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Old 08-02-2009, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 8900 Wi-Fi Issues??

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I upgraded to OS 5.0 but decided to downgrade back to 4.6 after realizing it wasn't all that great (yet). Before the upgrade/downgrade the Wi-Fi worked fine. Now, after downgrading my berry won't stay connected to my home Wi-Fi network. It shows AT&T - Home and the Wi-Fi icon, but it goes from white to gray without notice. Regardless of how good or bad the signal is it will not stay in full white like it used to. I have deleted the network and added it several times. The phone just won't stay connected properly.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you tried other 4.6.1.X builds? I had a similar experience with my 8900 previously.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I went through a similar cycle: up through the 4.6.1.x betas, then jumped to 5.0.0.100 and found that it was too buggy, so I dropped back to 4.6.1.250. Then when 5.0.0.130 came out, I tried it for a few days, but it TOO was buggy, so I dropped back again to 4.6.1.250.

While running 5.0.0.130, I found the WiFi/UMA (I'm on T-Mobile) connection was dreadful, so I researched the subject a bit and found that my best chance of getting a solid high throughput WiFi connection was to configure QoS (quality of service prioritization) on my router. The vast majority of routers allow this, and it should be pretty easy to find the details for your router.

Anyway -- I did this while still running 5.0.0.130, going so far as to set set aside a range of IP addresses on my router that would NOT be handled by its internal DHCP server, and picked an address in this range as a fixed IP for my 8900 when it uses the profile that connects to this router. I configured QoS to prioritize the communication between the router and the fixed IP address assigned to my 8900. Now -- even though UMA was still less than stellar when using 5.0.0.130, this was the best it had been when using this OS. When I fell back to 4.6.1.250 and kept the fixed IP and the QoS settings, I found the UMA/WiFi connection to my 8900 to be *superb*. Rock solid throughout the entire house and basement, excellent voice and data quality, etc.

Suggest you explore trying something similar:
-- set up fixed IP for your blackberry
-- set up QoS in your WiFi router on the connection to your blackberry (both incoming and outgoing)
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the same problems and I am on 4.6.1.114. I havnt upgraded it and I thought it was the phone and after I returned it and got a new one I was still having terrible connections to my wi-fi. How do I set up a fixed IP or QoS?
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will try a different OS, and if that doesn't work I'll set a dedicated IP for the device.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Had similar issues and just solved them today.. I solved it by running different firmware on router.. I was running dd-wrt firmware but reverted back to official and all is ok..
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qzxyu View Post
I have the same problems and I am on 4.6.1.114. I havnt upgraded it and I thought it was the phone and after I returned it and got a new one I was still having terrible connections to my wi-fi. How do I set up a fixed IP or QoS?
Seconded! Please provide general details (I realize some may be router-specific) as to how to do this two things. I'm finding myself rebooting the router (a lot faster than restarting the 8900) once or twice a day now just to get a UMA connection since I "upgraded" to .231. Maybe my router is just nearing end-of-life but I'd like to try this alternative.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proussak View Post
Seconded! Please provide general details (I realize some may be router-specific) as to how to do this two things. I'm finding myself rebooting the router (a lot faster than restarting the 8900) once or twice a day now just to get a UMA connection since I "upgraded" to .231. Maybe my router is just nearing end-of-life but I'd like to try this alternative.
OK...have to go out now for a bit. If nobody else answers, I'll post some instructions when I get back....
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Exclamation Setting a Fixed IP Address for your WiFi connected Blackberry

OK -- part 1 of the answer to the questions about fixed IP and QoS. This covers setting up a fixed IP (short for IP address -- or "Internet Protocol address")...

When any client device, such as your PC or your blackberry, connects to a network, it must be identified on the network with a unique "address". The vast majority of networks we encounter, including the Internet, PC LANs and WANs, use TCP/IP-based networks to assign unique IP addresses to machines so that data traffic can be properly directed within the network to the proper machine.

By default, devices like PC's and Blackberry's that will connect to an IP-based network make use of DHCP, or "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol", a common network technology that allows a network controller to assign the next available IP address, from a pre-designated pool of addresses, to a machine as it connects to the network. It is crucial in a network that each machine have a unique address, and having a DHCP server control the address assignment is a quick and easy way of making sure this happens. It also means that you, as a user, don't have to know which addresses are already in use and which as still available when you connect -- you simply let your device "ask" for the next available address to be assigned.

There are various reasons you may prefer to stick to a single pre-defined IP address every time your device connects to a given network. In our case, we want to do this so that we can set up a rule, in our network router, to boost the priority of the traffic flow between the router and our Blackberry. In order to implement such a rule, most consumer grade routers need to identify the route between the router and the Blackberry by referring to the Blackberry's IP address on the network.

Before we go any further -- if you are NOT comfortable with configuring your hardware, and confident that you can undo any changes you may make, you should get a knowledgeable person to work with you. Please don't make these changes unless you understand them, as you may lock yourself out of your own network.

First -- the router:

Your home router is most probably set up to use its internal DHCP server to assign IP addresses spanning the entire address range set aside for your LAN (local area network). Each router's configuration menus are somewhat different. You'll want to review your documentation to find where you can configure DHCP settings or something like "IP Address Distribution" or assignment.

You should find a screen refers to the DHCP server, and it should have fields that you can fill in such as:

- Subnet Mask -- on most home routers, you'll be defining a range of 255 addresses, equivalent to an Internet "class C" address space, so your Subnet Mask should look like "255.255.255.0"

- Dynamic IP Range, with a starting IP address and an end IP address. This is the range of addresses from which the DHCP server will select addresses to assign to devices as they join the network. In most cases, you'll find that the first address is reserved for the router itself, so in a typical home network an address such as 192.168.1.1 points to the router. Addresses from 192.168.1.2 through 192.168.1.255 are generally made available to the DHCP server to assign to new network clients.

