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Report: Nokia Lumia 920, the 1308 firmware and connectivity issues

Although by all accounts Nokia Lumia 920 owners are some of the happiest (and proudest) smartphone users out there, no phone is perfect and neither is any firmware update.

Recently, the 1308 firmware for Windows Phone 8 Lumias has begun rolling out, starting with AT&T and just this week heading out to other carriers globally.  Now, we’re getting numerous reports that the update, while adding advanced Storage Tools, improving sensors, tweaking some camera settings and more, has wrought some issues with the radio.

Indeed, from our own experience we too have witnessed these oddities with data and phone connections on our white AT&T Lumia 920 (clean install of the 1308 ROM). What makes the problem hard is it is not easy to quantify e.g. on occasion, it shows the phone being connected to LTE but data either trickles in or doesn’t come at all (both for uploads and downloads).

Data

Toggling the radio’s Airplane Mode can solve the problem but it seems to come back at some point in the future. Often, you don’t really notice it because you often still get data but things just seem slower, other times it just stops but resolves itself soon thereafter.

Likewise we have had at least one day where no phone calls came in to our device with no missed calls recorded on the phone. Like usual, we were home in our normal location, enjoying 3 (out of 5) bars of coverage.

Users in our forums have been registering complaints since the update started rolling out and while not all of the discussion in that thread deals with connectivity problems, a large majority do. Some have also reported missing text messages in addition to phone calls or reduced data bandwidth.

“My phone is basically useless while at work. I get two bars of LTE now but no data connection with it. I miss phone calls, texts, and cannot browse the Internet while connected to LTE. I do get a very slow connection once it switches to 4G only but I have no way of forcing it into 4G.” – JamesF25

“Let me join the club...Severe connectivity issues after 1308 update on 4G/LTE, 2 black NL920, NYC. Att is sending new sim card which supposedly should fix the problem.” -- hudsonvalley

“Exact same situation with me. Once I started having trouble, I would check the signal strength first to see if it had one...always 2-3 bars. Then, when I would try to send the message or run an app that uses the network, it would die.” – Jeff Cofield

“Well, I'm on my lunch break so I don't have time to read all 18 pages, but my data connectivity has gone to **** since the update. I'm in New York and am experiencing this both in Long Island and New York city -- both LTE-heavy regions. I caught it one time going to edge network. Seems accessing different apps will randomly send the phone to "loading land" with no end in sight until I close and try again. Happens in IE, two versions of Facebook, etc.” -- Tigersoul

Another complication is not everyone who has the 1308 update installed is experiencing the issue, making it difficult to isolate whether these are carrier settings with the radio or installed user software that is interfering somehow.

Nokia on the case?

If there were one company to quickly rectify their mistakes in software bugs, it’s Nokia. The company has numerous bugs on various devices that have caused performance issues or underperformed e.g. the “purple haze” with the Lumia 900's display but they’ve also been one of the fastest to acknowledge and fix such problems.

Reader of the site Jeff D. has notified us that he’s been in contact with Nokia Support on the matter and that they’re trying to isolate the problem:

“I had the issue and I've been in contact with Nokia.  They swapped devices with me so they could study mine with apps installed, settings set, etc. I did the update on the fresh phone and then did a hard reset before starting to install my apps and set my settings.  The connectivity issues are still there.  I've had some email contact with the Nokia team, but I have no idea if they are on a path towards resolution yet.  I'm glad to know that they are looking into it and actively seeking a fix.”

In other words, Nokia does appear to be responding to the numerous complaints are actively investigating it. The bad news is we of course have no ETA on a fix (or knowledge of what is causing it).

Faulty carrier settings?

Lumia Access Point AT&T

One oddity that seems to coincide with the 1308 firmware is varying options under ‘Access Point’ in Settings. Access Point is Nokia’s custom software that will allow users to switch SIMs on their Windows Phone. It’s basically a list of carrier settings, including gateways for data and SMS/MMS, that users enable when changing their micro SIM cards to ensure adequate pairings.

