Google gives up investigating spotty 3G issues for Nexus One

The Google Nexus One might be one helluva smartphone, but that hasn’t stopped a vocal minority from making noise over the N1’s problems – especially the spotty 3G network reception that some N1 users are seeing on T-Mobile. We previously mentioned the issues that T-Mobile Nexus One users have been experiencing, to which T-Mobile and Google announced that they’d investigate the matter. Well, it seems that Google has finally called off their investigation and will no longer be pursuing software fixes for the problem. Despite months of investigating the problem, users continue to have reception problems on T-Mobile’s 3G network.

The announcement comes from Google’s N1 support forums. Google employee “Ry Guy” posted this today:

Hey guys,
I’ve seen some recent speculation on this thread about an OTA to improve 3G connectivity and I want to give you an update on the situation.
While we are continuing to monitor user feedback regarding the 3G performance on the Nexus One, we are no longer investigating further engineering improvements at this time.
If you are still experiencing 3G issues, we recommend that you try changing your location or even the orientation of your phone, as this may help in areas with weaker coverage.
-Ry Guy

The announcement essentially means that Google is no longer looking into possible software fixes that would improve 3G reception. It’s not clear if the problems are related to software problems with the N1’s baseband or if the issues are related to T-Mobile’s 1700Mhz AWS 3G network.

Some T-Mobile Nexus One users are up in arms over Google’s apparently decision to abandon them in their time of need. As forum member lzb302 puts it, “Looks like [Google] are writing us off!”

If you’ve been contemplating buying a T-Mobile Nexus One, we’d like to know if this announcement from Google will affect your decision in any way – especially with the Verizon Droid Incredible just days away from an official launch.

[Via: Google; Thanks, Bill!]


    Yo toddy! have you been having any problems with this? I was going to buy one of these TOMORROW!

  • Mace

    This is why I wouldn’t buy a phone from Google. They don’t know anything about radio and can’t fix these problems. For example Nokia radio performance is always super, because they have hundreds of radio experts who have been writing the radio specs. They know their product, Google doesn’t.

    • Steve

      Mace, Google doesn’t have anything to do with actually producing the hardware. The phone is made by HTC for them, so the problem “should” be a HTC problem. My question would be whether people are having the same problem with the other HTC phones. So, is it really a HTC or a T-Mobile problem, should be the real question.

      • Chris Anthoine

        Yes! I have both the myTouch 3G and a Blackberry 9700 both have issues with 3G connectivity. Same problems on both phones which others have mentioned with the Nexus. I doubt there is anything google can do other than strong arm T-Mobile into looking deeper at their network.

  • wandborg

    Im sitting in Sweden with the same problem.
    I think that the problem is not only in T-mobile network.
    I have tried all carriers here, and live down town about 250 meters from the antennas. Same issue by all of hem (Telia, 3HiG, Tele2 and Telenor).
    My problem is that I cant swap or repair the phone becurse I bought it in US in February got it via International Orders. That means that I am not the buyer.


  • Ryguy

    it’s not just T-Mobile but AT&T users also reported the problem.

    and this is a hardware issue as the signal drops when holding the phone.

    google managers were discussing whether they should recall or not and they decided to abandon. because:
    1. it costs a lot
    2. no law says phone shouldn’t drop more than 10dbm when being hold.

    so they think they can win the lawsuit.

  • HKRied

    I have an N1 and I use a prepaid SIM with no data plan. I usually have WiFi available and it’s terrific. It’s occasionally disappointing, for example, not being able to use navigation. But that may not be reliable anyway. Having moved from Verizon I was already let down with voice coverage. But I always thought I’d sign up for a data plan someday, but not now. I think MiFi is in my future. Maybe a Sprint Overdrive (4G). That may be the best of both worlds. I’ve already saved so much over my old Verizon plan that the MiFi coupled with prepaid voice seems cheap. Especially when I make regular use of VOIP.

  • masKeRaid

    I've had 2 different N1's since launch in January, both with the same 3G issue. If you cover any parts of your body big enough to block most of the bottom of the phone, it will get right off the 3G and switch to EDGE. The same goes for when using Wi-Fi on both phones. If you cover the top of the phone, it will reduce a full 3-bar Wi-Fi connection to a 2-bar. I have had official updates on both phones since 2.1. Currently at 2.2 Froyo, with no difference in these situations. This has to be a hardware failure that Google has outright ignored from fear of a reputation built from a recall. You still f***ed your customers who were willing to take the biggest risks for you and your experimental first phone. I will not forget this.

    To end on a happy note though, the rest of the hardware and software of the phone is very nice, MOSTLY. it's for this main reason that I'm currently trying to weigh my options in another great smartphone.

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