The HTC TyTN II is still the best phone/PDA I've used to-date, and without it I feel like I'm simply incomplete. More so at the moment as my watch is (not) in for repair, so I need the PPC even to tell the time.

Unfortunately I left it in my car on NYE, which led to the battery going flat (1st time since I got it). No big deal, plug it into a charger and all should be well with the world. Except, no matter what I tried, the phone simply would not find the network. hmmm.

Ok, so now I had a large weighty digital clock (which company security means I need to enter a PIN to access after 15 mins of inactivity) hardly the most functional of gadgets. Yes, I know I could fire up Wi-Fi and connect to my email, calendar, Live Mail, Messenger, Weather etc. But not, as it turns out, in Budgewoi where I was visiting my daughter for a day. She's there on a Scripture Union Beach Mission for 10 days.

By the 2nd, when I was ostensibly back at work (although practically lain low by a flu virus), I was chafing at the feeling of being disconnected. I hadn't been able to SMS friends and family around the world wishing them the best for 2008, neither receive their well wishes.

Yesterday I got into the office, and continued trying to resolve the issue. Here’s a summary of the suggestions I tried and below the actual fix:

  1. Try a different NextG SIM in my phone and my SIM in another phone to isolate the problem to either the phone or the SIM
    1. Did this with a couple of SIM’s on my TyTN and phones (none an HTC however)
    2. Confirmed that my account was live, at least on other non-3G phones
    3. Confirmed that my phone was still working, both on our chosen 3G network, as well as other networks.
    4. The only thing that did not work was my phone on my account.
  2. Change all the network and band selection settings to Automatic
    1. Impossible to do with the SIM in the phone the phone settings dialogue on the TyTN II are only exposed when there is a working SIM in place and the phone is attached to the network.
    2. Replaced the SIM with another and checked these settings – all of them where already on automatic...
  3. Call the network provider and confirm there wasn’t a block on the account for some reason, particularly a block on the account with an HTC IMEI
    1. Spoke to two very helpful call centre engineers
    2. Confirmed that there was no block on my account of any sort
    3. Also confirmed that this particular network is helpful despite the HTC being “unsupported” on our chosen network – there was no behaviour or evidence that the operators wouldn’t help me because I was using an unsupported phone. Reinvigorated my faith in fellow humanity :o)
  4. Remove the SIM PIN (this worked for a work colleague)
    1. Didn’t get to try this – impossible to do on my phone (see point two)
    2. However, had I read the email earlier I could’ve tried this by turning off the PIN in another device, then returning the SIM to my TyTN II
  5. Clean off the SIM with an alcohol wipe to ensure proper contact with the points.
    1. Again, only received this suggestion this morning – too late as I’ve already resolved the issue. Interestingly, along the right track though.
  6. Hard Reset the TyTN II
    1. Ended up not trying this as the cost (reinstalling applications, losing SMS’s, reconnecting to Exchange etc) outweighed the benefit considering:
      1. It wasn’t guaranteed to work
      2. Another solution may work without needing a reset

So what did I do to resolve the problem:

  1. Wandered down to the ever helpful Mobile Fleet Manager here and mentioned that my SIM was no longer working in my phone. Also mentioned all the steps I’d taken to try to resolve the issue.
  2. He mentioned that the current batch of 3G SIM’s had a different circuit design to others received in the past.
  3. It turns out the common elements with current 3G network access issues include: HTC phones (Touch, Touch Dual, TyTN II) and these new SIMs
  4. He replaced my SIM with one which has an older circuit design
  5. I called the network to activate this
  6. Back online within 5 mins of getting the SIM

Talk about a spurious error - it did provide some insight for me:

  • Quite how dependent I am on mobile connectivity - for so much more than voice and SMS
  • Quite how intricate connectivity issues can be to resolve - who'd have thought a std 3G SIM wouldn't work in a standards compliant 3G phone....
  • Quite how friendly and helpful people can be if you let them (tip: Don't criticise people, don't let your frustration with the issue turn into frustration with them)


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