At least on our device (and a few others), AT&T has no less than three settings: AT&T 3G, AT&T – LTE 1- Lumia, and AT&T – LTE 2- Lumia. What the difference is between all three is currently not known, nor do we have any idea of why toggling one over the other would be beneficial. That raises the question how would a normal customer know how to select the best carrier settings (assuming they each do something differently)?

For its part, Nokia Support (via @NokiaCareUS) seems to be under the impression that those settings are a mistake. In a tweet addressing Ian R.’s concerns, Nokia states that those settings “should not be there” even though we have seen them on our 520, 620 and 920 with the 1308 firmware (we’re unsure if they were there prior to the update though).

Poll

As usual in these matters, we’ll toss up a poll to see if we can get a rough idea of how widespread this is (and it’ll help Nokia too). For now, we’ll keep it as mostly “AT&T” and “other” as the majority appear to be on AT&T in the US (though we’re not 100% sure of that).

We’ve of course reached out to Nokia about this issue and are awaiting a response. We’ll certainly pass on anything that we hear on the matter. If sharing info in comments on your experience, please remember to mention carrier/region.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

282 Comments
  • So when will the poll be up?
  • It's there now.
  • :D
  • Humans, try selecting your operator manually -> settings-cellular-network selection. Don't use automatic.
  • This option does not exist on an AT&T Lumia 920
  • +1
  • Is there a way to flash international firmware on the ATT branded 920 ? if so.. do that.
  • ATT disables manual network selection on all their devices.
  • I just brought L810 hearing how people were dancing in the streets after Portico and TMO didn't update 7.5 nor are they updating L810 to LTE. Now, you want to report this. I haven't had a problem.
    TMO is not updating like they know something.
  • Please don't be clueless. Even if LTE doesn't reach its full potential, it still kills H+. Sorry.
  • Not with this problem. I've had horrible data connectivity and speeds since updating. I frequently visit friends and family who live in an area that does not have LTE yet. Did some speed tests last week and my data connection is now faster and has lower latency in the areas where I'm not on LTE. I have resorted to dialing into my voicemail and leaving the phone call up while I download app updates because it will force the phone to fallback to UMTS/HSPA+. It really is that bad.
  • It's not about speed. It's about swinging from WPCentral balls day and night. Goodnight.
  • Fuckin LOL!
  • T-Mobile is committed to enhancing customers' experience with our devices, including providing upgrades to device features and operating systems, and T-Mobile aims to deliver software upgrades when it will provide a better experience for our customers. We'll share additional information on upgrades for the Nokia Lumia 810 when they are available. Really, thanks TMO.
  • This is unnerving. I had this problem back in the first days of having the phone back in November. No one believed me and neither AT&T nor Nokia had answers. I exchanged the phone for a new one in January and haven't had the issue since. I really hope this doesn't make a return.
  • I've had this issue ever since I got Portico. And I even got a new 920.
  • I've had it with these continuous bad news from Nokia. I pass by their hq in Espoo Finland almost daily. Sometimes I wish I could just step in and ask them how the **** can they mess it up like this all the time?!
  • I found that my DL speed on LTE-1 was around 4-8MBPS and on LTE-2 it was around 25-30MBPS... huge difference. Upload speeds were pretty close but LTE-1 was registering faster upload speeds. Using the Speedtest.net app...
     
