Nexus 6s that are on T-Mobile and manually flashed to LMY48I are losing cellular connectivity


Yesterday Google announced that it would be rolling out monthly security updates to Nexus devices, starting this week with a fix for the Stagefright exploit. The update that includes that fix is build LMY48I, which Google posted to its Nexus factory images page. Unfortunately for Nexus 6 users on T-Mobile, that build isn’t meant for use on the magenta network.

Nexus 6 owners on T-Mobile that’ve flashed the LMY48I build into their devices have found that after installing the update, they’re unable to get any cellular connection. The folks at Android Police note that that’s because T-Mobile’s current Nexus 6 firmware — build LYZ28E — is meant specifically for use on N6’s using T-Mobile because it enables T-Mo’s Wi-Fi Calling feature. The LMY48I build does not, and so it’s possible that N6’s with the T-Mo-specific LYZ28E are reacting poorly when their radio firmware is replaced with a generic, non-T-Mo firmware.

It’s worth mentioning that T-Mobile has announced a special update with the Stagefright fix, which is build LMY28J. This 24.6MB update started rolling out yesterday, August 5, and will continue to roll out over the air in the coming days. So if you’ve got a Nexus 6 that’s not connecting to the T-Mobile network because you flashed LMY48I, you should probably flash back to LYZ28E and wait for the new, T-Mobile-friendly LYZ28J update hits your device. Once you’re back on LYZ28E, you can check for the LYZ28J update by going into Settings > About phone > System Updates > Check now.

Nexus devices often get updates before most other Android devices, and if you don’t feel like waiting for the OTA to hit your phone or tablet, you can flash the update using the factory images that Google always posts. However, Google didn’t specify that this new LMY48I firmware wasn’t meant for T-Mobile users like it did with the past update, and so T-Mo folks desperate for the update ended up nuking their N6’s cellular capabilities. Thankfully it’s not too painful to go back to the T-Mo-specific firmware and wait for the LYZ28J update to arrive over the air.

Via: Android Police, Reddit
Sources: Google, T-Mobile

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  • This strikes me as odd. Several other builds worked fine with WiFi calling, and even the generic M previews do.

  • Daniel

    There is a fix for this. If you delete the following database file and reboot, connectivity will be restored:

    If you are getting the persistent “ has stopped” notification, this can be pretty painful to do as you can only get in one click for each time you have to dismiss the notification.

    The catch is that you will no longer be able to make Wi-Fi calls. As far as I can tell, everything else works normally.

    • Trevnerdio

      That’s a big catch… :/

  • VG

    This kind of defeats the purpose of having a Nexus phone with pure Android. I thought Nexus devices all received updates directly from Google; now it appears that T-Mobile is somehow involved with specific updates for T-Mobile versions of the Nexus 6. Doesn’t this negatively impact the reputation of a Nexus device as being “pure Google?”

    • steveb944

      Blame it on WiFi calling.

      But T-Mobile’s update was already rolling out. That’s why when I had a Nexus I still waited for the OTA. Plus, this update wasn’t much of a big deal.

      • Ted Nugent

        Is it? There is no sign of anybody actually having gotten it or any OTA download links anywhere. Usually when it is actively being pushed these would show up somewhere.

    • Manny

      True, but its not so much of an issue as say TouchWiz and others brand of Android. This is more along the lines of T-Mobile having to be involved because of software requirements. As we can now see… With the loss of connectivity.

    • SirStephenH

      Updates for Nexus devices ARE provided directly from Google. The carriers are only involved so far as to ensure compatability on their networks.

      • VG

        Exactly my point: “the carriers are involved”

        • yankeesusa

          The update that is being pushed that has to do with wifi calling is still pushed and updated by google, it is just tmobile that adds their wifi calling feature. And so far the only update that is added to nexus from a carrier is wifi calling. And this did not affect any updates that came directly from google. So no, it does not defeat the purpose of a nexus phone as it still gets updates at the right time and it’s still “Pure” android, it just now has a wifi calling feature.

        • Ted Nugent

          Sweet someone else got the file up there, I was trying to find out where it went because /cache and /data/fota were both empty

        • Ted Nugent

          So because of carrier BS their devices are now either vulnerable or using a version that kills network connectivity because of the carrier’s fail. Still no sign of a clean factory image that is downloadable.

  • VG

    How will this impact the resale value of an unlocked Nexus 6? For example, someone who has been using an unlocked Nexus 6 (purchased from the Google Store) on AT&T automatically updates to build LMY48I via OTA update. If that person subsequently sells the phone on eBay or Swappa, and the buyer tries to use it on T-Mobile, it will be totally useless? It would be a lot to expect a buyer to know they would need to manually flash the phone with a T-Mobile specific build in order for it to work correctly on T-Mobile.