It's important to understand that since each machine on the network must be uniquely identified, you don't want the DHCP server handing out an address that you have hard-coded to a single computer (or Blackberry) in advance. That could result in you having two devices with the same address. So the solution here is to limit the range of IP addresses that the DHCP server can hand out, and use an address OUTSIDE this range to manually assign to your Blackberry. This way the Blackberry's fixed IP will never be in conflict with an address assigned to another machine by the DHCP server.

So -- back to the router configuration screen: A quick solution is to shorten the Dynamic IP Range. I've cut down the end of the range on my router from .255 down to .225. So my Dynamic IP Range now looks like:
192.168.1.2 through 192.168.1.225

This leaves all the IP addresses from 226 through 255 available for use as fixed IP's.

Part two: the Blackberry:

Find the Manage Connections icon (probably in your Setup folder) and click it. Scroll down to Wi-Fi Connections and open that, and then scroll down to, and highlight, the profile you use for your home router. Press the menu button and then select "Edit". You should see the 6th item down on the WiFi Profile screen showing a checkbox and the phrase, "Automatically obtain IP address and DNS". By default, this is checked, indicating that the Blackberry will make a call to the network's DHCP server to obtain an IP address.

Uncheck the box, and then fill in an IP address that you want the Blackberry to always use when connected via this profile to this network. In my casse, I used the first available IP in the range I made available when shortening the Dynamic IP Range -- in my case this is 192.168.1.226 -- which is what I entered.

Under subnet mask, I entered 255.255.255.0, which will be correct for 99.9% of you with home networks...

Under Primary DNS (domain name server), I entered 192.168.1.1, which is the address of the router on the network. The router isn't a DNS server in an of itself, but it knows how to forward DNS requests to the outside world, most likely using your ISP's DNS servers by default. If you have a preferred DNS server, you can enter that address here as an alternative. You can generally specific a secondary DNS also, in case requests to the first one time out, but I was lazy, and simply put in the same address twice.

That's it for a fixed IP. Back out, and "save" your changes. You may have to disable and then reenable your WiFi connection in the Blackberry to your router, but when you do, you should be able to go back into Wi-Fi Connections, highlight this profile, select Wi-Fi Tools and select Wi-Fi Diagnostics. If you've done everything right, you'll see your fixed IP address on the line that reads, "Local IP Address".
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you for the detailed explanation. I'll give it a try.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proussak View Post
Thank you for the detailed explanation. I'll give it a try.
I'll post the QoS info after dinner -- and I'll try to be a bit less verbose this time!
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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No luck. My DHCP range was already set to 1 to 16, so I assigned 101 to the BB, changed the IP, subnet and DNS as you indicated (and confirmed that they corresponded to the router settings). Unfortunately, the BB then completely refused to log in to wifi, even after rebooting both the BB and the router (which has been a foolproof way of getting it to work before). As soon as I went back to automatically obtain IP and DNS, it went straight to wi-fi (where it will stay for one to four hours, if it sticks to recent form). Any suggestions? Thanks
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I actually wound up backing off using the static IP and applying QoS there. Turns out that this is only necessary in some routers. Instead, I found a few other settings that others have mentioned on various forums, and pulled them all together for use in my Linksys WRTU54G-TM router. Result: instant UMA connection, ability to make long phone calls -- crystal clear, no disconnects (first time at all doing this with UMA at home).

The thread and description are here:
Rock Solid UMA / voice connection - settings
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quick question vinmontRD: your advice applies for home use. What about wi-fi in various places (airports, coffee shops, etc)?
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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sorry about your wifi problems mine works flawlessly so far
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zGuy View Post
Quick question vinmontRD: your advice applies for home use. What about wi-fi in various places (airports, coffee shops, etc)?
In general, even before tweaking the router settings, I found that UMA always provided good service for email, data, SMS and MMS. Also, it seems that I generally can make or receive short calls when I'm out in public in a WiFi area. I haven't had occasion to try to along call in these areas -- so I'm not certain what would happen. Considering that many of these locations (e.g, coffee shops) use home-brew solutions such as home-quality Linksys routers rather than using a higher end commercial level product. That being the case, I suspect I'd have the same problems trying to make an extended phone call over one of these connections.

Before I knew any of this in detail, I used to use my 8900 in my old office, where WiFi was provided by a commercial grade Sonicwall router. There were NO special settings made to accomodate me -- but I never had issues making phone calls over UMA there. Perhaps there's something inherently different in the way the Sonicwall shapes the data stream.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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One more question: I use Apple's Airport for my wi-fi. Any idea about the configuration on this beast?
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Fixed. Upgraded to 4.6.1.250 and reset router.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Mine is still very temperamental. For example, I can be sitting at my desk with the BB a foot away from the wi-fi base station and it refuses to connect to it (sometimes even after rebooting the router), whereas it will connect to the bridge that is upstairs and 30 ft away. Or sometimes it will connect only if I disable the cell signal connection. Which raises a couple of questions - can a wi-fi signal be too strong for the BB to connect to? And can the cell radio interfere with wi-fi connectivity?
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
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A propos my last post: my SIM card failed yesterday (as in "Initialization Failed" and "No Valid SIM Card") and when I went to the local TMO store the service rep took one look at the card and said I was definitely due for a new one, that old ones like mine (around 6 years old) don't work well with the new BBs. So she gave me a new one and, amazingly (and touch wood), wi-fi and UMA have been behaving much better since.

I'm not one to believe much of what service reps say, but does anyone know if there is any truth to her comment re old SIM cards and if this could be a cause of bad wi-fi/UMA connectivity?
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