    That said, I still get connectivity issues after the 1308 update. So many issues.
  • I had worse issues on Portico, but it is still there.
  • I have noticed these problems latley on EE in the UK.
    I often just start making a call to someone and hang up after a second (before the call connects) and then wait another second for the signal to re-appear. It does bug the hell out of me and it's only a recent thing.
  • I have also noticed connectivity issues recently on EE with my 920. I can be connected to my home network via Wifi yet connectivity will be extremely hit 'n miss.
  • Yes, I've had problems since the ee specific update a couple of weeks back. The wifi connection process seems to have a loading time when previously it did not exist. Also switching between wifi and mobile can cause problems.rebooting phone gives a temporary fix
  • +1 even though the poll doesn't reflect EE customers in the UK, it looks like this is something to do with networks that have 4G! 
  • No problems whatsoever for me and i am on EE with a 4G contract and switching to wifi when at home.
  • Yes, it has been terrible since the update. AT&T is sending me a new phone and I am not going to install the new firmware until forced to.
    .
    After the update, my phone will frequently lose all signal. Apps will also say that they have no internet connection when I have full LTE reception.
    .
    AT&T tried to say it was a tower outage but it's not. Something is very wrong with this firmware update. My phone is worthless at work and while driving, as the data connection doesn't work. It only works while on Wi-Fi and at some other random times.
    .
    Very disappointed with the Lumia 920 after having received the dreaded gears upon hard reset, and numerous build quality issues with creaking and such. I wouldn't be surprised if their move to alluminum is because of all of the plastic creaking issues.
  • Nokia will sort it
  • I have ATT Lumia 920 - and NONE of the three (3g; LTE-1, or LTE-2) seem to be on. At Access point, each is listed as inactive. I have seen no problems with 1308 that I installed with all apps on board.
  • This is KEY: "Often, you don’t really notice it because you often still get data but things just seem slower, other times it just stops but resolves itself soon thereafter."
    I do not have Access Point installed and I have been having issues right after 1308 was applied.
    ATT - USA Access Point was not part of 1308. It does not appear that Access Point has anything to do with this bug.
  • Same with me. I do not have Access Point settings available on my device, but I DO have issues with connectivity all the time now.
    AT&T Lumia 920
  • I haven't noticed any issues on my 920 (AT&T) yet, and I DO NOT have access point listed in my settings before or after 1308.
  • No access point installed, but have issues from time to time since the update. Sometimes my phone will just switch to 4G for no reason then go back to LTE. Sometimes nothing at all.
     
    I've had access point installed on older firmware versions and had all 3 settings pop up. Before we had LTE in the area I forced the phone to the 3G setting,  but since we got LTE the 3G setting gets no service at all. LTE 1 & 2 seem to have a little speed difference. But I did a factory reset to remove access point, but alas no improvement.
  • I believe the article was just touching on different things fro. the update. I do not believe there was any implication that Access Point had anything to do with the issue.
  • +1 No access point on EE, UK Lumia either - but I do have ditto connectivity issue!
  • These problems are due to at&t fooling with the update, no problems with other carriers in Europe. U guys should be cracking the shits with at&t. Telstra oz has not released this yet as I'm sure they will test it exhaustively before release ota as per usual
  • I've seen numerous people state they have the same issues on EE, UK. Thanks for trying though.
  • No problem for me on EE in the UK.
  • Cracking the shits?? Haha... That's a new one on me... I will crack AT&T's shit today... I wonder what they do with all returned 920's? This will be my 3rd...
  • I had the issue immediately after the installed updated.  I had lte bars, but no data connectivity.  now, it flip flops from LTE to 4g which drains my batter. 
     
    When i was in vegas, i'd have 5 lte bars and no connectivity.  My connectivity in my hotel was horrendous, couldn't connect at all most of the time. 
     
    Hopefully this gets fixed quickly. 
     
