Novatel MiFi2 stop working with Global SIM card

I ordered MiFi2 hotspot last year for the price $39.99, it worked well until last week - I now cannot connect to network normally, or get internet access to my laptop. I carefully check all the settings, RESET the hotspot, but no Internet access even it may occasionally show me "FreedomPop GSM" on the top of the hotspot. Most of time it shows me "No service" but if I go into settings, under Network technology I change to "4G,3G,2G" and restart it, I can see "FreedomPop GSM" coming back, just NO Internet access at all.

This is a DATA only SIM card.

Ironically I went to my account - it shows me from 10-20MB usage during the test time. My account is in good condition, no error, payment is clear, credit card is up-to-date.

To further test the hotspot I swapped another Global SIM card (3-in-one, good status, using the same APN freedompop.foggmobile.com) - I got the same result. No Internet access but certain data usage showing up on that card too. Vise versa I test the DATA only SIM card on an unlocked phone, it works for me.

The unit is in good condition and never drop or damage. It just happened to no Internet access. How to fix this issue?

Comments

  • kerstuffkerstuff Posts: 664FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    edited November 2017 #2
    It appears that Fpop has dropped (actually Three in the UK) service with AT&T and is now solely with T-MOBILE via the Global sim.
  • limeylimey Posts: 674FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    @mio310 - do you know which frequency bands your phone supports? If the FP Global SIM worked in the phone, but not the Mifi2, perhaps it was using the AWS 1700/2100 3G bands, which the Mifi2 doesn't support? On the other hand, if the MiFi2 actually managed to pull some data whilst it was trying to connect, that would seem to indicate that it's connecting, but failing to register. My own Mifi2 is currently connecting to T-Mob without problems, so there isn't a system-wide issue.
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    limey said:

    @mio310 - do you know which frequency bands your phone supports? If the FP Global SIM worked in the phone, but not the Mifi2, perhaps it was using the AWS 1700/2100 3G bands, which the Mifi2 doesn't support? On the other hand, if the MiFi2 actually managed to pull some data whilst it was trying to connect, that would seem to indicate that it's connecting, but failing to register. My own Mifi2 is currently connecting to T-Mob without problems, so there isn't a system-wide issue.

    Yes I can confirm it pulls data while trying to connect (but fail). The account usage shows 10-20MB usage or so. (the account is in good status). What I don't understand is my Global SIM is registered via 3 UK (freedompop.foggmobile.com) for a year and the problem seems ONLY recent. May I know your APN setting if FP used something new for the MiFi2/Global combination?
  • limeylimey Posts: 674FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    mio310 said:

    limey said:

    @mio310 - do you know which frequency bands your phone supports? If the FP Global SIM worked in the phone, but not the Mifi2, perhaps it was using the AWS 1700/2100 3G bands, which the Mifi2 doesn't support? On the other hand, if the MiFi2 actually managed to pull some data whilst it was trying to connect, that would seem to indicate that it's connecting, but failing to register. My own Mifi2 is currently connecting to T-Mob without problems, so there isn't a system-wide issue.

    Yes I can confirm it pulls data while trying to connect (but fail). The account usage shows 10-20MB usage or so. (the account is in good status). What I don't understand is my Global SIM is registered via 3 UK (freedompop.foggmobile.com) for a year and the problem seems ONLY recent. May I know your APN setting if FP used something new for the MiFi2/Global combination?
    The APN on my Mifi2 is unchanged from the freedompop.foggmobile.com that it was setup with when delivered.

    The effect of the changes with AT&T connections first started being reported back around May/June, so it probably isn't that. Since then mine has only ever reported connecting to T-Mobile (interesting that you mention yours showing Freedompop GSM - I've never seen that on the Mifi2).

    I also have a couple of Global SIMs that I use with GSM phones - I have experienced that these occasionally refuse to connect, until I manually do a search for networks & re-select the Freedompop network. It seems to happen somewhat randomly, possibly more often after the SIM hasn't been used for a few weeks - but I've always been able to get a connection in the end. The Mifi2 usually connects without issue, though.

    Have you been able to try the Mifi2 in a different location?
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie


    I am in New Jersey - close to NYC area so I will say I am in a good coverage area. I do not change location significantly but I do test it in three different towns. Only the MiFi2 comes with no connection (plug the same SIM card to the phone - I got Internet! ).

    See my screenshot - maybe the MiFi2 sticks on the GSM that is no longer working? I did scan the network but if I select the other "Utran" it will change to "FreedomPop" - same result - no access at all.
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    UPDATE: After turned on the MiFi2 and waiting for over an hour, I did see some web stuff showing up on my laptop of ANY web page - it loads the web page at an ultra slow turtle-turtle speed and make the surfing totally unusable. This can also a proof that the MiFi2 hardware is working but something in between the network, SIM, hardware....... etc. has certain issue.
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    kerstuff said:

    It appears that Fpop has dropped (actually Three in the UK) service with AT&T and is now solely with T-MOBILE via the Global sim.

    I noticed they try to ask you to upgrade to LET SIM for Global SIM card, but how about this particular hardware to do with?
  • limeylimey Posts: 674FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    mio310 said:

    UPDATE: After turned on the MiFi2 and waiting for over an hour, I did see some web stuff showing up on my laptop of ANY web page - it loads the web page at an ultra slow turtle-turtle speed and make the surfing totally unusable. This can also a proof that the MiFi2 hardware is working but something in between the network, SIM, hardware....... etc. has certain issue.

    Sounds like it's getting a 2G signal - what does it report from the device's home page->About tab ?

