Friday, October 7, 2011

Force roaming on Samsung Epic 4G

At my work, cell signals have some difficulty getting into the building. As a result, my battery life sucks. My old Sony phone had an option of forcing it to roam which solved this problem.

However, my new phone- the above-mentioned Samsung Epic 4G- does not offer this option. There is an app available in the market called Roam Control, that allows this feature if the phone is rooted. However, if you live in Florida, most of Texas, and a few other places that Verizon doesn't have coverage in the 850mHz band, Samsung won't roam. Damn....

Well, I like a challenge. And I have found a way around this (and it doesn't involve hacking PRLs)

There is an NV item in the phone. 00442- nv_roam_pref. Using QXDM (QPST or NVEditor might work but I didn't try. NVEditor doesn't list it- it'll have to be added, and I didn't check QPST), change the value to 0x0002. And to answer your next question- Google is your friend!

[EDIT on 11/8/2011: QPST doesn't list this NV item, either.]

Here's a screenshot:

My phone is showing 3-4 bars now (0 to maybe 2 before). The roaming indicator is on, I am able to make and receive phone calls, send and receive texts, and browse the web (1xRTT only- showing about 100k). And the change seems to be persistent after reboots. I was able to revert it by changing my Network Preference back to 'Sprint Only'.

Now- if someone can write an widget that does this, that can be repayment to me for the time and effort I wasted trying to figure this out. Here's a middle finger to you, Sprint and Samsung!


  1. you may be able to send the samsung unlock password (16 digi) in qxdm.. and then use qpst efs explorer to browse nvm > num which contains all nv items. 0 = esn / 1943 = meid / 81 = msl i think.. etc.

    obviously qxdm does all this.. but just pointing out qpst capability when paired with qxdm.

    i believe the epic 4g touch(my current device) has this new option by default.. i'm unable to confirm at the moment.. on cm9 with no diag access. regardless.. still having issue with roam control... when forcing roaming.. i do not always get 3G.. where if i were to naturally roam due to low signal i would get 3G. same sids being used in this instance for home/roam. bugs me to no end. ><

  2. Hmmm...I'll have to look into this. I'm away from my laptop that has all the phone SW on it. Thanks for the heads up.


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  5. any chance that someone will create said widget??? Would be wonderful for those of us lost in Sprint's "No-you-can't-Roam-if-there-is-even-a-hint-of-a-signal Land"... Sprint removed the ROAM ONLY Option that I had on my HTC Hero so now with my Epic 4G Touch I am in Roaming hell..
    more: whine, whine, whine..
    Many thanks for the discovery tho and I DO hope someone with a lot more on the ball than I, programming wise, will write such a widget!

  6. You are very welcome. Glad you enjoy it, even tho I haven't added anything in a while.