Why does my phone switch from 4g to 2g? Here’s the fix

Network devices such as mobile phones tend to lose their connectivity from time to time. When the bandwidth goes from 4G to 2G, it can be especially frustrating. In this guide, we’ll look how to troubleshoot and fix this error.

Internet speeds today are as high as ever with mobile internet leading this race. Over the years, mobile networking has undergone some major changes in bandwidth. There are a number of reasons your phone may switch to 2G from 4G. However, the most common reason is poor connectivity in your area.The best way to resolve this is by moving to an area with better 4G reception. In addition, restarting the phone and router also help resolve the problem. The section below highlights these and other recommended fixes.

Reasons your phone switches from 4G to 2G

Although your phone is 4G enabled, you may find that sometimes it switches to the 2G network which can be quite frustrating due to the slow speeds it comes with. The following are reasons your phone may be acting this way.

Poor connectivity in your area

If you’ve travelled and are experiencing this problem, then it may be that the area you are in is remote and not receiving good reception. Remote areas tend to have this problem. The phone may switch to 2G automatically or remain at 4G with no bars and no connectivity. When this happens, there is not much you can do but move to an area with better reception. But if this isn’t an immediate option, you could try the following steps.

  • Switch the phone off and then on again. If the issue persists,
  • Go to settings enable flight mode for 30 seconds then disable it
  • If that fails too, go to network settings on your phone and switch configuration to Manual instead of Automatic. This will prompt the device to search manually for a network and in the process, resets the configuration.

4G is not enabled

Sometimes, the 4G setting on the phone is not usually enabled or activated. To enable it, go to settings and find the Network settings on your phone. Select 4G or LTE and check the box. If this setting is not available, it means your phone is on 4G by default.

Outdated operating system

Whether you are using Android or iOS, updates are essential to the working of your device. Software are regularly updated and not updating your phone can cause some issues. Among the main problems is the when the network switches to 2G. Fortunately, the solution for this is as easy as updating the OS. By doing this, the bugs causing the problem are eliminated.

To avoid this problem, set your phone to automatically update rather than manually updating it yourself. Set the best times, preferably when you’re asleep for the updates to take place.

The SIM card may be dirty or oxidized

SIM card may be dirty or oxidized

A dirty SIM card may cause some network problems. If you haven’t removed the SIM from your phone in years, it may have stayed inside too long and oxidized or accumulated dust over time. Remove the SIM and check for brown deposits on the surface. Clean the metallic part of the sim card using a dry cloth and replace it back inside. This may fix the 2G problem.

Reset network settings

If the issue persists even after performing all of the above fixes, it’s time to take a more drastic step. Resetting your network settings erases all saved data related to networks, which includes all previously connected Wi-Fi networks passwords, Bluetooth records, and all mobile data configurations. After erasing this, perform a manual search of the network and this solves your problem. But if you’re still on 2G even after this, consider taking your phone to a professional as it may be a hardware issue.

2G vs 4G comparison overview

Second Generation (2G)

2G is the second generation of wireless mobile networking that is based on GSM technology. The technology was released in 1993 and features the first use of digital waves over the previous analog 1G or G waves.This was a huge leap forward in wireless mobile networking because it was the first time multiple users were allowed on a single channel through a process known as multiplexing. The following are the key features of 2G technology.

  • Speeds of up to 64 kbps
  • Use of digital signals rather than analog
  • SMS and MMS were made possible through multiplexing
  • Higher quality voice calls
  • Bandwidth of between 30 and 200 GHz

Today, very few mobile devices use 2G technology. In fact, only old cellphones use it as it is quite slow compared to the newer 3G and 4G technology. However, mobile phones today may revert to 2G due to a number of reasons.

Fourth Generation 4G

4G was released in 2009 and features very high speeds of up to 1 Gbps. In addition, 4G also allows Multiple Input Multiple Output (MUMIMO) and OFDM. It utilizes WiMAX and LTE technologies that provide bandwidths of 100 MHz. Today, almost all devices support 4G connection from cellphones to tablets. Furthermore, 4G is very secure. The following are the best features of 4G technology.

  • Allows for interactive media, voice and video
  • High speed at very low cost
  • Scalable and global mobile networking

Differences between 2G and 4G

Technology used
Switching type
Circuit switching – voice and packet
Packet switching
Internet service
Ultra Broadband
25 MHz
100 MHz
Access system
Voice calls, short text messages
High speed apps, mobile TV, streaming, high resolution video calls, gaming


To wrap up, it is important to troubleshoot your mobile device before applying the solutions highlighted above. This will help accurately identify the problem and apply the right solution.


  1. How do I know my phone has 4G?

4G devices are denoted with LTE or 4G. If your device has either of these, it is 4G enabled

  1. Is 2G fast enough for GPS?

No. 2G bandwidth is not enough to support GPS or location services

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