     
  • I have actually had this problem for a while. Messing with the settings in ##DATA would fix it some times. But with portico update it fixed. Now its back with this.new update.
  • Usually after ending a call I'm left with no signal for a little while, never had this issue until recently.
  • Yep these issues are pretty accurate. It reminds me of when the L900 first came out, except back then we lost data completely...hopefully it can be fixed soon. Nokia's always pretty good fixing issues.
  • I am having data connectivity problems too. But I don't think it's because of the settings in Access Point. I've had all three options in Access Point since before the 1308 firmware update
  • I've seen all three settings with Access Point since Access Point was first released (I'm on AT&T). 
  • I did not see a change in service. Maybe its a placebo effect of some sorts.
  • I've had those problems on my Lumia 900 ever since I got it.
  • Having the same issues as mentioned in the article. I have also been having an issue on my L920 where it sends duplicate text messages to all of my contacts. I'm on my second L920 now and continue to experience this issue since November. I spoke to ATT support and they mentioned that they've seen this occur on Lumia 920's. Apparently the phone sends a second text message it the signal strength is weak. Hope Nokia fixes this issue soon. Anyone else having this problem? 
  • Yep, exact same problem both me and my wife have been having, but not until the 1308 update. It worked just fine before.  At first I was excited after the update, because it showed LTE at my house, when before it was only ever 4G. But it's TERRIBLE now.  So many dropped calls, complaints from people of multiple texts, no data even though it shows two or three bars, etc.
  • Yes with the multiple text messages!   So frustrating to my recipients and myself. 
  • Problem here manifests itself with flips between service (multiple bars) and zero service. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it flips every 5-10 seconds. White 920 w/1308 on AT&T.
  • No problems for me. Then again, we do not have LTE in my area.
  • I don't know about anyone else, but I've been having problems like this since I got my Lumia 920 (Orange - UK)
    I can stand in one place get 3G, then 5 minutes later it won't work, it happened again today but I assumed it was just the same problem continuing.
  • My phone has had horrible issues since the update. Yesterday I reset my phone at 7pm and had 5 missed voicemails from earlier in the day. This is my work phone so I can't afford to keep missing calls. This is already my second 920 needless to say I have not been happy with my phone.
  • well I'm not happy this is happening.  However I'm glad its not just my phone kicking the bucket or something worse.
  • Also having these issues with my 1308 flashed Lumia 920. I've also seen strange issues with the lock screen appearing "blank" of all text, but with the proper background image. In general, I've experienced more issues with this latest update than what it purports to fix. Bummed. On a related note, I'm on my third Lumia 920 at this point. Build quality has been great, cameras have been wonderful, and I haven't had any issues with rattling, front cameras, or proximity sensors. What I have had is recurring "battery drain" issues that have persisted on every Lumia 920 I've owned, the two that my co-worker has owned, and most anyone I've spoken with about their 920 phone. Varying behaviors will cause the phone to warm up and then drain the battery at the rate of 8-10% per hour -- even after everything is manually closed and the phone is just sitting on my desk at work. I've worked with Nokia Support (they've been great, actually) but the issue persists. I'm thinking that all 920 phones has this problem, but not everyone is aware of it. If anyone is interested, you can read the full thread on the Nokia Support discussion forum. You can search for "ATT Lumia 920 Cyan Overheats Battery Draining". I'd love for others to chime in, if you have this same issue.
  • I never had a problem with battery drain or connectivity until this update but I'm pretty sure its having NFC enabled thats killing the battery life. I turned it off and it seems as it fixed it. Now before the Battery life was slightly worse but still excellent with NFC enabled. I have had obvious problems with dropped calls since the update as well with two lock ups during calls and a couple of random ones which I never experienced previously...
  • It's definitely not NFC-related for me, since I've never had it turned on. Seems like everyone is looking for the quick fix -- turn off NFC, disable LTE, back out of applications, low-signal area, blah, blah, blah -- but none of that has worked. I've tracked the issue(s) religiously, as have others in the Nokia Support thread. These phones have issues. On a related note, I've also thoroughly tested both a Lumia 820 and a 620 the same way. Both worked fine with no battery drain issues.
  • I have the same problems with a non-AT&T black 920. Just posted more details on Nokia Support forum.
    My biggest problem is that I can't have a replacement device. I bought it in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia while working there. The 920 model wasn’t available in Athens yet and getting it through my MO wouldn’t offer something special in price. After exactly 5 days of the best experience I had with a smartphone, things turned bad. But I wasn’t there. I was already in Peru and starting my 3 weeks in Latin America. A typical life for a modern nomad. Mobility is what keeps us connected to work and family… Right? Nokia has another idea of mobility.
    The problem made the device unusable: overheating and an empty battery in a couple of hours, a camera that is actually destroyed. I contacted Nokia support online to check how I can visit a Nokia service center in Greece, the country that is my base for most of the time and the only place I can drop a device and pick up a repaired or replaced one after a couple of weeks. The “online” response was that my lumia was not covered by warranty in Greece because it was bought outside EU! Wow! I thought duty free shops at airports all over the world try to sell you something that can only be fixed in their country. You have to go back there. And not just at the airport (airport shops will not accept a device to fix) but outside in the city to find a Nokia service center…
  • I have also been experiencing the "blank" lock screen issue, and I'm not on the 1308 firmware. Lumia 920 ROGERS Canada
  • Just got my 920 one week ago and was extremely disappointed to experience this battery drain problem. Also experiencing the random shut offs which requires a soft reset. When it didnt shut off id get about 4hrs max before I had to recharge. I got my unlocked 920 from Rogers in Canada sent to me all the way in the Caribbean so really didn't want to have go through the expense of returning it.
    However,  it seems as though the problem was the wifi (for my phone anyway)! After having the wifi switch off my phone no longer shuts off and I now get about 12-14hrs out of a charge with moderate use. Even tried turning back on wifi for a day for the avoidance of doubt and as expected it shut off after a couple hrs.
    Though others claim to get 18-24hrs out of their 920s I guess I can live with what I get. Hoping and update would remedy the fault in the future. For now I only turn on wifi momentarily when I need to download apps or updates or large files, then switch it off when im done.
     
