What's the meaning of this icon?

What’s the meaning of this icon,when it’s greyed?
I wisdom this very often, and actually I can’t get a MMS out.

It means you are connected to “Edge” mobile network with almost no signal strength.

Do you see this for a long time or do the white bars usually come back after some time?


Thanks Paula Kreuzer for the explanation. Do you have a link where I can find the meanings of all the other possible icons? Couldn’t find them.
You say EDGE wuth almost no signal strength. The black vertical stripes stand for EDGE and the grey bars for the bad signal?
Referring your question: Sitting in my office, this is the normal state. I’m wondering sometimes about the consequences. As mentioned, MMS don’t get out Sometimes I miss a call, which is going to the mailbox .

No, sorry.

No the “E” stands for Edge. The Black stripes actually don’t look familiar to me, but I’m on Lineage OS, so maybe that’s just different on FP OS.

Is your office in a bunker? Do you have normal signal elsewhere?

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Sorry - the “E”… of course. Boxed out with my own red circle…
No bunker office. A mideval wooden house in the center of the town…At home, I have 3G in almost full signal strength.

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HAHA! At my office inside the building I have also only Edge with same grey symbol on my phone. Just outside I have 4G.

Strange. I usually have 4G with half-full to full bars inside buildings and even metros (underground). Only in the mountains I sometimes only have Edge with low bars. So I guess it depends a lot on the provider.

I have my office in a building made of steel and heat insulating glass. I observe the same behaviour.
Almost no reception inside. But if I only open the window a little bit - then I have 4G.

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Same here, both at the office and at home: (almost) no signal inside, no problems outside. Even on 2G.

Would be interesting to know, if other phones show the same good/bad reception at those locations. Just to evaluate if it’s a problem with the antenna-design (or something else) of the FP or if it’s just the signal strength.

(Btw: shouldn’t you give us the exact locations of your offices and homes as well, so we know, where to expect good or bad reception. :grin: ;))

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To be honest, I have a replacement fairphone. Got a new (refurbrished) one as a guarantee case, because my first FP2 was missing calls and messages too, but in a very evil way. And not only at the office. It was like degenerating network connection over the time. The new one is better (so far…). But all kind of tests (Sim card in other devices, other devices with the same sim card and so on) in the past showed: it is also a connectivity problem of the FP2 itself.
But the missing network for MMS service although is considered to be a provider problem (1&1, Schwaebisch Hall, Germany).

Yes. It does depend a lot where your network provider puts his antennas and which directions they look to. At home I have perfect 4G inside the building.

As far as I know, the black stripes are used while the phone is attempting to establish a data connection. I think this icon was newly introduced, maybe even by accident, when the FP2 was upgraded to Android 6.

You can go to Settings > About the phone > Status > Sim card status, then look at “Service status” and “Status of mobile network” to see whether a data connection could actually be established. If there is no data connection, MMS will not work.

The bad data reception inside my office is not fairphone related. It is the same with all kind of phones across all manufacturers, no difference with Samsung, Huawei, Apple and others, even independent of the materials (metal, plastic) they are build from.


Many offices and other large buildings have a range extender from a mobile network operator to provide mobile reception inside the building. At least my university is using range extenders in a few modern well-insulated buildings.

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The icon means various things.

First, the bars show your signal strength. More bars turn light grey when signal strength improves.
The letter indicates what sort of data connection you are currently on. I have listed various possible values below, ranging from slowest to fastest data connection:

G - GSM network.
E - Edge
3G - 3G (3rd generation) connection.
H+ - HSDPA connection (sometimes referred to as 3.5G)
4G - 4G (4th generation) connection

Lastly, in Android 4.2 the bars turn blue instead of light grey when you are connected to Google services. I’m not sure if this is still true in Android 5 or newer because I think all notification bar icons are monochromatically colored (white/grey).


What you meant, is a “repeater”. We don’t have repeaters at our office, as it is built like a typical home and the base station is only 150 metres away.

I have good 2G and 3G reception at home and in the office, but no 4G at both as the nearest base stations do not provide 4G.


It’s GPRS. A very rare display, as most 2G stations can not only “speak” GPRS, but also EDGE (which is preferred by smartphones).


Yes indeed, it seems to have started with Android 6.

It’s fairly annoying, but usually I find that if I flip to Aeroplane mode and then immediately back again, most of the time it seems to reconnect quicker than if I just wait. However, this works when on the move, not if static…

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