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GSM/WCDMA Auto, or GSM only setting on Android phone ?

Under Android 4.x variants, if you check under Mobile Network settings, you may notice "Network Mode" with the following possible options (not all may be visible in all devices):
GSM/WCDMA (auto connect) - automatically switches between 2G/3G modes. When signal strength is low, 3G is favored more
GSM only - 2G only mode. When 2G signal strength is low, you get no data.
WCDMA only - 3G only mode. When 3G signal strength is low, you get no data.

Less common/other mode variants are listed below:
WCDMA preferred - Same as "GSM/WCDMA (auto connect)". Both 2G and 3G data capability, 3G favored more when signal strength is low
GSM auto (PRL) - 2G is favored more when signal strength is low. Both 2G and 3G data.
CDMA auto (PRL) - both 2G and 3G, 2G (CDMA) is favored more when signal strenth is low.
CDMA only - 2G data only, no data when 2G signal strenth is low.
EvDo only - 3G data only, no data when 3G signal strength is low.
GSM/CDMA auto (PRL) - auto-switching between GSM and CDMA capabilities.


In a nutshell: GSM = 2G, WCDMA = 3G.
GSM uses less power and has limited data speed (~144kbps)
WCDMA uses more power and has good data speed (~2+Mbps)

For auto-switching between 2G/3G modes, use the "GSM/WCDMA auto" mode (system balances speed vs battery use based on current signal strength). For 2G-only battery saving mode, use "GSM only". For higher data speeds (regardless of battery use), choose "CDMA only".

WCDMA (Wide Band Code Division Multiple Access) or UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone System) is a third-generation (3G) mobile wireless technology - this standard has been developed to accept higher rates up to 2 Mbps (local area access) or 384 Kbps (wide area access). To obtain higher speeds, HSDPA (high speed downlink packet access) was introduced in version 5 of the WCDMA (3GPP). HSDPA allows data rates up to 10 Mbps (20 Mbps with MIMO).


Notes:
Above settings may be accessible by hitting *#*#4636#*#* on your device and selecting "Phone information"
You may have to add/edit your phone's APN settings to match your network.
If the network mode you're trying to access is not currently available at your location, or its signal is weak, the Network mode setting may not be available (depending on your phone/model).


  User Reviews/Comments:
    rate:
   avg:
by alj - 2014-03-19 07:24
i cant switch to wcdma prefered im using gsm phone..its fireflymobile s90 dual core..
it still changing in gsm only.. is there a way to solve this..??
by anonymous - 2014-05-12 10:35
im using firefly s120..i cant change it..please help me..
by smarty - 2014-08-26 00:26
Hi, i'm using micromax A46 bolt, I'm not able to change to wcdma it is only showing gsm plz help me out
by chandan - 2014-09-28 03:12
my preffered cannot change form GSM only to other
by anonymous - 2014-10-05 04:40
im also using firefly s120, same problem also
by jeffrry - 2014-10-13 07:50
Me 2.. s120.. any suggestion pls..
by Kerr - 2014-11-21 03:05
Mine is Prime 402D arc mobile i cant switch it plssss help me
by jigz - 2014-11-22 07:09
same here.. i can't change to another network mode only gsm only mode... and i can't tap my network mode in my mobile network settings... can i change gsm only to gsm/wcdma mode... my phone is cherry jelly android version 4.2.2
by anonymous - 2014-11-26 03:31
im using firefly mobile mobile gt 200 but i can't access the network mode..
by Mark123 - 2014-11-30 06:22
i am using myphone agua rain 2g
by jigz07 - 2014-11-30 22:58
i can't switch to any network mode. my network mode says gsm only. i tried many times to switch to wcdma but still it says gsm only. is there any chance i can switch gsm only to wcdma? and also, i can't tap my network mode in my settings. my phone is cherry jelly android version 4.2.2. pls. help me
by Daniyal - 2014-12-03 22:56
i can't switch to any network mode. my network mode says gsm only. i tried many times to switch to wcdma but still it says gsm only. is there any chance i can switch gsm only to wcdma? and also, i can't tap my network mode in my settings. my phone is jelly BEAN Qmobile Noir A290 android version 4.2.2. pls. help me
by anonymous - 2014-12-24 03:38
How to set WCDMA mod in Redmi s1
by anonymous - 2015-01-08 04:00
can i use mts sim in wcda mobile
by M4NTH4N - 2015-03-05 03:49
Can I use CDMA sim in GSM phone??
by Philip - 2015-03-05 06:49
Generally, CDMA phones do not use a SIM card. Some companies (like Verizon in the US) are moving away from CDMA into GSM to enable 4G LTE speeds, and that is why their new phones use GSM technology and SIM cards.
by Ali - 2015-03-28 09:05
I am using ASUS Zenfone5 A501CG But WCDMA 3G network not connet. Pls help me what is the problem of my Andoraid mobile
by angel - 2015-04-23 13:38
Thanks, it helped me a lot. Where I live the 4g LTE is weak and I hace to chante to 3g. Thanks again, because reading your post gave me orientation.
by prashant - 2015-04-28 08:56
i can see all three setting but i cant change it , after changing it goes back to gsm only. I formated my phone as well but still it doesnt happen.
i'll appreciate if any one can help.
by kai - 2015-06-07 07:25
for those who ask how to change youre network setting from gsm to wcdma or more . You should dowload 1st mobileuncle apps from google playstore it makes your question easier. but it requires a rooted device
by Tony - 2015-06-09 15:36
I am also having the same problem with my android 4.2.2.

What ever setting I opt for - eg WCDMA is preferred - it is immediately defaulted back to GSM only.

Any ideas would be gratefully appreciated.
by ASHOK PATEL - 2015-07-03 04:07
We used Micromax Mobile in this Pone two SIM card, 1 is GMS & 2 is WCDMA, what does WCDMA mean ?
by hrithik - 2015-07-10 23:18
How can I get 3g speed in my micromax A46 phone
by ronaldencarnac3 - 2015-07-15 19:36
Same problem i can change.
by anonymous - 2015-07-21 23:46
On your phone do *#*#4636#*#*
Click device info
Scroll down now u will see gsm wdma lte options
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