  • I've got the battery drain issue. Fine most days then suddenly, with no apps running, battery will drain at more than 10% per hour. Yes, I've tried all the tricks and disabled everything possible. I got a replacement, hoping it might be a bad unit. New one was good for a week, then same thing happened. One thing that "helps" is the "Battery" app, which allows you to set a custom alert if the drain rate per hour goes over a certain amount. I set it for 10%. If it goes off and I'm not doing anything, usually a hard reboot will set it straight. Saved my skin a few times.
  • I've got this same exact issue list! I now know im not crazy and feel validated. Lets hope Nokia and co get this fixed ASAP.
  • I flashed the firmware on my Rogers 920, and I have been having the problems as well. Just thought it was my connection until the past few days when I started seeing these reports. Hopefully a fix will be incoming.
  • Funny I had that data trickling problem on WP7. I frequently had to toggle cellular data off and go WiFi to get good speeds if cell was weak and vice versa if WiFi was weak. Just before 1308 I was thinking this was solved on wp8,but I'm starting to see this issue again.
  • I don't have the connectivity issues but I still have the fading screen brightness issue and the no 15 or 30 minute lock screen time. :(
  • Dude, did you update to 1308?
  • I have those 3 items listed under Access Point in Settings, but all three show as inactive (920 with latest firmware on AT&T). No connections issues that I aware of here but no LTE service either
  • what a shame, they just can't get it right with any update
  • I thought you're done with Windows Phone. Still around?
  • Still contract not up yet
  • Noticed this same issue on EE in the UK since updating to 1308. Phone seems to periodically drop off the mobile data network even though showing in service. Only a reboot of the radio (airplane mode off/on) seems to fix it. Painful so hope Nokia sort it soon.
  • Both my wife and I have the same issues with our phones. I'm constantly flipping airplane on and off because I work in a dungeon but I still have to flip it at odd times on days off or evenings and catch it caught in Edge too. My wife gets frustrated with it because it will kill her battery and be unusable at times until I tell her to flip her airplane mode on and off. Hope Nokia/ATT fix this soon!
  • BSitting here reading all these horror stories on my one week old Lumia 920 in Romania makes me glad I could not update to 1308 even if I wanted to. Really sorry for all your issues guys and hope Nokia releases a fix ASAP. What I've learnt from these issues is to wait a couple of days before updating to the latest firmware.
  • ^This. I work in IT and still risked updating to the bleeding edge. Most times it works out, but this time I got burned. I always tell people not to do this, but don't take my own advice :-S
  • I was wondering what was going on. Don't know why I didn't coincide both of those together. Yeah I'm having issues too. I constantly reset my phone for it work. It's annoying, but luckily wp8 boots relatively quickly.
  • My son has a Nokia Lumia 920 has the same issue as I do but he swears the guys next to him at work have Samsung phones on AT&T with Android OS says they have more bars then him on a regular bases... I think its something with AT&T network! This LTE 4G isn't as good as they say it is for penetrating through walls... I thought it was using a UHF band but maybe something in the phone limiting the signal or AT&T sets priority to certain phones!
  • Pretty similar issues here. I only have 2 bars LTE where I am right now, but speedtest app shows zero up and download speeds. I used to be able to surf the web/play games at this location. I just thought it was a buggy thing with the games servers or something. Also, yesterday I completely lost phone service for a while. I did a soft reset and it came back at 4 bars LTE. I guess I'm glad I'm not the only one with issues as well :) ...also, I don't have that access point thingy.
