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Success with a JP Galaxy S9 (Au KDDI SCV38 and/or docomo SC-02K) on Public Mobile (Telus)

braindrain
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Ok, this isn't really a Q but, in case there are others in Canada looking for a solution using a Google search, the answer will be here.

 

I originally bought a mint S9 SM-G960F off fleabay. However, the seller had no idea what she was selling, and it turned out to be a JP S9 (au variant). These are similar to the HK/China G-9600 and KR G-960N phones, in terms of frequency, but nothing like a G960F. I use the term "like" as it's similar, but also has differences.

 

Previously, I was on Freedom and using their network was driving me insane. Not only did the phone not properly work on 4G (data was ok but calling was not), texting was messed up. I suffered through this for a month, just to see how it'd go. Well, because of the lack of the B66 frequency on my phone, I was getting hit with data roaming.

 

So, I started searching for an alternative. I wanted something in the pricing ballpark as Freedom but needed a much more robust network. Public had the "check your phone" website but my exact model wasn't listed. No surprise, since the likelihood of anyone seeing a JP phone outside of JP is slim to none. However, it was similar enough to the China/HK and KR models that I could intelligently guess that it'd work (probably a 90% certainty).

 

So I bit the bullet, got my Public SIM off London Drugs, got my number ported (that was a hellish experience, in itself, although no fault of Public) and my phone works perfectly from the get go.

 

So, to paraphrase, an Au KDDI SCV38 and Docomo SC-02K Galaxy S9 variant phone will work PERFECTLY on Public Mobile (Telus network).

 

And, to answer anticipated Qs.

 

1) Why did you buy this? Because I wanted a phone that I could root. Not for installing fancy custom ROMS, as most modern custom ROMS won't work 100% on Samsung phones due to Samsung not releasing code. No, it was rooting to install true ad-blockers (which Google hates) and firewall (not the flaky VPN kind). I could also block unwanted apps from accessing the network *cough* FB trackers *cough*.

 

2) How do I know both Au and Docomo work? Well, I just have the one phone. But since I can unlock the bootloader, I just flashed the Docomo ROM image over the Au. Why? Docomo had a more recent update.

 

Hopefully, this post will save someone the pain of banging their head on the wall to find a carrier that will work.

7 REPLIES 7

softech
Mayor / Maire

not sure if it is the case now, I heard JP was using a much different network than North American. 

 

For HK /China  phones, usually it works in Canada but with one or two less bands.  I heard many of those work better on Telus/Bell network than Rogers.

 

Anyway, thanks for the infos.

Different countries use different radio frequencies, bands, and protocols.

 

Phones intended for North America, USA, and Canadian markets will almost certainly be compatible with Canadian carriers. (Although many are only partially-compatible with all the 4G bands: they'll work fine but they won't be able to enjoy the very highest network speeds.)

 

Phones intended for "Global" markets will usually work pretty much anywhere. Fully or partially radio-compatible with almost any network in almost any country. They sometimes cost a little more than regional variants but they are the smart choice for international travellers.

 

Many carriers in many countries will simply not allow "foreign" devices to work on their networks. If you didn't buy your phone from them then you can't use their service, phone specs and apps and arcane bootloader manipulations and hacks and mods and custom firmwares just won't work - if your device isn't on their list then it's locked out.

 

If you buy a device on ebay/alibaba/etc then it might work in Canada. Or it might only work in Europe, India, China, etc. If the seller is not absolutely knowledgeable/confident about what they're selling then you could be buying a fine device which will only work as a paperweight in Canada.

 

@braindrain congratulations on getting your foreign phone working on a Canadian network. But I wouldn't advise others to follow the same path unless they do their research beforehand.

@braindrain 

Great info but I thought I would mention the main difference between telus/koodo and pm.  They utilize voLTE for calling while pm still uses the 3G network for its calling services. It would good to confirm the same compatibility with calling services by borrowing a koodo or telus sim card to test in your phone.

braindrain
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen
  • That is a very good Q. I didn't know PM didn't use VoLTE. Might be worth a try. For science's sake.

braindrain
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

So, answering the science question. I didn't have access to a Telus SIM but had access to a Bell SIM. Similar networks, as I understand it, more so than Rogers. 


But, the point was to test whether VoLTE on my phone works on Canadian networks. 

 

And.... drumroll..... calling via 4G on Bell worked 100%. 


@darlicious wrote:

@braindrain 

Great info but I thought I would mention the main difference between telus/koodo and pm.  They utilize voLTE for calling while pm still uses the 3G network for its calling services. It would good to confirm the same compatibility with calling services by borrowing a koodo or telus sim card to test in your phone.


Not all Telus and Koodo customers can use VoLTE even if they have phones compatible with it.  VoLTE isn't avaialble to any prepaid customers using any of the Telus Mobility, Koodo Mobile, or Public Mobile branded services. It's also possible for a postpaid Koodo Mobiel or Telus Mobility customer to have a call go through the HSPA network, depending on the device's network settings, compatibility, and local network conditions.

@braindrain 

Thanks for the follow up testing!