To peg 4G network: A tale of three smartphones

You are probably thinking, “This man has come again.” The truth is that I never left. I have been harping on the benefits of being able to peg the network of a smartphone. I shall continue to. This time I am talking about the importance of being able to peg 4G network on a smartphone. Let me tell you a story of three smartphones and two 4G networks.

peg 4G network - three smartphones

Cannot Peg 4G Network: Scene One

Last weekend, I put my MTN 4G SIM card in an Android smartphone that I was to review. As usual, I was all excited about playing with a new toy for the period of the review. Within moments, I had a network signal. I got 4G. Ah! All was good. But the bubble burst not too long after. Ask me what happened. Good.

After a while, the phone network switched to 3G. And then 2G. And then after a period of frustrating wait, it went back to 4G. But it didn’t stay there for long. I dived into the phone settings and found Network Settings. There, I discovered that the only options I had were auto network. In other words, the phone had no options to let me peg it to 2G only, 3G only, or 4G only. For the period of the review, I had to live with the dancing around of the network from 2G to 3G to 4G and back. Internet usage was anything but pleasant for the period.

This is what the network mode menu looks like for a phone that does not provide the option to peg to 4G network only:

peg-4g-network-auto

If you pick 4G, it lets the phone switch between all three. If you select 3G, it lets the phone switch between 3G and 2G. If you select 2G, the device is pegged to 2G only.

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Cannot Peg 4G Network: Scene Two

At the office yesterday, a Mobility Arena team member mentioned how he was not getting Etisalat 4G network there at the office. He had enjoyed 4G service all weekend at home and now, here at work where he really needed it, it was nowhere to be found. I checked the network settings menu of his phone and found out that the phone did not provide the option to peg network. So, we decided to see what was up. We removed his SIM card and put it into another phone that provided the option to peg. Then we pegged it to 4G only. Voila! Etisalat 4G appeared. It was just two bars, but it stayed and delivered good speeds.

Of course, we had to return his SIM to his 4G smartphone and he went without 4G service for the rest of the day. The sad thing is that Etisalat mobile internet is mostly unusable in 2G and 3G modes her eat the office, so he was unable to use his data subscription at all. If his phone could peg to 4G network, he would be having a ball.

Cannot Peg 4G Network: Scene Three

Yesterday, I finally got a Glo 4G SIM card. Because of Glo’s rare LTE band 28(700), the only smartphone at my disposal that could work on it was the Lumia 950. I wasn’t excited about the prospects, because I knew that the 950 did not offer 4G only pegging. The only network one can peg on it is 3G. Have a look:

peg-4g-network-lumia-950-3g-only

The next best option was to set it to pick 4G as the highest connection speed. That means the phone will switch between 2G, 3G, and 4G depending on network conditions. I have had my Glo 4G SIM in the Lumia 950 since yesterday afternoon, but the damned phone has stayed locked on 2G (EDGE) all through till now. What the heck! Not even 3G. At least, keep me locked on 3G. Not freaking 2G.What am I going to do with 2G in 2016?

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Three different 4G smartphones that did not allow the user to peg 4G network.

Ability To Peg Is Essential

The ability to peg the network that your phone latches to is essential if your smartphone is your primary data device and you require it for serious work. If not, don’t bother. If you use Wifi for most of your work, do ignore this article.

Thankfully, my primary smartphone provides the option to peg the network anyway I want – 2G only, 3G only, 4G only or auto. Here is what the network mode menu looks like:

peg 4g network

When I need best performance, I peg it to 4G only and enjoy the experience.

No Calls When Pegged To 4G

This is important: whenever you peg your smartphone to 4G only, your line will be unreachable fr voice calls and SMS. 4G only is data only. To be able to receive calls, you either peg to 3G or 2G or leave the phone in auto network mode and let it switch as it wills.

Smartphones That Let You Peg 4G Network

Let’s start with phones that don’t. If you love pure Android OS and will use only smartphones that have that, you are out of luck. If you hate skinned Android phones, sorry. Stock Android does not include the option to peg. You can only select auto modes. The first screenshot in this article is from a smartphone that runs pure Android OS.

So, forget about seeing the options to peg network on Nexus, Motorola, Android One and other pure Android smartphones.

