3g Not Working But 2g is Working – How to Fix (Solved)

Has your 3g connection been acting up lately, or even stopped working entirely? Don’t worry. Like all other networking devices, mobile phones also suffer from network downtimes. The following are the best fixes for this problem.

In this age of internet, 2G can be remarkably slow compared to higher bandwidth such as 3G, 4G and the newest 5G technology. This is why it can be quite frustrating when your phone connects in 2G and refuses to connect to higher bandwidths. Today, all smart phones are fitted with at least 3G technology for faster speeds and larger file downloads. Many people have experienced their 3G not working and switching to 2G. Most times, the problem comes around when you’re in anetwork depleted or remote area. The best way to fix this is by moving to an area with better 3G reception. However, themost important thing is to first diagnose your devices as you eliminate possibilities.

How to troubleshoot 3G not working

When fixing any issue regarding networking and connectivity, we use the elimination method. To do this, we troubleshoot the device for different problems as we eliminate the possibilities for the connectivity problem. The step by step process is highlighted as follows.

Check whether 3G is enabled

Check whether 3G is enabled

Depending on your device, go to settings and find the network settings. In android devices, make sure the Enable 3G is activated by checking the box or set the Network mode to Auto if it was set to manual. If there is no ‘Enable 3G’ setting for older devices, it means your that 3G is enabled by default.

Is your device dual sim?

In most dual sim devices, 3G cannot be accessed by both sim cards at the same time. Open settings in your android device and search for Dual Sim 3G. Enable this setting by checking the box. If there is no such setting, it means that 3G is activated by default.

Check whether your sim is 3G enabled

Although quite rare these days, there are some network providers that haven’t made the shift to 3G from2Gtechnology. This means even if your phone is 3G enables, you will not be able to enjoy fast 3G speeds. Call your network provider and ask if your sim is 3G enabled. If it isn’t, consider switching to a provider with this service.

Check whether SIM is oxidized and/or dirty

A dirty or oxidized sim may cause connectivity issues. Remove the SIM card and check to see if the metallic surface has some brown deposits. The brownish material indicates that oxidation has taken place. Clean the SIM using a dry to dump microfiber towel and ensure it always stays clean. Additionally, if your SIM card is cut in a strange shape, reception may be affected. Use a normal shape SIM and test whether you get a 3G connection. If you do, consider replacing your SIM with a standard shape one.

Test the network connectivity in your area

It is quite common that the connectivity in your area is weak and may not support 3G connectivity. This is especially true when you’ve travelled to a new area. Check the connectivity of nearby devices with SIM card from the same provider. If the issue is persistent in the other devices, then it means the area is remote and may not be getting good network connectivity. When this happens, mobile devices automatically switch to 2G. If this is your problem, restart your mobile device, enable then disable flight mode and check whether the issue is fixed. If the problem persists, consider moving to a different area where network connectivity is strong.

Reset the network settings


A simple rese of the network settings on your phone may fix the error. To do this, go to Settings and search for Access Point Names. Click on this and go to Reset to default. This should solve the problem. But if doesn’t, go to Settings and search for Reset Network Settings. By resetting this, all your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth records will be deleted.

Update your mobile operating system to the latest version

A common issue that may arise from outdated software is network problems. To resolve it, you need to make sure your OS is up to date by constantly checking for updates or setting automatic updates.If 3G is not working and your OS is out of date, update it and check whether the issue is resolved.

If all these fixes fail to resolve the problem, consider taking your mobile device to a professional as it may be a hardware problem.

How to know if you’re phone is connected to 3G

To know whether your phone is on a 3G connection, follow these steps

Check using IMEI

Dial *#06# on your phone to display the IMEI number. Copy this number and go to the following website: imei.info. In the website, paste this number and click Check. This will generate a report with all the frequencies your phone support. Under the LTE setting, check if the phone is 3G enabled.

Check 3G status icon

If you are on a 3G connection, your device will display a 3G icon, usually next to the status bar.

Check the SIM requirements

Check the SIM requirements

Many internet service providers support 3G today. Before using a SIM, always check whether the provider supports 3G networking. SIM that supports 3G will have the 3G status icon when you turn on mobile data.

2G vs 3G

GSM technology
WCDMA technology
Freq: 1.8 GHz
Freq: 2 GHz
Bandwidth: Upto 64 kbps
Up to 2 Mbps
TDMA or CDMA access system
PSTN networking
Packet networking


In conclusion, fixing 3G errors on your smartphone shouldn’t be an issue. It is a relatively easy to solve problem but if the issue persists after troubleshooting, consider getting it diagnosed by a professional.


  1. What do I do when my issues persists?

If you’ve tried all above solutions and none has worked, consider taking your phone to a repair shop.

  1. Is 2G better in remote areas?

Yes. 2G works better in remote areas although you will experience much lower speeds.

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