Connecting To 3G Using Talk ‘N Text SIM

Last Saturday, I spent seven (7) long hours to have my Samsung Galaxy 5 (SG-5) smartphone officially upgraded to Froyo (Android 2.2) at the phone manufacturer’s service center in order to get it to connect again to Smart 3G mobile Internet service only to conclude that my phone with Talk ‘N Text SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card cannot do it. My question now is, “Does a Talk “N Text (TNT) subscriber really cannot connect to Smart’s 3G mobile service?”. I was sorry that the good Smart Customer Service representative who attended me cannot officially declare if TNT subscribers cannot avail of their 3G mobile Internet service.

This is the same phone that I unofficially upgraded from Eclair (Android 2.1) to Froyo last January 2011. After the unofficial upgrade, everything went well with my phone until one day when I can no longer connect to 3G although all is well with its connection to Wi-Fi. I did try to have the problem fixed by Samsung service center but having no official Froyo upgrade at that time, they won’t touch my phone and would even void its warranty because of the unofficial upgrade I did.

With the above, I continued using my Froyo’d phone because it likewise lost its 3G connection when I downgraded it to Eclair. I decided that I will just wait for Samsung’s official Froyo upgrade which should happen within 2011 when my phone is still under warranty. And, yes, the official upgrade came in the third week of last month which I only learned about when I passed by a Samsung service center last August 3rd. I was not able then to immediately submit my phone for the upgrade because I know they will charge me for altering its firmware.

Here’s what happened last Saturday: First, I had my phone’s firmware downgraded to its original Android version of Eclair so that its warranty won’t get voided. I arrived at Samsung service center in SM Megamall at 3:00 PM but got to service counter at 4:00 PM due to long weekend queue. Everything went smoothly with documenting my request for upgrade under warranty after I showed my official receipt as proof of purchase. I was told to come back and claim my upgraded phone after two (2) hours. I went to eat a snack and stroll around SM Megamall which is touted as one of the largest in the world.

I went back to Samsung service center at 6:00 PM and got my phone but when I checked if it can already connect to 3G, it still cannot. I was told by the Samsung service representative to have the Access Point Name (APN) configured at Smart’s service center which is located nearby in the same mall area. I had to also queue for almost an hour before I got to a Smart customer service representative who told me that it could be firmware problem because my phone still cannot connect to 3G after she entered Smart’s APN.

Back to Samsung service center, I did not queue anymore but they decided to re-install the Froyo firmware so I had to wait again. After the re-installation, they tested my phone using my TNT SIM card but failed to connect to 3G again. They tested using Globe and Sun SIM cards and it got connected to 3G. They also tried a TNT SIM card and the “Enable data access over mobile network” lighted so they concluded that my SIM card needs to be replaced.

It’s already 9:00 PM when I left Samsung service center and back to Smart service center I went. I queued again and was attended to at around 9:40 PM. The Smart representative tried her Smart Buddy SIM card and my phone connected to their 3G service. She had a new TNT SIM card configured with my subscriber number but still it won’t work. It was then that i was told that it could be due to incompatibility between TNT SIM card and my SG-5 phone that causes the 3G connectivity problem. I did not agree but I have to go without getting the problem solved because it’s already closing time.

Back home at 11:00 PM, I can’t hold myself from trying the different TNT SIM cards we have but I got the same results, no 3G connectivity. I installed a Smart Buddy SIM card and it worked. Now, am I correct in concluding that TNT subscribers cannot really access Smart’s 3G mobile Internet service? By the way, for the information of those who do not know, Talk ‘N Text, the prepaid mobile phone service for the masses as they call it, belongs to Smart Communication Group.

UPDATE: Through a friend at Google+, I came to know Mannix Moya of Smart’s Wireless Consumer Division (WCD) – VAS who did something so that my phone with TNT SIM card can connect to 3G. It’s working now and I was advised by him to post here that those who are having problems similar to what I encountered must first do this: Send “SET” to 211.

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