Android: How to disable the GSM radio and force to use the UMTS band

Posted by Magnetic_dud Saturday, November 7, 2009 1:09:30 AM Categories: Android

Recently i bought an Android handset, coming from a Windows Mobile device, I am extremely happy with it, as I find it way faster and complete than the other. Once I get spoiled by the care of details, and easiness of software, I decided that I won’t come back to Windows Mobile again (I’d rather use a dumbphone ).

Unfortunately, my operator requires that the device is locked on the HSDPA/UMTS band, otherwise will connect on the roaming network, making a trouble for my wallet.  On my Windows Mobile device this wasn’t a problem, there is an option to select which band use, but on Android apparently the user has only the choice to do:

  1. Disable data communication while roaming
  2. Disable the UMTS radio

The third option, “Disable the GSM radio” is missing? No, it’s just hidden! To find it, we need Any Cut, an application that can create on the dashboard a shortcut to almost anything. So, after installing it, let’s create a shortcut to “Phone Status”, and then open it. Scrolling down we will see an option “WCDMA preferred”, (that means “If there is UMTS signal I’ll use it, otherwise I’ll go GSM”). By switching it in “WCDMA Only”, we will completely disable the GSM radio.

Even if I tried this only with my HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1), it should work on any other Android device such as the HTC Magic, Hero, and the upcoming Motorola Milestone and Acer Liquid. Of course it won't work with CDMA-only devices as the Verizon Droid or the Droid Eris