By default, Android manufacturers have to add the option to peg network. Modifying Android OS makes it possible. Some do it. Many don’t. I have handled smartphones by Lenovo, Huawei, Samsung, and Apple and can tell you authoritatively that they do not provide the feature to peg network.

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Here are some smartphones that let users peg the network:

  1. TECNO: The ability to peg network mode is built into TECNO’s HiOS. It is now a standard feature.
  2. Infinix: Same goes for Infinix Mobility’s XOS.
  3. Lumia: this is a mixed bag. Some Lumias offer the option to peg network; others do not. Don’t ask me why. The engineers behind those phones throw dice or something to determine which phones get it and which do not.

But There Are Apps For That

If your smartphone does not let you peg 4G network, you can install a third party app to add that functionality. An example of such apps is Notification Toggle. There are several others in Google Play. do note that those apps are not 100% reliable. After some interval, the phone loses the pegged network and you have to keep pegging again and again each time that happens.

In my opinion, if 4G service is important to you, just buy a smartphone that lets you peg 4G network. Whichever way you choose to go though, I wish you all the best! May you never be stuck with unusable internet because you could not peg your smartphone’s network to 4G or even 3G.

PS: This dilemma is just as valid for 4G modems and mifi devices. They do not support all 4G LTE bands either. Plus, pegging to 4G network on those devices is often a pain in the neck too.

  • infinix 4g phones that pegs on 4g
  • my infinix hot 4 is only discovering 2g
  • 4g phones
  • how to fix 2g coverage in to 4g in etisalat
  • how to peg samsung phone to 4g

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

11 thoughts on “To peg 4G network: A tale of three smartphones

  • October 12, 2016 at 10:23 am
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    my take on this is please list the phones that give me the option to peg, am in a market for one.

    • October 12, 2016 at 10:25 am
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      and has options for all bands in nigeria

    • October 12, 2016 at 11:09 am
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      That’s too much work for the crew! I think you providing a list of devices you’re looking at may be a better way to go about it.

    • October 12, 2016 at 11:15 am
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      A phone with all LTE bands in Nigeria might be a tall order. I use the Infinix Hot S & even though I’m not sure but I think that’s the closest you’ll get to covering several bands as the device works with MTN, Specranet, Smile, ntel… Unfortunately it doesn’t work for GLO LTE. If you do get an android device (albeit sub-70k) that can handle all 5 networks above including Etisalat, let us know! ?

  • October 12, 2016 at 10:46 am
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    Hmmmmm….. A lot has to be done in selecting phones these days. The days of going to Infinix and Tecno is around the corner, I hope for Infinix Zero 4 if it will be better that Zero 3, I just believe it should have that option too. Mr Mo, any review of Tecno Phantom 6+?

  • October 12, 2016 at 1:51 pm
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    When some of us opted for mifi instead of the headache of looking for compatible 4G smartphone………….. How many 4G networks out there now? An unlocked mifi device enough. Or is there a reasonably priced 4Gphone that is compliant with all 4G frequencies out there? Besides using a phone as a mifi of sorts usually runs down the battery fast. Then the issue of VoLTE compliant also there.

    • October 12, 2016 at 6:19 pm
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      Even mifi devices have compatibility issues. They do not all support all 4G LTE bands. And pegging to 4G network on those devices is often a pain in the neck too.

  • October 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm
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    Ntel uses band 3 (1800mhz) and band 8 (900mhz)

     Spectranet and Swift both use band 40 (2300mhz)

     MTN uses band 7 (2600mhz) and 20 (800MHz)

     Smile uses band 20 (800mhz)

     Glo uses band 28 (700MHz)

    If you use an MTK_based device, go to the Engineering Mode and check the band of your phone.

  • October 12, 2016 at 2:49 pm
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    If you use an infiniX Note 2 (x600) like I do, the phone supports..

    3,7,8,20,38,40

    That means, it can’t handle GLO (Nigeria) but does well with all the other available LTE

  • October 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm
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    Hello Mr kayode and Mr mo pls does the Hot s work with etisalat? That’s what I’m using.
    Etisalat is my primary network. ..
    Pls I’m expecting your replies. Thank you

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