SIM card / losing network / contacts disappearing


I have three problems with my Fairphone 2 for which I haven’t found solution in previous chats.

First issue is how to activate both SIM cards so that I get SMS/calls on both even if I have a preference for one of them. For instance, I currently live in Belgium but also have a Spanish card which is associated with my bank in Spain and so when I’m trying to purchase something online and need to get the SMS with a security code needed to authorize it, I don’t receive it. Another example may be, the other day being abroad, I wouldn’t receive the SMS with my check-in code. This is quite annoying given that having two SIM cards shouldn’t be just a matter of storing them but also making use of them.

Second issue is losing network from time to time even if 4G keeps appearing but the “degree of connection” is just empty.

Third issue is that I keep getting new contacts on my phone (and the list is long) that I haven’t introduced and that are empty. On the other hand, I have the feeling that some have disappeared.

Thank you in advance for your help,

Your first issue:: I don’t think there are any special settings to make in order to receive text messages for both SIM cards. Do you get the text messages when only one SIM is in the phone? I wonder if it could be connected that somehow the messages aren’t delivered abroad? Maybe provider settings?
I use two SIM cards as well and never experienced a problem that from one SIM messages or calls wouldn’t arrive, so I don’t really think it is a problem with the phone, maybe rather with provider settings or APN.

Third issue sounds like a synchronization problem. Which provider and/or app do you use for syncing your contacts? Maybe you have somewhere a setting enabled like server first, or something similar.

On the first issue: how do I manage it? I haven’t touched anything aside from what was requested in order to enable both SIM cards and I have the problem without knowing where does it come from. I do get SMS but only on the prefererred SIM so if I’m in Spain I’d get them on the Spanish one, if I’m in Belgium, it would be the other way around. What I know is that calls or SMS for the other card do not get through if I’m on the other country and seemingly, it happens the same when I’m in none of these countries.

On the third problem: I have Exchange, contacts being saved on my e-mail but not on the phone itself. Should I be doing otherwise? I keep getting blank contacts all the time.

What about the second issue?

The first issue seems very strange to me. The “preferred SIM card” setting is only for choosing the SIM you use to sent SMS or make calls with. It shouldn’t affect receiving them. I have a German and a Spanish SIM card and I can receive calls and SMS on both of them, regardless of where I am or which one I set to be my preferred one.

Maybe your bank sends a special kind of message that doesn’t work abroad. Did you already try to sent yourself “normal” SMS (e.g. from a friend’s phone) to your foreign SIM?

And I’m not sure if that’s really necessary, but maybe the phone numbers must be written with the country code (e.g. 0034).

Another idea that comes to my mind is that, in roaming, you use an operator that doesn’t support the 2G network. And since the foreign SMS is not the one set to 4G/3G, it doesn’t work. I know that this happens e.g. in Japan and it happend to me as well in La Gomera. Put the foreign SIM as the preferred one (or chose “always ask”) and try to make calls with it or send SMS.

I have no idea about your other issue, because I’ve never used Exchange. Maybe a forum search could help you here.

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Thank you for your help but I don’t think my problem is clear.

I’m currently in Brussels and travelling to Spain tomorrow, I ask for the boarding pass to arrive to my Spanish number (return flight, in case they do it tomorrow during the day), it hasn’t reached me. How do I know it will do so tomorrow? So it’s not about me texting anybody, which indeed I can do regardless the nationality of the number, but about receiving them on the non-preferred SIM card or on any when I’m abroad.

On my agenda contacts, how am I supposed to save them if it’s not Exchange? I just didn’t find another way but would be happy to consider the correct app for Fairphone.

Finally, is it normal that my network comes as goes all the time? As I mentioned previously, I can see “4G” but the “amount” of it is blank, meaning nothing gets through. What I do is go on plane mode and reconnect again and then it works, until the next time. Happens several times per day though so pretty annoying.

Thanks in advance,


I think Irina and me understood that. But as Irina said, the settings about preferred SIM are only relating to outgoing, not incoming calls/messages. Calls and messages for both SIMs should reach you, no matter about your preferred SIM setting or in which slot you have the SIM card.

Thus it is more likely that your SIM is simply not working properly, which could have several reasons. Have you activated through your provider that your SIM works abroad? (You can usually check that online with many providers). If it should work abroad, have you checked that you allowed roaming for the SIM? Are the APN settings correct? (you easily check that for example by testing if messages are going out, that also incoming should technically be possible).

There are several ways on how to synchronize your contacts. Personally I use carddav, so I am also not familiar with Exchange and unfortunately cannot help you with this.

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