Building a breakthrough for Fairphone 2

That is really great news, and I’m very much looking forward to it. But lacking actual specs or insights from Qualcomm, isn’t this new Android 9 release bound to be a similarily ‘crooked house’ that Android 7 has been? Or what is different in the new approach?

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Great effort! Excited to support the beta testing process :slight_smile:

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Really important would be (for both the closed source and the open source version!) updated IMS data, so a Fairphone 2 can make VoLTE calls and perhaps VoWiFi calls, but the former is more important. In Germany, the first UMTS (3G) licenses have run out, so network providers disassemble their 3G equipment when they upgrade a base station to 5G, which is currently under way. There are many places where you cannot make 3G phone calls anymore, so a Fairphone can -in these locations- only call with the fallback to GSM, 2G. And 2G will be phased out in the next couple of years, too. So it is most important that Fairphones become able to call via VoLTE on all three networks in Germany (Telekom, Vodafone AND Telefonica).

Keep in mind that 4G (LTE) is DATA ONLY. You cannot make phone calls over it. In order to do that, you need VoLTE (Voice over LTE, a version of VoIP adapted to cellular networks). For this, you need an app AND network configuration data specific to your mobile network. The app seems to be there already, but my guess is that the IMS data is too old and does not include all providers. Telefonica has announced “VoLTE for everybody” about a year ago…

So I really think Fairphone should modify it’s advertising. When they say their equipment “does LTE” than this is only part of the truth. FP2s can handle the LTE connection and exchange data, yes, but cannot make phone calls over LTE, not in all three major networks (here in Germany, at least).

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Quite honorable, Fairphone. Keep pushing hard!

The industry is all messed up, let’s have the technology we deserve, and not a technology that doesn’t care about anything beyond a few sales.

Thanks for all this.

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I have bought the FP2 for having a long lasting ECO phone with all the philosophy about Fairtrade etc. behind it. And of course the FP Open idea was very important for me. So please go on in the development of Android 9 for the Fairphone Open Source.

Cheers Joerg

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Try /e/ or LOS, it works great on a FP2 and is open source too!


A new Android is great to keep an FP 2 running, so I do appreciate it. Even without FPOS (which I would prefer).

But in the meantime another death blow could come to the FP2:

The end of 3G is coming!

All network operators in Germany have now announced to end 3G (UMTS) in 2021. So unless someone at Fairphone now teams up with the network operators (Telekom, Vodafone, Telefonica (O2 and E-Plus brands) for IMS, our Fairphones might get an (almost) brand new Android, but be reduced to GSM (2G) calling!


Or by the end of 2021:

Maybe your FP2 will not make it to that date anyway…

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Why not? It’s running perfectly. The only flaw so far was the transparent backcover, which was ill-designed. My battery still lasts two days and more… The OS will get a fresh-up. So the only thing that could kill it is the coming end of 3G/UMTS. And it might even come sooner. I received an SMS just an hour ago telling me that they will end 3G during (!) 2021, and my phone would not be capable of 4G. It is currently logged into Telefonica’s 4G, so obviously Telefonica SAYS “4G” but means “VoLTE”.


@hman: just as an experiment could you try to set your SIM to 2G only and make a phonecall to check the quality?

I have the idea that this is mostly a matter of marketing, wanting you to buy a newer phone from them.


As long as 2G calling works, proclaiming the death of the Fairphone 2 with the death of 3G seems a bit too hysteric.


The end of 2G could come sooner than you think… The industry WILL NOT hesitate to use this opportunity. They have proven this time and again that they don’t care about protection of investment of their clients. Faiphone wants to be better. But in order to be better, Fairphones need VoLTE.

2G is still needed for various alarm devices and other usecases, so it is very likely that 2G “survives” much longer than 3G.

I did the test and compared 3G to 2G: There really is a difference in quality. But we are talking about whether calls will be possible at all in the future.


So far I’ve seen no indications that it isn’t.

Also, there are a few operators with less IoT devices on their network who will be keeping 3G and shutting down 2G instead, for instance T-Mobile in the Netherlands.


Quite interesting, because Vodafone in the Netherlands goes the opposite way:

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As said in the other discussion you posted that link, it was published four and a half years ago. In the meantime all German providers decided to shut off 3G but continue 2G.


“In the meantime all German providers decided to shut off 3G but continue 2G.”

No. The plan is to abolish both, because the licenses cost them billions (!) of Euros. It’s just that 3G goes down first.

The plan, and that is what all three German telcos have decided, is to get rid of everything pre-4G because it does not bring fresh revenue while producing high running cost…

You got your bulletproof information out of which source?
And I am happy that in long term old standards are abolished, because that keeps the cost for customers lower, who want to use products of those firms.


2G will stay for IoT and be replaced over the next 5-10 years? by NB-IoT.
For communication anything below 4G is very hard to secure while 4G and 5G are less vulnerable.

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