some times abroad.
Can you pls elaborate on 4 times reject on GSM –
“Instead of jumping through network technologies and getting rejects everywhere, it only gets 4 rejects on GSM. “
Good point. The rejects are generated by Steering of Roaming platforms. See chapter 3 of this GSMA document: https://www.gsma.com/newsroom/resources/steering-of-roaming-implementation-guidelines-v5-0/
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