    Oddly enough, I just powered my unit up & on the first try it didn't get any network - powered it off & on again & it picked up T-Mob's HSPA+ as usual.
    mio310 said:

    kerstuff said:

    It appears that Fpop has dropped (actually Three in the UK) service with AT&T and is now solely with T-MOBILE via the Global sim.

    I noticed they try to ask you to upgrade to LET SIM for Global SIM card, but how about this particular hardware to do with?
    Be aware that issues have been reported using the FP LTE SIM with the FP Global Mifi2 - mostly with getting LTE to work, but a recent thread also described issues getting 2G & 3G to work.
    https://forums.freedompop.com/us/discussion/comment/109298

  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    I found this thread - https://forums.freedompop.com/us/discussion/16736/not-connecting-to-internet seems a lot people have the same issue within these two months.
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    @limey Thank you for pointing out it surely is like 2G speed! Please see below





    I have no way to see anything like people said "T-Mob's HSPA+" in my device.
  • limeylimey Posts: 674FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    @mio310 - just curious, what does it show under About->Device Info?
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie


    Any clue? I do not have Internet access for over a week already except those spotty, slow and useless web rendering.
  • limeylimey Posts: 674FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    mio310 said:



    Any clue? I do not have Internet access for over a week already except those spotty, slow and useless web rendering.

    Looks identical to my unit - I was wondering if yours had a different firmware release.

    If you haven't already done so, submit a ticket at http://support.freedompop.com - it'll probably take support the best part of a week to respond, so it's worth doing now. If it's some oddball account issue, they might be able fix it, or report if there's any tower issues in your location.

    I'd set the Settings->Mobile Settings Technology back to Automatic & check that International Roaming is set to ON, just because that's how the unit's normally ship.

    Not sure what else to try. If I think of anything, I'll post it.
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    Thanks @limey - Today (11/6) it's my first time seeing this error message "SIM IS NOT ALLOWED". The MiFi 2 hotspot I spent $39.99 seems soon will be a brick...?

    I posted a ticket to the support hope I can have it solved - maybe a forced LTE SIM upgrade they will ask to do? And people have problem with MIFI2+LTE too.
  • limeylimey Posts: 674FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    @mio310 - I think that's the first time I've seen that one...

    Does the SIM still work with your phone?

    Alternatively, do you have another operator's SIM that you could try with the MiFi2? The FP units are typically unlocked (as shown on the device info page), so should work other network's SIM, provided they use bands that the MiFi2 supports.
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    @limey

    This is SO RANDOM - I tried it again yesterday and here was what I got -




    Of course - no service. As of now just for TRYING to get connect during the past week, it drained 110+ MB from my account for getting nothing. Weird enough!

    I decided to move on - I put this Data only SIM to my phone, vola! It works!

    I googled and read about during August 15, T-mobile was shutting down some towers. That should be why. "T-Mobile is shutting down HSPA+ (3G) on the 1900 Mhz frequency (also known as Band 2 or PCS) to make room for more LTE on that frequency instead. Thus, the global SIM is losing coverage among the more urban areas of the country, depending on which phone you're using. "
    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/freedompop/comments/6uj0k2/upgrade_sim_card_email/



  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie


    Just tried a LTE SIM, changed the APN, it works in AT&T HSPA+ mode.


  • limeylimey Posts: 674FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    mio310 said:

    @limey

    This is SO RANDOM - I tried it again yesterday and here was what I got -




    Of course - no service. As of now just for TRYING to get connect during the past week, it drained 110+ MB from my account for getting nothing. Weird enough!

    I decided to move on - I put this Data only SIM to my phone, vola! It works!

    I googled and read about during August 15, T-mobile was shutting down some towers. That should be why. "T-Mobile is shutting down HSPA+ (3G) on the 1900 Mhz frequency (also known as Band 2 or PCS) to make room for more LTE on that frequency instead. Thus, the global SIM is losing coverage among the more urban areas of the country, depending on which phone you're using. "
    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/freedompop/comments/6uj0k2/upgrade_sim_card_email/



    It does sound like that could be what is happening, since you're in/near one of the major metro areas & would likely receive frequency re-farming earlier, especially in areas with multiple 3G bands in concurrent use. Your phone must be capable of picking up T-Mob's 3G on a band that the MiFi2 doesn't support.

    Interestingly, 310410 is an AT&T network code & is probably what the LTE SIM is now successfully connecting to - either way, it's good to see the LTE SIM working in your unit - do you still have Network technology set to 4G/3G/2G, rather than automatic? If you're feeling brave, you could try seeing whether you can get LTE - though with the thing now working, it might be best to leave as is...

    At some point 3G data will go away everywhere (even outside the USA) & the 3G limited Global SIM will be functionally dead - I hope that FP come up with an LTE equivalent at some point.
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    I did set to automatically under mobile technology, but apparently I have also go to network selection, manually scan and pick the UTRAN one from AT&T, then I get Internet access. The "auto scan" network does not work for me.

    So LTE? I don't think so at this moment. :(
  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    PS: I had checked the "LTE Upgrade" offer on MiFi2 account, noticed the line:
    "*Hotspot users will get faster speeds, but due to device Hardware limitation will not get LTE speed."



  • mio310mio310 Posts: 81FreedomPop Newbie
    I finally got the mandatory upgrade email TWO weeks ago and immediately did it and received the SIM card within 5 days. Unfortunately when I follow the migrate the first step to validate the SIM care is failed! I cannot even start the migration. The site states "invalid SIM" with the system pre-filled CCID. I also tried to manually enter (although it's identical) CCID the system will not allow me proceed.

    I opened a ticket, but never hear back from anyone for a week. Can anyone here to help?
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