Google Android Dev-1, Why are simple things so complex?

So the saga began… I purchased one of the Android G1 phones from the Google Android Developer Program. Currently the G1 is not available in Canada, but I am quite excited about this platform and am interested in developing some simple apps for it. All of the coolness (if not more) of the iPhone, without Brother Jobs interfering with my experience.


It arrived on Monday, and I eagerly cracked open the packaging. The first thing you need to do if you are not on a TMobile network is program your APN. The phone comes with a handy insert with a URL to find the appropriate APN information for your local GSM provider. The more annoying thing is you cannot setup the phone without access to GPRS/EDGE/3G. Although the phone itself supports wifi, it will not allow you to set it up without the use of a carriers network (Yes, I know there are workarounds, but I didn’t know that then.).  I walked up the street to the closest Rogers Wireless to purchase a SIM chip and provision it with a generous data plan to play with on my time off for the Christmas holiday. Firstly, the Rogers store was out of SIM chips! (WTF?) They refer me to another cellular store in the mall and I go down and they have a good deal for a free SIM chip with a data contract, which I am convinced I will keep, so I go through the motions. An hour later I leave, and am told it will be active within a few minutes. I pop it into the phone and wait… And wait. The GSM goes active (full bars), but I never get the Edge icon. I am also disappointed to report that the G1 will not work on the Canadian 3G networks, as it is only dual-band and does not support the frequencies Rogers/Fido have deployed.

Later I get home, and I decide to pop in my SIM from my Blackberry, to see if it works. Sure enough, the Edge icon appears nearly immediately (confirming my APN settings are correct) and I can provision the phone and connect it to my Gmail/Google account. At least I can use it wifi now on my home network (full support for WPA2). So now I am getting puzzled. As reported by others, it will not work with a Blackberry plan, yet my Blackberry SIM chip on Rogers works fine… Still no dice on my new SIM. I call Rogers (total time spent 6 hours…) and have them change the plan to every available option (iphone, Blackberry, Blackberry BES, etc) and none of them work. It is very frusterating, and the SIM must be valid as I can make and receive phone calls. I am now waiting for the holiday rush to die down, and will start troubleshooting with Rogers again in a day or two. Any advice, please post to the comments.


UPDATE: Finally resolved, after two more trips to Rogers and essentially all the assistance of a pet rock. The issue occurs if you use an older SIM to do your activation, then purchase a newer generation SIM. Unfortunately the web is full of contradictory information, but reading all of it I got it fixed. When you create a new APN in Android, it will read the MNC and MCC from the SIM that is inserted at the time. In my case it was my SIM from my non-3G Blackberry. It read the Rogers MCC/MNC as 302-72, and of course it worked in my phone no problem.. Then I got my NEW Rogers SIM, which if you look at the end of the number on the SIM ends in .2 (3G compatible) and for these Rogers changed their MNC to 720. The APN add tool only reads the MCC/MNC on initial creation of the APN setting, and does not read it from the SIM on subsequent boot-ups, hence not allowing me to connect to the data network. After adding the missing 0 to the end, it immediately connected and worked. For more Canadian (Rogers/Fido/Microcell) information on this issue please reference the following posts: Android Forums , Numbering Plans (Global)

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