Why does my Android phone keep dropping 4G?

Episode 989 (39:22)

Matt from Indiana
Motorola Razr

Matt is a truck driver and he recently bought the Motorola Razr. He's been having a problem with his signal going from "blue to white". When it's blue, he says, he can do everything, and white means he can only make phone calls. Matt says he'll notice that it says "4G" in blue, but when he tries to use it, it turns white, and he can't use data. He's been to Verizon several times and nothing has worked to fix it. He's even tried rooting it. Leo says if his phone says LTE, then he's getting an LTE connection, but it may not be consistent enough in Matt's area to use it. The blue and white colors, according to the chatroom, mean that Google is either syncing (blue) or not syncing (white).

Leo suggests updating the PRL or "preferred roaming list". As a trucker, he should have the most recent PRL. If that isn't helping, it could be a hardware issue, like a flakey antenna. Leo also says it may be worth the hassle to unroot the phone and then update it. That will update the radios.

He could put a custom ROM on it. He can go to Google Play and download Clockwork Mod ROM Manager. He should get the premiere version. Then he can go into it and find all the available OS's for that phone. A more up to date ROM Manager may do the trick. Cyanogen Mod is another option.

Steve called in to say that by installing a tethering program on his rooted phone, his wireless company just blocked all his data access. The solution is to reflash the SDF file and re-root. Leo says at this point he's definitely violating his terms of service.

The bottom line is, users can pay Verizon for the ability to use their phone as a hotspot, but they don't have to! In fact, Verizon paid a fine because it was tricking its customers to pay. Find out more about the details of the lawsuit against Verizon here.