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Verizon’s 4G Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE: Radio Issue or ROM Problem?

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Since playing around with Verizon Wireless’s Samsung Galaxy 10.1 with the built-in 4G LTE radio that connects to the carrier’s mobile network for download speeds of up to 16 Mbps, I have noticed within the last two days that there are repeated connectivity issues that either starts when the device has been asleep for a while or is spurred spontaneously when using the tablet. The Tab would disconnect me from the Internet when the connectivity issue would occur. Attempting to remedy the issue, I’ve tried to enable and disable airplane mode to re-active the radio as well as turning the tablet completely off and powering it back on to see if I can regain network access, but all my attempts were futile.

Sometimes, a hard reset, which would initiate a full factory wipe and clear all data, applications, and files from the tablet’s 16 GB or 32 GB memory would temporarily fix the issue, but the connectivity issue persists. In the past two days, I’ve seen the Galaxy Tab lose connectivity over a dozen times. Even then, after a hard reset, sometimes the Tab still cannot connect to the Internet. The negative thing is that since the Galaxy Tab 10.1 needs to activate on Verizon’s network after it is restored, a non-connected Galaxy Tab 10.1 would do little good. Even connecting via WiFi won’t get past the activation screen so that you can start using the tablet.

It’s unclear if the connectivity issue itself is a hardware or software issue. Hopefully, it’s just a software issue that can be rectified via an OTA update in the future. Interestingly enough, at times, I would get a CDMA Phone Debug Message when I lose connectivity, as seen in the image below.

Dismissing the dialogue box, a second pop up tells me that the Verizon microSIM card for 4G LTE network access is a foreign SIM and not recognized by the system.

Hopefully, in the past few months that it’s taking Motorola to work on the 4G LTE upgrade for the Motorola Xoom 3G, Motorola can iron out any radio issues and we won’t see the same connectivity pains of the Tab 10.1.

I’ve reached out to Verizon Wireless and am awaiting an answer on the connectivity issue. Any early adopters of the 4G Tab 10.1 experiencing Internet problems?

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

15 Comments

  1. Mash

    08/06/2011 at 10:46 pm

    Hi, I haven’t seen this issue yet. So far my 4G LTE tablet is working well and switches back and forth between Wifi and 4G without issues. It’s possible that you may have a defective unit?

    • Ksiberianhusky1

      08/20/2011 at 4:33 am

      I bought my unit 2 days ago and plan to return it due connectivity issues.  I took it to different locations and could only connect in a business with wifi,  the unit did not connect via the verizon network.  I finally got a connection tonight after playing with the settings.  If this continues to be a problem I will return it during my 2 week trial.  Cant use something that will not connect at home. I live in cental NJ with good wireless connections so it has to be the unit.  Droid cellphone works great

  2. LTEr

    08/06/2011 at 11:20 pm

    Regarding your reaching out to Verizon for the connectivity problem, there will probably not be any technical help and just calls from sales reps.  My experience on the 4G LTE was similar with repeated disconnects, losing work, and sending redundant work.  Verizon did not resolve three “Trouble Tickets” and the technical support is from reps in an Albuquerque Call Center.  A rep from Albuquerque said that LTE was meant just for occasional or intermittent use such as sending a photo or do social networking and not for mobile computing.  Notice that Verizon’s 4G LTE has a telephone number and subject to heavy spam of gaming and entertainment.  Verizon does not disconnect during downloads from Verizon that are their on-deck applications.  Also after the 30-day satisfaction period or first bill, you will probably be relegated to 3G with just occasional throttles to 4G followed by a disconnect and return to 3G.  Verizon is SIM-stacking so that new activated customers get priority over existing users past the 30-day return period.  I submitted three complaints to the FCC that were specific to technical issues, but the FCC’s Complaint Staff Chief Sharon Bowers accepted Verizon’s response that there was coverage.  The FCC is only concerned if the carrier proves coverage and not concerned the user experience.  I finally cancelled the service, and paid the Early Termination Fee (ETF).  Verizon PR people did call, but had not technical experience nor bothered to research the Trouble Tickets.  Verizon attaches a charge for the Universal Services Fund (USF) in the ETF.  The FCC without proper oversight is funding U.S. carriers to build more network that does not work. 

    • the web isn't for losers!

