There is one more way to test/observe what 2G and 3G services and
carriers are available at a given location: by giving that AT+COPS=?
query command to a 3G USB modem stick that speaks AT commands.  I've
got a Huawei E303 (South American Claro branding), it is supported by
recent versions of the usb_modeswitch package, which puts it into AT
command speaking mode, and one can then run a terminal program on the
/dev/gsmmodem symlink it generates.  Giving this modem an AT+COPS=?
query returns the list of carriers that looks like this:

at+cops=?
+COPS: 
(2,"T-Mobile","TMO","310260",0),(1,"AT&T","AT&T","310410",2),(1,"AT&T","AT&T","310410",0),,(0,1,2,3,4),(0,1,2)

OK

The 5 fields in each parenthesized entry mean:

- state: 2 means currently selected, 1 not selected;
- full name in quotes
- short name in quotes
- the true numeric ID sent by the cell network (the decoded names in
  the previous two fields come from a look-up table in the modem fw);
- 3G-added field not in the GSM 07.07 spec: 2 means 3G, 0 means 2G.

The example output above is from a location that has both T-Mobile and
AT&T service, both 2G and 3G, but T-Mobile 3G in this location is on a
frequency this modem doesn't support, hence it doesn't show up in the
list.  The modem has a T-Mobile SIM in it, hence in the shown example
it is registered on T-Mobile 2G instead of AT&T 3G.

To Nick - if you happen to have one of these 3G USB modem sticks or
are able to borrow one, you should try it at the location where you
are having FR woes and see what it shows.

Andrew Schenck <and...@springahead.com> wrote:

> I can verify that SimpleMobile is a T-Mobile MVNO, but I thought 
> MetroPCS was Sprint.

Perhaps it differs by region.  Recently a new MetroPCS retail outlet
opened in a strip mall near me, I went in there to mess with their
minds a little (I was bored), and they told me they were a T-Mobile
MVNO.

SF

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