I had the same problem with my phone- i got a cheap generic battery to replace the old one (which wasn't holding a charge for a full day, at that) and then i lost all signal, basically. I tried what scm_pa said he did - charged my old battery up, with the phone off, till the charge was complete- turned the phone on, and voila, reception!
I hope you didn't plug an external antenna into your V3. That's what I did, and have been having problems ever since. The external antenna jack is plastic and breaks easily. I can't find a replacement for that part, but I replaced the internal antenna (ordered it from cellular nationwide network for $7). Now the signal is sketchy. I can get a signal outside, but not inside the house. I think I'm getting interference from my wireless DSL network.
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Your cellular carrier can provide you with a "signal booster" device that can repeat and boost a cellular signal you already get in your house. For example, if you consistently have one bar of coverage but no more at home, a booster can take that one bar and turn it into more bars. If you have one or two bars of coverage near a window but no coverage elsewhere in your home, a booster near that window can capture the signal and boost it, providing a strong signal throughout the rest of your home.
Some carriers offer such devices very inexpensively - $50 or maybe even free - especially if you're in an area where they know they know they have poor coverage. T-Mobile now offers such boosters for only a $25 deposit, which you can get back just by returning the booster to them.
Contact your carrier - or look at their website - to see just what they'll offer you and for how much.
Femtocells / Microcells
A femtocell - or "microcell" - is a small, low-power cellular base station that connects to the cellular network via your broadband Internet connection. Essentially, it's a small cellular signal tower that will provide a signal in and near your home, connecting to the larger mobile network over your Internet connection. This makes it ideal for situations where you don't even have a signal bar of coverage you can boost at home. The only "catch" is that your Internet connection must have a high enough download speed. Different carriers require different minimum speeds, but you should be fine as long as you have a solid broadband connection.
Ask your cellular carrier if they offer this sort of product and find out how much it will cost you. As with boosters and repeaters, a femtocell may be available at a steep discount from your carrier in areas they know they have poor cellular service.
You can also buy them easily on Amazon or almost any decent tech store - for instance the one pictured below works for AT&T and supports LTE (though it is a bit pricey), or you can get one that supports Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Cricket, and many others, but you won't get LTE support. Of course, since you likely have Wi-Fi in your house, LTE isn't really a big deal and the 3G will work just fine for calls and texts.
Editor's Note: For the official How-To Geek office we got a Samsung microcell device directly through Verizon, which wasn't cheap, and doesn't work all that well. And since it only works for Verizon, any of the people who come by who use other carriers have zero signal, which is really annoying. If we could do it over again, we'd have started with this zBoost microcell that supports virtually every cell provider and has many different models and options to choose from depending on the size of the house. They even have an optional antenna you can install on your roof to give cell coverage everywhere around your house. It's the best choice, and cheaper than most carriers will offer you.
Wi-Fi Calling and SMS
Wi-Fi calling is a feature you might remember from some years ago, but it's coming back with a vengeance. At the moment, in the US, only T-Mobile offers Wi-Fi calling for both Android phones and the iPhone. Sprint only offers Wi-Fi calling for select Android phones. AT&T and Verizon have announced plans to activate Wi-Fi calling in 2015.
Essentially, WI-Fi calling allows your smartphone to receive and place calls and communicate via text messages over a Wi-Fi network. Your home probably has Wi-Fi, so Wi-FI calling will let you use your existing wireless router instead of needing a new, specialized device. You can just improve your Wi-Fi signal strength, and all your devices will benefit!
Wi-Fi calling works transparently. When your phone is on Wi-Fi and has a poor cellular signal, it will connect to the Wi-Fi network and your phone calls and text will be sent and arrive over the Wi-Fi network. When you leave the Wi-Fi network, your phones and calls will be sent over the cellular network as usual. This is all designed to hand-off automatically, so you could start a phone call on your Wi-Fi network and your phone would automatically hand off to the cellular network as you walk out the door, with no interruptions.
WI-FI calling will also work on other WI-Fi networks, so it's helpful if you ever end up in another place where you have a poor cellular signal but have Wi-Fi. To use this, you'll need to ensure your phone has Wi-Fi calling support and that it's enabled. Android phones from T-Mobile and Sprint will often include this feature, so look up how to enable it on your specific model of Android phone.