      08/07/2011 at 8:37 am

      Your posting is totally bogus. You are not relegated to 3g “after 30 days”. My LTE card has been only moving faster in data speeds since I’ve gotten it last Dec, as my 4g handset. (though I’ve seen better days for battery on a previous 3g device). This sounds like either an obvious defective unit or even possibly a software issue(S). That’s why there blogs like the one here to figure these out. To attempt to pick on an “Albuquerque” call center, and then accusing them as being nothing but sales reps is distasteful. Distasteful since they where/are likely trying to figure out what your problem is. Your problem is to make up story’s & my hope now that you continue to spend your time complaining to such people as 1. The President of the FCC, 2. The President of the Untied States, 3. The CEO of Verizon, 4. The CEO of AT&T (just cause) 5. Your neighbor that no longer wants to talk to you, 6. You dog when he listens but clearly can’t respond to you.

      It’s my firm belief that your problem is far from wireless.

  3. Greekboy

    08/07/2011 at 4:49 pm

    Check out YouTube by greekthuglife69 see how Verizon treat their workers u already know how they treat u

  4. Anonymous

    08/07/2011 at 10:20 pm

    I just paiid $ 22.89 for an iP a d 2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $ 38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $ 657 which only cost me $ 62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/qhZHAc

  5. MobileMike

    08/11/2011 at 7:01 pm

    In reply to Web Loser about the Verizon’s Albuquerque Call Center, here’s more feedback about the troubleshooting LTE disconnects.  The Albuquerque center did call me many times using my mobile minutes.  They did not realize that I was using the Pantech UML290 USB and not a smartphone.  Because Verizon’s LTE has a mobile number, the Albuquerque reps confused smartphone and USB.  Also, Verizon Executive Relations sent me a letter that I needed to upgrade the phone and kept sending 10 MB emails with photos of smartphones.  An additional comment is that because Verizon LTE through a USB modem is a 3G phone number, your notebook will be heavily spammed with unfavorable texts.  The VZAM log-in screen is from Smith Micro Systems that does gaming software.  Smith Micro has designed the VZAM to link with Microsoft Windows Live and Xbox for games.  If you block texting, the log-in will stall for about two minutes while trying to download spam texts into LTE.  Verizon has promoted LTE as being for “gaming and entertainment”.  For family members and corporate users, LTE via a notebook or tablet is a security and privacy risk.  Also, the VZAM is loaded with Boingo hotspot locations and is weekly updated with more downloads that disrupt the access.  Using Smith Micro’s Quicklink, the VZAM analyzes user behavior for shifts from 4G LTE to 3G or Boingo hotspots.  As indicated by the many comments, Verizon LTE users are not finding the LTE shifts between 3G and hotspots are not seamless.   

  6. Djlauri73

    09/21/2011 at 2:13 pm

    I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 wi-fi and it has the same connection problem. We have found that it connects to the router easier when the desktop computer is started up and is running. Why that happened I cannot say.
    I would say it has something to do with address assignment. That is just a guess. I would be interested in anyone’s fix or experience with this problem.

  7. Airport Connector

    09/24/2011 at 11:08 pm

    A suggestion for buyers of Galaxy Tab or Pantech dongle through Verizon is not to use the VZAM as an Access Manager to connect to Boingo.  Use the device’s chip to detect a nearby Wi-Fi signal.  The VZAM is software from Smith Micro Systems.  Smith Micro used to be QuickLink for computer fax, but is now focused on gaming.  If you use the Smith Micro VZAM to connect to Wi-Fi, the software will spam you with entertainment and gaming.  Also, LTE on the Galaxy Tab and dongles have a mobile number which causes hundreds of text spam.  Even if you block texting, the tablet or notebook will stall when connecting because of trying to download text from CDMA to LTE.  The stalls lead to the problem of “SIM not recognized” as the original author described.  Also, the VZAM profiles SIMs after the first few days, and tries to offload to the airport Boingo instead of connecting to LTE.  And the original author commented about “reaching out to Verizon…for the connection issues.”  Verizon company stores and the Call Centers do not have technical support for LTE, particularly tablets and notebook dongles.  To Verizon, the “E” in LTE is not Evolution but instead “Entertainment” content for revenue sharing.  And Verizon’s interpretation of the “E” in LTE as Entertainment is not the E in Enterprise user at an airport trying to get to email and the corporate server.     

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