Can’t get 3G or 4G signal on your Gionee F103? Here’s why.

A few weeks before I purchased my DooPro P1 Pro, I dropped a guide on how to confirm that your network’s 4G SIM will work on your 4G enabled Android phone. It was aimed at helping others (like me) who were scouting for 4G LTE Android phones to pick only devices that would be compatible with their service providers 4G band(s).

Several Forum posts and emails later, I was on a hunt for the reason why Gionee F103 wouldn’t support 3G or 4G for most Nigerian users, only 2G. I started by checking the specs online and 4G LTE was one feature but there was no mention of which bands. I was certain it was an incompatible band issue but had to prove it.

After quite some digging, it turns out some unlucky ones didn’t research the phone’s supported 4G LTE bands before purchasing.

I’ll show you some screenshots from Engineer mode > Band Mode of a Gionee F103 before I proceed.

Gionee F103 No 3G No 4G 2G Only

And Here are some screenshots from my THL T7 (4G enabled)

THL T7 supported 4G 3G bands

Compared to my THL T7, the Gionee F103 doesn’t seem to support our 3G bands here in Nigeria. On the LTE band, we have band 38, 39, 40 & 41. According to the supported 4G / 5G bands in Nigeria table, it would only support 4G LTE sims from Swift and Spectranet.

Will flashing or upgrading fix this?

Very unlikely, unless there is some kind of global NVRAM for this model (which I doubt).

If you have this model and reside in Nigeria then try the above networks 4G SIMs and lets know if any works for you.

Are you having 2G only issues on your Gionee F103? let’s know which networks you’ve tried

39 thoughts on “Can’t get 3G or 4G signal on your Gionee F103? Here’s why.

  1. i have this issue on my infinix note 4 after flashing stock ROM. unfortunately i can’t find the original ROM for my Country (Indonesia) . i had flashing Stock for Africa (AD), and i have issue like you described. South East Asia (CE) Baseband Unknown . Can you help me Sir?

    Thanks before

  2. i have the same issue with my gionee f103 too, and i have tried using glo and airtel network both are just bringing up only 2g. what do i do sir?

  3. Hello and good day.
    I was refered here by from hovatek forum and so far i am pleased with your explanation but i’d like to ask a few questions like- 1) you stated that it was “unlikely” for either sn writing or custom flashing rom or upgrading to 6.0 marshmallow would suffice. Do i really have no chance at all trying the above two?
    2) is it possible that re-installing the actual stock would also not work? – i think my device might be a clone, because instead of the usual 2gb RAM, that is often associated with f103s, mine is 1gb. And some apps on my device are written in chinese, so i was think it was possible.
    3) can emailing the producers help?
    4) u stated that i might get 4g lte ntwrk with 9mobile, if yes then what abt 3g. Thanks

    1. You’ve asked some interesting questions and i’ll try to answer them.

      1. The 3G / 4G limitation you’re experiencing is either at the software or hardware level. If its at the software level then maybe finding a global NVRAM (for that model) would enable more bands. If its at the hardware level then just forget it because that means the limitation is from the bands the hardware can support. Whether or not there’s a global variant, I can’t answer

      2. If your device is a clone or a different variant from the one advertised online then flashing the original firmware would likely brick your device.

      3. I don’t know but I doubt you’ll get much help there. There’s no harm in trying though

      4. Checking the supported 4G & 3G bands in Shortcut master lite is to know which bands the phone supports then match against our table of 4G bands each network in Nigeria supports. My theory was based on a match but I’ve not actually tried it. 3G ought to be supported although the entries I saw looked weird. It would be nice if you could try 9mobile 3G and 4G then give feedback

  4. Hello, its me again.
    First off i want to commend the way you reply super fast, it’s comforting.

    After reading your replies, i set out immediately to do some research, & guess what? – I found out that, my device that i initially thought to be a clone wasn’t a clone at all. but rather a 1gb RAM variant of the f103 which also have the 2gb and 3gb variants. Today i also bought a 9mobile sim and tried for 3g reception but sadly i still couldn’t get any, tried as i may. I’ve even tried messaging the manufacturers and so far i’ve not received a relevant response.
    Now i feel a little scared as if this might be hardware related. So far my questions re as follows
    1. If this is hardware related can it still be resolved as i would hate to use wlan every time i browse.
    2. What is this “NVRAM” u speak of & can it be of help in my situation?
    3. I think my phone might be a chinese variant of the 1gb ram f103, can this info help in anyway?
    4. If there’s any additional advice u could throw, i’d love to hear it. Thanks

    1. Glad to hear from you. Its normal to see multiple original variants and even clones and this is one of the biggest sources of misinformation when buying a device.
      About the 9mobile 3G not working, its kind of mixed feelings here. First I expected that to work since 3G has a broader support base compared to 4G LTE bands but I’m not surprised it didn’t because those entries I told you I saw didn’t look like that phone would support 3G at all but should support 4G. Did you by chance try a 4G enabled 9mobile SIM?
      Down to your questions
      1. By hardware related, I don’t mean the phone is faulty. I mean that the radio hardware which the phone ships with supports limited bands so you can’t force it to detect bands its no capable of supporting
      2. NVRAM is the software part of the phone that manages radio / network communication. Some manufacturers tweak the NVRAM (disable some bands) so the phone works in only specific regions or for specific networks but if you find a global variant (made for more regions / networks / has more bands enabled) then flashing its NVRAM might enable more bands. This would require you searching for people with other variants (2GB / 3GB RAM) an checking their supported bands
      3. If yours is a clone then there’s nothing you can do. Original barely get support let alone clones. You best backup the firmware because if your OS gets corrupted then you’ll see the ugly side of searching for clone firmware online
      4. Best case scenario, you find a variant with a global NVRAM. Worst case scenario, the phone will become a WiFi only phone

