Very poor reception/signal for data and calls


I have very weak signal on my Fairphone 3. I’m wondering if there’s any way to run diagnostics to work out the problem or whether it’s possible to replace the antenna.

When indoors my phone struggles to get signal. Outdoors it’s generally good… ish…

As an example, indoors the signal strength at home (it’s really good singnal outside, 4G) the other day was:
Signal strength -106 dBm 34 asu

Which makes it hard to make a call indoors.

To compare, my cheap Nokia backup phone (cost £15) has no problem in the same place and delivers crystal clear call quality.

If anyone has any useful info I’d be very grateful. Otherwise I’ll start a support ticket. Bit sad that my phone hasn’t even made it to 3 years. Was hoping to squeeze 5 out of it!

As a test I’m going to try the other SIM slot. I’ve just thought of this!

Unsurprisingly, no difference in the other SIM slot.

How old is your SIM card?
Is it suddenly problem?
Did it occur just after an update?
Would you say which provider you have?

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SIM card is probably at least 3 years old.

It’s been a problem for over 6 months but I’ve learnt to deal with it. It’s something I’ve been meaning to deak with though.

It didn’t happen just after an update.

I’m with O2. But I doubt it’s a network issue given another device has no problem with signal using the same SIM??

It could be the SIM card. I would like to suggest to replace your SIM card for a new one.

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Ok thanks. I’ll give that a go.

Not really as it is not a user replaceable part.

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Ok, thanks. I assumed as much but just wanted to check.

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Update: I’ve changed the SIM and there’s no difference in signal strength. I’ve started a support request to see if there’s anything that Fairphone can do to help.

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I have the same problem. Calling through WIFI at home has solved the problem for most calls but not all. Especially with emergencies outdoors it has been very inconvenient. Curious to hear if you found a solution

Hi and welcome to the forum.

The same problem ??

Well that’s a bit vague :slight_smile:

What network do you use, what band are you trying to connect via, have you tried a new or different sim card etc.

So a solution for one person isn’t very likely to be a solution for another in such a vague issue “Very poor reception”

I too have very poor, almost non existent, so I use Wi-Fi and so do all the people that visit me. How about your family and friends when they visit.

Try a few things and update what happens.

This is not the only post that relates to such issues so you can read a lot more I expect, which may help with many ideas etc.

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Hi Amoun,

I have been able to reach the helpdesk by now,
The issue of not having connection indoors I have had as long as I can remember with my fairphone 3. I solved it through enabling calling through Wifi otherwise I couldn’t work in my office as people couldn’t reach me through phone.

Now recently I have even worse connection. One sim card has no connection the whole time, the other one very sporadically (even on the exact same location, and a location where others have perfect connection). Even in that spur of connection, people cannot reach me INternet connection through 4G is also not working anymore and I can only use WIFI. Calling through Wifi however suddenly doesn’t work anymore even though it is enabled.
I have the feeling these problems first started when I updated the android last month, could be coincidence though.

I am curious to hear your thoughts.

Ok sounds pretty bad.

  1. Do you have an SD card and is it formatted as internal, if so that could be an issue?

  2. You may require new SIM cards. SIM card can get tarnished and make poor contacts. and/or if they don’t fit well i.e. if they bend a bit in the sloe you’ll have poor connections.

  3. You may have poor aerial connects which will require a dismantle and clean to check

  4. Do you still have any of the 2 year warranty left?

  5. You can try running in safe mode that disables custom apps and may help narrow down a problem

  6. Finally you can do a factory reset but you had better save all your personal data , numbers and image etc. as if will wipe the phone, which is the first thing support will do if you send it to them.

You haven’t said where you are of what network you use so that someone can compare

You haven’t said what OS and update you are using.

This won’t cure your problem; it may help to diagnose it. There is an app called Phone Signal which will show the signal strength you are receiving. Where I live the signal strength is around -110 to -115 dBm which is not that great.

I’m starting to have the same problem. Places where I used to have connection indoors, now I have to go outside to make a call. So I came to check on this forum to see if it’s just me or if anyone else has the same issue.

I’m sure other people have the problem, for various reasons ?

Where are you?
Are you using 4G/3G etc. ?
Do you have LTE enbaled . . . . ?

Hi, I have the same kind of problem: a very weak, slow and unstable connection to GSM and data network, with my fairphone 3. The SIM card in another phone is working perfectly.
Did you receive any help from fairphone helpdesk? Is your problem fixes? I have also opened a case at the support but I have not received any help yet, after one week.

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