The iPhone 6 has built-in Wi-Fi calling, although it currently only functions on T-Mobile. AT&T and Verizon plan to support it in 2015. To enable this feature on an iPhone, open the Settings screen, tap Phone, tap Wi-Fi Calling, and activate it.
WI-Fi calling seems to be the future goal the industry - T-Mobile, especially - is pushing towards. With Wi-Fi calling integrated into your phone, you don't need to buy a specialized device. Your home Wi-Fi router works. And, when you go somewhere else where you have a poor signal, all they need is a Wi-Fi network and you'll be able to get a phone calls and SMS messages through it.
Image Credit: Carl Lender on Flickr, Nan Palmero on Flickr, Wesley Fryer on Flickr
This is a problem that your mobile carrier can answer correctly. However, since you have posted your question on Fixya, I will provide some tips for you to check on.
Some possible causes on your communication problem:
1. "NOT REGISTERED TO NETWORK"
This message will appear for the following reasons -
Network signal is weak - somewhere on the top of your display is a triangular shape with bars. Signal strength is displayed here. If you see only a few bars highlighted, and changes randomly, this is an indication that problem is with the signal.
Other times the problem may be with the phone. When the SIM card is not properly seated in its housing, phone will go off - on -off - on, at a slight touch.
Another possible cause is a partially dislodgement of the internal connections/ joints of the phone's antenna. If your phone was subjected to a hard knock, this will cause a similar problem.
Check those and if you cant resolve your problem, contact you mobile carrier for assistance.
I would contact your carrier and advise them of the problem. Aside from that you can follow these steps:
A. Make sure you have 2-3 bars or min 30-40% signal prior to placing the call
B. Power cycle your phone daily or after you have traveled more than 5 miles from your previous location. ( to power cycle remove battery for one minute, this will cause your phone to lock onto the nearest cell tower to you)
Call your carrier tell your carrier's customer service representative that you're traveling abroad and want to use a foreign carrier's Sim card If they don't give you the code, stick by your guns and ask for a manager.
i have the same phone and carrier. mine is at full bars all the time. i did call t-mobile and the sent it codes to get the MMS and internet working properly. this might be the reason for my reception. it won't hurt to call them so they can configure your phone to t-mobile service.
What is it all about??? A phone may be blacklisted (or barred) for many different reasons, but the most common reason is that it has been reported either lost or stolen! It is only the networks (Orange, T-Mobile, O2, Vodafone etc) that have the facility to blacklist a handset.
If you are unfortunate enough to either lose or even worse have your phone stolen you should report it to your service provider (your network) immediately! Your service provider can then blacklist the handset so that it can no longer be used to make or receive any calls. The networks do this by adding your phones serial number onto a national blacklist database (Central Equipment Identity Register). Effectively the handset becomes absolutely useless and the thief is in possession of a pretty paper weight! :-))
So How Does Blacklisting Work? Every mobile phone has a unique serial number. This serial number is called the IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity). It can normally be found underneath the phones battery and it is 15 digits long.
Now each time you switch your phone on or attempt to make a call the network systems check the IMEI number of the handset you are using. At this point the IMEI number of your handset is cross referenced with the Central Equipment Identity Register. If the IMEI number of your handset is on the CEIR then the network will either:
1) Refuse to send a signal to your phone (No signal strength at all)
2) OR WILL supply a signal but will not allow any outgoing or incoming calls.
If your IMEI number is on the CEIR your handset is blacklisted and therefore useless.
ATT should have looked to see if the internet service is turned off for that particular phone. If thats the case, you shall not send receive pictures. Thats the only the reason you should not be able to send receive pictures.
Call ATT again and ask them that. Sorry to say you might have got the high school dropout rehab person that day.
Is this an unlocked phone from another carrier? If so you need to call AT&T to download mms messaging, and Medianet so u can download games and such. Another thing to mention is, if it is from another carrier you may not be able to get games. My razr was from Cingular, I cracked the simlock (cingular refused to give me the key, none the less), cost me $10. I called my carrier (T-mobile) and they were more than happy to send the links to get my txt and web working. The only thing I can't get is games. Backgrounds and Ringtones download fine. Sorry, am babbling, Call your carrier, and I am sure they will send you the links to download txt and medianet. I looked on their site and can't find the links to help you.