  5. I see.
    I haven’t tried the 4g LTE sim, the area i live barely gets 3g reception, so even if i get the 4g up and running i don’t think it would do me much good. I don’t know if this makes sense but earlier i did a light check on the MT6735 Hardware my device runs on. I noticed that several other devices of diffrnt models run on same chipset, and a handful of them that i looked up supported 3g in Nigeria. Which leaves me puzzled. Why is this so? Is it possible they cud all have same chipset with a totally different processing. I apologise for the random questions, i a vry limited understanding in this field.
    Now from your explanation on the NVRAM process, i think there might be hope for me. And if thr’s even a slight chance that these cud work, then i want to take that chance, even if it restricts me to a “wifi only” phone, cuz as it is the phone dn’t seem vry satisfying browsin at a 2g speed. Pls walk me through on the process, or best refer me to a post that can guide me through the process. Thank you.

    1. That devices share the same chipset doesn’t mean they’ll have the same specs. Its up to the OEM to decide. As for the NVRAM. You’ll need to search out other variants of your phone model and hope the owner can send you an NVRAM backup. just ensure to backup yours before flashing. We don’t have access to that model and can’t help there

      1. Ok, I’ll be sure to do that before doing anything to my device. Although at the moment i’m still considering getting a 4g lte and see how it goes first before venturing into the ‘unknown’.
        But i’ll be sure to keep you posted on which ever i do first.
        Once again, I do appreciate your assistance up until this moment. Thank you.

  6. Good day bro.
    I finally bought the 9mobile 4g lte simcard, but much to my disappointment, it still doesn’t work. After a while i looked up the different networks in nigeria and their various 4g lte bands- it turns out 9mobile does not fall amongst the frequency my device supports. If i remember correctly -mtn supports band 7 & 20, airtel band 3, 9mobile band 3, glo band 28. I think swift & spectranet were the only two networks i found my phone could support since they both run on band 40. But they offer very costly data plans. As it is i might as well just settle for wifi, or sell off the device to any interested buyer.

  7. Yea i already read that post, but surprisingly it didn’t work.
    Please do u thing a “f103 pro” would work on a normal f103?

    1. Sorry, I was wrong and have updated the piece. 9mobile supports only Band 3. I just chatted with their customer care Reps to confirm this.
      That means only Swift & Spectranet SIMs will be supported and those networks don’t sell SIM alone.. you would have to buy a MiFi

  8. Are you referring to the original Gionee f103 or the clone? Because the the clone supports only 2G network, which is a hardware issue so no form of tweak will change the network compatibility.

    Am Chris
    A newbie here.

    1. This guide intentionally steers clear of insinuating original or clone. Its based on the bands supported by the phone at hand. Its left to the owner of the phone (whether original or clone) to check what bands the phone supports. if the clone doesn’t support any 3G or 4G band then there’s no tweak for that

  9. Hello Enigma, Sorry for taking this much to reply, it’s because I’ve been busy.
    Well so far, I couldn’t summon the courage to mess with thd phone so I decided to visit a technician. When I got there, the lad being kind enough let me in on some secret abt how boys at the mtn stand in Rumukurishi, ph, slander people. It turns out that these boys purchase these phones intentionally & then sell it to an unsuspecting victim, through jiji or olx. The guy said it’s hardware based, and that the 3g network is tied to the chinese manus. When i checked up the bands before, i noticed that mine had TD_SCDMA Band A & F enabled in place of a 3g band, which the guy explained as been a 3g substitute in china. From what Chris said, i’d like to ask – Does a clone phone look & operates like the original. I’m asking this becus mine has both serial, imei, cpu model, etc, of the manufacturers, or does this simply mean that the manufacturers are responsible for creating clone models of the original?

    1. The clones are not created by the manufacturers of the original but by people looking to make a quick buck off unsuspecting victims who think they’re buying the real deal. Clones can look really much like the original but you’ll usually be able to spot design & performance differences if you look closely.
      Clones are on the rise so the days of road-side / careless online phone purchase are long gone for those looking to avoid buying clones

    2. yeap, those clones look exactly like the original, you should know its a clone even when buying them, the price is relatively low, you can get it for as low as 15k while the original is not less than 40k.
      You can check this article on how to browse with a 3gb network speed on a 2g enabled phone or data plan, it might help. check it out at chrisrepair dot com

  10. Good morning bro.
    Please apart from the price what are the distinct diffrence between an original and a clone the both look same just looking at them. Am also having same problem with my f103. Also depending on wifi when i want to download heavy files. Please let me know the diff i dnt want to be a victim again.
    Thank you.

    1. Hello Emmanuel!
      I also have the same problem, and to my greatest surprise, it doesn’t support play store.

      Please, How does this information affect my plone?

  11. Dear enigma,

    big ups to you, your interventions have been fantastic!

    please, is there any solution yet to this f103 issue and has it been proven that swift or spectranet works with this device please.

  12. Good evening, i use the f103 3gb ram, please is it possible that when I upgrade mine, i can at least use 3g service… Cuz its really frustrating rn

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