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Discussion Starter #1
So first off, I am an Eastlink customer and am very happy overall but where I tend to peddle them to people I know, I want to cover myself on something before I make myself look stupid.

I know that Eastlink uses AWS and is one of the earlier adopters. I also know they use VoLTE so that is also a general requirement on a device. Where things have bugged me is that some of the sales managers have claimed that the hardware they are selling are actually different from what you would get at Bell or Rogers or Telus. Meaning if I had a Galaxy S9 (SM-G960W) from one of the other Canadian carriers and compared it to the ones sold at Eastlink, they are somehow different even though everything I can find so far says they are exactly the same model.

My spidey sense tells me that this is total BS but I personally have no easy way to prove this one way or the other.
 

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This is the best potential explanation I've seen for what is going on: https://www.reddit.com/r/NovaScotia/comments/9e91w6/eastlink_and_byod/

In a nutshell, there's a patch that needs to be on the phone for it to work. iPhones all already have it, which is why you can BYOD those. Android phones don't, except the ones Eastlink sells (the manufacturer puts it on for them).

The whole thing is extremely frustrating.
 

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It's curious that they're so "special". They're not the only carrier that uses AWS. Any idea what that patch does? Might it be restraint of trade? What do visitors to the area do? Can they not roam on Eastlink?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!

So from what I am getting from that reddit thread, if I were to flash their ROM onto a Samsung phone, the patch would likely be in there? (Sammobile being the source of the ROMs)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I should note that I do have a device to experiment with too. It is a Telus/Koodo A5 2017 edition. I tried it with just the Telus ROM and it didn't work as per what was explained in that REDDIT thread. Wouldn't go back to Eastlink after roaming.

So tonight I will be flashing it with an Eastlink ROM to see if that changes things...
 

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It's curious that they're so "special". They're not the only carrier that uses AWS. Any idea what that patch does? Might it be restraint of trade? What do visitors to the area do? Can they not roam on Eastlink?
Freedom Mobile had a similar problem at one point, apparently. It's possibly to do with how the networks are implemented and maybe it goes away when 5G happens. If it's a deliberate ploy to make it so people have to buy phones instead of BYOD to them, it's a terrible strategy given how much business it costs them by making the barrier to entry so much higher.

I know I've told several people about how well Eastlink has worked for me, but as soon as I say "you need a new phone", that's the end of the discussion. It may even drive me off next time I need a phone, since their selection is pretty slim if you don't want an iPhone or a Samsung phone.

I'm not sure anyone roams onto Eastlink, honestly. If they did, they should have the same issue unless they have the patch as well, so if they were from another carrier that has the same issue it would work fine. I don't expect the national carriers to be roaming onto the regional ones, so unless the regional ones have deals with each other it's probably not going to come up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, when you piece all the info from that Reddit post and the whacked out claims from the manager, it makes sense...

They are working with the handset makers to PATCH the hardware to cover for Eastlink's braindead decisions. It has NOTHING to do with custom hardware...

And yes, if it is a deliberate ploy it is stupid. Especially stupid given that really, if they have a true BYOD policy, then the test I will be doing with this non Eastlink provided A5 2017 could be the lock for a serious complaint to the CRTC and here is why... If they have made a bad choice and didn't fix it, then they should be providing the patch for any model of phone that they DO carry that people bring over to use as a BYOD. It would ALSO be their job to provide the necessary info regarding the issue to companies such as OnePlus so that if OnePlus feels adequate pressure from their customers to provide a patch for this, then they can. But the most important part is that where Samsung is clearly putting a patch in the firmware for hardware that goes to Eastlink, then the patch is indeed available and could simply be provided. Flashing a small update file is NOT hard and for all that it matters, they could even charge $25 to do it as really, everyone wins even with a $25 charge.

The one thing that DOES suck in all this is that where there is rarely easy access or ability to flash a Kaios flip phone, my father was indeed hooped and had to get an Alcatel Go Flip from Eastlink. Which fortunately, was dirt cheap. The frustration is on the principle of it all.

More news tomorrow once I am back in the city and can reliably test the flashed phone.
 

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Well, when you piece all the info from that Reddit post and the whacked out claims from the manager, it makes sense...
According to that Mobilesyrup article, it has to do with the actual band (66) being used. Apparently, it's not that common and an extension of band 4. Public Mobile had a similar problem in that they used spectrum that no one else used, causing a limited selection of phones.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I flashed my brothers old A5 2017 with the Eastlink ROM and now the Koodo/Telus issued phone works fine on Eastlink...

So... Band 66 or not...

Where are the patches Eastlink... Buggers...
 
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