    • Manny

      I don’t think much would be changed. Wait a few days maybe before selling it, so it can be flashed with the proper build, which T-Mobile is releasing shortly. According to the article anywya.

    • yankeesusa

      It wouldn’t impact it at all. As the article stated, it is easy to flash other firmware on the phone. And no the phone will not be useless.

  • SirStephenH

    Whatever happened to the promise of carrier neutral ROMs for Nexus devices?

  • Rob H.

    Another valid reason why I don’t want or have WiFi calling on my device.

    • yankeesusa

      Really, that’s your reason? It was a simple mistake. wifi calling can be a lifesaver sometimes. I was on a trip with family and some family members had verizon and I have tmobile. At the resort neither of us got good signal in the rooms but I was still able to make calls with wifi. The benefits of wifi calling are more than the negatives if there are even any which i can’t think of.

      • Rob H.

        I don’t care for WiFi calling. I don’t see a use for it. T-Mobile has been so good for me if I’m somewhere I don’t have service then I’m somewhere I don’t have WiFi either in turn making WiFi calling worthless. I’m paying for service not for the service to use WiFi whenever possible.

        • yankeesusa

          That’s the great thing about wifi calling, you don’t have to use it. I rarely use it. It’s just there in case of emergencies for me. Due to wifi calling the updates on the n6 aren’t delayed so it’s not a big deal. With android m hopefully their will not be a need for 2 different builds.

        • dtam

          I traveled to France a few years ago and wifi calling = free calls back to the US

    • skywalkr2

      In my case … without wifi calling I have no signal in my basement.

  • plastic101

    Are we always going to be forked? It would be nice if Google would unify the ROM’s.

    • gmo8492

      Exactly, Google should have baked all of these features into stock android a long time ago.

  • Dill

    Only reason T-Mobile needs WiFi calling is because their coverage is subpar.

    • yankeesusa

      Yep, and the admit it. But if you do have coverage where you work and live it is by far one of the best like it is in my case. I rarely go below 22mbps and on a business trip i was able to tether at over 80mbps which is crazy awesome. Only issue i had was a long stretch of road where there was No signal at all. Basically tmobile is great in the major cities and in some small towns.

    • Matt

      Meh, it’s not that bad. I like having unlimited data and I’m willing to put up with some of the coverage issues to have this. T-Mobile gets better and better

    • patelj27b

      I live in northern Virginia, and 95%+ of my time is spend in the northeast corridor between NYC and DC. So, the issue of coverage is non-existent since they have this area covered very well.

    • Fuego

      No, I’ve had T-Mobile for 8 and a half years, and never used my WiFi calling. I know it’s there and awesome feature to have especially for emergencies.

    • skywalkr2

      Agreed. In my area this is true.

    • williejackbrainer

      It’s a good option when your in an area with no cell reception.

    • Acdc1a

      Or you could be in Cuba with no other way to make calls. Tool.

    • Durandal_1707

      I’ve had Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile in the past, and there are some buildings in my area where there just isn’t good service from any of them. T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi Calling makes it possible for me to actually make phone calls from those places, whereas with the other two I had to go outside.

    • RLB63

      I have worked in a basement of a college. No signal for most carriers at least. Had no trouble with the Wi-Fi calling. Also when I went into hospitals that say you need to turn of your cell phones. Never had any trouble they didn’t care since it used Wi-Fi.

    • vinnyjr

      Funny, AT&T and Verizon are rushing to implement WIFI calling, wonder why??? Must be those Carriers all have that same subpar Coverage. What a dumb ass statement.

  • J.J.

    tmobile note 4 stagefright ota rolling out now. currently updating. download was about 143mb

  • Ted Nugent

    Anybody get this update yet? I’m about to flash the generic one because Tmobile sucks and no sign of the OTA or downloads yet. I’m sick of the fragmented images just because of wifi calling.

  • Ted Nugent

    Yeah I’ve been doing that for a week and it just says up to date. If anybody was getting live OTA downloads usually someone grabs the link and shares it, which hasn’t happened yet as far as I can tell.

    • Ted Nugent

      It showed up finally.. gotta wait until I get home to grab the link though since work computer doesn’t have adb

  • guest

    are the ones from the google play store getting this update

  • Gregg

    I got the update and saved the file… To be honest, not really sure what to do with it for how people can use it…

  • Gregg

    I was able to get the file on my Nexus 6 on T-Mobile and shoved it in my Google Drive… It’s kind of strange as it downloaded the file into /data/data/ (click on the download arrow at the top of the screen to download it).

    • Ted Nugent

      Thanks I was looking all over for where it got stashed.. its usually supposed to go in /cache/fota/ or /data/fota/

  • Steve

    got tmobile update last night