Mobile Network Not Available – What to Do

Posted by Arch on October 11, 2019
Mobile network not available

Have you ever had an urgent call to make, just to receive a “Mobile network not available” notification? This is quite a common issue on Android devices, especially on Samsung Galaxy phones. There are many possible causes for it, but many possible solutions as well, so read on to see how you can get rid of this error message and make a call.

Check Your SIM Card Position

Newer phone models have very small SIM cards, and therefore small SIM card slots. However, your SIM card may have still slipped out, so see if it’s in its place by opening the SIM card holder. Try taking it out, then putting it back in a few times.

If you cannot take the SIM card out while the phone is working, turn off your phone and carefully take out the battery and the SIM card. Wait for several minutes, then put them back into position.

Airplane Mode Issue

Samsung Galaxy S5 has a reoccurring issue where it enables the “Airplane mode” by itself, without notifying the user. Since this prevents you from making and receiving calls, as well as sending or receiving text messages, it might be the cause for any network problem.

Even if you swipe down from the top of your Galaxy S5’s screen and it seems like the “Airplane mode” mode is disabled, make sure to enable it, wait for a while, and disable it again.

Disabled Roaming Mode

If you’re out of the country, in a place your network cannot cover, you can’t make phone calls or send messages unless you turn on the data roaming. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Go to your phone’s settings.
  2. Find the network settings. They are usually in the “Settings” tab called “Wireless & Network.” While there, look for the “More” button that has three dots next to it. If you can’t find the network settings, keep in mind that they are connected with SIM card settings on some phone models.
  3. If you manage to find the “More” option, go to “Mobile Networks” from there.
  4. Under “Mobile network settings” lies the “Data roaming” option. Turn it on and see if this solves the problem.

Change the Network Selection Method

Regardless of whether you set your phone to choose the network automatically or not, a buggy network selection could make it impossible to make calls. To see if this is the source of the problem, go to the same “Mobile Networks” menu where you’d check your data roaming. Here is where the “Network operators” option should be. Whatever your current network selection mode is, choose the other one, or change it multiple times if that doesn’t help.

Use a Third-Party Signal Booster App

There’s an Android app for almost everything. Even strengthening the network signal is no exception. If everything failed so far, try installing this free app called “Network Signal Speed Booster.” It’s completely free and it does all the work for you, attempting to improve the network signal the moment you start it. What’s not to like?

Check the Radio Signals

Each Android phone broadcasts radio signals. However, there are issues with Android phones not broadcasting the right signals. The solution to this problem is a bit more advanced:

  1. Access the Android’s “Testing” menu by dialing “*#*#4636#*#*.” If you entered this sequence correctly, you will be taken to this menu as soon as you press the final asterisk.
  2. In the testing menu, choose “Phone Information.” It’s usually the first option.
    Testing menu
  3. Your next stop is the “Phone info” menu. There’s a lot of info, but the button “Run Ping Test” will be clearly visible and is often located near the top of the screen. Tap on it.
    Ping testNote: The ping test will only be successful if you have an internet connection.
  4. In the same menu, scroll down until you find the “Set preferred network type:” dropdown menu. There’s a small arrow at the right side of the screen that will help you recognize it. Tap on it to see what the options are.
    Network type
  5. Choose “GSM auto (PRL).”
  6. By scrolling even further down, you’ll find the option that says “Turn off radio” (or “Mobile Radio Power”). Switch it off if it’s not off already.
  7. There’s nothing else to do here, so reboot your phone and try checking the network.

Update Your Software

If the problem persists, or there are multiple problems with your Android device, consider updating your operating system. Here’s how to see if your Android is up to date:

  1. Go to “Settings.”
  2. Look for “About phone” or similar option.
  3. Tap “System updates.”
  4. Your phone will let you know if there’s a newer Android version available or not.

Note: If there is, make sure your battery is properly charged and be prepared to leave your phone for a while.

Reset Your Phone

Your last resort should be resetting your phone to factory settings. This will delete all your files, so do this only if you have tried all of the above solutions, which would leave you with no other choice. To do a factory reset:

  1. Go to “Settings.”
  2. Find “Backup & reset.” You might or might not find this option immediately in the settings.
    Additional settings
  3. There should be an option such as “Factory data reset” at the end of the list. Tap it, initiate the process, and wait for it to finish. Your phone will reboot upon completion.
    Backup and reset

In Search for Network Coverage

The “Mobile network not available” error message usually requires checking the SIM card placement, or just waiting for a while if there is no network coverage at the given moment because of a network error. If the simplest options don’t work, there are many more solutions you can try.

How have you dealt with getting this error message? Let us know in the comments below.

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