  • Well, now I'm at home and my connection is blazing.
  • I'm in NYC and have the exact problem. LTE has been misfiring for me before so didn't take it seriously. Also connected to WiFi always which makes me hardly notice the problem. But I just turned off WiFi, full solid LTE but data not working. Calls are going through. So definitely something wrong. 
  • I've seen this. But only on certain towers.. if that's even possible lol. But when I cross from the city I work in, to the city I live in, my data because horribly slow but still shows full signal on LTE. Might just be a bogged network, but I didn't notice it until after the update.
  • This is frustrating, but at least we know that it is being looked into and not being dismissed by Nokia.  They aren't passing the buck back to AT&T, even if it might be their fault.   The support team on Twitter for Nokia is THE BEST.  They are one of the reasons that I use Twitter.  I don't follow celebs, I engage with things that are important in my life, like @NokiaCareUS and @ATT.  They are always helpful and they pass information on to people who can do something.  If you are having this (or any other technical) issue, let them know.  *No, it won't help you to complain to them about Instagram for that Tweet @Instagram. Daniel's advice to switch Airplane Mode on and then off again is the best current workaround.  I had been soft resetting my phone which takes a ton of time. If you have any questions about what I've experienced, please ask.  I'm "Jeff D." from the article.  
  • Very cool they swapped devices with you. I've been very pleased with response from Nokia support, heck even the CEO responded (at least whomever reads his email did). You should blog about the experience or keep us updated on how this progresses.
  • Oddly, this update fixed software issue for me. Was having the store lag. Blacked out call screen , slow down, dodgy brightness and app crashes. This update fixed it all
  • Where is the access point option..I am on ATT Lumia 920 1308 firmware. I do not see those access point options
  • You have to install it. Nokia did not put that on the phones.
  • I cant find the app in the store from my phone. although can search on the web. do u have link to the qr code for the app.
    Thanks
     
  • I have a Lumia 920, but I don't have the Access Point option under settings.  I just got the update this morning and so far haven't had an issue.  I've been connected over LTE all day long...5 bars.
  • I have the 1308 Firmware Update, but I do not have the Access Point found in settings. Where specifically would it be under. But for me, everything is working just fine and normal.
  • .You have to install it. Nokia did not put that on the phones.
  • My phone is having serious issues. Even my WiFi is slow on my phone
  • I've had this problem on TWO brand new Lumia 920s on AT&T after the update. The new devices come w/ Portico preinstalled btw. I've swapped devices AND SIMs. It is a software problem in the baseband radio.
    I miss calls AND texts.
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Black L920 in Portland metro area with normally strong LTE coverage. Data just seems to stop, despite having bars and reading LTE on screen. Thanks for the airplane mode tip. Nokia needs to get this fixed ASAP. Please keep us updated Daniel.  
  • I have a Lumia 920 and I'm from Brazil, I'm still with Portico, 1308 not available here. And I have this issues with my local carrier. Drops calls, not receive calls, can't send messages and internet not available. Anyone with Portico and have this issues?