blackberry 9700 uma issue 01
Phew, UMA is back and it is stable!

I’ve had UMA issues with the T-Mobile Blackberry Bold 9700 since I got it a few weeks ago, and I finally found what was happening (btw, the T-mo BB 8900 has UMA working on the same network). I’m posting this because other people seem to have problems connecting via UMA as well. Note that while I have solved my particular UMA connectivity issue, there might be other UMA-related problems that have different roots, but now I’m enjoying UMA the way it should be: working and stable.

Symptoms: The Blackberry connects to UMA for a few seconds or minutes after WIFI is turned ON (or after a reboot), then looses the UMA connection. Going to the “Services Status” shows that WIFI is connected, but that UMA is inactive.

Fix: My Blackberry Bold 9700 doesn’t like it when my router (a Linksys WRT54GS, version 4.71.1) is using a mixed B/G wireless mode. I didn’t pay attention to that earlier because my Blackberry 8900 works mostly fine, even if it did disconnect from UMA every once in a while (once a day). I thought that the mixed mode might confuse the phone for whatever reason. I’m glad I did: by switching to either “B-only” or “G-only” mode, I have been able to get the 9700 to connect via UMA and stay connected. The issue is totally reproducible: if I switch back to mixed mode, UMA goes dead again. 

blackberry 9700 uma issue 03
Going to G-Only or B-Only solved my UMA connectivity issues.
Any return to “mixed mode” kills UMA again.
 

I hoping that this will help others as I believe that mixed modes are probably used by default. It seems dumb that devices could have an issue with that, so it’s not the first thing that pops to mind when debugging. I also assume that the 9700 might just work fine with other routers in mixed-mode. I would help if YOU could drop a comment to tell us what configuration you have and whether or not your 9700 UMA is working. I wasn’t able to find much info in the many forums that I looked at.

blackberry 9700 uma issue 02
After the fix, it works but it is possible that your Blackberry Bold 9700
connects to WIFI but not UMA. The 3rd lne on the screen would tell you that
 

If you are not familiar with UMA, it is an awesome feature because it guarantees that you have a good signal at home, at the office or even in a public hotspot. That often compensates for T-Mobile’s so-so network coverage. UMA also lets one call U.S number from a hotspot outside of the USA, at U.S rates. It saves me big bucks every time I travel and that’s the only reason why I use T-Mobile.

More info about my Blackberry 9700

  • v5.0.0.330 (platforms 5.1.0.91)
  • branding version 1.0.100.681|
  • WLAN version 2.7.0.53

Links

UMA technology overview, Linksys WRT54GS support, T-Mobile 9700 UMA and general connection issues, Weird UMA problems, 9700 Issues, UMA Works and doesn’t

Filed in Cellphones >Top Stories . Tags: blackberry 9700, blackberry bold, hotspot, smartphones and wifi.
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