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OTA updates and carriers.

I keep seeing the threads the carriers must allow an OTA update. This makes no sense to me. It's a DUAL SIM phone. I and, I'd imagine, most other people use SIMs from different carriers. What if one carrier approves it and the other doesn't? Which SIM dominates? Why does it even matter? How often does an OS update directly affect cellular operation? Why does it even matter what one carrier decides? It's my phone, not theirs. I travel and use multiple carriers so my main carrier can veto an update? Really?

Best Answer
Jamie, mobile standards are STANDARD and global, but regulatory, safety, legal requirements are different for different countries. For example some bands/channels are not supported by a carrier or are not allowed to use by govt. Therefore firmware for a handset operating in a carrier's network should be tested by the carrier for compliance.

sim1 is primary. So sim1 carrier should authorize OTA update. System update can make your phone incompatible with carrier settings due to country regulatory requirements or whatever. Your phone is your responsibility and you can use it in different countries, install whatever firmware at your own risk. But carrier should not propagate untested (and potentially incompatible) firmware updates into its network.

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Personally I think that HMD Global should provide a way to install updates manually at user's discretion. Google does this way for their Nexus and Pixel phones, anyone can download full OTA image from developers.google.com and install it.

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Mobile phone standards are supposed to be global and STANDARD. If anything is "untested"or "potentially incompatible" then it should not be released at all.
I agree. My carrier should should not be able to prevent me from updating my phone via wifi and yet I have to change SIM to get OTA updates. You can fix this Nokia.

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At least provide an alternative update mechanism. Microsoft and Apple don't have this problem!

Answer

Jamie, mobile standards are STANDARD and global, but regulatory, safety, legal requirements are different for different countries. For example some bands/channels are not supported by a carrier or are not allowed to use by govt. Therefore firmware for a handset operating in a carrier's network should be tested by the carrier for compliance.

I understand the logic behind the answer but the practical application of it is ridiculous. If for example, picking two countries at random, my Thailand carrier approves and update and I then travel to the UK where Vodafone have rejected the update due to regulatory issues in that country - does this mean that my phone should not be used in the UK because it's non-compliant, or worse still, will it just not work. 

I say again, if an update is non-compliant in any way, in any geography, it shouldn't be released at all.

You can use your phone with Thai firmware in UK, but if it does not work in UK due to compliance issues it's your problem. For example Chinese firmware have no google services and play market. And you cannot demand google stuff working in China if you travel to China with your phone having non-China firmware, and vice verse is true as well.

"if it does not work in UK due to compliance issues it's your problem."


Seriously??????


If I find myself in this position then I will be returning to Samsung and will make sure everyone I know stays well away from Nokia!!

Samsung uses the same process of testing and authorizing OTA updates by carriers. The only difference to Nokia it does not advertise monthly updates and many ppl are unaware. Know enough ppl with samsungs sitting on Android 6, while their handsets are upgradeable to Android 7. For some ppl OTA updates is not a big deal, they buy new phone every year and get latest and greatest Android with it.

The Nokia 6 already has variants such as the TA-1000, TA-1003 etc. to deal with market specific issues such as Google and China.  


The Global version TA-1021 as far as have been able to research so far has one standard stock firmware, whereas Samsung has country specific firmware for its phones and some cases, carrier specific branded firmware. The case of the carrier specific firmware is the only case where they should have any control.


Nokia (HMD) should ensure the firmware is suitable for the market it's released in when the phone is sold and also for any updates. If Nokia is unable to do this with updates then they should then perhaps they should consider country specific firmware going forward.



Beyond that, if some of the Android / Apps features may work differently / not work at all in different countries, that of course, is normal and should be expected. I do sincerely hope that the radio will work and make calls - which is the only thing a carrier should be concerned about - and this is Nokia's remit to make sure is correct before the firmware is released.


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I have one further technical question before I accept defeat:-


How does this process work?


I assume that when an update check is made, my phone connects to a Nokia / HMD server. The server queries the phone model, location, and carrier. Then if an update is available and that carrier is on the "whitelist" then the update is carried out?


This is a slightly farcical system as can be seen from the discussions on the forum elsewhere about swapping SIMs to get updates.  All this does is create confusion and frustration among your customers.


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I believe TA-1021, TA-1025, TA-1033, TA-1039 are all considered global and under the hood share the same stock firmware. Just slight hardware differences in supported WCDMA/LTE bands, single/dual SIM, and hearing aid compatibility. 


Your assumption about OTA update process is correct. And I also found it farcical :) But I understand HMD, I think for them it's much easier/cheaper to delegate firmware/update compliance testing to carriers rather than get complaints later if something goes wrong for customers of a specific carrier. For example, some LTE band supported by your carrier stopped working after update if you were impatient and swapped SIM to another carrier (which may not use that LTE band and does not care). It's your problem not the problem of your carrier or HMD. But if HMD/carrier pushes that firmware update to your phone it will become their problem.

It is NOT THE CASE and it is WRONG, that carriers have to have to allow Nokia 3,5,6,8 Updates!!


I really don't know, why frequently people claim this as a truth.

A carrier only have to allow updates, if  the phone has a special carrier branding, what nearly no Nokia Phone has.


When an Android phone is looking for an Update, the phone sends many data about the phone, like carrier name and carrier id from your SIM to a special google server. This server responds with an download link to the update for the phone, if all the send data about the phone matches with an entry in the Android OTA Update Database.


To get an update for your phone, the Nokia developers have to make an entry for exactly your Phone and for exactly your carrier in this Android OTA Update Database. If now on your SIM is not an official carrier name and carrier id, your phone will never get an update. In my case the SIM had the old not any more existing carrier name "E-Plus". After the "Carrier Services" Android App changed the carrier name to "O2 . de", i instantly got updates. 


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Too emotional. Google maintains OTA updates only for own phone models, Nexus and Pixel, and Android One phones. Vendors like Nokia or Samsung have own OTA update servers.
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